Return of the Drive By Anime Review!

I just found a bunch of these that I wrote a long time ago, and thought reviving the practice might be a cure for my tendency to either talk too much or not at all. The game goes like this: 200-300 words of anime review (no less and no more!) and a haiku. Forever and ever amen. So, without further ado, here goes!

Il Teatrino picks up more or less where the first Gunslinger Girl left off, but doesn’t really seem to know where it wants to go from there. The first series focused mainly on the relationships between pre-pubescent female cyborg assassins (just let that digest for a second… ok) and their 20-something male “handlers”. It basically asked the question “dude, how messed up would it be if they really…” and came back with the answer “pretty messed up, brah”, and thereby took the entire “girls with guns” genre and stood it on its head.

With most of the meatiest questions already asked (if not necessarily answered), the second season is necessarily less existential, falling mostly into fairly standard action/suspense plots. The main mover is a terrorist group being hunted by the Girls, featuring a “normal” (that is, non-cyborg) male child assassin called Pinocchio who may or may not be too much for them to handle and has a really weird relationship with a guy who may or may not be his uncle. The plots remain serviceable, and the brilliant introspective self-awareness of the first season makes an occasional appearance. There are some interesting “origin” type plotlines; these rarely excite me, but eh, some folks dig them, so whatever. Fanservice. The animation is a bit of a disappointment, and is a downgrade from the first season. The director, however, made good use of his budget, spending the money on action sequences and some neat artistic effects in flashback sequences. I am also pleased to report a reasonable number of views of the underpants of the underage girls, which is to say, none. The music is ok, but nothing really matches the first season’s killer OP by the Delgados. It's mostly standard classical lite stuff, although the one episode centers around Tosca, and actually uses a couple of arias from the opera.

Bottom line: starts slowly, a definite downgrade from the first season, but by the end, a reasonably good successor to one of my favorite series of the last five years or so.

Obligatory haiku:
Oh no he didn't!
Will Triella recover?
We can rebuild her!

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