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Gunslinger Girl: Complete Collection
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They’ve been given a second chance at life…But at what cost?
The Social Welfare Agency is a government sponsored corporation that’s in the business of saving lives. Or that’s what they claim. In reality, it’s an agency on the fringe of technology. They give terminal patients another shot at life using cybernetic implants. Through conditioning, they shape their patients into efficient machines who handle all of the government’s dirty work.
The girls of the Social Welfare Agency are no ordinary children. They are the grisly remains of human wreckage pieced back together with cybernetic implants and trained to kill by the government. Once human, these shattered souls have become murderous machines with only vague recollections of what it meant to be real – and a brutal compulsion to be the last killer standing.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches; 9.6 Ounces
- Item model number : 26515002
- Director : Justin Cook, Mike McFarland
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Color, Box set, NTSC
- Run time : 11 hours and 40 minutes
- Release date : March 15, 2011
- Actors : Laura Bailey, Monica Rial, Luci Christian, John Burgmeier, Eric Vale
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Studio : Funimation Prod
- ASIN : B004GZZH6M
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 5
Best Sellers Rank:
#73,021 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #1,969 in Anime (Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Being the first anime I ever watched, it'll always hold a special place in my heart.
It's dark and serene. With beautiful music, timeless scenery, and a plot with a near lethal dose of moral ambiguity to drive you to the brink of insanity from the moment your eyes rest on the screen, you are in for one hell of a performance.
At its core, Gunslinger Girl constitutes a Modern Italian Play/Opera.
I feel that I am giving nothing away when I say
You have Blood feuds, beautiful music, dances of death galore, because of course, in Italian Opera, no character leaves the stage alive.
Only real thing that nags me about it to this day is the shift in tone & art style from season 1 to season 2. Both are good just... different.
That and how short it is compared to the manga. The 2 Season 26 episode series (+ OVA's) only covers volumes 1-5 and most of volume 6 out of 15 volumes total in the series.
The anime has a definitive ending that still leaves room to expand into the future volumes without altering the plot.
Which is more then I can say for some series...
Really want to see a season 3.
Regarding this particular release I have no complaints excluding cost.
It'd probably be better in HD but still looks great.
Cost more to ship to Canada then value of product on cheapest delivery option.
At 40-50 $ all told for this series, Cost has prevented me getting other Shows for which I am only a casual fan or not one at all.
Additionally, there is no free shipping to Canada regardless of the size of purchase. I tried!
Seriously Amazon, step up your game. Provide free shipping to Canada. I'd be very greatful.
"Gunslinger Girl" definitely poses a very controversial concept, but that's what makes it very good. The show takes place in Italy and primarily centers on the story of a little girl named Henrietta. The premise is based around a top secret government organization that is part of the Social Welfare Agency. It's not about giving children new homes; it's about giving terminally ill patients a new chance at life. The one catch is that, regardless of the fact they're children, they have to become super assassins for the government. The children are given new cybernetic bodies to accomplish these seemingly inhuman feats for children. However, despite these enhancements they are still children and they need extensive training, as well as re-learning how to use their new bodies. Although not everything on a girl is replaced as we later learn with Triela. Each girl is teamed up with a handler (together called a fratello (siblings)) who is responsible for training her in combat and supervising her on missions. This is where that whole line of ethics becomes heavily blurred. I know some people will dismiss the idea of training children to be assassins as just plain wrong. But the fact remains that without the agencies interference they would be dead. Not to mention these super assassins are fighting against terrorists that would further harm other innocents. It's not like they're taking little girls that could live normal lives, they are taking those that are already damaged beyond repair. The only part that makes me curious is the girls undergo something called "conditioning" to increase their obedience and docility to their handlers. It also makes them forget their tragic past. They really didn't get into the details of what they do or what its effects are. The handlers have the ability to choose how much conditioning a girl receives, which brings us into the ethics of their trainers.
