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Gunslinger Girl: Complete Box Set
Gunslinger Girl Complete Box Set
Actors: Yuka Nanri, Hidenobu Kiuchi, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Kanako Mitsuhashi, Sendai Eri
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2006     6hr 15min

The Social Welfare Corporation is a secret military force that has been "saving" orphaned girls by making them more machine than flesh. No longer children, they are assassins? and an even more frightening truth will change...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Yuka Nanri, Hidenobu Kiuchi, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Kanako Mitsuhashi, Sendai Eri
Creators: Takahiro Miyada, Mamoru Ohi, Junki Takegami
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Animation, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Animated,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/19/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 6hr 15min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The days in the lives of little girls . . . cyborg assassin
Dressi | Gainesville, Ga United States | 10/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's a glorious yet calm look into the lives of girls who are cyborg assassins. The interactions between them in their every day lives and the relationships they have with their brothers/trainers. It's very different.

Art style: realistic, think Ghost in the Shell. no oversized or exaggerated expressions/body parts. A lot of attention to details (except in like the first scene there is a moment where you go "nah . . .").
Setting: modern, set in Italy.
Violence level: high. Shows children shooting guns and killing people. The violent scenes do not play an integral part of the story. Has blood.
Theme: what is it to be normal?
Pros: Realistic themes with a deep exploration of the character's emotions, motivations and reactions. How well would you survive being a little girl "forced" to shoot guns and kill people? Could you be normal?
Cons: Action wise, suspense wise, plot twisting wise, mysterious question answering wise . . . it fails to deliver. It is subdued and quiet, a sort of "peaceful" anime without a huge hook or a glorious finale. It leaves you with many questions. This anime just "IS," Ivan Denisovich style even.

Yeah, so girls with guns. The back read something about them being cyborgs from a secret agency. Ok, so then a cliched plot entered my mind: they are generally silent, innocent looking girls that can kick some major butt, and then there'll be a huge conspiracy with their agency and they end up having to fight to discover the truth and to make it out alive.

Boy, that was WRONG! (in a good way) And that doesn't give away the plot. Why? Because there really isn't a plot. There is no main enemy, no big conspiracy, no end objective in the entire three disks. There is NO unifying force that the girls are united against . . . tagible force that is.

The series is about these girls who were terminal patients or victims. They were restored back to life through bioengineering, cybernetics and a lot of weapons training . . . and they were made into assassins. However, the series does not focus on their missions, the action or the combat. In fact, such scenes are kinda there because they have to be. Rather, the drive of the series is the interaction between the girls and between the girl and their handler, or "brother." Each handler is different with his girl, treating her differently, conditioning them differently. It's this relationship between the young girl and her handler that makes the series move. Each episode is a little more about the girl and how she and her handler interact.

[Disk 1]
The first DVD introduces the main characters in 5 episodes (though it does not introduce Angelica to a good range, just mentions her name). The first two episodes are hard to follow as they jump back and forth between scenes happening at different times, or the same scene again from another light or the same scene from another character's perspective. It basically introduces Henrietta, Rico, Triela and Claes, in that order. I ended the first DVD feeling very good about it, having the protagonists' introductions out of the way, and feeling as if the action was about to pick up a lot.

[Disk 2]
The second DVD did not do that . . . but neither did it disappoint. It is further development about the girls and their handlers. It has a little more action, but not by a great deal. We get introduced to the last two characters and their handlers: Angelica and Marco, Elsa and Lauro. The first half of the DVD deals with RF bombers in which the main three fratello are involved. Next is a look at Rico. The last two episodes deal with the last two girls introduced, and the stark differences between the fratello of Elsa and Lauro and of Henrietta and Jose.

[Disk 3]
It's not a complicated DVD to watch because it doesn't really DO anything spectacular, though it starts off with a surprise. The first two episodes focus on Henrietta and Jose as they are on "vacation" after an incident. The latter two episdoes have a focus partly on Angelica. The last episode is about all the girls. In the end of the DVD it just finally develops the girls. It would not be a spoiler to say that the ending is rather subdued. The ending is not one of great climax or incredible revelation; it just simply is, realistically and tenderly. It doesn't answer many of the questions you might have. In fact it leaves you sort of wanting and wishing that there were more. For some, it could easily leave you feeling like you've wasted your money.

[Over all]
Basically . . . it's 13 episodes of getting to know these girls. Yes, they are cyborg assassins working for a secret government agency in Italy, but the focus is not on the action, not on the missions or the secrecy or the conspiracies or the shadow of their pasts coming back to haunt them. It is about their present lives, how they are handling it, how real they actually are and what kind of lives they live. It really is interesting, though i'd honestly have to say that it could really be boring. I'm very interested in stories and character interactions. The concept of the anime is about the girls' relationships with each other and their handlers, not about their action sequences. Therefore, it can easily leave someone with many questions, a sense of disatisfaction or worse. As well, it has a smaller amount of dialogue than most other anime. The moments of silence reminded me of that uncomfortable moment in Evangelion in the elevator. Though there are action sequences, they seem to only be there to reinforce something about the relationships between the girls and their handlers.

Finally, I liked the anime. I thought it was very different from what I originally percieved it to be, and so it was a nice surprise later on as I got to understand what it was about. I love the characters and could sympathize with them. It is definitely not an action anime and I can't really think of any other anime to compare it to. Perhaps best compared to Now and Then, Here and There.

