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Is Milly Thompson in ‘Trigun Stampede’?


Milly Thompson crying in the original 1998 Trigun series

The ’90s delivered a lot of classic anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Sailor Moon, Serial Experiments Lain … the list goes on. Of course, one of the major standouts from this period is Trigun, which aired in 1998 and gained popularity in the U.S. and Canada as part of Adult Swim’s Toonami block in the early 2000s. Fast forward 25 years to 2023, and Orange, the CG studio behind Beastars, has released a reboot of the classic series, called Trigun Stampede, as part of the winter season. But stretching all the way back to the series’ announcement trailer in 2022, fans of the 1998 version have been asking one huge question: Where is Milly Thompson?

For those who haven’t seen the original (and I was one of you until very recently): Milly Thompson works under Meryl Stryfe in the 1998 Trigun. The two of them are agents for the Bernadelli Insurance Society, and they specialize in disaster insurance. For that reason, the higher-ups at Bernadelli send the duo off to find and shadow the so-called “Humanoid Typhoon” in order to try and mitigate the city-wide damage he usually leaves in his wake. The kind-hearted, bubbly, and bluntly honest Milly is a great counterbalance to the more business-oriented and prideful Meryl. She’s also just all-around funny and delightful, which made her a fan-favorite.

However, Milly is nowhere to be seen in first episode of Trigun Stampede. Instead, she appears to have been actively replaced by a mean, jaded drunk named Roberto De Niro (sic). What’s more, Meryl is working under Roberto, and the two are reporters looking for a big scoop on Vash the Stampede.

I go off on Roberto and the unfortunate theft of Meryl’s authority in my review of Trigun Stampede‘s first episode, so I won’t go into it here. But let me briefly say, as someone who watched the first episode of Trigun Stampede before watching the 1998 Trigun for the first time ever: Roberto De Niro can eat a sock and, dehydrated from its dry, wooly stench, pass out in the desert. That guy sucks.

Furthermore, key art from Trigun Stampede that I’ve received features just four characters: Vash, Meryl, frickin’ Roberto, and Nicolas D. Wolfwood. So, good news, Nicky’s coming back. Bad news, Milly continues to be missing in action.

It’s not impossible that Orange is saving her as a surprise for later. But, even so, is that kind of surprise really worth confusing—never mind dismaying—fans this much? Granted, I somehow seem to be in a minority of people who hate Roberto’s guts (WHAT DO YOU SEE IN HIM?). But even people who don’t mind Roberto (SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE HIS GOOD QUALITIES?) still seem to be largely just “fine” with him while also wondering where Milly is.

So, at this point early in the season, Milly Thompson does not seem like she’s going to make an appearance in Trigun Stampede. I hope I’m wrong, though.

(featured image: Madhouse)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a musician, audio person, writer, and nerd. When not talking about One Piece or Zelda (among other anime and games), she's finding surprising ways to play the guitar.