Henrietta is the girl we get to know best, along with her handler José. You really do like this pair, because they seem to compliment each other quite well. José treats Henrietta like a little sister and truly does care about her feelings. He wants her to be happy in her new chance at life. Not all trainers are like José though. Jean, on the other hand, is very demanding of Rico, but Rico seems to deal with this personal strife better than some could imagine and she's fiercely loyal to Jean. Triela and her handler have sort of an understanding, she's the oldest and most self sufficient, but she still wants her handler to be proud of her and he's happy keeping his distance. Not everything works out this well for a fratello, because in the case of Angelica and Marco things are not going so well. There seems to be some serious memory flaws because of the implants (Angelica was the prototype) and Marco has a very difficult time dealing with helping this child overcome her problems and then her forgetting. The worst case scenario is probably Elsa and her handler. He is so uncaring and cold to her that it just feels wrong; to him she is just a tool. You intrinsically know that regardless of the fact that they are cyborgs, they are still children and need nurturing. They need to feel like they're accomplishing something. Most of the girls are very grateful for a new chance at life and genuinely enjoy what they do. They even know they have been conditioned and sometimes question whether it's their brain washing talking or it's the real them.
As you can see I thought the story concept was brilliant. You go through all kinds of episodes dealing with different missions and different teams. Primarily we see Henrietta and her story, but you get to see what happens with all the other girls I mentioned, as well as Claes, who has a very interesting story. You see their handlers deal with the problems of having to essentially raise children and how they go about doing this. A lot of them can't treat their girls like any other weapon, it's tough to do that, especially when it speaks and you know there is a conscious mind behind the words! I do wish there was more of a central story to the whole series though. Watching the missions and getting to know the characters was really great, but at the end it just ended. There wasn't a huge blow out ending or anything. It makes me hope that they write another series in this universe with these girls, this one just feels so introductory.
I thought this was a very good series and I would definitely recommend it to just about anyone. Just don't expect it to be all action, like I had initially thought. It really is more like "The Professional" when I think about it because that dealt a lot with the issues and emotions of training a child in the art of assassination. One thing I do commend "Gunslinger Girl" for doing is making all the weapons real. It's funny because I recognized a lot of the guns from the video game Counter Strike, so it makes me wonder if there was some influence there! In the end I have to say my favorite character was Triela. I really thought she was the most interesting character in some ways because it felt like she had the most personality and she was also playing the big sister role. I do wish this series delved more into the technology, because they referenced that the cyborgs lived a shorter life-span, but they never say how short that is, or if they are working on technology to increase that. In the end I am left with a lot of questions and wanting more episodes, so maybe someone will read this and make more in the spirit of this first installment. This set comes in three normally sized DVD cases complete with a slipcase to package all three. This really should get 4.5 out of 5.
Top reviews from other countries
The series is brilliantly made with good animation and a strong vocal cast but above all the series is superbly written with some great emotional depth that gets you to care about the characters despite the series lack of length. The series is not without its faults as, despite the great writing, there is little in the way of an ongoing story until the latter stages of the series and many of the episodes do have a slight unfocused feel to them. Another problem is the final episode that doesn't give the series the send off it disserves but I cannot bring myself to criticise the episode because it is still a beautiful ending that makes great use of my favourite piece of classical music.
Overall Gunslinger Girl is a great and brilliantly written series that has a sadly curtailed feel to it. The series is quite touching and sweet in places and as such, despite the presence of cyborg assassins, I doubt that many fans of more action orientated series will get much out of it. The closest series that I can think of to the feel of Gunslinger Girl is `She, the Ultimate Weapon' and while it is not quite as depressing as that series is I feel fans of that show will like this one as well.
They are given new names and are brainwashed to adore their handlers who they see as older brothers, father figures or just plain infatuation.
The handlers are ex cops or military and each see's the girls differently, some with compassion, others with hurtful indifference.
The story is slow paced, just basically showing their lives together and how it affects them emotionally.
The opening song, 'the light before we land' and title sequence is perfect for the show and gives the perfect idea of what the show is about.
It's such a shame that the series ending is just like the ending of any episode and doesn't provide any resolution or grand finale that I was expecting. After spending the day coming to care about the characters and following their adventures I was left with feeling of, "Oh, is that it then?" It was deflating and I'm really quite disappointed by the whole thing now.
There is a sequel to Gunslinger Girl currently airing across Asia entitled, Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino, and I must admit that I still have enough affection left for the original series to want to watch the sequel, in the vague hope it might actually go somewhere this time... but I won't hold my breath.
All in all this is a lovely series which provides several hours of joy, laughter, sadness, more joy and a lot of action, followed by one great big flat pancake of a disappointment. Up until the finale this programme scores 5/5 but having seen the ending I can only give it 3/5 if I'm being honest.