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Dated 11 March 2019: In praise of the oldest star in Gunslinger Girl

Triela
I'm impressed Triela didn't get any blood on her.

I've written a fair amount about Gunslinger Girl, but haven't mentioned much about the firearms themselves. The first gun to appear in the show (outside of the OP) is Triela's shotgun, a Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun with its big ass 17-inch M1917 bayonet fixed. I believe this is also the oldest firearm to appear in the anime. As its name suggests, this is literally a 19th-century design which Winchester started selling in 1897 (although it remained in production until 1957). In contrast, the primary weapon of the show's ostensible lead, Henrietta, is an ever popular FN P90, which was barely more than 10 years old when the manga began publication in 2002. Triela's M1897 is also the only shotgun in the first cours, but I don't remember it featuring in particularly many scenes. The old Winchester gets a lot more attention in the sequel, Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-. (And occasionally appears in fanart.)

M1897 action
The action can git ya if you're careless while racking the slide back.

Prices of the World War I-era M1897 Trench Guns have risen quite a bit as of late, probably at least partially because of The Great War's centennial and maybe because of the shotgun's inclusion in popular media such as Gunslinger Girl itself and the Battlefield video games. For example, a "very fine" Model 1897 sold for $8625 in December 2018. I am somewhat amused that Gunslinger Girl features a firearm from the 19th century when basically every other gun in the series is from the Cold War or newer. I have to assume the original mangaka, Aida Yu, just really liked it. That's totally understandable, at least.

Dated 8 April 2019: Anime characters sure love hugging the P90

Henrietta
It's because its blocky shape makes it easier to embrace than other guns.

I guess this is a follow up to my recent post, "In praise of the oldest star in Gunslinger Girl." There, I linked to a couple pictures of anime characters hugging their FN P90 submachine guns (Iriya from Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu, and LLENN from Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online). Naturally, Henrietta also does this in the first episode of Gunslinger Girl, as depicted above, after going aggro with it against some chumps who totally had it coming, probably.

FN P90
Rounds in the translucent magazine make a 90-degree turn before entering the chamber.

I believe Henrietta's P90 is the most modern firearm to appear in Gunslinger Girl. It was only about 10 years old when the manga began in 2002, and is quite a contrast to Triela's 19th-century shotgun. Its distinctive appearance probably also accounts for its popularity in various anime, Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online being a notable example. I can't rule out the possibility that some LLENN fan bought herself an FN PS90, cut down the barrel after getting an NFA tax stamp, and painted it pink for questionable cosplay purposes.

Clarence and LLENN
This was a pretty good deal for both parties.

Incidentally, I was somewhat surprised a minor character in SAO GGO carried an AR57, which is basically an AR-15 upper designed to accept P90 magazines on top and eject out what is usually the magazine well of the lower receiver. But I'm most impressed that Kirito never showed up in GGO for some bullshit ammo exchange contrivance, since Kirito's FN Five-seveN is pretty much the only other firearm that shares ammo with LLENN's dear P-chan. Kirito's total absence definitely improved Gun Gale Online as an anime.

Dated 24 September 2019: The Sig Sauer P230SL, another gun of Gunslinger Girl

Sig Sauer P230SL pistol and magazine
See also Part I and Part II.

I wasn't actually planning on writing a series of blog entries on the guns of Gunslinger Girl, but here we are. I've joked on occasion that Triela is one of the best characters because she once shot a dude because of her PMS (true story). Well, the firearm Triela uses to shoot that guy was her Sig Sauer P230SL, a sidearm she carries to accompany her Winchester M1897 shotgun. This pistol also features prominently in Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino, the anime's sequel which covers the Pinnochio arc from the original manga.

Triela
Cyborgs with serious menstural cramps do not fuck around.

The Sig P230SL itself is a compact double-action/single-action blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol with a fixed-barrel chambered in .380 ACP (also known as 9mm Kurz, among other names). Physically, it resembles the Walther PPK of James Bond fame, but there are notable mechanical differences. For example the P230's decocker for bringing it to double-action from single-action is located on the frame instead of slide. The P230 also has a disassembly lever, while taking down a PPK involves tugging on the trigger guard.

Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino Blu-ray cover and Sig Sauer P230SL pistol
It's not heavy because it's full of mercy.
It's heavy because it's made of steel.

Neither the Sig Sauer P230 nor its successor, the P232 (which also appears in Gunslinger Girl), are in production any longer, and this decades-old pistol (this sample depicted carries a "Made in W. Germany" designation) is quite a bit heavier than the myriad striker-fired polymer-framed .380 ACP pocket pistols popular in the contemporary marketplace. Still, it certainly gets the job done, even if the job happens to involve shooting a deadbeat because of your PMS. And let's face it, he totally had it coming. Triela did nothing wrong.

Dated 5 November 2019: Rifle Is Beautiful doesn't actually feature any rifles

Yukio, Erika, Izumi, and Hikari
I'm disappointed none of them shoot left-handed.

I'm being pedantic by arguing that rifles, by definition, have rifled barrels. The guns in Rifle Is Beautiful (officially known as Chidori RSC or Chidori High School Shooting Club, depending on who you ask) are light-based, don't shoot any sort of projectiles, and accordingly do not have rifled barrels. (I mean, I guess they technically could, but it would be pointless to add rifling to the barrel of a light-based gun except to shut up nitpicking anime bloggers.) As far as the show itself goes, this is yet another anime where high school girls get really into a thing. In the best-case scenario, you end up with something phenomenal like GIRLS und PANZER or Yuru Camp△. Below that, Bakuon!! and Sabagebu! set really high standards as well. Honestly, these sorts of shows should count themselves lucky just hitting the C3-bu, Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu, or Two Car tiers.

