Gunslinger Girl ~Il Teatrino~

Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino Triela

I watch quite a bit of anime, but the number of series that truly, deeply touch me, series that completely captures me and my love, I can count on one hand. Gunslinger Girl is one of them, both the first and the second season, Il Teatrino.

Il Teatrino Triela

Before watching Il Teatrino, I had read a few negative reviews about it that mostly focus on the change in production, lower qualities, and such. Further, with a lack of high quality English subs, I put this series off for a while until this Thanksgiving weekend when I marathoned the traditional Chinese subbed series. Watching Il Teatrino on the big screen late at night, drinking milk tea and eating tiramisu, I was just absolutely seduced by and engrossed in the world of Gunslinger Girl.

Gunslinger Girl Rico

The anime I tend to love the most are ones that set the mood and the atmosphere of the settings so well that I am able to forget myself and be simply immersed in their lives. Gunslinger Girl does this perfectly. Il Teatrino drips with strong Italian flavor. It pays special attention to the gorgeous cityscape, the details of the buildings, and the beautiful soundtrack. These all come together to create a fascinating and romantic world for the sweet tragedy of these little girls.

Henrietta Triela Rico

Of course, the girls of Gunslinger Girl are in the center of this masterpiece. Gunslinger Girl follows the lives of five young girls, who, after surviving brutal and tragic pasts, receives advanced prosthetics. Together with their fratelli, the girls are trained to do various tasks for the Italian government. These young girls assassin people with no hesitation while desperately seeking approval, or even love, from their fratelli. With nothing else, Triela, Henrietta, Angelica, Rico, and Claes could only hold on to what little affection they receive. Although the rescues of these girls were merciful, the fratelli realize the cruelty of stripping them of their childhood and a chance at a bright future… or simply at any future for that matter. Each fratello deals with this incongruity in a different way. Jean distances himself from Rico, Marco tries but has a hard time letting go of Angelica, Jose treats Henrietta like his own sister, and Hilshire respects and loves Triela. Still, the futility of a better life for these child assassins is painstakingly obvious. The girls know this; the fratelli know this; we know this.

Gunslinger Girl Angelica

I love this bittersweet hopelessness. I shed quite a few tears while watching Il Teatrino out of both joy and sadness, sometimes at the same time. Triela deeply loves her fratello, Hilshire. Although both she and I know that the romance will never be, we nevertheless are overjoyed at whatever love and caring attention Hilshire shows. Similarly, Angelica and the audience are elated at any little triumph, even if those fleeting moments seem useless and pathetic in the face of a tragic life, failing health, and certain impending death. Il Teatrino succeeds in illustrating the tiniest light in this romantically bleak tragedy.

Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino Original Soundtrack

Also, the soundtrack is just beautiful. Like the delicate series, the soundtrack by Ootani Kou is both subtle and classy, yet intense at times. Really just an amazing work. Both the opening by KOKIA and the ending by Lia are also amazing.

たった1つの想い (Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi) by KOKIA

GUNSLINGER GIRL ~IL TEATRINO~ Original Soundtrack – Main Theme
Composed by Ootani Kou

Triela Gunslinger Girl

I tend to like most series I watch. I use “love” generously in my reviews and impressions. But Gunslinger Girl and Il Teatrino is an anime that stands above most others. This is a series I really do love, as I do Triela.

Il Teatrino Triela

Il Teatrino Triela
I’m in love with Triela and twin tails.
Also, Angelica is such a cute little girl in a puppy-ish sort of a way.

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66 Responses to Gunslinger Girl ~Il Teatrino~

  1. Yi says:


    After reading some of the comments, I feel I should write a bit more about the series and my response to some of the negativity it receives.

