When the Social Welfare Agency investigates the disappearance of an operative, their inquiry leads them right into the lair of their rival, the Five Republics. The assassin Triela infiltrates the hostile organization, but her search is cut short when she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun...
Having being the first reviewer to actually finish the series, I'd like to say that, despite the obvious reduction in artwork due to changing production studios. They do try their best in trying to stay faithful to the manga. In which they do quite well in my opinion all the way to the final episode.
Story - (Great)
Basically the main story arc this time around is having the girls try to crack down on a radical terrorist organization. The story is simple enough to cause enough action, drama, and straight up melancholy sadness. Yu Aida does such a good job on the story that theres
a high chance of having the viewer actually feeling sorry for some of the bad guys.
Art - (Fair)
The art is the obvious difference between the first season and second season. It's almost feels as if a different team was hired to do the art production, and you're 100% right. In all honesty its not the production companies fault that the quality is different. But its painfully obvious that they don't have that 1,000,000Yen per episode backing them. The Art, for the most part does its job not wonderfully, but pretty well. They still manage to hand paint a few landscape pictures of Italy and all its landmarks, they still draw the girls as cute as hell, its all just a little less detailed and polished as before. And you won't see any more brands (other than the guns and a Vespa) floating around. You can also tell money is a big factor in the first few episodes when you can see certain cost cutting techniques like "shaking" a still photo, or slow motion punches. But if you endure to the end you'll manage to see the most exciting episode in the GSG series.
Sound - Fair
Sound is another thing that is a mixed bag. All the action and other sound effects fit this show perfectly fine, but the SAME music plays over and over and over again. Once in a while a new song will appear but they go back to the same 3 songs throughout the whole series. But thankfully its not too intrusive, but its noticeable. That was my only issue with the sound. Everything else was just fine.
Characters - (Very Good)
Now the characters are just as lovable as before, but it does seem like they emit a little more emotion this time around. I can buy that since they are older and (for the most part) learn things. They do look a little different but that just takes getting used to. We do learn a little more of each of the girls and even get introduced to a new character. I was spoiled with falling in love with the dubbed version of the first season, so I never got a chance to pay attention to the seiyu's from there. But they seem to make the voices fit fine. Moe, tsundere, playful, and smart they all fit just fine in my opinion.
Enjoyment - (Good)
Overall its just like working at a big call center in America, everything is fine and smooth for the first year, and then you find out that they have to take massive cuts or send your job to India. It's the same job but, just with less money and quality. If you can keep an open mind, you can see they do their best to follow Yu Aida's dream. I sure hope they make Volume 6 (of the manga) into an OVA.
Some of you may remember my review of the first Gunslinger Girl anime by Madhouse. The final verdict ended up as a /10 for its excellent character elements, well constructed story and well done action. This week we're going to look at the second anime, Il Teatrino. Unlike the first series, this one was handled by Artland, a studio best known for doing support work in projects such as Darker than Black, School Rumble, Star Ocean EX and others. The only thing I've seen where they took the lead was the atrocious to the point of being almost unwatchable, Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Mao. Of
course, that isn't enough to judge their work as a whole. A lot of prolific studios will work on projects both good and bad. The only way to know is to take a look.
This series has a different view of story than the first. The first one was, mostly, stand alone episodes about the girls going on missions. This one has a proper story. The focus is primarily on the girls facing a small cell from a large terrorist group. The missions that the girls embark on are all connected to this small cell and three particularly skilled operatives. There are a few consequences to the change. The first is that they can build up tension a lot more effectively than the first series allowed. Another is that they have proper antagonists in this rather than just random terrorists. This enables them to explore the moral ambiguity more effectively since you acually learn what the terrorists are after and their motivations. This isn't to say that there aren't still problems. Flashbacks get over-used in Il Teatrino. That isn't to say that they aren't effective. Most of them are very good for developing the characters. The problem is that they appear in virtually every episode and take up long segments. Which is really distracting and detracts from the main storyline a bit.
The characters continue to be very well done, in fact, this season is an improvement in that regard since the antagonists get fleshed out as characters as well. The girls still have plenty of complexity, good interactions and the back stories get more fleshed out for some of them. Claes continues to be the most adorable killing machine ever. The girls having implied or stated crushes on their handlers continues to be the worst aspect. It's understandable since they are pretty young and these are the only men they spend a lot of time with, but it still gets grating and you'd think a familial bond would be more likely to develop. Although that is arguably the case for some of them. The crush element still takes up far too much focus.
The art continues to be very well done, although not as strong in this series. The character designs are pretty much identical, and the same attention to detail went into rendering the various objects used and in the background. The problem lies in the flashbacks. Apparently, they didn't trust the viewers to figure out which moments were flashbacks without some indication, so they made them really grainy and gray. They also use a very strange effect during the final action sequence. An effect which doesn't contribute anything except to make the whole affair confusing to follow and kind of hard to look at. That aside, the action sequences are really good.
The voice acting is still really good, with the same exception. There are still a lot of Italian names that the actors consistently mispronounce. I'm not sure if they just didn't bother with pronunciation guides or they decided that the correct pronunciations were too hard. Hearing Mizuno Risa sing Scarborough Fair is still amazing. One thing that is noticeable is that the actors changed between series. On the positive side, the acting team is roughly as good. The music is a bit better in this series. It was effective and well done in the first one, but this one has several moments that stand out musically while the first didn't.
The yuri factor is a 3/10. This series has a few more scenes that read as homo-erotic than the first, but it still doesn't have many.
My final rating for Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino is a 9/10. It's a worthy successor to the first, and roughly equal in quality. There are some factors that don't work as well, but there are others that are improved upon. I would certainly give this one a watch if you're a fan of the first.
This second season has gotten quite a bit of hate for it's artwork, and it is unnecessary. I watch a series for the story, honestly the story could be told with stick figures for me, but if the plot was compelling, and the characters believable, then I am sold.
On that note, I found the story was more powerful, if less subtle, in this second season, and the same could be said for the characters. This season seemed to focus a bit more on Triela (which I didn't mind, as she was my favourite character) and her personality.
What sold me the most about this series
was the amount of depth they went into with Pinocchio. They spend a lot of time developing his character and his past, not to build him up as a villain, but as a person. This is what sets this show apart from the rest. Its a good part of what made great series like Monster and LotGH great, the attention to detail. Having even side characters feel like people, not just props to decorate the background or monsters to be slain.
I recommend this series for anyone who enjoys thoughtful storylines with a bit of action.
this anime certainly gets a lot of sh*t for it's art style. but i certainly liked it, more than any other show i have watched to date *except maybe ef...* i thought it was very colorful and just "pretty"... so it was different but so-what? "i admit this created an awkward mix of a dark story and a bright art style" SO! don't let people discourage you from watching it when they say the art sucks, think of it as a nice change to re-fresh the series and make it seem new and interesting. "i also admit there were some shaky stills in the first
ep that were pretty silly"
the story was better than the first season *the first season doesn't really have much of a story* but still only "so-so". but the very well-done characters make up for the lack story to where you don't really even notice it... "i relate this to how to love-ru had the worst story line ever, but i still watched and enjoyed it"
i have only watched the dubbed version, but as far as the voice acting went, i had no problem with it, there was one character whom i remember hating the voice of, but he was a minor character and i cant even remember his name... i do remember he had one cool quote "that's why the only solutions we devise, are riddled in blood-shed" "the voice actors are different for season 2 in the japanese version, but the dub actors are the same for both seasons"
anyway i enjoyed this anime; i would say it's definitively worth your time. *though i seem to be outnumbered =/*