Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gunslinger Girl

Full Title: Gunslinger Girl
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction

Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: Mavrik

My Age Rating: MA (Language, Graphic Violence, Disturbing Themes)

Once again, a thanks to Mavrik...

Take a couple of little girls, give some excuse to have them wield heavy weapons, and turn them loose on unsuspecting bad guys, have them kill till their of no further use, then prepare another in their wake to carry on. The catch, the little girls are still, to a very incredible degree, human children. The formula for this show has been tried and true for quite awhile now in the anime realm, but rarely has a show with such feeling and depth adopted it to the degree that Gunslinger Girl does. Yeah, I watch the show to see the girl's kick a$$, but I always end up feeling sorry for them in the end. In that sense, this show is very manipulative. It plays with your emotions by taking a repugnant concept to the extreme, and then slowing down to show you exactly how far it has gone. First time viewers of anime, here is a good one for you to desensitize yourselves with. If the concept of the show doesn't bother you, then you are in for a treat. The show mainly focuses around the cyborg known as Henrietta, the newest member of the Italian Social Welfare Agency's Counter-Terrorism Section 2, and her caretaker, Giuseppe, who refuses to train her to be as emotionless as she could be, insisting instead to treat her like a normal little girl when she's not blowing terrorists brains out and snapping necks. The story revolves around the missions these girls embark on, various problems that come from Henrietta's lack of "conditioning," and the problems that arise when her accomplices handlers "condition" too much...

Overall, this anime is a beautiful sight to behold. The animation style is smooth and nearly flawless at all levels. I've never seen an anime with so much weapon detail. (Gun junkies will love this one.) The voice acting is amazing, especially for Henrietta and the lead male roles. The music can give you chills by itself without the morality checking story it flavors, and the sound of gunfire is, from what I read elsewhere, dead on. Although I'm not too big a fan of this show's credits, I find at the end of tough episodes (such as Episode 3 "Ragazzo") they give me time to reconcile my thoughts, which I appreciate. The one thing I think this anime deserves a significant level of praise for is its lack of fan-service. I always find fan-service distracting in "serious" animes, and this series definitely has many chances to exploit its characters but never sinks so low as to use such cheap tactics. Kudos to the director, and I wait anxiously for the English dub of Gunslinger Girl II: Teatrino...
My Rating: 8.6/10 (Excellent)

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