Gunslinger Girl Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: ADV Manga
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 176
  • ISBN: 1-4139-0341-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl Vol. #04

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 29, 2007
Release Date: July 25, 2007

Gunslinger Girl Vol.#04
© ADV Manga

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yu Aida
Translated by:Javier Lopez
Adapted by:

What They Say
Though brainwashed to be cold-blooded killers, the child assassins of Section Two continue to grow beyond the range of their "conditioning." Triela struggles with tears that never come, while Henrietta must deal with her growing feelings for her handler Giuseppe. But there is still hope in Triela, who is slowly coming to terms with her defeat at the hands of Pinocchio... and remembering the girl she once was.

The Review
After an extended break ADV Manga's best title returns with what might be the strongest volume yet in the series.

After a rather tragic almost botched mission where her handler was downed, Claes slowly works her way back into the Gunsligner Girl rotation. This is nothing new for Claes. She had to go through this not long before she went out on her last mission. What makes this unique is her lack of a handler. No one is there to push her in her training. No one can take her fishing. There is no father figure for her to really lean on when she feels alone. And as we get to see the other girls slowly opening up to each other, Claes seems bent on finding someone and settling her issues with the past.

Claes' story is not unique in the world of Gunslinger Girls. Each shojo member of this special ops unit has gone through their own tragedy. They all feel loneliness and struggle with their identity as well as their emotions. They were brought back from the brink to be reborn as trained killers. They are often treated like dolls but they are definitely human. Watching them smile or cry is as poignant as seeing any one of their missions from start to finish. And as such this is a fine character drama. Not in the vein of a Berserk or Kekkaishi but for an episodic moe-fest this is practically must read material.

I can't say how pleased I am to know ADV brought back this series. While Yotsuba gets most of the hype from fans, Gunslinger Girls quietly could be their best title overall. The art is very good; often the settings are more impressive than the cute character designs. Furthermore, ADV is providing a rare look at a solid espionage manga, a genre that is generally reserved for salaryman magazines, but in an easy to digest bishojo package. This is exactly what manga needs more of and its great to see ADV taking a second chance on a unique property.


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