Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review: Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl
Director Morio Asaka
13 episodes

The series Gunslinger Girl is set in modern-day Italy and is based in a some what shadowy organization called the Social Welfare Agency which purports itself to be a charitable institution. The Agency overt mission is to rehab the physically injured, but in truth is a military organization specializing in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. the covert section of the Agency is Special Ops. The series centers around sections 2, which employs young girls fitted with cybernetic implants as agents. The implants, which consist of synthesized muscles and carbon fiber bones, result in heightened strength and reflexes as well as high resilience to damage and pain. Each girl is paired with a male trainer, or "handler", who is responsible for the training, of the girl he is assigned. Each girl is subjected to brainwashing which the agency calls "conditioning", which produces a deadly assassin with unquestioning loyalty to her handler but also limits her life span.

Gunslinger Girl is most definitely an adult anime series that works on many levels. The science fiction elements are strong but are not used to beat you around the head and shoulders. I think that is what makes the series most disturbing. For the most part they are what they appear to be - young girls then all of a sudden they are almost mindless killing machines. And boy is there a lot of that! No hold is bared to show that the girls are ruthlessly efficient when on assignment.

Even though there is ample chases, gun play blood and mayhem, its the dichotomy of each girls between that killing machine and the devoted little girl.

The series has ample action but there is also time spend on character development. I can’t say you will come to identify with the main characters, but you soon learn what motivates each beyond their conditioning.

Gunslinger Girl is a series worth tracking down. I found the series on along with the second season reboot. It’s a twisted theme, and is very violent, but it is very much worth checking out.

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