While the fight in the initial episode may rake viewers in from the start, a number of things are thrown out from the second episode, making it a little difficult to get into the series. There is much foreign terminology used frequently. Words like "Rinne," "Mistes," and "Reiji Maigo" are part of the characters' vocabulary. The abundance of new words may be a challenge to grow accustomed to, especially since foreign words are continually introduced as the series progresses.
In terms of comparing the storyline and characters, the people in Shakugan no Shana are far more interesting than the plot will ever be. Shakugan no Shana's storyline never really escalates beyond what is set from the start. A handful of new characters that appear later don't necessarily help out the shallow plot. The series throws a curve ball in the form of dull side characters who are supposedly important to the storyline. Predictability weighs down whatever surprises the series strives to create. Thankfully, the main cast of characters is much more intriguing than what path the story decides to stroll down.
1 of 13 episodes seen
♥♥ALL ABOUT THE CHARACTERS♥♥
The core characters of Gunslinger Girl are the fratelli. To date, all of the fratelli shown are male handlers (usually in their 30's or 40's) with female cyborgs (usually in their early to mid-teens). The relationship between a handler and a cyborg can be a complex one and each fratello exhibits a unique dynamic. Most of the handlers have police or military backgrounds and were recruited directly into Section 2. Most handlers also chose their own cyborgs, though there is evidence that some had specific cyborgs assigned to them. Supporting the fratelli is the rest of Special Operations, Section 2. This includes the medical staff who both created the cyborgs and maintain them, other human operatives, and administrative and support staff. Arrayed against the fratelli are the members of the Five Republics Faction—also known as the Padania Republic Faction or PRF. These people and their backers seek an independent northern Italy through acts of terrorism and bribery and operate throughout Italy, though they are strongest in the northern regions.
♥♥ALL ABOUT MANGA♥♥
Gunslinger Girl, written and illustrated by Yu Aida, first premiered in Japan in the November 2002 issue of the monthly Dengeki Daioh magazine. As of April 2008, 51 chapters have been published in the magazine. The chapters are also being published in collected volumes by MediaWorks, with the first volume released November 27, 2002. Nine volumes have been published in Japan so far.
When ADV Manga was formed in 2003, the Gunslinger Girl manga series was one of the first titles the new branch of ADV Films licensed for an English language release in North America. The first volume was released on November 18, 2003, with the next two volumes not released until 2005. At the 2005 Anime Next convention, the ADV representative David L. Williams said the slow schedule was due to ADV Manga feeling the market was too saturated with new manga titles at the time and that they had rushed into the manga market. However, after the third volume was released that year, the series went on a two year hiatus. The series was restarted in July 2007 with the publication of the fourth volume, and six volumes have been released as of April 2008.
♥♥ALL ABOUT ANIME♥♥
Gunslinger Girl was adapted into a thirteen-episode anime series which premiered in Japan on Fuji Television from October 8, 2003 to February 19, 2004. The series, which was directed by Morio Asaka, was produced by Madhouse, Bandai Visual, Marvelous Entertainment and Fuji Television with music by Toshihiko Sahashi and based on the first two volumes of the manga. The series also aired in Japan on the satellite television network Animax, who also later aired the series in its networks worldwide, including its English language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia (where the series received its English language television premiere). Gunslinger Girl was later aired in the United States on the Independent Film Channel. In late 2004, FUNimation licensed the rights to release the first season of Gunslinger Girl across North America via a three volume DVD series, releasing the last volume on September 6, 2005. On September 19, 2006, Funimation released the complete Gunslinger Girl series in a three-DVD box set, with another version released on December 11, 2007. FUNimation's release of the first season is also available for download on iTunes, PlayStation Store, and Xbox Live Marketplace.
A second season of the series, entitled Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-, was officially announced in the October issue of Dengeki Daioh. It premiered on Tokyo MX TV on January 7, 2008 and ran for thirteen additional episodes until its conclusion on March 31, 2008. This second season was animated by Artland and featured a new staff, with Gunslinger Girl creator Yu Aida being fully involved as the project's chief writer and supervisor. FUNimation has also licensed the second season and is currently streaming subtitled episodes on their website as well as on Veoh, promising a Region 1 retail release in 2009. Two additional episodes were released on DVD in Japan on October 24, 2008. In 2008, Madman Entertainment has acquired the license, and will release as a complete set in 2009.
1 of 55 chapters read
Everyone at Seiyo Elementary thinks Hinamori Amu is the coolest girl in class. But, she's nothing like that. Amu's actually a very shy girl who wishes to have courage to truly be herself. One morning, she found three mysterious, little eggs in her bed. Each egg contains a "Guardian Character". These guardians are angel-like beings that can give a human a certain power to change their abilities. With help from these Guardian Characters, Amu will discover that her true self is even more amazing than she ever dreamed.