    I enjoyed both seasons very much, and they both rank high among my all time favorites. Together, Gunslinger Girl is definitely in my top five.
    With that said, comparing the two seasons, Il Teatrino falls a bit short in terms of animation quality and the general atmosphere. This is a big deal for me. This is the element of the first season that makes it so fascinating and incredible. However, by no means does Il Teatrino fail in that aspect. It is by most standards better than any other anime in terms of scenery and flavor.
    Further, in Il Teatrino, the characters and the plot are much more in depth and well developed, both the girls and the supporting characters. In fact, I loved Franco, Franca, and Pinocchio as well as the other girls. The intricacies of the plot is also worthy of note. After watching the series, I feel that the “enemy” seems to be actually the more humane and the better people, while the government were the bad guys. However, I still rooted for Triela and the girls despite knowing that. This dilemma and the ending provides such a richer experience that the first season lacks in terms of plot.
    First season had just absolutely perfect atmosphere while the second had heart wrenching beautiful stories and character developments.
    Anyways, overall, I believe both seasons are top notch excellent anime. Compare the series not to each other, but to other series, and I hope some of you will love it as much as I do.

  2. blur says:

    I loved the first season of Gunslinger Girl. And was looking forward to Il Teatrino a lot.

    But as mentioned the “change in production, lower qualities, and such” really threw my anticipation off the cliff. And I dropped after 2~3 episodes.

    “Il Teatrino succeeds in illustrating the tiniest light in this romantically bleak tragedy.”
    More than enough to persuade me to give it another go. Lol… -.-”

    Let’s see if the change in my taste makes a difference this time.

  3. GreenApp says:

    I cried when i watched this anime so many times , it’s truely a masterpiece. These girls “love” their fratelli deeply and innocently.This kind of love i called it “pure love”.
    I also think when all the “cyborg” grow up, maybe they will realize the love they have had for their fratelli isn’t “true love”… It’s hard for me to explain why…

    • Lou says:

      You might want to pay a little more attention to the details of their conditioning. They have much shorter lives than normal humans.

      I won’t spoil anything though, but one character is a perfect example of that. Another shows it as well, but it’s focused on one of the girls.

  4. Canne says:

    I had trouble finding this series with eng subs as well and I eventually gave up on it. Unfortunately I can’t read Chinese and now you make me want to see the show so badly! What am I going to do?

  5. glothelegend says:

    Good show….still have to watch this season.

  6. kluxorious says:

    Damn, I really need to get my hands on the second season. Thanks for reminding me.

  7. GreenApp says:

    @Canne: If U want to watch this anime with eng subs , i know some good website, you can download the whole anime:

  8. FaS says:

    YES! New post! You know, I’ve never really seen much from this show since AdultSwim was a hoe about showings of it. I liked the premise, but my dad would always turn the channel when it came on. Bleah. But it’d definitely be nice to see it so I can know what’s going on w/the second season.

  9. Canne says:

    @GreenApp: Thank you! That’s really generous of you!

  10. Yi says:

    @blur: That threw in the beginning too, but once I started watching, I realized that all the elements that I loved about the first season were still there. I hope if you do pick this up again that you enjoy it.

    @GreenApp: I cried too watching the series. It’s unfortunate that these cyborgs will never grow up and will probably die soon. Even if they do grow up, their failing memories will soon forget everything. They and we will never see the love, whether it’s true or pure, be realized.
    Also, thanks for the links.

    @Canne: I hope you like it too. I look forward to your review/ impression.

    @glothelegend: Yep yep. It was so good that I could not watch another anime for a while because everything else comparatively just seems so shallow.

    @kluxorious: It was really hard for me to find, especially in English. GreenApp provided some nice links though.

    @FaS: Adult Swim shows some good anime, but misses many others. I prefer subs over dubs usually anyways, so I usually try to find series on my own.

  11. It’s going to be a long uphill climb for this season to come close to the first. The first season was directed so well and you can feel the emotion floating about each scene in which the handler and the girl interact and the intense action sequences were really well done. The second season didn’t succeed in handling it all that well and while I don’t mind if the production values sunk just a bit, in this case, it came across as being unpolished. I held out to 7 episodes and then dropped it =P

    Plus, between the first and second season, I’ll take Sahashi’s classical soundtrack of Kou Otani’s any day. Some of the chase sequences in Il Teatrino uses some funky electronica which I thought didn’t match the setting. Yes, I may very well have been spoiled by Sahashi’s works.

