In the heart of Italy, the Social Welfare Agency rescues young girls from hospital beds and gives them a second chance at life using the latest in cybernetic advancements. With their artificially enhanced bodies, the girls are brainwashed and trained as assassins to carry out the dirty work of the Italian Government. Despite all the modifications, they are still just children at heart, struggling for recognition from those they love, even knowing the love they feel is manufactured. This tragic tale unfolds as these girls grapple with their emotions in an agency that treats them as nothing but ruthless killers.
It’s a bit hard to swallow, the fact that the little girls in Gunslinger Girl were used as tools in secret missions by the government, no less. These girls underwent strict training to become assassins. They lived only to follow orders of their “brothers”, their handlers. They learned to become proficient, sharp shooters for their assignments. It is a career they didn’t choose but chosen for them.
Girls as assassins. I just thought no matter how badly hurt they were or if they’re on the verge of death, is it not right to turn them into merciless assassins. Yes, I’m glad they decided to give them a new life, a new beginning. But is it the life they would want sans conditioning? We’ll never know because they were never given the choice.
Some of the girls were lucky as they were treated as real sisters by their handlers. Some, however, weren’t so lucky. They received harsh treatments from they so-called brothers or abandoned by them – which in the case for Claes was turned into a guinea pig for experiments because she’s ordered to do so. I dislike Jean, Rico’s “brother”, particularly. He always wear that smirk on his face and treated Rico as a killing machine. Most girls didn’t remember their past and accepted their current situation willingly. There were times I find some of their conversations rather amusing. They talked about their injuries, work problems and keep count of men killed like it’s not big a deal. Look, these are children we’re talking about so for them to so effortless talk about killing people is a bit hard to take.
Besides the occasional weird conversations and robotic attitude towards their works, the girls actually looked and acted normal. They seek for attention from their handlers, love sweet treats, cute things. The girls sometimes hang out and talk about stuff. You know, some mindless chit-chat. They also look out for each other. But we all know that these girls in Social Welfare Agency Section 2 aren’t normal and they’re aren’t really happy either. In addition to that, the series noted the complexity of relationships between the fratello, the “brothers and sisters”. Despite having a body made up mostly artificial materials, the girls were capable of feeling. They went through different emotional turmoil and struggle for affection. To see it from different perspective, the girls pose as dangers even to the ones they supposedly trusted the most. With that, I doubt even the kindest and gentlest handler could truly feel safe around them.
Wait. Did I sound like I was extremely displeased with this series? Putting the mindless rant aside, Gunslinger Girl did actually take me for an adventurous ride. Initially slow-paced, the anime later on centered around exciting cases and missions. If you’re into stories about Mafia and undercover missions, then you could try watching Gunslinger Girl. There’s this “spy” feel to the show, if you know what I mean. But if you’re uncomfortable seeing kids running around killing people, then it’s probably best if you stay away from this series. It’s very different from the Hollywood movie, Spy Kids or anything Hollywood branded for that matter.
There it is. Another anime strike off from my to-watch list. Holidays is good, isn’t it?