From top to bottom: Henrietta(Gunslinger Girl), Rally Vincent(Gunsmith Cats), Asuna Elmarit(Gundam Ecole du Ciel), and Nono(Gunbuster II)
As I continue to look through my hordes of treasure from the last two ( I & II) Anime conventions (This is the very last time I spend this much money!!), I took some time to look at some manga that I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time and watched the 1st episode of Gunbuster 2(Diebuster).
With Gunbuster and Gunslinger Girl it was word of mouth that I took a chance getting those two, I have seen a little bit of the Gunslinger Girl Anime and thought it was good. Gunsmith Cats was an old favorite that I used to read single issues of, and with Gundam Ecole du Ciel, it’s my first Gundam manga and got it because one of my favorite character designers, Haruhiko Mikimoto, wrote and illustrated the book.
Gunsmith Cats: Revised Edition 1
This edition of Gunsmith Cats is a giant size, over 450 pages, first compilation of the Gunsmith Manga. This book is heavy and thick full of action starring Rally Vincent and Minne-May Hopkins. Rally’s the girl who graces the cover and is a top notch expert when it comes to guns, while Minnie-May knows what’s up when it comes to explosives, both girls run a gun store in Chicago and are bounty hunters on the side.
A day in the life of the Rally and Minnie household.
This book is basically an introduction of the characters and their foray into bounty hunting. The stories range from deadly serious to hillarious, almost always with some fan service and then some!! From taking out old bounties who’s escaped from prison for revenge, to locating Minnie’s lost love, Bean’s appearance, there’a lot to enjoy…so much in fact it’s taking me a while to read the gigantic collection.
The collection’s art is really spectacular and really detailed. Kenichi Sonoda spares nothing when it comes down to the details of the guns and awesome cars in the manga. I’ve read he painstakingly researches every gun that appears in the manga, and you could really tell with the multitude of guns that appear and the dialogue of the characters about their aformentioned weapons.
A Burglar’s worst nightmare. Shot in the head & Bean.
I’m still going through the book and enjoying every minute of it, I’m on page 375. I really like that they put so much in these books, you get the beginning, middle, and end and no waiting time! For me that’s another reason to make this book a keeper. A few years ago I would get the single issues of the series and I must have skipped quite a few because I really don’t remember this much fan service in the series.
Some action in more ways than one.
Gunslinger Girl Vol.1
Gunslinger Girl is about three girls Henrietta(pictured above), Rico, and Triela who have been severely injured and have parts of their bodies replaced with cybernetic ones while erasing their past memories. The organization, Social Welfare Agency, gets the girls back on their tows and sends them out with a handler and gun to carry out deadly tasks in and around Italy.
Rico shows no mercy. The relationship btwn. Handler and Girl.
The handler, or Fratello as they call it, goes with their girl on assignments and more or less tutor’s them in the ways of assasination. To all the girls their handler is very important and one of their top priorities is to protect them at all costs even if that means giving up their lives.
Most of the handlers are very nice to the girls especially Henrietta’s, Giueseppe, who gives her presents and teaches her about astronomy. While Rico’s is very strict and at times beats her for her mistakes, in turn Rico doesn’t seem to be hurt emotionally by it and smiles and nods it off when asked about it by the other girls. Each of the girls have different relationships with their handlers with Henrietta being the most interesting one and innocent out of them all.
Henrietta kicking butt.
Gunslinger Girl is as much an action manga as it is a phsychological one. With the first volume the girls mostly do as their told without little or no question, it isn’t until they are questioned by outsiders that they begin to think about their situations. It’s a good manga and one that I’ll be following up with.
Gundam: Ecole du Ciel 1
Asuna Elmarit is a new training cadet at a federation base for mobile suit pilots that takes place in 0085 after the one year war. It seems the Zeon’s not through with the Earth yet, and the Federation’s beginning to look for more pilots. Asuna’s not exactly the best, actually she’s the worst cadet out of the bunch. So much so, it looks like she may not be able to advance forward in her training.
Asuna just can’t cut it with anyone.
Asuna has help through her friends at the school and a fellow pilot, Shinn, who she likes. In fact Shinn begins to help and train her to become a better pilot. All the while there is a backstory going on involving the higher ups of the federation and their push to move the program forward to find pilots no matter the cost. This applies especially to Asuna, since the Federation knows her missing father was an important figure in Zeon, and may be a key asset in this new conflict with the Zeon.
The story’s pretty good with Asuna struggling in her training and coming to terms with her past. Haruhiko Mikimoto who provides both the story and art, was the character designer for the original anime Macross series and Gundam 0080 which are both tops in my book. Mikimoto does a good job here with the character designs and the mechas. There’s a lot of action throughout the first book and some really great pin up art scattered throughout. Another good mecha product by Mikimoto.
Training at the school featuring a GM.
Shinn giving a pep talk to the girls.
Gunbuster 2 (Diebuster)
The first time I watched FLCL I thought it had great music but the animation style looked very weird and crappy! After a while though I got used to the art style and watched the whole series and is one of my favorite anime’s to this day. So when I heard that the director of FLCL, Kazuya Tsurumaki, and most of the staff were doing the sequel to Gunbuster, I had to check out the first episode.
Gunbuster 2, Diebuster, is about a young girl named Nono, who moves out from the country into the city for her dream of becoming a space pilot. She gets sidetracked working as a waitress at a bar and finding out it takes at least 15 years before you even see space let along be a pilot. She eventually runs into Lal’c, a space pilot who uses the mecha Buster, the dix-neuf. Lal’c tests Nono to see if she has what it takes, by placing a small object on her forehead and removing it. The object shatters and Nono’s hope of becoming a pilot does as well.
Nono meeting Lal’c, a real space pilot.
After a monster appears Nono, who’s been waiting outsided the space installation, shows some strength lifting off the monsters gigantic tail. The Dix Neuf appears along with Lal’c and a battle ensues on land and in space where Lal’c sees Nono’s power.
I really liked the 1st episode of Diebuster because it’s visually stunning, from the city’s landscape to the characters themselves. There’s a lot of ideas and characterizations brought over from FLCL which fits the story and it’s main character. It kind of reminds of Big O, with the old fashioned designed mecha. Now that I’ve got sometime on my hands, I’ll be sure to catch the entire series and maybe go back to the one that started it all.
The Dix-Neuf in action…kicking him where it counts.
Nono taking the montster out.