  12. Ningyo says:

    sigh, hopelessness really does make the best stories… Just as how Planetarian was; because you knew how fcked up the characters’ situation was, and how redemption could never exist for them. It’s heart wrenching, but at the same time brilliant and memorable because of such. I really hate watching/reading such works that rend your soul to bits, but I can’t deny their genius.

    Well, thanks for the insight. I always wondered what this was about; I remember at some point there was a ps2 game that people were saying was no good :/
    And foreign cityscapes is a definite plus.

  13. Sellers says:

    I find myself taking the all-too-common position of “the first season was quite a bit better”. The change in animation-style really surprised me after I took a look at the first season again. The second season is just so much more…bright. Noticeably, The assassins still look relatively similar, but characters such as Franca look completely different between the seasons. That being said, the second season is still a very solid work, and the story is still engaging. I also enjoyed the first OP.

  14. Guy says:

    Good to hear the second season is not utter crap, as most people seem to say, heh.

    I got the first season a month or two back, didn’t watch it yet.

  15. Yi says:

    @zzeroparticle: While I do agree that the first season is better, I do think that many reviews unjustifiably make Il Teatrino sound much worse than it is. The series is still by any standards very beautiful and better than most series I’ve seen. Of course, compared to the well directed masterpiece of the first season, Il Teatrino might have fallen a bit short. I guess I just like both, even if one is better. Perhaps I was so in love with the first season that that influenced my opinion on the second season.

    @Ningyo: I will need to check out Planetarian… Anyway, I love these kind of hopelessness and despair in anime. It really does make for brilliant emotional works.

    @Sellers: Exactly. The first season set the bar really high and although Il Teatrino does not quite match up to that, I believe it is still a series that far exceeds most other anime.

    @Guy: Most people are wrong. jkjk. ^ ^
    I think I might’ve been strongly influenced by my love for the first season though, and that might be the reason I love Il Teatrino so much.

  16. Guy says:

    Well, I think most people dislike the second season for the exact same reason 😉

  17. koyot3 says:

    A very captivating and enticing entry, as usual : )
    I can see why this series is one of your favorites as it is a tragic and bittersweet, the hallmarks of drama. But that is exactly why I would want to avoid such a series as it is not my preference. The characters art is great however : )

  18. Reltair says:

    Excellent taste. I loved both seasons of GSG.

    “Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi” is one of my favorite songs, and I remember I had it on repeat for quite a while when I finished season 2.

    Triela ftw! I’m looking forward to the figure of her that’s coming out.

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  20. shijima says:

    Lovely pics as always.
    Hmm…this is another anime I haven’t seen.
    It sounds quite a bit depressing though. =(
    Though a poignant love story is nice once in a while.

  21. Yi says:

    @Guy: I guess I went in the other direction than most people then… It’s unfortunate because in my opinion, Il Teatrino is still much better than, for example, Queen’s Blade, but it gets so much negativity.

    @koyot3: Thanks. I agonized over the words in this entry… Glad you read it though.
    While I watch and enjoy most genres, my true preference lies in more serious and depressing series.

    @Reltair: I’m really glad you liked both seasons of Gunslinger Girl. I’ve been looping Tatta Hitotsu no Omoi too since I’ve finished it. Such a great song.
    Is there a Triela figure coming out??? If so, I must get it.

    @shijima: I’m not sure if it counts as a love story. The love receives quite a subtle treatment in the series, but it’s definitely a poignant albeit depressing story.

  22. Landon says:

    Don’t think you mentioned it in your post, but how do the action scenes measure up in the second season compared to the first?

    The main thing I liked about the first season was the contrast between the quiet character moments and the harsh and brutal action scenes. Since the animation in the action scenes was done well, it really lent to making that contrast all the more stark. The first season played a lot like one of Beat Takeshi’s movies in that regard and I dug it a lot.

