Air Dates: October 9, 2003 – February 19, 2004
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Girls With Guns
My Rating: **** (4:5 stars)
Gunslinger Girl is a odd take on cyborg animes. The bases of the story is that there is a secret branch of Italy’s government that ‘saves’ young girls that have been badly injured and orphaned and rehabilitates them. What the public doesn’t know past that is they then turns them into young cyborg assassins to work as covert agents in their counter terrorism unit that operates under the name of ‘Social Welfare Agency’. Once each girl has gone though rehab they go through an intensive program to train them to use their newly acquired bodies/implants and prepare them to be these cute little killing machines in cute fluffy dresses. Then they endure a ‘conditioning’ program which brainwashes them of all memories of their past and represses most emotions. Also during this training each girl is paired with a trainer that is referred to as ‘brother’. This helps them to blend in when they are out and about during missions making people think that it is a brother out on the town with his little sister.
One of the parts that I love about this anime is that these little girls can one, beat the SHIT out of almost anyone and two, they don’t just strap their guns and weapons to their back but they carry them in musical instrument cases! Nothing like seeing one of them bust out a sniper rifle from a violin case lol!
One of the main arcs that I liked is of Triela and her ‘brother’ Victor. These two have a longer past together than anyone and also she is the second oldest cyborg so she is in a way a leader for the other girls. Victor first met Triela when he was a cop in Amsterdam and rescued when she was half dead from a failed taping of a snuff film by the local mafia. Victor then smuggled her out the country for fear the mafia would grab her again and also to avoid the fact that his mission was unsanctioned, he took Triela to the ‘Social Welfare Agency’ in Italy to see if they could help her. At this time he had no clue what the real mission of the agency was. Later on down the road Victor was recruited into the agency and found Triela there. Due to the nature of how he rescued her and the fact that he was still on the run for what he did, he changed his name to Hilshire. Also after much debate and disbelief of the agencies real intentions, he agreed to be her handler. Their story progress around a failed op in which Treila meets Pinocchio who is the son of Cristiano the leader of one of the main terrorist groups in Italy. Pinocchio, a young assassin himself, is the first person to go toe to toe with Triela. This of course scares her, makes her wonder about her own fate (since cyborgs do not have a long life span and she is close to the end of hers) and she ends up pushing herself harder for their next encounter. As the story goes the two fight each of their battles while keeping the back of their heads the time in which the two will meet again and who will win.
There are a few other arc’s but not as entertaining as this one. Like the girl that is obsessed with her ‘brother’ [creepy], the girl that is used as a test subject for the cyborg engineers since her ‘brother’ was killed on a mission and she was deemed not fit for the field [I did feel bad for her] and the girl that is so withdrawn due to her conditioning that her brother doesn’t want to have anything to do with her.
This story goes on for another season and also has 2 OVA episodes, Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino; Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino- OVA. I most likley won’t go into these two cause what I said above bascily covers both. :c)