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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gunslinger Girl Week: A Brief Intro

Since I started this blog, the notion of doing 'themed weeks' - seven days of posting mostly about one series - has greatly appealed to me. Ergo, for the next seven days, most of the posts on Nagareboshi Reviews will be about one series, an anime series of heartbreaking human drama: Gunslinger Girl. This anime, based on the manga of the same name by Yu Aida, is a very absorbing series about young girls made into weapons and the agency that turns them into these killing agents. It is dark, it is violent, and it is the subject of Nagareboshi Reviews' first themed week. But I assure you, it's gonna be totally awesome.

So if you haven't seen even the first season and want to stay spoiler free until then, avoid the rest of this post. For those who know the story, read on after the jump!




The Basic Story: The Social Welfare Agency, situated in Italy, seems innocent enough - but in reality, their goal is to take in young girls abandoned and injured beyond repair, give them a new life through cybernetic technology, and train them to be the government's secret assassin squad, the go-to girls for cleaning up the Italian gov's messes. Their handlers - usually retired police or military men - form fratellos with their young partners and become in essence their teacher, their shadow, their companion, the one single person who will always be there for them. Every day, these girls go out on covert missions to combat terrorism and make sure the Italian people stay safe and protected - but at what cost to themselves?

The "Gunslinger Girls": The series primarily follows a core group of Agency girls and their handlers, although the focus is more on the girls than the male half of their fratellos. These girls are Henrietta, Triela, Claes, Rico, and Angelica. However, the 'main' girl is Henrietta, whose entire family was killed and herself left to die but was found by her handler, Jose, who gave her to the Agency for a new life. She suffers from severe psychological issues and is extremely attached by Jose, being one of the few - if not the only - positive grown male figure in her life. Henrietta is also the emotional center of the entire series and truly the quintessential case of what it means to be given a new world by something as dark and devious as the Agency.

What will Nagareboshi Reviews be talking about this week? First thing first, we'll be looking at the Il Teatrino season and how it fares against the first season. Then we'll be discussing the more 'controversial' issues of Gunslinger Girl, from the basic notion of schoolgirls as killers to the concept of lolicon in the GG series among other things. We're gonna get deep down into the issues and themes of this astonishing series and I hope you enjoy reading all about it. Onwards, fellow gunslinger fans!

Next upcoming post: a review of Gunslinger Girls: Il Teatrino (13 episodes, not counting the OVA).