Before I start off my review on Il Teatrino, let me mention that my source of watching the second half of this series came from some crappy fansubs I found on Veoh. Since I found it highly doubtful that I would see any other decent translations pop up anytime soon until the show's DVD release from Funi next year, I chose to watch these instead. Just giving folks a heads up in advance in case you are franctic to finish watching the series.
Compared to the first series, there are some big differences you will notice as you start watching the series, clearly shown through the visuals as they were animated through a different studio this time around. The artwork for Il Teatrino is much simpler, lacking the detail and polish that the first series had. There are frequent uses of still shots and action scenes aren't as fluid and smooth. This was met with great criticism from many fans who seen the first series and expected better visuals and I would also be among those who found the visuals an eyesore compared to the first season.
But in terms of the plot and characters, Il Teatrino expands on much of what the first series introduced us to. Despite the 13-episode format, the series manages to devote it's focus equally between the Pandanian terrorist faction and the fratellos of the Social Welfare Agency. A good amount of the storyline with this series is focused on Triela this time around as her resolve and pride are put to the test when confronting pro assassin of the Pandanian faction, Pinocchio. The series even takes time to explore her past, a storyline that wasn't explored in the first season.
Besides Triela, there is still a decent amount of focus given to the other girls as well. Henrietta and Rico seemed more like normal girls in Il Teatrino as they interacted with each other, both socially and on missions. Henrietta's admiration of Jose is more strongly shown in this series and there is even some depth given to Jose's past revolving around his sister Enrica, whose relationship parallels the kind he has with Henrietta. There is even an episode focused on a day with Claes.
The Pandanian group even get depth this time around compared to the first season. Focused on the trio of Pinocchio, Franco, and Franca, the series explores the interactions between the three both casually and on the job. There is also focus given to their pasts and what led them to come together with the faction. Through these interactions, the series make you realize that these are people fighting for what they believe and believe their methods to be just in bringing about change to the current state of northern Italy. It makes you feel like sympathizing on both sides.
Get past the lower-quality visuals of Il Teatrino and you will get a second season of Gunslinger Girl that explores much more to the plot and characters than what the first season introduced you to.
Last updated Sunday, July 13 2008. Created Sunday, July 13 2008.
I REALLY REALLY Hate the Art.
I can't tell Hilshire from Giose.
And what the heck happened to Henrietta, in one scene in front of Giose's door, her face gets all distorted.
Also Triela loads a shotgun, but shoots a rifle bullet. She tries to hide behind a van door to not get shot, but is standing in front of a window.
Bleh Artland, your director sucks. The only thing that is holding this thing up is the story.
In a way, it's opposite of Rosario Vampire, that has great art but no story, this is exactly opposite.
Last updated Friday, January 25 2008. Created Friday, January 25 2008.
(Three episodes watched):
The Gunslinger Girls are back, which is like a prayer answered since it's not often that a non-blockbuster anime is resumed after a lapse of several years. The first episode, however, left with an impression of this being a low budget production. The bombing/chase scene at the beginning didn't particularly excite me, and drawings of rioters being jiggled back and forth to give a cheap substitute for animation almost made me groan. I recognized a couple landmarks from the city of Rome, which is a nice touch, but that also made me notice how unimpressive the background artwork sometimes was. Character designs have been subtly altered, and animation in general seems to be of modest quality. The episode includes a re-introduction of the Social Welfare Agency and it's charges, for those who haven't seen the original series. Once the action has died down certain exotic touches are added which lead me to believe that the manga is still being followed. I think episode one was a not completely brilliant attempt to whip up interest among those who had never seen the show before. Episode two was more like the Gunslinger Girl series I remember. After some quick violence the entire episode is spent introducing an interesting new character--"Pinocchio", a terrorist assasin with a background similar to the Gunslinger Girls. In fact, the G-Girls barely appear at all in this episode. Franca, the mysterious terrorist girl from the first series, is back as well and a new plot arc is set in motion. I seem to be detecting an unfortunate trend that action scenes in this show are not very well thought-out and come off as unexciting and frustrating. In episode three a serious shoot-out takes place, but it seemed that the objective was to fire as many rounds of ammunition as possible without anybody getting much more than a scratch. I think Il Teatrino will still be worth watching, but my enthusiasm is starting to wane.
When fansubs stopped coming I felt as much relief as disappointment and gladly moved on to other shows. I may or may not bother to rent the R1 discs someday.
P.S: There really was a serious plan for a Strait of Messina Bridge, but it was scrapped in October 2006 before construction began (see below).
Last updated Monday, June 23 2008. Created Wednesday, January 16 2008.
Through 3 episodes...The assassin girls are back. The first episode sees three of the teams dispatched to take care of a terrorist group. Henrietta discovers a gift in Jose's room but see's it engraved to another woman. Episode 2 starts the Pinocchio Arc.
Last updated Sunday, February 24 2008. Created Tuesday, January 15 2008.
|Japanese Series Web Site
|Strait of Messina Bridge