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  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
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Gunslinger Girl

Jun 27, 2012

Notice: This review covers both seasons of the franchise. I am too bored to write different ones for basically the same thing.

Gunslinger Girl is the loli version of the Nikita franchise, and you are not going to be watching it for its story, nor for to see how the characters find a solution to their problems. You will be watching it to satisfy your sadistic subconscious, which loves finding pleasure in the misery of others. In this case, it’s the victimizing of little girls. The words alone are enough for most of you to run immediately and watch it just for that, crying your hearts out and labeling it a masterpiece because it gave you the feels. Let’s not kid ourselves, children being tormented in anime is a major hook and ALWAYS SELLS A MILLION BUCKS (Narutaru, Elfen Lied, Seikano, Bokurano, Madoka Magica. It’s the easiest way to make a series famous to people with first world problems and sick fetishes.

The story is about 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, allowing amoral men to do anything they please with their frail little minds.
… and no, this is not a lolicon hentai, but you are going to watch it because it sounds like one.

So each one of these girls is made to forget everything and is paired with a pimp… err, I mean an Onii-chan… err, I mean a Fratelo, a male partner who is supposed to a caretaker. After that, they are having a good time eating cake, playing with teddy bears, playing the doctor, 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.

The show is mostly about getting to know the girls and how they spend their time with their Fratelos as well as with each other. It’s basically slice of life with overblown drama in the background, occasionally interrupted by short military missions. By the time you know who is who, the first season is over; meaning it stops when the introduction phase is done and doesn’t bother to offer anything else besides that. The finale doesn’t resolve anything other than making it clear the girls are destined to live like this until they die, with zero chances of getting a normal life. It is not exactly tensionless either, as two of them die and despite their mental conditioning they can still snap if they are not treated properly. That is basically what makes the show worth watching, further aided by good artwork and a memorable opening song.

Despite saying a few good things about it, whatever redeeming qualities the first season had, are completely non-existent in the second. Since the drama was based on the backdrop stories of the girls, and that was already shown, there was no more tragedy to keep the oversensitive audience engaged. Since they couldn’t stall an actual plot anymore, the makers went for plot continuity and the result was lukewarm at best. Nobody cared about the military missions, and the scriptwriter was only good at hammering you with sad lolis and tragic pasts instead of telling a proper story.

Basically, the selling point was all about short emotional bursts. When they tried to stretch the narrative, and focused more on plot rather than human drama, the interest dissipated after a couple of episodes. Also, the production values were far worse, because the animation was no longer done by Madhouse, but by the lesser studio Artland. With less detailed artwork and forgettable songs, there was far less emotional manipulation and the feelfags couldn’t feel the feels in their deep feels, and that was sad to think about it.

So yeah, it’s a show about little girls going emo and killing criminals, before the whole idea crumbles under its own inability to offer anything other than shock factor. Now go read the doujins.

4/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
6/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

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SadisticTendencies Dec 7, 2012

Nicely written review but when you imply that the only reason anyone would ever watch Gunslinger Girl is to fulfill their sadistic needs I started disagreeing. The moral dilemma is pretty simplistic but unlike most shows, GG never preaches but instead maintains its moral ambiguity to let the viewer make the decision. The strongest part of the character section is the fact that the girls can't differentiate between their natural and artificial emotions which leads to interesting discussion.

I also don't see the appeal of your rating system. "Historical value" is more or less irrelevant when it comes to the quality of, well, anything. And your assessment is "2/3, quite famous". Having achieved fame doesn't make something good either; Naruto, for example, would benefit from a score system like that and unless I've been misinformed you've turned it into your quest to defile the fandom of that series as much as you can :P