Tsubasa and Mikaze
Tsubasa kicks Mikaze's ass.
P.S. Spoilers.

As far as Rifle Is Beautiful goes, the show is basically fine. Through the first four episodes, I don't find any of the characters particularly memorable, but I am impressed by the show's attention to detail. I'm reasonably familiar with guns, but I'm entirely ignorant about the sport featured in this anime. It seems to be real, though. Notably, the sport itself in Rifle Is Beautiful sounds much more difficult than how it's been depicted thus far. If you've done much shooting from a standing position, you'll appreciate that it can get rather fatiguing fairly quickly. Even assuming these light-beam rifles are significantly lighter than, say, an FAL, maintaining precise hits on a tiny target with a 1mm bull's-eye 10 meters away for the duration of a 45-minute match is no joke. Incidentally, Rifle Is Beautiful is also noteworthy in being one of the few shows I can name off the top of my head featuring a marksmanship competition of any sort involving guns. There was one in Stratos 4, many years ago, with characters using Howa Type 64 battle rifles, but Stratos 4 is also basically a perfect anime.

Dated 10 December 2019: The Beretta M1934, Kirika's pistol in Noir

Noir ED
MiniDiscs are rad, okay.

Fans of Noir, the BeeTrain anime from 2001, probably noticed the inverse relationship between the generally accepted lethality of a weapon and how dangerous its wielder tends to be. For example, a character armed with an expensive SIG Sauer pistol is probably just some flunkie from Soldats who will die faster than a Star Trek redshirt. On the other hand, a tiny Japanese girl armed with her school ID is definitely someone you do not want to fuck with. Like, not even a little bit.

Noir ED recreation
This turned out to be a high-effort post compared to my usual updates.

Despite Kirika's penchant for arming herself with makeshift weapons, her signature firearm is featured prominently throughout the series (likewise, Mireille's pistol). I've always recognized Kirika's gun as a Beretta, but it wasn't until much later that I fully appreciated she wasn't using some double-stacked wondernine, but rather a Model 1934—a small .380 ACP with a seven-round magazine. Also known as the M34, this design predates World War II (although its Wikipedia article claims they remained in production until the early 1990s).

Beretta Model 1934
This doesn't look particularly small in the show because
Kirika is a tiny Japanese girl.

This particular example features a rather stiff trigger and very small sights, which can make accurate shots more challenging for people who aren't Kirika. I already knew she was basically a goddamn witch, but knowing more now about her gun of choice does make her feats even more incredible than I previously understood. I guess during my next Noir re-watch, I should probably see if she ever bothers reloading. Kirika has no qualms about picking up additional weapons when facing multiple adversaries, so it's not as if she's handicapping herself on purpose.

Mireille and Kirika
Mireille is bewildered because this is only the third episode.

In all likelihood, it probably never even occurs to Kirika that she can arm herself with something else. I imagine it also has sentimental value—at least as much as her school ID, anyway. In any case, I don't think she's deliberately showing up her partner. I mean, Mireille is still pretty hot shit, what with picking off rooftop snipers from who-knows-how-damn-far with her Walther P99. It's not Mireille's fault that Kirika's a goddamn witch.

Beretta M34
Ballistics aside, gun-related details are pretty accurate throughout Noir.

This is the second 9x17mm pistol I've featured on this site. (See this Gunslinger Girl post for the first one.) I don't actually intend to turn the world's longest-running English language anime blog into the world's newest anime guns blog, but this does make four featured firearms just this year alone. What's really surprisingly is how little I've written about Noir since my haphazard 2006 transition to WordPress. I should probably at least transfer over the old entries.

Dated 16 March 2021: The CZ 75, Rico's pistol in Gunslinger Girl

CZ 75 Pre-B
Despite offering a double-action mode, the original CZ 75
only has a single-action safety instead of a decocker.

Originally, I was mostly ambivalent about Rico from the Gunslinger Girl anime, but I liked her character a lot more after reading the manga. In any case, I am a big fan of her CZ 75 pistol, though. This is a full-size all-steel service sidearm. It's not quite as heavy as a Colt 1911 Government Model, nor as large as the Beretta 92 series, but it is pretty big compared to more contemporary alloy or polymer options, such as the many compact striker-fired handguns that seem to be more popular now. CZ's own offering have diversified quite a bit in the decades since the 75's introduction.

Rico
I like the turtleneck.

In the context of Gunslinger Girl, Rico's CZ 75 is an older "pre-B" model identifiable by the shape of its hammer and the rounder trigger guard. There are transitional models, so the surest way to tell the difference is the absence of a roll pin in the slide. This change was introduced with the CZ 75B model as part of a redesign to add an internal safety that blocks the firing pin unless the trigger is also pulled. (This should prevent the gun from discharging if dropped on its hammer, or if a sear fails, etc.)

Rico
Rico also has a threaded barrel for her CZ.

Rico somewhat implausibly hides her CZ 75 under her coat while working in Florence in episode seven. I say implausibly because Rico is a pretty small girl, and I would expect a pistol that big to pooch out a bit, but I guess this is what makes her a pro. In comparison, Triela's ability to conceal a Sig Sauer P230SL under her jacket is much more realistic.

Rico
I can see why you might not think so, but Rico says she likes it here.

I think it's also worth noting that—in both the manga and the anime—Rico appears to have intact memories of her life before becoming a cyborg. I think this is unique to her among all of the girls, and it's not clear to me why. Possibly I've just forgotten, but I don't believe it was ever explained. It's not particularly important, I suppose, but it does make her different from the other girls.

Rico
She does get beat a lot, though.

Somehow, I've now written four "guns of Gunslinger Girl" posts for this blog. In addition to Triela's P230 mentioned above, I also have posts for Henrietta's P90 and Triela's shotgun. I should probably get around to re-watching the show at some point.