2009 TV Series ( 2 episodes). Director: Hiroshi Ishiodori. 35 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $14.98. Distributor: Funimation.
Things haven’t changed much for the Social Welfare Agency. The Five Republics Faction and the Mafia still plague Italy’s peace and security. And amidst this lurking chaos, the cybernetic guns of innocent little girls are the gatekeepers of tranquility. Alongside their handlers, Marco and Jean, Rico and Angelica must respectively take down a Five Republics safe house and assassinate a Mafioso in league with terrorists.
I love a good OVA. It’s a chance to move an otherwise finished story in a fresh direction, either offering a sense of closure to a much loved tale, or opening up the possibility of a new story arc to come. Or you can just provide a few inconsequential vignettes, which, in my opinion, are tantamount to filler episodes.
The Gunslinger Girl OVA straddles the fence between the two. Essentially we have two episodes showcasing two new missions, which contain the typical action and drama fans expect from the Gunslinger Girl series; the mission is executed, the story moves on. In that sense, the OVA succeeds in giving us want we want, but also teasing us with the possibility that Gunslinger Girl can be resurrected at anytime.
Be that as it may, what makes this OVA good is not the expected action. No, these two episodes instead focus on the dramatic element underscoring the entire Gunslinger Girl saga: the handler-agent relationship. As we have seen so often before, these cyber enhanced assassins struggle daily with the fragmentary memories of their formerly human lives. The little girl is still present in the mechanical killer, and thus a paternal relationship is nearly unavoidable for the men charged with their care. For Jean, in particular, the tragedy of the past overshadows the new mission.
Drama, drama, drama! And no, I don’t mean they kind running the halls of your vapid high school, or that reality series showcasing the worst angels of or nature. This is the good kind, the stuff of fiction. Moreover, it’s not foregrounded to such an extent that it becomes melodrama!
Gunslinger Girl is simply a great story riddled with bullet holes.