Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

5 January 2008: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino splash page
Pinocchio, Triela, Henrietta, and Hilshire.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm a little wary about Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino because it has a different voice cast and animation studio. The character designs depicted on the official website are also a little different compared to the first season as well as the manga. Henrietta and Rico look downright freaky, although Triela and Claes are not as changed.

Triela. Shot a guy because of PMS. True story.

My guess is that the second season's 13 episodes will focus more on Triela and Pinocchio and likely conclude with the events from volume five of the manga. I hear there will be a two-episode OAV following the Il Teatrino DVD release. Presumably that will feature the introduction of Petrushka, the 16-year-old cyborg girl assassin version two-point-oh, arousing interest for further OAVs or a Bee Train third season (more on that later).

Claes. Best megane shtick of all time.

Somewhat curiously, the general mood along the ol' blogway seems to be one of trepidation, but not due to technical concerns—from uneasiness with the subject matter. What in Hell? Do y'all watch anime? How are brainwashed cyborg little-girl assassins in any way creepy? Relatively speaking, I mean. It's you people who are standing in the way of my glorious Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha prequel about Fate Testarossa roughing up deadbeats and collecting Jewel Seeds for her mom.

Henrietta. The ostensible first-season lead character.

To be honest, I do have one problem with the Gunslinger Girl premise: There is no need for the Social Welfare Agency's assassins to be brainwashed cybernetically-enhanced little girls. Nearly all of their missions seem like the kind of thing regular ol' special forces teams could handle—doubly so when you consider that one of the recurring aspects of the Gunslinger Girl-verse is the girls' poor marksmanship. Even the element of surprise kinda goes out the window once word gets out that little girls carrying violin cases for no particular reason are probably out to kill you, especially if you're a terrorist or an inconvenient government official. For the really tough jobs, it seems like they would save a lot of money by just sub-contracting Noir.

Rico. Develops a personality and occasionally acts cute in the manga.

Speaking of Noir, if Il Teatrino turns out to be an unmitigated low-budget disaster, it's going to take me a long time before I stop wishing animation production had been assumed by Bee Train. Even Bee Train-wrecks have some totally bitchin' moments on occasion at least.

Gyakuten Saiban ~Only Love~ »»

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