However, the Easter Company is extracting people's eggs in search of a special egg called the Embryo. The Embryo is believed to able to grant any wish to the one who possesses it. Nevertheless, the process creates X Eggs and X Characters
24 of 24 episodes seen
All three apprentices are shocked at the realization that Saga can see them, since humans are not supposed to be able to see season fairies. Pepper speculates that exceptional humans might be able to see them, which is the best possible explanation. Sugar tells Saga that the three have been sent to Earth to train as full-fledged season fairies, and to do that, they must find 'Twinkles'.
Sugar moves into Saga's bedroom and sets up residence, much to the consternation of the super-structured Saga. Saga is a well-meaning, intelligent and highly-organised girl who feels compelled to look after the childish, loud and irresponsible Sugar, who is incapable of looking after herself. The story is complicated further with the arrival of three adult season fairies—Turmeric, a cloud fairy; Ginger, a rain fairy; and the Elder, the leader of the season fairies—and two more apprentices—Basil, a thunder fairy, and Cinnamon, an ice fairy.
With the highly disruptive presence of Sugar, Saga's life goes haywire. Her friends Norma and Anne think that she is losing her mind, and her teacher, Miss Hanna, is worried that her best student is acting strangely. Not at all concerned with her strange behavior is Greta, an egotistical rich girl who considers Saga to be her rival, and Phil, a goofy inventor who keeps trying to persuade Saga to help him with his experiments, if he is not already busy building and trying out his latest device.
ABOUT ALL CHARACTERS..
Saga Bergman is the series protagonist. Her mother died in an accident, so she lives with her grandmother. Saga is somewhat obsessed with planning, scheduling her day nearly to the minute and is frustrated when her plans go off schedule. Saga works in a coffee shop, and regularly stops at the local music store to play her mother's piano. Voiced by: Masumi Asano (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)
Sugar is a female snow fairy in training, working to learn how to be a full fledged fairy. She comes to the human world for the final part of her training, requiring her to find a "Twinkle". Sugar acts much like a toddler, with a clumsy nature who often tries her best at things but messes them up because she doesn't always think things through. She loves to kiss anyone she is fond of when happy. After Saga first feeds her a waffle, she comes to love treats, though she mispronounces their name as "waffo". In the manga adaptation, she was familiar with the word before eating one. Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese), Rebecca Forstadt (English)
Pepper is a female apprentice wind fairy and one of Sugar's friends who also comes to the human world to find a "Twinkle". She lives in the house of a veterinary who has a newborn baby, which she tries to care for and plays it lullabies on her harp. Calm, gentle, and polite, she is humble about her abilities and is capable of talking to animals. Voiced by: Kaori Mizuhashi (Japanese), Lara Cody (English)
Salt is a male apprentice sun fairy and another of Sugar's friends who come to the human world with her to find a "Twinkle". Salt initially wishes to be a sun fairy like his father, but after meeting Tumeric, he decides he wants to be a cloud fairy. Voiced by: Tomo Saeki (Japanese), Brianne Siddall (English)
Greta is Saga's self-proclaimed rival. The spoiled daughter of a rich family, she can be arrogant and boastful, though at times shows that she does have a good heart. She often sets up impromptu contests between herself and Saga. Voiced by: Chinami Nishimura (Japanese), Jennifer Sekiguchi (English)
Anne and Norma are Saga's best friends. Anne is taller, quiet and more intelligent, while Norma is shorter, bubble-headed and obsessed with odd fashions. They are often concerned about Saga, and are supportive of her actions. Norma - Voiced by: Sawa Ishige (Japanese), Stevie Bloch (English); Anne - Voiced by: Akiko Nakagawa (Japanese), Mari Devon (English)
Phil and his two friends, Jan and Lan, are inventors who often try to enlist Saga, Anne and Norma's help with their latest project. Voiced by: Asami Sanada (Japanese), Steve Staley (English)
Ginger is an adult rain fairy who is dedicated to her job. She can be brutally honest at times, but means well and keeps an eye on the apprentice fairies. It is hinted that she has romantic feelings for Turmeric, though never explicitly stated. Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese), Hope Grandflower (English)
Turmeric is an adult cloud fairy who plays the cello. Turmeric is a kind, thoughtful and subdued fairy whom Ginger regularly hangs out with and who becomes Salt's role model. He constantly strives to perfect his clouds. Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Ezra Weisz (English)
The Elder, is the leader of the season fairies and capable of creating any kind of weather. Though extremely wise, he often appears foolish, particularly in his dedicated pursuit of Ginger. Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (Japanese), Steve Kramer (actor) (English)