  23. Yi says:

    @Landon: I think the action scene is really good in Il Teatrino. It’s definitely comparable to the first season. Also, I also love the stark contrast between their innocence and their coldness; it’s definitely still there.

  24. Reltair says:

    @Yi: Yeah, I think I saw a Triela figure by Good Smile Company in one of Danny Choo’s anime convention posts. The prototype looked pretty good, don’t think there’s a firm release date yet.

  25. Hmm… I can’t really say I liked Gunslinger Girls. Perhaps because I read the manga first, and somehow I just couldn’t like it. Perhaps it’s the eerieness of these young girls being used like this. I borrowed the first season of the anime from a library and did enjoy it a little bit even though I had some apprehension from the manga. Not sure if I’ll continue it… though I do like Triela too. Something about dark skin and blonde hair always getting my attention ^^;

  26. Yi says:

    @Reltair: Thanks for the information. I can’t wait for the Triela figure. ^ ^

    @lightningsabre: “the eerieness of these young girls being used like this.” That’s one of the reasons I love this series. Different tastes I guess.
    Anyways, I love Triela too, clearly. I love her personality and I like the tanned skin + blonde hair too.

  27. glothelegend says:

    @ Yi: Yea, I think that’s why I only saw 5 episodes….I couldn’t find anymore after that.

  28. Yi says:

    @glothelegend: I think GreenApp linked some useful download sites in the above comments if you’re still interested in the series.

  29. Optic says:

    GSG II Teatrino was judged harshly because of this production switch to begin with. If ppl actually got through the series, then it’s not a bad series at all. Looking at the bigger picture, the storyline was good, character development was just great and the little details put in the animation in getting that Italian picture right was almost perfect.

    I really S3 is just round the corner. It’s sad to end such a fascinating, emotion driven series after the OVA. Speaking about the OVA, I NEED TO BUY IT!!!!

  30. Yi says:

    @Optic: Exactly! I agree completely. I hope people would just sit through the series and realize that despite changes in production and character looks, the series is still amazing. I think the changes are not worse, not better, but simply different.

  31. phossil says:

    My favorite in gunslinger girl is Henrietta. Triela has a go-go too! 🙂

  32. Misu says:

    A rave review of Gunslinger Girl! Oh, my. And here I had Nagato telling me that it was no good.

  33. glothelegend says:

    I am, just afraid to download.

  34. Yi says:

    @phossil: I like Henrietta too. I was really disappointed when I missed my chance to get her figure… 😦
    Triela is my favorite though, as I have repeated ad nauseum. ^ ^

    @Misu: Nagato doesn’t know what she’s talking about! Just kidding. I tend to like more depressing anime, but many others don’t. I hope you give it a try though.

    @glothelegend: Yea…

  35. GreenApp says:

    Gunslinger Girl ~Il Teatrino~ has OVA ,isn’t true???

  36. Yi says:

    @GreenApp: It looks like that’s true. I didn’t realize it has a 2-episode OVA before. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I must go watch it now.

  37. Akira says:

    phew~ finally taking a small break from all the last minute school stuff ~

    I’m so glad I checked your site ^^ it’s full of wonderful surprises

    hmm… yea I heard about Gunslinger Girl before, but I never get the chance to watch it, since there are so many anime that I have to keep track on right now. But from all the positive praises above, including OST(which is one of my top priorities), the characters, and the art, I’ll definitely put Gunslinger Gun on my ‘to watch’ list at a high position, considering there’s a lot of anime in line 🙂

  38. Yi says:

    @Akira: I have a huge backlog too, which is why I put this series off as long as I did. Once I did watch the anime though, I was really glad I watched it before some other stuff I have on my to watch list.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for visiting and good luck with all your school stuff. ^ ^

  39. I’ve been wanting to watch this series for a long time now. Guess I’ll just get on to it!

  40. Yi says:

    @Ghost In The Shell: Yea it’s pretty amazing. I put it off for a long time too thinking that it was not going to be that great, but then I now realized that I was wrong.

