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Gunslinger Girl: Volume 1

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Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Funimation Prod
  • Release Date: June 14 2005
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • ASIN: B0007LXOPK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #125,963 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 37 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Fairly standard story told interestingly May 22 2005
By B. Ackley - Published on
Format: DVD
The "chicks with guns" anime genre is a rather crowded field often loaded with shows that are either plotless action driven affairs or shows crammed with mindless fan service and stupid jokes. "Gunslinger Girl" is one of the few shows that rises above these conventions with its focus on the young cybernetic girls and their relationships with their handlers.

The basic premise for the show is that a special agency in the Italian government has used a new scientific technique to brainwash and condition people to train them into killers. The technique is more successful the younger the recruit. Using young orphans girls to under "conditioning" the girls are then handed off to agent who are called "handlers" who will oversee that the girls become trained killers.

The show has its share of particularly violent and graphic action sequences stemming from various missions the girls undertake. However the missions are more of a backdrop to exploring the relationship each girl has with her handler. Henrietta has a father figure type handler in Joze who is very kind to her. In contrast another character Rico has a very abusive handler, Jean who is critical of her performance and very rarely gives the praise she so desires.

The episodes on the fisrt disc devote one episode to each character to introduce to their personality and tell us about their past. The storytelling is slow but really pulls you in with its characterization and the beautiful piano heavy background music.

Its unclear if the future discs are building up to a major story arc or if the pacing will stay self contained episodes. Fans looking for non-stop action heavy on the jokes and fan service may need to look elsewhere. Anime fans who are looking for something a bit introspective done beautifully might want to consider adding this to their collection.

THe starter set is particularly a great buy. Coming packaged with a nice box and a BEAUTIFUL silk screened banner makes this a worthwhile purchase.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A lot has already been said... June 26 2005
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on
Format: DVD
I think the artwork and sound is great. A lot of thought and time has been put into this anime. For those of you who are a fan of the manga, the first five episodes DO seem to be following the first two books. Some stories have been skipped but as most are stand alone they could show up in later discs. The extras include a dossier on each of the main female characters, opening and closing songs, trailers and more.

This is what I would call a serious anime - a work of art. A few series try to reach the level of Gunslinger Girl, but while reaching greatness they fail to understand that the greatest mystery, the greatest part of the story, is the relationship between characters. Lain, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin and Noir are up there, but they're all in a different class - they had different goals to set, to reach. I can't wait to see where Henrietta and her friends end up.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Girls With Guns Genre At Its Best Sept. 13 2005
By C. Chow - Published on
Format: DVD
The girls with guns genre has been used so many times in anime cynics might think it'd run out of good stories. In fact here we cannot even get away from having the words "gun" and "girl" in the title.

The plot: `Gunslinger Girl' is not about originality. The cloak and dagger "Agency" finds crippled girls whom undergo "6 Million Dollar Man" surgery to become assassins, and eliminate Europe's crime bosses. Apparently the process only works with children.

The episode plots are not too complex. `Gunslinger Girl' is light on actual action but is NOT slow moving or boring is any sense.

`Gunslinger Girl' is 100% dependant on style. I've seen few anime recently that have evoked this type of emotion through artsy style. The animation and music are very unique. Most of the score are renditions of well know gangster or action film themes. The closing credits play to `Scareface'.

Most anime fans are comparing this to `Noir' in that they have similar themes and focus heavily on the splendor of their settings in present day Europe. True it's similar to `Noir' the same way `Cold Mountain' and `Gone With the Wind' are both about the Civil War, but there's really no comparison.

`Gunslinger Girl' honors the best elements of Luc Besson's `La Femme Nikita' and `The Professional' while focusing heavily on the color white the way `Point of No Return' did.

This is a must for anyone whom likes anime.

Another girls with guns series that was recently exceptionally great was `Najica Blitz Tactics.' Same theme but it was a comedy and it moved at a much faster pace. All 12 episodes are now being sold in 1 pack at bargain basement prices.

See `Najica Blitz Tactics' if you want to laugh and be thrilled. See `Gunslinger Girl' if you want your jaw to hit the floor in total amazement, and end up in a week long daze like I am as I write this review.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Little girls with guns Aug. 4 2005
By bonsai chicken - Published on
Format: DVD
The Social Welfare Agency is a clandestine government branch that takes in young girls who are terminally ill or otherwise unable to live a normal life. Secretly, they are rehabilitated through the use of cybernetic implants and trained to be assassins or be involved in other often lethal covert operations.

It's a rather far-fetched premise, but if you can get over the general implausibility this is a highly enjoyable series. Far from being the non-stop action show one might expect, it is actually surprisingly gentle and introspective. A substantial amount of time is spent behind the scenes, examining the girls' relationships with their handlers (who usually act as "big brothers") and with each other. Characterization is solid, and you really care about these girls and their problems. One of them has trouble controlling her aggressive tendencies; another loses her trainer to a random accident and must confront her sudden lack of purpose in life. There is genuine sadness, such as when one of the girls is forced to kill a witness she befriended earlier in the story. To be honest, I didn't expect this much depth, so I was pleasantly surprised. After the first two episodes, a different girl becomes central to each.

This volume contains five episodes and runs just under two hours. The show is presented in widescreen with both English (5:1 stereo) and Japanese (2:1) soundtracks available. Subtitles are white and smaller than usual, but still readable. Extras include dossier files on each of the girls featured on this disc (the last girl, who has not yet been introduced, is not accessible here), clean (textless) opening and closing sequences, a neat little animation showing the layers of art that go into creating just one still figure, and trailers for this and other Funimation releases.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Gunslinger Girl -"La Femme Nikita" X 5 ! May 21 2005
By D. Engelhardt - Published on
Format: DVD
I must start off saying this anime was everything I had hoped it to be...I was concerned that FUNIMATION which doesn't have a good track record for making good english adaptions in the past,had me worried, but this adaption is top grade all the way! I prefer my anime rooted in contemporary settings as a rule, I dont mind sci-fi or fantasy,but i like someething rooted in reality. Gunslinger Girl's 14 episodes succeeds where NOIR failed, this show captivates and draws you into the story.The 5 girls of the story each have a sad tale to reveal , and this show will one by one delve into their pasts. In vol.1 Henrietta is the victim of a trauma and murder of her family that would ruin anyone her age for life. The benevolent Italian government comes along and wipes away her past and gives her a new life as a asassin. You might think it's wrong to brainwash little girls into doing political murders, but compared to her previous fate, she was very fortunate. One interesting aspect is that the series never becomes cliched by trying to help Henrietta realise revenge on her familie's murderer, if this were a american storyline, Henrietta would be going KILL BILL on the men responsible for hurting her. Instead G.G. tells the story of the men chosen to mentor the 5 girls, and how the girls deal with their situation in life. It must be noted that the opening song for the series, is one of the best tunes to come along in a long time to any anime series. Please if you ever enjoyed the likes of CRYING FREEMAN or GOLGO 13: The Professional, or KITE, do find yourself in front of Gunslinger Girl Vol.1 and enjoy a new classic of the genre.