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Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Now fans can own the critically acclaimed series available for the first time in high definition on Blu-ray!

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. The oldest, Triela, pursues her targets with a ferocious enthusiasm, unwilling to settle for less than total annihilation. Her mirror in this bloody stalemate is Pinocchio, a shell of a boy raised as an assassin by the FRF: a terrorist faction at war with the SWA. Cold and cruelly efficient, he wields sharpened steel as though it were an extension of his own hand. 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.

Il Teatrino (2008) is the belated sequel to Gunslinger Girl (2003), one of the the series that introduced the "murderous moppet" subgenre of anime. Badly injured adolescent orphans are brainwashed and given cybernetic implants that turn them into pint- sized assassins for a covert branch of the Italian government. The new adventures for the expanded cast involve plenty of mayhem, which Henrietta, Rico, Triela et al. perform with knives, pistols, machine guns, garrotes, martial arts--and cold-blooded good cheer. Their primary foe is Pinocchio, an equally icy but completely human assassin who is the adopted son of an underworld kingpin. Assisted by "freelance terrorists" Franco and Franca, he aids his father in nefarious schemes the girls must foil. The battle turns into a grudge match between Pinocchio and Triela that features such macabre howlers as, "How dare he shoot me with a gun Hilshire gave me!" Even more grotesque than the child-assassins themselves are the wistful boyfriend/daddy/big brother relationships they doggedly pursue with their "handlers." At times, Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino suggests Ninja Scroll restaged by the cast of Chobits, but these deadly dollies apparently have a fanbase in Japan, where an additional Gunslinger Girl OVA appeared in late 2008. (Rated TV MA: suitable for ages 16 and older: considerable violence, violence against women and children including torture, grotesque imagery, profanity, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

(1.Distance between Two: Brother and Sister, 2. Pinnochio, 4. Angelica’s Return, 5. Evanescence and Reminiscence, 6. The Retirement of the Tibetian Terrier, 7. Caterina and the Circel of Revenge, 8. A Day in the Life of Claes, 9. Clever Snake, Simple Pigeon, 10. Flowers of Good Will, 11. Budding Feelings, 12. The Fighting Puppet, 13. And So Pinnochio Becomes Human)

Special Features

Textless opening song - Tatta Hitotsu No Omoi
Textless closing songs - doll, Scarborough Fair, human

Product Details

  • Actors: Luci Christian, Caitlin Glass, Laura Bailey
  • Directors: Mike McFarland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen, Color, Box set
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Funimation Prod
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 320 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030ZOYJU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,863 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Ernst on August 4, 2009
Format: DVD
Finally, it's here. Several years after the original Gunslinger Girl blew me away with its stunning visuals and shocking premise, the much-awaited sequel, Il Teatrino, or simply Gunslinger Girl 2, has arrived. Based even more closely on the manga by Yu Aida (and with even more supervision from him), this series is a direct continuation of the events from the first show. Where the first series was less about action and more about the relationships between the characters, Il Teatrino zooms the focus in squarely on the action and plot. It assumes you are already familiar with the concept of the "fratello" and the cyborg girls, and as such only gives a brief overview of the premise in various episodes. That's not to say that there are no more emotional moments or shocking scenes. Far from it. In fact, GSG2 is probably even MORE shocking with some of its subject matter. The show is quite deserving of its TV-MA rating; there is more blood, much stronger language, and more horrible things done to children. I won't give a plot summary here, because it's on the back of the box, and since I hate knowing even minor plot details before watching a show, I will give the same courtesy to readers of this review. I will say that this series does a fantastic job of keeping continuity with the first GSG. There are many references back to events in that show, and even some cameos by characters you thought you'd seen the last of. We finally get to see Angelica in action, learn more about Triela's heartbreaking backstory, and are even introduced to a new fratello.

Now, about the somewhat controversial visual style... The first GSG, animated by Madhouse, had a massive budget, with somewhere around $130k devoted to each episode. Il Teatrino was less fortunate, and had a much more modest budget.
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Format: DVD
I don't say this often, but I had the rare opportunity of going into Gunslinger Girl misinformed. It has been often said that the show's primary attribute is shock value in the idea of brainwashed children acting as cold-blooded assassins. Worse still is that previews, trailers, and other promotional material surrounding the property do little to dissuade this notion. However, I am pleased to report that judging the show based on that single aspect would be doing it a great disservice. But before I get ahead of myself, let's take a look at the cold hard facts, shall we?

Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino The Complete Series comes in at a runtime of 315 minutes and contains 13 episodes spanning two discs. The discs come packaged in a pair of thin packs (with some very impressive label art) within a cardboard slipcase.

The show wears an appropriate TV MA (mature) rating due to some graphic violence sequences and themes of warring factions, civil unrest and of course assassinations.

Language options are typical sub and dub, which means the viewer has the choice of running either the original Japanese dialog track (stereo) or an English dub (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround) and the option of displaying English subtitles beneath either dialog choice.

Extras include an interview with the Japanese voice actor who plays Marco, original TV commercials, textless songs, and a host of upcoming Funimation anime previews.

The story follows the innocent and borderline adorable girls of the SWA (Social Welfare Agency) who, despite their kind hearts, seem a little bit eschew right from the get go. It turns out that these girls are actually the grizzly remains of humans who by all facts and circumstances should be deceased.
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Format: Blu-ray
I've now watched this series repeatedly on both a higher-quality 1080p/120Hz LCD HDTV, and a lower-quality 1080i CRT HDTV.

As before, I think that the majority of this show was created in 1024 x 576 semi-HD resolution, or 576p, and upscaled to 1080i/60 for Blu-Ray by the Japanese production companies. Funimation was responsible for the encode, but not the upscale. Note that most of Funimation's other native HD Blu-Ray animes are encoded at 1080p/24, this show is an exception. 1080i was more appropriate to ensure the ending credits scrolled smoothly.

This Blu-Ray collection contains both the 13 episode Il Teatrino TV series, as well as the 2 Il Teatrino OVA episodes at the end, making it a great buy. I recommend the Blu-Ray version over the DVD version for this series, it is both cheaper and has better audio and video quality.

There are video quality issues which apply only to the first OVA episode and first TV episode. The first OVA episode is 576p but slightly blurrier than the other episodes. On my 1080p LCD HDTV the difference is nearly unnoticeable but on my lower-quality HDTV the blurriness stands out, making this the worst looking episode. The first TV episode is either upscaled 480p SD, or horribly upscaled 576p which blurred out the image tremendously. This was then followed by artificial sharpening leading to "edge enhancement" artifacts which some have complained about. Only this episode has the edge enhancement. On my 1080p LCD HDTV this episode looks the worst by far, but on my lower-quality HDTV this processing trick works and makes this episode look as good as the rest.

The only disappointment with this release is that some of the Extras are missing on the Blu-Ray version, which supposedly exist on the DVD version.
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