The Best Episodes of Gunslinger Girl
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2019
Set in modern Italy, Gunslinger Girl follows a group of traumatically-injured young girls taken from hospitals all over the country, who are then cybernetically enhanced, indoctrinated and trained to be assassins by a secret branch of the Public Corporation for Social Welfare, Section 2. Each girl is assigned to a male handler who oversees her training, deployments, and general conduct. Each handler is free to "condition" his cybernetic assassin to the extent he sees fit, which increases a girl's lethality and loyalty at the expense of human individuality and lifespan.
#1 - And So Pinocchio Becomes Human
Season 2 - Episode 13
The "Pinocchio Arc" comes to a conclusion. Franco and Franca decide to come to the aid of Cristiano and Pinocchio. Triela and Pinocchio battle it out with guns and knives while Hillshire looks for Cristiano. Pinocchio shoots Triela with her own pistol and Cristiano is shot and then captured by Jean and Rico. Franco and Franca arrive to rescue Cristiano and make their escape by car. They reach the roadblock and Angelica shoots Franca. They fail to negotiate a bend in the road and crash into the Mediterranean. Triela finds Pinocchio and her training allows her to finally defeat him. In the aftermath of the battle, they dredge the car from the sea, but no bodies are found. All of the cyborgs are congratulated by their handlers for jobs well-done. Back at the compound, the girls settle back into their daily routine.
#2 - The Fighting Puppet
Season 2 - Episode 12
Back at the bridge, the fratelli are searching for Franco, Franca and Pinocchio. Henrietta discovers the three setting charges in the main support. She opens fire and a fire-fight ensues. They escape in a boat and Franco sets off the charges, though it is insufficient to drop the bridge. They return to the farm in Frascati and Triela returns to the house in Naples where she had her first fight with Pinocchio. Pinocchio goes to Cristiano’s house in Milan just prior to Section 2 launching their assault. They take out a gas station where some of Cristiano’s men are using as a guard house and then set up a road block to prevent anyone from escaping. In his house, Cristiano is planning his escape, but Section 2 arrives and launches their assault. Triela and Pinocchio face each other for the second time.
#3 - Promessa
Season 1 - Episode 5
In a replaying of past events, Jean recruits Raballo, a retired member of the Carabinieri, to be Claes' handler. Initially, Claes finds it difficult to cope with Raballo's relentless training and strict businesslike relationship. However, after the two begin fishing together, they acquire a closer relationship. One day, Raballo gives Claes her old glasses and a key to his room so she can read all the books she wants, as well as extracting a promise that she would always be gentle while wearing her glasses. Afterwards, Jean reveals that Raballo was killed in a hit-and-run incident. As a result, Claes could not go on missions and instead participated in scientific tests concerning her mechanical components. However, she enjoyed passing the time by reading, and other tasks, such as growing a vegetable patch.
#4 - Transience and Reminiscence
Season 2 - Episode 5
A month after Angelica's successful return, she seems to be doing well-- Marco, however, still has doubts, and is upset by the fact she is becoming more and more different from the old Angelica; Triela, on the other hand, remains deeply depressed after her failure in the fight against Pinocchio. Priscilla, feeling sorry for Angelica, offers her a ride back from the firing range on her Vespa, and the two become much closer, despite Angelica's continued memory loss. Meanwhile, Marco's ex-girlfriend, Patricia, is approached by a reporter named Leonardo Conti, who claims to know a shadowy truth about the Social Welfare Agency, and wants Patricia to help him investigate it. Driven by concern for Marco and a growing distrust for the Italian government, Patricia agrees, but Leonardo turns out to be a PRF undercover agent and takes Patricia hostage. After Angelica kills Leonardo, Patricia demands to know why he's aiding the government in its "crimes", to which Marco responds that he didn't end up that way because he wanted to-- suggesting that he's still driven by his love for Angelica.
#5 - Flowers of Goodwill
Season 2 - Episode 10
Triela is still upset at her failure to defeat Pinocchio. Mario Bossi is testifying against the Mafia and Hillshire and Triela are sent to Naples to guard his teenage daughter, Maria Machiavelli. Maria chafes at the restrictions and tries to escape, being captured by Mafioso sent to capture her as leverage to prevent her father from testifying. Henrietta and Giuseppe rescue her, however. Triela undergoes Close Quarters Combat training at a Carabineri base. And a series of flashbacks also tells the story of how Hillshire and Rachelle Belleut met at Europol and while investigating a child torture/murder ring, rescued Triela at the cost of Rachelle’s life. It ends with Triela having one of her legs replaced and when she awakes, she notes that she dreamed of someone who was maybe her mother.