  41. The thing is that I know I’ll prolly enjoy it because I just love girls with guns. It’s all about lazyness 😛

  42. Yi says:

    @Ghost In The Shell: Oh I see. I know what you mean. I have a huge backlog too of stuff that I know I will love but I’m just too lazy/ busy to get to them.

  43. Whoa I’m watching the first season now and I’m loving it! It’s kind of disturbing because the girls act their ages. They are really just children – apart from being assassins, that is o.O

  44. Yi says:

    @Ghost In The Shell: That’s what I love about it. ^ ^

  45. Reminds me of Noir. Kind of.

  46. GreenApp says:

    Yesterday,I watched Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino again
    Love those girls, can’t stop thinking about their future, too cruel…

  47. Yi says:

    @Ghost In The Shell: Yea… Kirika kind of feels like one of them. Noir is another one of my favorites.

    @GreenApp: Too cruel indeed, but yet so sweet.

  48. I finished watching the first season the same day I downloaded. Just couldn’t stop watching! But it seems the second season got licensed in the USA, so I can’t find it to download. Will try from a BR fansub, since nothing ever get licensed in here lol

  49. Yi says:

    @Ghost In The Shell: I actually saw it streamed on with English subs. So if you want to watch that in lower quality and in streams, that’s a good place.

  50. Akira Eshi says:

    GG Il Teatrino – second or third part?

    I watched the first season … boring.
    The second… Even more boring than the first.
    This GG I probably didn’t see.

  51. Hmm, I like to watch from my bed, but if I can’t find it anywhere else streaming will have to do, thanks!

  52. Yi says:

    @Ghost In The Shell: Sounds good. ^ ^

  53. Blowfish says:

    I never really got warm with the Anime because I love the Manga and didnt like the way the anime portrayed the girls and their relationships with each other and their fratelli.
    I highly recommend you reading the manga since it offers a superior atmosphere and even more tragic than the anime.
    For me it was always about Power and how the girls are beeing used.Vol 7 or 8 Introduce a new girl and fratelli and I am so sick how that dude is abusing his powers over a brainwashed beautiful girl that just went through puberty.

    anyways check out the manga!

    Im quite puzzled about the fact the Trielas Fratello is called Hilshire in some Version and in the German Manga Hirscher and is a German.

  54. Yi says:

    @Blowfish: Yea I should definitely check out the manga. It really sounds like something truly incredible and beautiful. I hope it’s not too dark that it’s unbearable.

    Hirscher or Hilshire. Not sure what it is exactly either. I’ve seen subs that say Hirscher and I’ve seen Hilshire, so yea…

  55. Chen says:

    Awesome, but i don’t like Il teatrino that much, because pino was killed at the end, and it shouldn’t happened that way,pino was a pure heart guy,he didn’t shoot triela the first time, so if i was triela, i’ll at least leave Pino alive for what he owned me

  56. Yi says:

    @Chen: I kind of liked the ending to it because it leaves a feeling of completion. Actually, I felt more emotional with Franca and Franco’s end. Overall though, I liked the ending a lot. Different opinions I guess.

  57. NCrit says:

    I’ld like to ask you, if there any site where i can get Main Theme Tabs or GTPs? Plz sent your answers to my e-mail.

  58. Yi says:

    @NCrit: Sorry, I have no idea. In fact, I do not even know where to begin looking for them.

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  60. NCrit says:

    For a years there is no difference in situation.

  61. ulti says:

    I love Gunslinger Girl anime. I’m going to get the comics. I would love to have the Il Teatrino song. Frostwire doesn’t have it. Can you help?

    • Yi says:

      I love Gunslinger Girl too! And the manga is incredible as well. Hope you enjoy them.

      As for the music, I’m not sure… You could try Amazon Jp, Gendou, or BakaBT.

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