Monday, April 03, 2006

Gunslinger Girl, v.2

by Yu Aida
Published in the U.S. by ADV Manga

Slugline: Government agency rebuilds damaged girls into killing machines and assigns each a handler. The girls shoot bad guys, protect good guys, and try to deal with their remaining shreds of normalcy.

In this volume, we meet less-than-perfect girls and less-than-perfect "brothers" -- an uncomfortable but good dose of reality. We also meet some competent enemy agents, who we're bound to see more of in the future.

Between assignments to protect informants and thwart bombing plots, we learn a bit of history of the project and meet more cyborg girls and their handlers. The reconditioning process and repairs have an amnesiac effect on the girls, and this affects both their worldview and their relationship with their "brothers." Maybe they don't remember that girls don't usually carry automatic weapons. Their handlers do, though, and have to square that reality with their more normal inclination to treat the girls like little sisters. Some go in the opposite direction and treat their cyborgs like machines. Some buy them presents.

The action continues to excel in v.2. However, I must complain a bit about the reference to Beethoven's 5th symphony when I'm fairly sure they meant the Ode to Joy. I'm a nitpicker, you see.

Gunslinger Girls, v.2 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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