Sunday, 12 August 2012

Gunslinger Girl Anime Verdict (Review)

Some stuff has happened... yeah, can't say any more than that. All that needs to be said is that thankfully, I'm getting cognitive-behavioural therapy for my depression, and I'm not cutting myself any more. Really. I mean it this time. Anyway, the music of Gunslinger Girl season one always cheers me up...

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen GSG, you shouldn't be here. You should be on Netflix watching it or borrowing the manga from your library.


A few weeks ago, I watched the anime from start to finish over two weeks, when I was feeling quite shit and a bit concerned that I am a little bit in love with death. One thing that really got me was how well the politics was laid out in season 1; in my stories involving the government, I have a tendency to 'haze through' quite a lot of political stuff but Gunslinger Girl had urged me to sharpen up my act. The story for season 1 was so gripping, and the back and forth of narrative in the first couple of episodes was excellent, it made perfect sense the way things pan out and fall into place. It adds intrigue to the whole Adolescent Girl Cyborg Assassin-type thing.


Triela (voiced by Caitlyn Glass, who also voices Kazuho in Nabari - !!!) is my favourite character. Her image is perfect, she looks so smooth in her sharp suits, and admittedly she has given me a slight thing about pigtails now. She has so many dimensions to her and is an incredibly complex character in how she's kinda dominant around the other cyborgs but softer around Hilshire (I prefer to call him Victor, heh). Her backstory was as tragic as HELL. It was so sweet and equally heart-wrenching that she thought Rachelle was her mother. Man, that was rough. How STUPID were Hilshire and Rachelle to go rushing into unknown territory like nobody's business! Jeez!


My second-favourite would be Claes, whose matter-of-fact tone, constant calmness and intellect I adore. I LOVED her little bit of action in the season one episode where she acts as a decoy for a political figurehead's daughter, and gets in her moment of Kick Ass. Plus, her connection to the song Scarborough Fair wasss... pretty much perfect.
L-R: Triela, Henrietta, Rico

Next would be Henrietta, whose devotion to Jose and simpleness is effortlessly sweet. Her image (the school uniform) suited her so well, but I couldn't help but felt that falls down when she's standing beside Jose and he's saying he's a reporter. Then why the hack have you got a schoolgirl with you?! (Obviously we know why, but if I was the enemy I wouldn't let him through my door either. It's weird). I couldn't help but read what happens to the Henrietta-Jose fratello in the manga on Wikipedia, and I couldn't BELIEVE how it ends for them. I wanted to sit on my arse and wail. How effortlessly depressing. And it was scary that in the manga, Jose loses his affection for Henrietta and has her 'reset' without regret or remorse, despite that the conditioning was messing her up inside. Man oh man.

Second-least favourite is Rico, who seemed a bit mindless, and although that is explained in the story, is does make her character a bit boring. BUT, I do love how she's portrayed as loving every minute in her new body - they only talk about it in her episode, but through the entire series you can see it, she's always balancing on things, skipping, swinging her legs, waving her arms, and the like. Very clever. (I found it kinda shit how her handler - damn what was his name again? I always forget! - uses her for his revenge. She doesn't mind, but that only makes it creepier. OH YEAH, his name was Jean. Jean Jean Jean. I'll remember.)

I liked Angelica least, because despite her deterioration, with the memory loss and all that (it's depressingly sad), she's just really annoying. Marco's quite harsh to her and she's always eager to please. It's a strange relationship.


I found it unique that it was set in Italy, that all the charaters had well-chosen italian names and the soundtrack was perfectly suited for the setting. Sometimes it's weird and a little bit funny when one character asks another 'Don't you speak Italian?' in English, and I remember that realistically, leaving out that its a dubbed anime, they would be.

In tGunslinger Girl's first season soundtrack, my favourites were all of the TEMA's; I, II, III, IV, V, and VI, Chiesa, Pauro, Ansia (reminded me of Elsa), Ti Amo (made me think of Henrietta and Jose), Malinconomia, and Costruzione. So many. It was a beautifully authentic sountrack (bravo, Toshihiko Sahashi) although I must say above all, my favourite was the opening theme, The Light Before We Land by The Delgados.

As for Il Teatrino, WELL.

It deifinately had it's ups and downs, In terms of plot, five stars. The addition of Pinocchio was perfect timing, his charater was even more complex than Triela, which somehow also made them a perfect match despite that they were rivals. And the back story behind Flanca and Franco was GREAT. Weaving that all into the hype about that bridge, it was pretty amazing.

But the animation in Il Teatrino was HORRIBLE... Herietta lost her adorable, timid sweetness and became an overflowing mound of giggles and hugeee brown eyes. Likewise, Jose lost his graceful, respectable look and became a joke, Hilshire was worse than a joke, he was COMEDY - and Triela lost that mature, kind of inner-complexity look with her blue eyes being so damn big. As for Angelica, Marco, and Raballo in Claes' flashback, my God. Unbelievable how characters can be shattered.

However, some characters really, and I mean really benefited from the animation change. It suited Rico perfectly. Franco and Flanco were given such life - in season one they looked a bit dead. So yeah, it had its pros and cons.

But otherwise, Il Teatrino was great. The soundtrack wasn't as good as season one as the tracks weren't very Italian in an authentic sense, but they gave a great sense of atmosphere - Main Theme, Jiken, Sentou, Rome Shigai, Restaurant, Kanashimi, even the new opening theme Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi, which I hated when I started watching season two, but loved by the end, since they changed that terrible opening animation. A particular favourite of mine is Scarborough Fair, which was my favourite song from the Il Teatrino, only succeeded by the closing theme Doll (sung by both Lia and Tada Aoi). Even though I loved the version of Scarborough Fair used in the episode and the version Claes played on piano, Tada Aoi really did it justice too as her accent gave the words a unique sound.

Well, its all on my iPod so no complains from me :)

So, next port of call - I'll need to get the manga omnibus as soon as possible, because I have no idea who Petrushka is and I would quite like to find out. I almost hyperventilated when I saw that a Playstation 2 game had been developed for it as well - and hyperventilated again when I saw the price. Imported, you say? GET OUTTA HERE. I could fly to Japan, buy the game and come back and I STILL would've spent less than what Amazon and eBay are suggesting. Please.

Star .



  1. I, Tally, have relocated your blog and you now have me watching Gunslinger Girls...ugh lol



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...