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Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino
Violence:
Sex/Nudity: None
Music: B
Runtime Episodes: 25min/13
Overall Rating: A -
Artwork: B
Story: A -
Comments: Based on the Gunslinger Girl manga by Yu Aida.
Voice Acting English: A
Voice Acting Japanese: B
Genre: Drama
Extras: There are 4 textless songs, 1 opening and 3 closing songs including Scarborough Fair!  A 20 minute informal interview between the Japanese voice actors of Angelica and Marco.  Trailers for Kaze no Stigma, Mushi-Shi, UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie, Burst Angel, Big Windup!, Darker Than Black, Heat Guy J, D.Gray-Man



Date Reviewed: 12/1/09 Last Updated: 2/17/13

Basic Premise: Triela comes across a human target that is far better than she is despite her cyborg body and training.  He also only uses a knife.
Review: There is some controversy surrounding this second season of Gunslinger Girl.  There are a lot of differences.  Yu Aida, the author of the Gunslinger Girl manga was directly involved with the making of this manga.  The production values were much lower with this season.  The animation style was very different.  I still wanted this set despite hearing that this would be a step down and just wasn't the same as the original series.

My first impression was that the girls looked younger with their bigger eyes and the adults looked more like teenagers than middle aged adults like in the manga or first season.  I didn't want this to be one of those shows like the Batman movies where the movies were geared to adults to start, but as the Batman franchise became more mainstream it became more of a children's show.  The rating for this anime is TV-MA, so this may seem at first to be geared to a younger audience than the first season, but that is really only mildly true for the animation style and considering the budget they really did an amazing job.  Many of the common shortcuts that are taken in anime production were avoided here, which is really amazing.  Overall it won't take long at all to overlook the change in animation style, which is probably the biggest deterrent for people considering purchasing this set.

The storyline is very true to the manga.  In the transition of a story from one medium to another there are always going to be changes.  Many purists want the changes to be as minimal as possible, but I am more of the opinion that the changes are not necessarily bad or result in a loss of the original meaning.  Sometimes it is important to make changes so as to better get the meaning across.  When a director adapts a play for the theater there are many changes in theme that take place and it is very different for every director.  The real loss in story comes about when the director has no real understanding of the original story.  With Yu Aida involved there can be no argument that he did not approve of how the director adapted his work.  I thought it was a faithful adaptation.  Yu Aida's involvement actually led to the opportunity of fleshing out more than was explained in the manga, like the history of Franco and Franca.  The biggest difference from the manga is that the events in the manga were shuffled around before written for the tv.  The second season encompasses the rest of manga book 3 and all of books 4 and 5.  There is an OAV coming soon that will encompass a good portion of book 6.

I have heard it said that this is more of a girls with guns clichéd season or that it just does not address the poignant relationships between girl and handler or that the relationship is now accepted as normal when it is really sick.  These arguments miss the whole point.  In the first season the nature of the lives of the girls who have been given a second chance at life as special forces agents for the military was explored.  In this season we move on from an introduction to the characters and actually work on heavier plots like Triela and Pinocchio.  The girls with guns cliché has to do with a light hearted look at women being badass.  Gunslinger Girl has to do with what it means to be human when your memories are erased and your free will is taken away.  This show is meant to get you to love the characters as you love yourself.  The series is very true to the manga.  I feel like one of the very few people who think that what has happened to the girls is wonderful.  They were on the brink of death from disease, most were tortured to the brink of death, and were given bodies that have a shorter lifespan than the normal person, but they had minutes to live before.  Their lives were extended by years!  How do people miss that fact.  More than that these girls are cared for in every way possible by their handlers.  Killing is not wrong, murder is.  These girls kill terrorists in order to protect innocent people.  The girls had their traumatic pasts removed.  They are brainwashed to obey their handlers, but how is that in anyway different from the lives of anyone else on this planet.  I would love to be brainwashed to good instead of evil.  For people to be able to choose evil is the real tragedy.  This issue is dealt with in the manga and Il Teatrino.  These girls are happy and love their lives and would have it no other way if given the choice.

I really liked the opening theme in GSG season 1 from the Delgados.  The opening theme was not as enjoyable in this set, but the ending theme is certainly a wonderful treat.  Not all of the music is exceptional, but if it were not so expensive I would love to get the audio CD for this series.  For now I guess I'll just have to settle for listening to it in the anime.  Truly the best song has to be from episode 8: A day in the Life of Claes.  That episode is a tear jerker.  The ending song is just beautiful and the whole story is quite moving and quite possibly better than any episode from season 1.  The ending theme is Scarborough Fair performed by Aoi Tada and is quite a treat.  Sadly it is only available on the Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino CD.

The show really is a drama more than anything else, but the fight scenes are fun even if they are a little short, but again, this is not primarily an action anime.  Oddly enough I found myself enjoying the English voice acting a little more than in the first season.  Both sound tracks are quite good though.

Conclusion: Don't listen to the nay-sayers.  The show is worth a look at least.  Stays true to the manga and is even fleshed out more in certain scenes.



Publisher: Funimation
Related Website: http://www.funimation.com/gunslinger-girl-il-teatrino
Where Found: Amazon
Copyright: 2008/2009
Author: Yu Aida
If you enjoyed this anime try: None yet.


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