Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino
Section 2 still manages to be intact despite growing information on the secret organization said to be using young girls as assassins. The republican faction to the north refuses to give up and continues terrorist operations across Italy. This is precisely what the "child welfare organization" was designed to deal with. In fact they've been doing such a good job that many operations of the republican faction have nearly ground to a halt.
The biggest operation yet will take place in an attempt to destroy the Messina Bridge project. A higher up decides to pitch in an assassin he raised himself to aid Flanca and Franco. While section 2 continues to shut down the resources needed to stop the bridge sabotage, they're still unaware of the big target. Can they stop some of the best of the republican factions bombers when teamed up with an assassin who's so good he can best a cyborg?
Five years after the first season completed, season two comes out with poor designs, lacking much of it's artistic flare and animation that's sub par. The colors seemed washed out as well. Animation aside, season two gets everything else right, and perhaps even improves on the previous season. Things are easier to follow with less being implied instead of shown. This also helps the flow of the show. It's still GSG though. The story pace is still slow as hell. Great characters, intriguing relationships, action... and yes, it's still really messed up.
The only other relationship that seems to grow is that between Henryetta and Jose, but the terrorists in the republican faction get a lot of back story this time too. I Can't say I was interested in them, but there it is. One odd point is that Angelica came back. The last scene as shown in the first season of GSG is in fact the point of her death in the manga. The incidents involving Pinocchio happened before this, so continuity wise it makes sense that parts of the anime aren't lining up, because they're pulling manga chapters out of order. It's odd that they wouldn't have written her out of the script instead of staying true to the manga, but I guess it's a good thing they're dedicated to sticking with the program (even if out of order).
With so much drama, the voice acting is a critical aspect to making it work. The English cast does an exceptional job and nailed everything perfectly. It says a lot about how far dubbing has come. Anime couldn't even pull off fluff brain stuff, and now has performances good enough for radio drama.
If there is one thing I can say about GSG, it's that it blurs lines. When the government uses kids as assassins, are they really the good guys? Another example is Angelica: very much a little girl who seeks approval by doing a good job. Things don't go perfect during one mission, but they manage to get it done and she receives some encouragement. It gives you this warm feeling, and you think like "good for her"! Then you realize that this was during an operation where they assaulted people with machine guns. Man this show is messed up.
I'm glad to see Gunslinger Girl staying true to itself, although if you weren't into the concept already, you shouldn't be watching this season either. While the animation / design points are a drag, the story feels solid and more refined. Recommended if you liked GSG before. One last thing. While it's expected a showdown at the end is supposed to be intense, after seeing Pinocchio and Triella go at it, all I could say was HOLY $#IT!!
Bernardo: Italians love tragedy. They're sentimental about everything.
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