Gunslinger Girl 7-8

November 15, 2015

Yu Aida – Seven Seas Entertainment – 2011 – 15 volumes

Speaking of series I haven’t read in awhile, I don’t think Gunslinger Girl has seen the light of day on my shelf in five years.  I recently bought the rest of it (I hate not finishing series), so I figured I’d power through to the end.  This volume’s the halfway point!

My roommate still gives me grief about liking this one.  It’s sort of a proto-loli series (young girls who are resurrected, turned into cyborg assassins, and assigned a male handler), and I always hate reading apologist “no, it’s not like that!” explanations.  Because… eh, it is.  Sometimes I try to justify it to myself otherwise, but then there’ll be a scene where the girl and her handler have to hide from an assassin, so they make out with her shirt open, and she’s wearing sexy underwear.  There’s no getting around that.  But it doesn’t happen very often, which is nice.

Admittedly, why are emotionally fragile girls assassins?  The explanation is something like the Lone Wolf and Cub school of assassination, where nobody suspects the baby.  But there’s still something vaguely uncomfortable for me while I read it.

But the series is almost all business.  The first volume introduces Petrushka, the “2nd wave” of cyborg assassins.  There’s a cute story arc where she bonds with Claes, the handler-less cyborg, and the two get a mini-job together.  Later, we get more heavily into Padania terrorism and the political climate in Italy.  Petrushka and her handler Alessandro are assigned to guard a lawyer working on the Padania case who has been marked for assassination.  We get to know cheery Petrushka a bit better, as well as her cheery handler.  Their relationship doesn’t really go any deeper than a working one, unlike Triela and Hilshire, where there’s… a lot of stuff going on (none of it romantic or sexual).  Again, even though the series really does portray the relationships between the handlers and cyborgs as that of parents or siblings, there’s still part of me that Does Not Like It.

The series must’ve changed magazines in volume 8… let’s see… apparently not?  The chapters go from about 40 pages to maybe 10, for some reason.  Huh.

Volume 8 is mostly exposition and character development, with some insight into the cyborg feelings (and more blatant relationship prodding than in volume 7, mostly from Petrushka), a bit of background for Petrushka, and the full background for Alessandro, with the main figure from his past reappearing at the end of the book.

2 Responses to “Gunslinger Girl 7-8”

  1. themooninautumn Says:

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s my asexuality, but, while I can see why some readers automatically assume creepy things due to the setup, I’ve always seen it as kind of straight-up sci-fi drama / tragedy. All the relationships are really broken, but with this situation as a setup, how could they not be? I’d say more, but I’m avoiding spoilers. I’ll look forward to your reviews of the remaining volumes. : )

  2. Connie Says:

    I’ve read all but the last volume now! I think this omnibus was a bad place to jump in, because Petra is the only one who gets more implications. It made me think a little worse of the others, which was unfair. The characters and backstories were all my favorite parts, though. For me, the flashback to the Croce Incident trumped the big final showdown with Giacomo.

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