Gunslinger Girl volumes 1-5

Italy’s Social Welfare Agency- on the surface, it is an organisation dedicated to helping disadvantaged children and giving them a new lease of life. Whilst this not strictly inaccurate, however, what few people know is that the girls taken in by the Agency are actually turned into cyborgs and given training and conditioning designed to turn them into deadly assassins. The girls seem happy enough with their new lives, but can anyone justify robbing them of their childhood and turning them into mere tools to be used and discarded? Or is this the only way the Italian government can hope to fight back against the terrorists who would go to any length to ensure their message is heard? Continue reading “Gunslinger Girl volumes 1-5”

Madlax: Fanning the flames that little bit more

A while ago, I reviewed Bee Train’s works and managed to create a minor backlash when I placed Madlax in the ‘miss’ category. If I had any sense, I would probably have left it at that, but having brought up the topic of Madlax, I came to feel as if I needed to say more on just where Madlax went wrong for me.

Back when Madlax was first being released on DVD, I let myself get caught up in a wave of enthusiasm for the series, even going so far as to buy it with no more knowledge than “it’s Noir II”. Continue reading “Madlax: Fanning the flames that little bit more”

Bee Train: All stills and not much else?

The camera pans over a beautifully rendered yet ultimately motionless background, a melancholy Yuki Kajiura tune plays in the background…what else could it be other than a Bee Train anime? Famous (or perhaps infamous) for their distinctive “minimal motion” style, Bee Train’s output may be small, but they have stuck around for almost a decade- and now they have the dubious honour of being the first studio to be highlighted in my planned series of studio review articles. So, without further ado, let’s skip ahead and examine Bee Train’s successes…and its accompanying failures.

Continue reading “Bee Train: All stills and not much else?”