Posted by psgels on 31 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Before I start with the usual review, I’d like to point out that this is the 250th review I’ve written for my blog. Yay!

In any case, if you’ve watched the original Gunslinger Girl and plan to watch Il Teatrino, there’s one thing that you need to take into account: a lot of changes have been made. The soundtrack has changed, but most importantly the character-designs have been redrawn completely in a totally different style and the animation-budget has suffered a great loss. The bad news: the fight scenes will look fake, and there will be speed-lines. The good news: this is about the only thing that’s wrong with this series.

The change in art style is something you’ll either love or hate with passion. Not considering this though, they do look gorgeous, and even though the animations in the fights looks fake, the animators have tried to make up for it with some awesome fight-choreography. With this, fights are much more than just brainless gunfights, and are much more based on tactics.

In addition, the storyline has developed into something amazing. The most notable thing is that there is NO main character whatsoever. Even though the girls are the centre of this series, do not make the mistake into thinking that they’re the one with the most screen-time. The creators have made sure not to give any character special attention, and because of this, this is one of the very few series where the “good guys” are just as developed and fleshed out as the “bad guys”. And yes, I put the quotations there on purpose, because sometimes it really feels that the girls are the bad guys. Especially Rico can be really scary at times.

Gunslinger Girl is also one of these series that delivers with every single episode. Introductions, climaxes and aftermaths follow each other in a rapid succession, and there’s so much going on in each episode. The cast of characters may be amazing, but it’s the storyline that pushes them forwards. This is one series that knows how to wrap up all of its storylines at the end, and provides a very satisfying climax.

It may be that I just don’t care about the changes that were made, but Gunslinger Girl has turned into one of the best series to air during the past winter-season, along with Porfy’s Long Journey and Hakaba Kitarou. At first sight, the characters may look “moe-ified”, but this series cleverly shows that the girls are much more than just a bunch of cute angels. Really, the adults end up stealing the show in this series much more than they do.

22 Responses

  1. robin says:

    This is actually one of the shows I would hope that before it goes to DVD, the animators go back and re-design the characters. The look and animation is such a major turn off for me, it felt like the entire staff was a week behind, so they just scribbled something together and said “fuck it”.

  2. totoum says:

    yay,someone else who uses quotations for the “bad guys”,i think a more apropriate term would be “oponent”
    glad you enjoyed it and understand why people like gunslinger girl so much.This must mean that despite what people say,the show managed to showcase all the themes of gunslinger girl very well.
    anyone know when the DVDs come out?

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Hmm, the official site says that the first dvd is already out, and the second is scheduled to arrive on April 25th.

  4. Papilo says:

    Well, leaving aside the Character Design and the action scenes, I’m so glad that Gunslinger’s plot was so rich and ever better than the original, mostly focused on Henrietta. Isn’t about right or wrong, but a stereotyped future with a bilateral political dispute, more aggressive and sometimes cruel. For all that I don’t care about poor action scenes or the character design. I loved Il Teatrino.

  5. Shippoyasha says:

    I don’t really mind the changed look. I actually thought the first season’s character designs looked a bit wonky personally, and the plot not as fluid as the second season’s.

    I’m glad to see someone other than me actually liking the show a lot. Now only if the fansub effort is there..

  6. ritchan says:

    The only thing keeping me on Il Teatrino is Pinocchio, which means it’s a step backward. That’s right, I disagree strongly. It sucks… every girl looks like an anime girl now, unlike in the original GG where they looked less like anime girls and more like European women.
    Then there’s the soundtrack, which was changed.
    That was the show stopper… it makes the series feel totally un-European. I loved the GG episode ‘Protection’ where you can hear gunshots in the background while some nice music goes on… but here we just have a weak bass and some stupid bomber culprit who runs away very conspicuously.

    And just like Yoshiki doing the fake faint on stage since the 80s, I can’t believe they’re still going on about the Angelica/Marco thing. It just didn’t make sense after Marco sat next to Angelica for the finale of the last series.

    Really, the only thing making this series worth it is Pinocchio. Oh, and the new OPs and EDs suck.

  7. ritchan says:

    Yes, the fight scenes look REALLY fake! And given that this is an anime that’s all about girls with guns…

  8. spirit says:

    i thought it was a good anime i watched all of it^^~

  9. spirit says:

    even though frame was a bit slow lol

  10. spirit says:

    i like ep 13 best

  11. Mr E says:

    Can someone tells me where do you’ve all seen these videos because I realy dont know where to watch them! 0o”

  12. Solaris says:

    It’s GAME OVER
    The show was licensed, and the only English fansub, The Triad dropped it.

    Hail to The Triad for their carelessness and let’s turn our faithful hearts to the Holy Lord…

  13. this is bad says:

    really bad sequel. no one mentioned the music? it SUCKS real bad. if they were on a tight budget, why didn’t they just get the rights to use the old music instead? it was WAY better. il teatrino makes the whole saga look bad. voice acting? bleah! horrible. don’t even mention the bad plot they used. eveything just looked stupid together. if you a great fan of gsg, here’s an advice: DON’T WATCH IL TEATRINO. JUST STICK TO THE MANGA.

