Trigun Stampede, the latest anime based on Yasuhiro Nightow’s 1994 space-Western manga series Trigun, concluded its first season last weekend. The 2023 iteration on Vash the Stampede’s adventures across the alien desert planet of Gunsmoke inspired a lot of lively, heated debate among fans, whether they were or weren’t familiar with the original 1998 anime.
A second season of the anime, described as the series’ “Final Phase,” has been confirmed as in production. While we don’t know yet when season 2 of Trigun Stampede will premiere, the short post-credits scene at the end of season 1’s final episode hints at what’s to come for Vash and co. — and it points to future characters and events previously unexplored by the original 1998 anime produced by studio Madhouse.
What happens in the post-credits scene of Trigun Stampede?
The end credits sequence for the final episode of Trigun Stampede is different than the one that appeared in previous episodes. It features an unbroken shot of the crater-laden surface of what appears to be a moon overlooking a red and brown planet — presumably Gunsmoke.
After the credits roll, the sound of a sonar-like ping can be heard, followed by two voices, one male and one female, discussing “phase two” of something described as “Project Pieces of Earth.” The female voice, identified as “Special Ops Lieutenant Colonel Independent Chronica,” orders the male voice to perform a scan of the entire surrounding solar system, citing a strange “fluctuation” from a local planet. The scene cuts to a close-up shot of Planet Gunsmoke, with a shocked Chronica saying the fluctuation appears to have originated from “Project SEEDS.”
Who is Chronica?
First appearing in chapter 69, “Get Ready, Get Set,” of Yasuhiro Nightow’s Trigun Maximum manga, Chronica is a self-aware “Plant.” In the Trigun universe, Plants are interdimensional beings, like series protagonist Vash and his twin brother Millions “Nai” Knives, that were originally created by humanity as a fuel source to power the massive starships and terraforming technology necessary to establish human colonies on inhabitable planets outside of Earth’s solar system. Like Vash and Knives, Chronica is what is known as an “Independent” Plant, meaning that she’s sentient, with a human-like consciousness and a human-like body.
Chronica never appears in the 1998 Trigun anime series — that adaptation was produced before she was introduced in the Trigun Maximum manga. In Nightow’s manga, however, Chronica and her fellow “Independent” Plant companion Domina respond to an energy signal emitted by Millions Knives, who fuses the bodies of all of the Plants left on Planet Gunsmoke to create a massive sentient warship to destroy humanity. It’s known as “the Ark.”
Chronica and Domina were sent to Gunsmoke to search for any survivors from “Project SEEDS,” the colonization program that launched thousands years before the beginning of Trigun. It was part of an effort to preserve humanity beyond Earth, which had become uninhabitable due to prolonged pollution and global warming.
Upon discovering that Knives has gone rogue, Chronica and Domina use their ship to attack the Ark from Gunsmoke’s orbit. Later, they become instrumental in Vash’s final confrontation with Knives.
What does this mean for Trigun Stampede?
Trigun Stampede takes place in a continuity separate from either Yasuhiro Nightow’s 1994 manga Trigun (later retitled Trigun Maximum) or the 1998 anime series directed by Satoshi Nishimura and produced by studio Madhouse. Given what happens during the finale of Trigun Stampede, it’s probable that Chronica and her partner Domina will play a major role in the second season of Trigun Stampede, acting either as conditional allies to Vash in his continued battle against Million Knives, or even possibly as enemies.