Gunslinger Girl: Teatrino DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 7.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 3.0
Total 8.0
Distributor: Madman
Classification: MA15+
Minutes: 325 minutes
Reviewer: Jamie Kirk

8.0


Gunslinger Girl: Teatrino

Gunslinger Girl: Teatrino is the continuation of Yu Aida’s anime Gunslinger Girl. It might also lead to some confusion or complete ignorance based on the cover image and an insufficient explanation. It is the tale of the Social Welfare Agency, a secret military organization that fights terrorism using cybernetic implanted school girls. For those thinking that this means lots of violence and gratuitous shots of panties mashed into digestible 22 minute chunks, keep walking, as Gunslinger Girl is a serious and thoughtful meditation on humanity... There is also a little bit of violence if for those that need it.

The girls working for the Social Welfare Agency have all at one time suffered grave misfortune, whether it is through birth defects, accident, or even abuse. They are given a second chance at life by the agency, but the cybernetic implants given to the girls rids them of their humanity and turns them into cold blooded killers, who eventually will lose all the memories they once had of their past life. They are then paired with a male handler, and together the team are referred to as a fratello. The main arc of the series centres around the agency’s conflict with the Padania Republic Faction, and Agency member Triela’s rivalry with an assassin named Pinocchio. Like the girls of the agency, Pinocchio is also a child assassin, but unlike them he has no cybernetic implants yet is just as powerful if not more so. The conflict between Triela and Pinocchio is well played out and Pinocchio is given enough screen time to feel fully fleshed out, as opposed to a one dimensional villain.

The debate of whether the agency has done these girls a favour or essentially kidnapped them is a central theme to the series. Through flashbacks we see elements of the girls and the handlers past lives and what led them to becoming part of the agency. Most of the stories are rife with tragedy and offer no easy answers, and gives the series an emotional impact that one would not predict it had at first glance. It should also be mentioned that the first series does not need to be seen to enjoy Teatrino, but those who have the first series will understand the goings on a lot quicker. Those who check this out first will be bound to check out the first volume eventually, as Gunslinger Girl is so well done that many will not be able to resist delving deeper into the universe.

The special features on the disc are rather light, containing a standard interview with one of the Japanese cast members, some commercials and textless openings and closings. Some insight into the making of the show or some input from Yu Aida would have been nice, as the series deserves some extra features to shed light on it.

Gunslinger Girl will defy expectations. It is no simple action series, and no simple schoolgirl series. What is presented here is a complex work of morality wrapped into a well told story arc of good versus bad. Anime fans should immediately take note of Gunslinger Girl, as it is a very special series, and I would also recommend that those who are not into anime check this out regardless. Look past the rather odd idea behind it and find an anime series that is very unique and very rewarding. 






 
 



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