Gunslinger Girl, Vol. 1: Ragazzine Piccole, Armi Grandi - Little Girls, Big Guns
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic premise for the show is that a special agency in the Italian government has used a new scientific technique to brainwash and condition people to train them into killers. The technique is more successful the younger the recruit. Using young orphans girls to under "conditioning" the girls are then handed off to agent who are called "handlers" who will oversee that the girls become trained killers.
The show has its share of particularly violent and graphic action sequences stemming from various missions the girls undertake. However the missions are more of a backdrop to exploring the relationship each girl has with her handler. Henrietta has a father figure type handler in Joze who is very kind to her. In contrast another character Rico has a very abusive handler, Jean who is critical of her performance and very rarely gives the praise she so desires.
The episodes on the fisrt disc devote one episode to each character to introduce to their personality and tell us about their past. The storytelling is slow but really pulls you in with its characterization and the beautiful piano heavy background music.
Its unclear if the future discs are building up to a major story arc or if the pacing will stay self contained episodes. Fans looking for non-stop action heavy on the jokes and fan service may need to look elsewhere.Read more ›
This is what I would call a serious anime - a work of art. A few series try to reach the level of Gunslinger Girl, but while reaching greatness they fail to understand that the greatest mystery, the greatest part of the story, is the relationship between characters. Lain, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin and Noir are up there, but they're all in a different class - they had different goals to set, to reach. I can't wait to see where Henrietta and her friends end up.
The plot: `Gunslinger Girl' is not about originality. The cloak and dagger "Agency" finds crippled girls whom undergo "6 Million Dollar Man" surgery to become assassins, and eliminate Europe's crime bosses. Apparently the process only works with children.
The episode plots are not too complex. `Gunslinger Girl' is light on actual action but is NOT slow moving or boring is any sense.
`Gunslinger Girl' is 100% dependant on style. I've seen few anime recently that have evoked this type of emotion through artsy style. The animation and music are very unique. Most of the score are renditions of well know gangster or action film themes. The closing credits play to `Scareface'.
Most anime fans are comparing this to `Noir' in that they have similar themes and focus heavily on the splendor of their settings in present day Europe. True it's similar to `Noir' the same way `Cold Mountain' and `Gone With the Wind' are both about the Civil War, but there's really no comparison.
`Gunslinger Girl' honors the best elements of Luc Besson's `La Femme Nikita' and `The Professional' while focusing heavily on the color white the way `Point of No Return' did.
This is a must for anyone whom likes anime.
Another girls with guns series that was recently exceptionally great was `Najica Blitz Tactics.' Same theme but it was a comedy and it moved at a much faster pace. All 12 episodes are now being sold in 1 pack at bargain basement prices.
See `Najica Blitz Tactics' if you want to laugh and be thrilled. See `Gunslinger Girl' if you want your jaw to hit the floor in total amazement, and end up in a week long daze like I am as I write this review.
It's a rather far-fetched premise, but if you can get over the general implausibility this is a highly enjoyable series. Far from being the non-stop action show one might expect, it is actually surprisingly gentle and introspective. A substantial amount of time is spent behind the scenes, examining the girls' relationships with their handlers (who usually act as "big brothers") and with each other. Characterization is solid, and you really care about these girls and their problems. One of them has trouble controlling her aggressive tendencies; another loses her trainer to a random accident and must confront her sudden lack of purpose in life. There is genuine sadness, such as when one of the girls is forced to kill a witness she befriended earlier in the story. To be honest, I didn't expect this much depth, so I was pleasantly surprised. After the first two episodes, a different girl becomes central to each.
This volume contains five episodes and runs just under two hours. The show is presented in widescreen with both English (5:1 stereo) and Japanese (2:1) soundtracks available. Subtitles are white and smaller than usual, but still readable. Extras include dossier files on each of the girls featured on this disc (the last girl, who has not yet been introduced, is not accessible here), clean (textless) opening and closing sequences, a neat little animation showing the layers of art that go into creating just one still figure, and trailers for this and other Funimation releases.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this one because of the action. Even the innocent can be turned into killers. I know that we don't want this to actually happen. I am so glad its just a series.Published 13 months ago by Mr Leroy L Beavers Jr
if you like anime's that have cute anime girls with guns you will really like this one, i recommend this<3Published on June 29, 2013 by elizabeth loftis
I love Gunslinger Girl, and I've been trying to find this dvd for a good price for a long time. Its an absolutely fantastic series, and I'm super happy that my collection is... Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by dissonantDiva
Gunslinger Girl ranks among the absolute best Anime series ever created. Thought provoking and at times heart-wrenching, Gunslinger Girl proves that Anime can be high art. Read morePublished on May 27, 2010 by Nathan T. Jennings
I purchased all 3 volumes back a few months ago and let me tell you,i was very taken back that this animae had so much to offer. Read morePublished on November 21, 2009 by Cappachino
(Quotes are paraphrasing, not exact wording).
Welcome to the Social Welfare Agency, a top secret part of the Italian government which, despite its name, has absolutely... Read more
I first found this series when I was at the book store and saw the Manga. I was intrigued by the cover which showed what seemed like a[...]wielding a Dragunov SVD. Read morePublished on March 14, 2007 by Cliu
All of Gunslinger Girl's visuals from its DVD cover to the opening minutes of the series come off strict and complicated. Read morePublished on May 18, 2006 by Keith A. Jones
Great characters, great story, great anime, great music. The best of everything. No kiddy anime hear. Read morePublished on May 18, 2006 by aaron268