  14. Derek says:

    I honestly don’t understand what the complaints are about. The framerate was a bit low, but a lot of backgrounds and scenery was very fitting. It’s not as though the first season was much better, most of the scenes were very simple and lacked detail. So I don’t really understand why the first season is considered so great in terms of visuals, while the second season was terrible.

    At first I was a bit put off by the changed character designs, and Henrietta just looks odd in some scenes, and there was certainly some good examples of bad animation, but the overall effect wasn’t THAT bad. Or maybe it’s just me.

    I personally loved the music in the second season, and liked the OP here better than Light Before We Land, which was kind of grating, in my opinion, but pretty good.

    I think Artland captured the essence of the series pretty well, and told the story convincingly, while the art direction may have been more colorful, it felt like Gunslinger Girl to me. The series conveyed the same emotions as the first season, and I am happy that I finally got to see the final episodes.

  15. Exia says:

    I just watched the first episode of teatrino and yes they do look MOE-ified, which was a turnoff for me because I liked how the First season Was More Darker, And had a serious Tone. Music has changed so it doesnt have that european feel with it anymore. Characters sound different, except claes, she sounds the same. I think first season had a more emotional effect from first episode efforts but i will continue to watch teatrino for a couple more episodes to come back with a better judgement. If worst comes to worst Ill just pretend Teatrino never existed and promote the original gunslinger girl.

  16. ender650 says:

    I just finished the first season and was hesitant about watching the second because I had heard many people say it wasnt anywhere near as good as the first. After reading this review though Ive decided to try it- just finished the first 2 episodes and it was fairly good. Thanks for the in depth review.

  17. Bicro says:

    Il Teatrino compared to the first series is GARBAGE GARBAGE GARBAGE. Completely forgoing the subtle nuances of the action meshing with the soundtrack along with the drop in framerate mixed with inferior character art makes for one of the worst transitions series-to-series I’ve ever seen.
    Not to mention the narration from the girl’s POV which, again, destroys a lot of the previously established nuances.
    A case of the Chrono Trigger to Chrono Cross syndrome.
    Again, Il Teatrino is GARBAGE!

  18. mrgetalife says:

    I loved the new OP. It kept that happy depressive tone like season 1’s OP.

    About there not being main characters I have to disagree. The story line revolves more around Triela and Pinocchio. In the sense that it shows the development of Triela and Pinocchio and how they became what they are now leading to the final showdown. The other character development just felt like it got thrown in as a side show. A couple of the early episodes just didn’t feel like they added anything to the story. As for the sideshow, one example is Henrietta. It really felt like they were forced to put her in as she was the development character in season 1 because nothing new came out. If they had the budget for a 26 season I think the creator would of had more time to make the story more fluid than forced to make everything skip around.

  19. Roger says:

    I really cannot look past the main premise of the story, the human boy that for no apparant reason is the physical far superior of Triela, no attempt to explain or gloss over this is made.

  20. gandalf8 says:

    After that great first season, I was raring to watch its sequel Il teatrino. But after the first episode, I had a serious desire to stop watching due to how inferior it felt to that great first season. Then looking at how psgels kept saying how great the story is, I decided to give a few more episodes, and now here I am, finally at the end. I can honestly say that I’m glad that I did so. The story is really the main strength, with more focus on a main plot concerning Franco, Franca and Pinocchio of the FRF. The art was just adequate, sometimes good while the animation is very lacking, especially in the early episodes, but by the end it had improved a lot to the point that it is quite good at least. The music is also okay, and I totally loved the OP by Kokia, but in certain episodes I felt that the piano instrumental was used too much that it overpowered certain scenes, losing its emotional impact. Gone also is the subtlety in most of the characters action, mostly with the cyborg girls. Overall, I prefer the first season, which although with an inferior plot, I felt was really great at portraying the girls characters.

  21. Love says:

    I love the season 2’s character design, especially the eyes. I dont really like season 1’s eyes which are so experesionless and stoic. You can see how cheerful and human the girls are in season 2.

    Yeah, especially when Rico pawned the enemies with her innocent smile :D

    Also love the new voice actor for Franca, she sounds more caring than the one in Season 1 who is just some kind of a jerk who likes to brag. Also loves how cute Pinocchio is XD

    Really love Pino, Franca, Franco and also Pino’s relationship with Christiano. Sometimes hate the girls for being too cruel and doesnt want to negotiate.

  22. ooobuggame says:

    I too had a big problem with Il Teatrino’s character design… UNTIL I actually read the manga. While I preferred the style of the first animated series, Il Teatrino was closer to the artist’s original design. It makes me wonder if he had any influence on the change in style.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…

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