ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
Notice: This review covers both seasons of the franchise. I am too bored to write different ones for basically the same thing.
Guslinger Girl (GG) is just a notion. You are not going to watch it for its story, nor for to see how the characters find a solution for their problems. You will watch it only to satisfy your sadistic subconscious, which loves to get pleasure by the misery of others. In this case, it is little girls suffering. Yes that is right, little girls suffering, the words alone are enough for most of you to run immediately and watch it just for that. Let’s not kid ourselves, children being tormented in anime is a major hook and ALWAYS SELLS A MILLION BUCKS. And if you don’t believe me, just read these titles: Alien 9, Narutaru, Elfen Lied, Seikano, Bokurano, Madoka Magica. None of them would be famous if it weren’t for this simple fact.
And now that we established that in order to like this anime you need to be a sadistic bastard who takes pleasure in watching children suffering, let’s move on to the actual review…
GG is the loli version of the Nikita franchise, little girls being brainwashed and trained to be professional assassins for government black ops. Each one of them is considered dead and buried to the rest of the world, thus forgotten by all and freely allowed to be broken down by immoral men to do anything they please.
… and no, this is not a lolicon hentai.
… but you are going to watch it because it sounds as one.
So each one of these girls is made to forget everything and after a long time of training with firearms, it is paired with a pimp… err, I mean an Onii-chan… err, I mean a Fratelo, a male partner who is supposed to be her caretaker and observer. After that, they are having a good time eating cake and playing with teddy bears or playing the doctor, up until a mission is brought up and they need to go kill someone. Which they do so in usually a few minutes, since the series is not about the actual missions as it is about the character intercourse… err, I mean interaction.
Jokes aside, the whole focus of the show is to learn about the girls and witness how each one interacts with its Fratelo as well as to each other. By the time you know all of their pasts and see how they behave to one another, the show is almost over. It is not exactly linear and predictable, as at one point one of them gets murdered and towards the end another one is wounded severally. They are not exactly unbeatable and despite their mental conditioning they can still snap if not treated properly. That is exactly what makes the show worth watching.
As I said, you are not going to watch the anime for its story or problem resolution, as there is very little actual plot in it. The finale doesn’t resolve anything other than telling us the tragic fact that these girls are destined to live like this until they die, with zero chances of getting a normal life. Sure, it works if you are a sadistic… err, emotional person.
The production values are helping a lot in the feeling kicking in properly, as the animation is smooth when it needs to be and the artwork quite detailed. Even the main song is plain wonderful and easily absorbs you into the proper mood immediately. This is studio Madhouse we are talking about here; they know their stuff.
And now a few words about the sequel, which is faaar less interesting. Since all the characters were looked upon, they couldn’t stall more time with the story or shoehorn more human drama. So it went for a plot based mission which lasted for the entire season. That meant far less focus on the characters and more on the action, which was NOT the selling point of the first season. Also, the production values are far worse, because the animation was given from the king to a pesky peasant named Artland. With hardly half the budget and professionalism of Madhouse, we got less detailed artwork and forgettable songs, thus again inflicting the viewer with less emotional stimulation. Basically it was all a big WHAT IS THIS, WE WANT LOLIS SUFFERING IN A PRETTY WAYYY!
So there you go, a perfect way to feel good by staring at little girls going emo and killing criminals, before the whole idea crumbles under its own inability to offer anything other than shock factor. Recommended before looking for the doujins.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 2/2 (well-done; but only in the first season)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 9/10
Voice Acting 3/3 (mature)
Music Themes 4/4 (great)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (semi-episodic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (open)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 2/2 (strong)
Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 2/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s looked into a lot)
Development 0/2 (none)
Catharsis 0/2 (none)
VALUE SECTION: 6/10
Historical Value 2/3 (quite famous)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too little plot)
Memorability 3/4 (very tragic to the point of easily remembering it)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 6/10
If it had more plot and character development, it would be a blast.