Time Enforcer Anubis here with a fresh review!
Sometimes, you watch an anime that you realize you should’ve watched a long time ago. An anime that you so thoroughly enjoy, you wonder why it’s taken you so long to finally sit down and watch it. For me, this was one of those anime.
Gunslinger Girl is a thirteen-episode series focusing on the exploits of the Social Welfare Agency. The Social Welfare Agency is an organization sponsored by the Italian government. On paper, it’s supposed to provide medical services for those in need, however, in truth, it serves a different purpose. The Social Welfare Agency takes girls who’ve just barely survived traumatic events, brainwashes them, and gives them cybernetic implants, turning these girls into deadly weapons to do the government’s dirty work.
Gunslinger Girl builds itself more off of premise than plot. Most of the show’s episodes stand alone, with only two storylines spanning two episodes. However, this works for Gunslinger Girl. It gives each character time to shine, and makes the show very easy to watch.
The action in Gunslinger Girl is quite intense. Weapon buffs will delight in identifying the many realistically-portrayed firearms the characters use as they mercilessly dispatch criminals and terrorists. However, the show isn’t all just action. The moral dilemma and the condition of the girls is explored in great detail, as some are mistreated by their handlers, or are succumbing to the effects of their conditioning. There’s a certain unsettling factor to hearing such young girls talk about how many people they’ve killed this month, or watching a girl expressionlessly sweep from room to room, killing grown men.
The art and animation are both quite well-done. Its setting in modern Italy also gives it a wealth of beautiful scenery. It’s a gorgeous anime, for sure, with a distinctive art style, vibrant animation, and precise attention to detail, from the guns to the cars.
Some people might down on Gunslinger Girl because of its use of young girls and moé. I believe this is a mistake. It’s easy to write off a show with little girls for main characters as simple lolicon fodder, but there’s more to Gunslinger Girl. I’d recommend Gunslinger Girl to anyone looking for an action series with drama and intrigue, though, even if you’re not particularly looking for that, I’d urge you to give the series a try anyway.
‘Till next time!