#6 - Simulacra
Season 2 - Episode 3
Hilshire and Triela are ordered on a mission to relocate a member of the Public Safety Division who has gone missing in his search for a Padanian assassin named Pinocchio. While investigating at a hotel in Montalcino, Triela stumbles upon a book titled "Pinocchio" and begins reading it, later throwing it onto the ground for a lack of a better story. The next day, Triela ends up finding a girl named Aurora who happens to know Pinocchio. Unbeknown to Aurora, Triela slips a mic into her lunch basket. A moment later, Aurora sneaks into Pinocchio's house and is captured by him, Franco and Franca, who then hold her hostage. Triela and Hilshire break in and Triela fights Pinocchio but is outwitted and defeated by him. Although Aurora is saved thanks to Hilshire's effort to release her from Franca's grip, the terrorists are able to escape. Triela becomes humiliated after being beaten.
#7 - Lycoris Radiata Herb
Season 1 - Episode 9
Elsa, another mechanized assassin girl, completes a mission to terminate a group of corrupt police officers on the orders of her handler, Lauro. Lauro recruits Jose for his next mission, and the two remark over their different views on treating the girls, Lauro's indifference contrasting against Jose's empathy. Henrietta attempts to converse with Elsa before the mission, but is rebuffed by the girl's single-minded devotion to Lauro. Meanwhile, Elsa grows increasingly jealous over Jose and Henrietta's close relationship, and Lauro removes her from the mission when he notices this. After Jose and Henrietta succeed, Lauro comments on Elsa's uselessness, leaving her devastated.
#8 - Febbre Alta
Season 1 - Episode 11
Pietro and Elenora leave for Sicily to meet with Jose and Henrietta, who are staying at one of Jose's family's summer homes. Pietro questions Jose on details about Elsa while Elenora helps Henrietta with the cooking. As they prepare to go shopping, a thief steals Henrietta's camera, and she retrieves it, with Elenora preventing her from seriously injuring the thief. With Elenora's aid, the dinner is a success, and Henrietta later confides in Elinora that she feels a compunction to be more than an ordinary girl for Jose's sake. She then determines that Elsa committed a murder suicide with Lauro after realizing that her love for him was not reciprocated.
#9 - Stella Cadente
Season 1 - Episode 13
The girls plan to see a meteor shower, but Henrietta is distressed when Jose reveals that he is too busy and cannot attend. As a result, Triela tries to find a new chaperone, and Hilshire agrees after Triela helps him with his work. Meanwhile, Henrietta visits Angelica in the hospital, where Angelica hears a dog barking, causing her to remember her old dog. Henrietta relays this information to Marco, who is apathetic, but Henrietta implores him to visit his charge. He initially refuses and asks Henrietta whether she is dissatisfied with her mechanical condition, to which she responds that she has accepted who she is. Marco later goes to visit Angelica as the other girls go to see the meteor shower. The girls begin to sing Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 as Angelica listens to it in her hospital bedroom. She then asks Marco to read "Il Principe del Regno Della Pasta." It is strongly indicated that she dies as the story is read to her.
#10 - Angelica's Return
Season 2 - Episode 4
Angelica is allowed to go on her first field mission since her earlier hospitalization (see Gunslinger Girl, episode 13). Together with Marco, her fratello, and Rico and Jean they head for Milan to get more information on the activities of the PRF and Pinocchio in particular. Olga and Priscilla have also headed to Milan to check up on how Angelica is doing and Marco drafts them into helping with the mission at hand. Trouble arises, when it appears that Angelica is suffering from an addiction to her conditioning pills, as she breaks Priscilla's arm due to the withdrawal symptoms she's suffering from. Priscilla manages to convince Marco not to tell Jean about what has occurred, and to let Angelica continue with the mission. Marco relents, and the team ends up capturing one of the Cleaners used by the PRF after a successful ambush by Angelica, Marco, and Rico. Angelica is initially disappointed in herself for failing to kill any of the terrorists (thanks to their bulletproof car), but Marco praises her for carrying out the mission correctly, thus making her rather giddy with joy as she and Rico talk about what just occurred.
#11 - Retirement of the Tibetan Terrier
Season 2 - Episode 6
Section Two is asked to watch over an important politician, Chairwoman Isabella d'Angelo, whose agency is in charge of the Strait of Messina Bridge project; meanwhile, the PRF send Nino, the "Tibetan Terrier", one of their best kidnappers, to seize her. Henrietta and Rico quarrel after the latter breaks Henrietta's kaleidoscope, and Giuseppe must take it to be repaired, which he does at the very antiques shop in which Nino works as cover. Henrietta and Giuseppe are then assigned to guard Chairwoman d'Angelo, who debates the morality of using children as soldiers with Lorenzo. Giuseppe discovers a PRF agent on the Chairwoman's staff, and uses his information to set a trap for Nino's men-- meanwhile, said PRF agents decide to charge in despite the advice of Nino, who is making up his mind to retire-- he does so at the end, bidding a fond farewell to Franca. Henrietta, Giuseppe, and Rico easily foil the PRF's kidnapping attempt, and the Chairwoman is saved.
