rabidgopher's avatar


  • USA
  • Joined May 7, 2009
  • 26 / F

Gunslinger Girl

Feb 27, 2010

The overall story of this anime, though slow-paced, seems to know that it is. So it's no wonder that there isn't much to it to carry over the course of thirteen episodes -- just enough. I often wonder why the homepage for this isn't tagged with melancholy or something along those lines, because in reality, this is not something to watch if you want to feel anything along the lines of hopeful.

The first episode was exactly what I was looking for in this -- violent, intellectual, and wonderfully bloody -- but the following episodes less than met my standards. Oh, they kept the first three attributes I just named, but I can say for sure that my favorite scenes were still the action scenes. Whenever the girls talked about "loving" their brothers, it felt either like rape was to ensue or pedophiley. Since the girls and Fratello weren't actually related, I guess it can't be rated as "incest," per say, but it was almost there. The finale was sorta anti-climatic, with the attention for almost the entire plot focused upon the girls themselves instead of the mob or mafia or whatever they're infiltrating.

But why am I giving this such a hard time? I love this anime. I own it, for heaven's sakes. I only own, like three other anime DVD's, excluding most of the Miyazaki films. The reason I am so in love with this is for the controversy and feelings of distrust for our society tht it stirs up in you once you watch it. There's the obvious: people brainwashing little girls and making them kill doesn't sit right. Then there's the underlying view: This is an exaggerated metaphor for the horror that some people experience every day. This is the main factor that I tell people I like about this. Of course, I have to not make myself sound too morbid, so I include the good things about the music and such. Speaking of which...

The animation was flawless. No CGI to make it feel outdated, and seamless gun maneuvers just aid the beautiful, yet simplistic and realistic character designs of the girls and their Fratello. A side note that you may wish to know is that the setting of this is Italy, and the architecture is perfect -- not to mention accurate and a subtle but noticable and lovely change of scenery than the cold, dark tones usually compiled when sculping Tokyo.

The soundtrack was forgettable and unnoticable, but I fell in love with both the beginning and ending themes, even though only the opening was available on iTunes. (For anyone interested, it's The Light Before We Land, by the Delgados.) The opening is a mostly synthesized piece with impressive vocals, and the ending is a fitting opera ballad drenched in sorrow against a backround of rain, a gun, and a single bullet.

The American dub is intolerable. It makes all of the girls sound like variations on Barbie. The seiyuu are amazing, though. You can feel the weariness through Henrietta's Fratello's voice and expressions.

The girls were designed with reality in mind. Their appearance is "extra" ordinary, but stunning in their own way, although the fratello and members of the rest of the organization and villains could use a bit more... shimmer. Not that I am, in any way, implying that I'd wish for the animation to be like a Lucky Star ripoff or something. I understand completely that the dark, bleak tones represent the government, oppression, and overall gloom meant to be associated with GG, but really. Pushing it a little too far isn't great either. It only makes it seem like that budget was too low.

Their personalities are evenly distributed, ranging from the confident and reassuring Triela to the meek and sickly Angelica to the intelligent and able Claes.

To sum it all up, though this is my favorite overall anime, I give fair scores based upon the mathematical average of the four scores. The overall doesn't reflect my own opinion; it's the individual scores I value. Therefore, I'm oblidged to give this an 8.0. Personally, however, I'd rather go for 9.5 based on the sheer... reality of the series on a whole.

8.3/10 story
9.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
8/10 overall

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