I would recommend this to people who like characters, because that's honestly what it's all about. It is very subdued, realistic and without just about any plot twists. If you're a fan of big action or comedy, like most other anime out there, and not open to watching Ghost in the Shell without the action sequences, then I would not recommend this. I would not recommend it to children. It's rather mature in its topics, not to the point of sexually mature or violently mature, just that the concepts and ideas are complex, requiring the ability to relate to the characters somewhat and understand their individual situations. This is not going to be your typical anime. It's quiet for the most part and it's calm for the most part.

What this anime really needs is a better title.

"[I hated them at first, half carbon and fiber optics. But when you get to know them they're just normal little girls, running the gambit of emotions, seeking approval, unsure of their adolescent feelings . . . and can't cook worth a darn.]""
"If I were in love with someone, and I knew that person woul
Henry Platte | Boston, MA | 02/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's been pointed out already that Gunslinger Girl is a highly atypical anime. This isn't only because of its overall tone (a number of bright, cheerful, high-energy titles like Love Hina, Fruits Basket and Mahoromatic tend to overshadow more serious work) or its visual and narrative style (whereas many titles make use of animation to create exaggerated poses, expressions and action sequences, Gunslinger Girl could be filmed live with little alteration) but because it is, purely and simply, a work of art--it has a coherency of style, theme and purpose that very few other titlesa can match. With no slight to series that are, first and foremost, entertaining (like the aforemnentioned Love Hina), Gunslinger Girl attempts to do something much more difficult than entertain, and succeeds.

If that sounds obtuse: GG has more in common with most great films and novels than with other anime series. Even those that are dramatic and violent generally rely on visceral thrills, and the few, like Neon Gensis Evangelion and Serial Experiment Lain, that seem to have a "higher" artistic purpose, often fall short in the final reckoning (does anybody really understand these two titles?).

Visually, GG is extremely simple. The majority of the characters are either built on the model of a figure-less prepubescent girl or a middle-aged man in a suit, and except for the sequences of violence (which, it should be noticed, are rarer than it might at first seem) many shots are composed of characters standing around and talking in plain uninflected voices. (Side note: There is some hysterical audio commentary on these discs. On one of them, one of the voice actors playing a handler says to another: "Yo, I think we should talk like this in real life. [gruff, flat] "Hey, I think we should go out for a pizza. How does that sound?""Roger, copy that.") The animation is still of a very high quality in the action sequences, but the attention is drawn away from the visuals and to the story.

Hopefully there's no need to restate the series' presence. What should be stated, though, is that the series is not about violence, or social problems, but overwhelmingly about love. The basic horror or the premise--that small girls are brainwashed and forced to commit political murders--is almost taken for granted by the final episode; the way that people treat each other and their affections are of much greater importance, and ultimately far more horrifying. Violence is a visceral expression of wounded human emotions, and it's no accident that the series is soundtracked by the sublimely depressing "Hate" (The Delgados)--songs about longing and loneliness, but on examination, perfectly suited to this world.

All this is just to say that Gunslinger Girl should be taken for what it is: a singular work with a specific style and a dogmatic theme. It has very little in the way of entertainment (although there are a few funny moments), sexiness, violent kicks or uplifting morals about how, if you believe in yourself, you can get into Tokyo U. It may not be to everyone's taste, but I would highly recommend it both to anime fans and also to those who might never watch another anime title, but want to see something of chilling, heartbreaking emotional power."
A type of sadness...
Jay F. Grissom | San Diego, CA. USA | 05/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This work really squeezes the sadness from the idea that children are abused.

Keeping in mind the story is pretty well thought out... in this case their abuse is done as humanly as one could hope for.

The girls are fearless, know no pain, and don't have the emotional baggage that a past would slow them down with.

All and all I think this is fine work. The animation is solid. The characters are well developed. And, there is a sense of "lesser of two evils" that is the prevailing wind with this work.

The sadness embodied in this effort has a bitter-sweet feel that seems to make one appreciate the value of healthy happy life. In a way this reminds me a lot of a documentary I saw on HBO about Tourette Syndrome.

Sad and happy all in the same brush stroke."
Amazing Short Series with surprisingly good English dub!
Jennifer B. Rollins | Cincinnati, Ohio United States | 12/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I won't write a lengthy review about the series itself since others have already provided substantial information/reviews, but I will reiterate that this series is EXCELLENT. Far heavier on character development and analysis than plot, but captivating nonetheless.

I was skeptical about the English dub since less popular animes usually have poor dubbing quality (in regards to the voices fitting the character and the acting skills), but I was pleasantly surprised that the English dub was actually very good! The voices fit very well, and even supporting characters had excellent line delivery. The "handlers" (brothers) were all voiced very well. I was the most worried about the girls' voices, but they were, once again, good. Even a couple that were a bit off had excellent acting skills and delivery. I was especially impressed with Triela, Claes, and Elsa's voice actors - they really understood and captured the characters. Henrietta was also good and Angelica decent. Rico's voice is probably the weakest, but it wasn't painful to watch (if you've seen bad dubbing, you know what I'm talking about!)

Overall, it is definitely worth buying this anime with the English dub. Don't forget, as well, that this is a must see anime, in my opinion :)"