Reviews and random thoughts brought about by various movies, series, music, books, travels, social behavior and what not...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gunslinger Girl (Il Teatrino)

I've been waiting so long for the complete second season of Yu Aida's 'Gunslinger Girl' that I already forgot about it. Seeing its episodes on the web rekindled my desire to see what happens next to out cute, gun-totting, melancholic heroines as they strive to figure out their place in life whilst battling groups that want to destabilize and tear apart the nation.

To those new to the series, Gunslinger Girl is about a Social Welfare Agency which, in reality, experiments with little girls with traumatic pasts and turns them into cybernetic assassins that eliminates those who oppose the goverment. To make the girls obedient to their handlers, they are 'conditioned' to make them loyal. This in turn confuses the young minds of the girls because this intense loyalty is interpreted as infatuation or, in some cases, love.

First off, the art and animation of the second season is different from the soft, subtle lines and dramatic images coupled with fast paced gunplay seamed together in great harmony, to which I associate with the first season. This time around, they went with a more defined and serious character design, that went well with the overall theme of the series which focuses less on the feelings of the cast and more on the plot of the story. The series also dive into the personal lives of the main handlers to give you a background into why their joined the Agency,

And, unlike the first season which focuses on the main heroine, Henrietta, the other girls are given the spotlight, especially the kick-ass Triela. Here I also see a new girl, Beatrice, who I didn't get to see in the manga.

The story follows the 'Pinnochio' arc of the manga, where the girls and their handlers are tested to the limits of their wit and skill against the bomb makers Franco and Franca, along with the hardened teenage assassin known as Pinnochio.
The series also delves into the personal story of Angelica's handler, Marco, which is also a part of the manga. What's new is the personal insight into Rico's enigmatic and strong handler, Jean, which I didn't see in the manga (then again, I've read only until book 5).

I don't think first time viewers of the series won't be able to appreciate the entire scope of the story without seeing the first season. The second season is not solid enough to create a self-standing series away from the first in terms of character development and explaiing the root of the story.