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Gunslinger Girl: The complete First Season [Blu-ray]
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The complete first season in stunning high-definition!
Officially, the Social Welfare Agency is a government sponsored corporation that's in the business of saving lives. In reality, it's an agency on the fringe of technology. They give terminal patients another shot at life using cybernetic implants. This conditioning process then shapes the patient into an efficient machine for handling all of the government's dirty work.
Henrietta, Claes, Triela, Angelica, and Rico, the adolescent heroines of the broadcast series Gunslinger Girl (2003), are orphans who have been turned into petite assassins through cybernetic implants and brainwashing. Each girl has an older, male "handler" from the Social Welfare Agency, a covert branch of the Italian government, who oversees her training and takes her on missions. The miniature murderers travel through Italy, dispatching criminals, right-wing terrorists, and uncooperative police officers with a cold-blooded efficiency Scarface might envy. The girls remember a few scattered fragments of their past lives, and the only feeling they express is a mixture of affection and adoration for the handlers. This lack of emotion makes them singularly unappealing as characters and robs Gunslinger Girl of the pathos of Saikano. None of them feels a shred of regret for their murderous actions: In Episode #8, Henrietta complains that's she's only killed four people in the last month. The results suggest Key the Metal Idol re-made by Sam Peckipah. Although Gunslinger Girl was one of the first examples of the "murderous moppet" genre of anime, it ranks among the grimmest series of recent years. (Rated TV 14: considerable violence, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon(1. Fratello (Siblings), 2. Orione (Orion), 3. Ragazzo (Boy), 4. Bambola (Doll), 5. Promessa (Promise), 6. Gelato (Frozen), 7. Protezione (Proection), 8. Il Principe del Regna della Pasta (The Prince of the Kingdom of Pasta), 9. Lycoris Radiata Herb, 10. Amare (To Love), 11. Febbre Alta (High Fever), 12. Simbiosi (Symbiosis), 13. Stella Cadente (Falling Star)
Meet the real Gunslinger Girls
Voice director commentary
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Top Customer Reviews
They may be the most lethal little ladies around, but they are still little girls. Their emotions and reactions are those of young girls.
Strongly recommended if you want a series that mixes masses of gunfire with some thought-provoking moral questions.
The series is beautifully animated (something that sadly declines in the second season). This Bluray version shows off the beauty of the animation. I liked the DVD version, which was a good clean transfer, but the Bluray transfer is superb.
The rest is history, what I got from GSG is great story telling, slick animation, characters you can really feel for, and a fantastic and yet touching soundtrack. While the story is cruel and morally gray, it is more thoughtful than any drama-thriller on the market. That is saying a lot especially for an anime; this is where I realized that I had found a gold mine.
I will not get into the story of GSG because well, in this day and age you can Wiki anything. I will however discuss the quality of this newest edition to Funimation Blu-ray and if it is a worthy upgrade if you are a DVD owner already.
To be upfront about it, this visual upgrade is not fantastic nor terrible. It is an upscale if anything, but unlike most recent releases of Funimation titles it is presented in 1080p24 rather than 1080i30. As you would expect coming from the DVD version, gone are all the compression artifacts and a plus for the clean lines. Appraised for being beautifully animated, GSG really does make its presence more than it used to from its SD form, both in color and detail. In the directors eyes, GSG is intentionally made to look at bit drab in terms of color to insinuate the bleak outlook to the film, but in this blu-ray edition the color pops and is much more vibrant while maintaining the bleak look. Detail on the other hand is somewhat inconsistent, clean lines in some areas then a bit soft in others. Not a deal breaker, but it is apparent. Overall I am certainly pleased with the results though it is by no means an Evangelion Rebuild caliber, GSG has certainly never looked this good.
AUDIO: JP/ENG Dolby 5.1 TrueHD
Like most Funimation titles, the benefits from upgrading is the audio. Encoded in both JP/ENG Dolby 5.1 TrueHD (fantastic!), GSG sounds terrific unlike its Lossy counterpart. GSG is not an action heavy type of film, but when it happens, the gunshots exploding along with the shells dropping come as clear and crisp than ever before. If that is not enough, you can actually feel if not hear the Cello's LFE in the constant soundtrack "TEMA". Most will agree that the soundtrack to GSG is as a whole, sweeping and heartfelt and yet mysterious and suspenseful. Hearing it in Dolby TrueHD fashion this time around is definitely more pleasing to the ears. Though if I had to pick something out of the whole thing it would probably be the song "The Light Before We Land" by the Delgados; it still sounds a bit thin and tinny.
Trailers, Commentary by the ENG dub actors, pretty standard stuff.
All in all, while not a huge upgrade, you have to realize that this is definitive version of GSG and it probably will not look and sound this good ever. Any fan will love it, newcomers will appreciate it either way, but any blu-ray enthusiast would have mixed feelings about this one. I would say check out this anime; it is unforgettable, told well, and the price is right.
All in all I can't think of a single bad thing to say about Gunslinger Girl. I am very glad I tried this one out, and I hope you get the chance to enjoy it too. If you like it the 2nd season, Il Teatrino, is even better in my opinion.
The storyline is well thought out, the drama and action scenes are good, and the character development is so well done that it could bring you to tears for the situation these girls have to go through.
This animated series went on for two seasons and I wish they continue to do more, although it doesn't seem likely. As of this writing, the original manga is only now coming to a conclusion and it looks like it's going to be a tragic one.
Although it's sad and has no comedy relief I think this is one of the best dramatic animated series I've ever seen.
The blu ray does a good job of showcasing the product, and the subtitle font is well displayed and sharp. The English track on this version isn't bad as well.
I highly recommend this show, and it even ends on an up note, but it is not a 'happy' series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Finally got my hands on this great anime, the plot, music (especially the music), art is all really outstanding.Read more