Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gunslinger Girl, v.3

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

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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.

Our major opponent makes his appearance: Pinocchio, a young man of exceptional skill in the violent arts. Most of the volume is devoted to the terrorists', and Pinocchio's, side of the story and the gunslinger girls' mission to thwart their bombing plan.

The series continues to earn its four stars by throwing complications into the story like a hostage crisis and infiltration by enemy agents, and at the same time maintaining character development through personal problems and relationships. We're introduced to another gunslinger girl, Angelica, whose abilities are uncertain after an extended leave from duty. Maybe there's a problem with her conditioning. Maybe it's the medications they keep the girls on. Maybe it's a sign of things to come.

So far, Gunslinger Girl has been an anthology of short stories. The appearance of Pinocchio may signal the start of a longer story arc -- it'll be interesting to see.

Gunslinger Girls, v.3 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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