#12 - Clever Snake, Simple Pigeon
Season 2 - Episode 9
Giuseppe reunites with an old friend from the Italian military, with whom he reminisces on the past, and especially his sister Enrica, until a PRF terrorist detonates a bomb near their restaurant. After his capture by Beatrice and interrogation by Rico reveals a large supply of plastic explosive, supplied to the PRF through the military, Section Two is tasked with finding out the identity of the traitor. The trail eventually leads to Giuseppe's old acquaintance, who is killed in a raid by the Fratello, badly upsetting Giuseppe, and his superior, Colonel Garnier. Meanwhile, Henrietta is troubled both over feelings that she is being overly selfish with Giuseppe and his general depression. She and Rico assassinate the Colonel and his second-in-command at a performance of Tosca, and Giuseppe reaffirms his affection for Henrietta, gently pinching her on the cheek as he used to do with his sister.
#13 - Budding Feelings
Season 2 - Episode 11
An assassin walks through a house, killing everyone he encounters. He calls Cristiano to report the successful completion of the job and he arrives to confirm it. As he leaves, Cristiano detects a false floor and in a room below they find a young boy - a boy who will become Pinocchio. Back in Frascati, Franco, Franca and Pinocchio rest and recuperate. Franca’s uncle calls, informing them that the police almost arrested him and will soon make a move to arrest Cristiano. They discuss plans to bomb the Strait of Messina Bridge. Section 2 is expecting them, however, and multiple fratelli are in position to guard the structure along with Army and Naval forces.
#14 - Bambola
Season 1 - Episode 4
With Christmas coming, Henrietta asks Jose to spend Christmas with her. While on a mission, Triela shoots a suspect against the orders of her handler, Hilshire. At base, she mulls over the fact that Hilshire always gives her the same Christmas presents. They are then sent on a mission to apprehend Mario Bosh, a retired Mafia leader. They succeed in finding him, but he manages to escape. As he is about to be killed by the Mafia, Triela saves him, and allows him to leave to be with his daughter. Overhearing this, Hilshire asks her what she wants for Christmas, and she asks for another bear. On Christmas day, however, she receives a present from Mario as well.
#15 - Amare
Season 1 - Episode 10
Jose and Henrietta are on leave on a cruise to Sicily, and he comments that Elsa and Lauro were found dead in a park. Section 1 chief Draghi decides to investigate, and sends Pietro Fermi and Elenora Gabrielli, with the motive being to undercut the credibility of using mechanized bodies. Pietro and Elenora tour Section 2's facility and converse with Triela. Meanwhile, Jean discovers a serious fact concerning the case and lies to Section 1, stating that Elsa died protecting Lauro, although Pietro is ultimately not satisfied with that answer and decides to further investigate.
#16 - Caterina and the Circle of Revenge
Season 2 - Episode 7
Flashbacks reveal that Franca (whose given name was Caterina) was the person who introduced Priscilla to Marco when they were both going to the University of Rome. She, Franco and Pinocchio are hiding out and recovering at her farm in Frascati after the escape from Section 2. Additional flashbacks reveal how, after her father dies in prison, Franca seeks out the bomber Franco to get revenge on the national government. Driving back from a meeting with her uncle, Franca stops to assist some stranded motorists, who instead turn out to be Section 1 agents. Franco and Pinocchio rescue her, killing all the agents in the process, and take her to a nearby hotel to recuperate. Section 2 arrives and sets off an anti-personnel mine left under one of the agent’s bodies, but Henrietta’s quick actions save everyone from fatal injury.
#17 - A Day in the Life of Claes
Season 2 - Episode 8
Claes has dreams of her time with Raballo, but can't seem to remember who he is, which distresses her. However, she keeps her emotional distress to herself, and continues to follow her daily routine of study, piano and gardening, as well as being examined by Section Two's science team. Jean, concerned about how much Claes recalls, has her watch a nature video that recalls the fishing trips she and her handler would take; this serves as something of a trigger for Claes, who goes wandering through the firing range, and seems to remember Raballo's name. At the end of the episode, she and a new cyborg, Beatrice, find a meteorite in Claes' herb garden, and the song Scarborough Fair is played as she reminisces over what she can remember of her mentor.
#18 - Simbiosi
Season 1 - Episode 12
Angelica is injured in a training session, leading the head of the Social Welfare Agency to question the value of Section 2. As a result, an elaborate scheme is hatched, with Claes posing as the daughter of a member of parliament in order to create a false hostage situation to eliminate PRF terrorists. Despite her injury, Angelica asks to participate. The group manages to dispatch the terrorists, although Angelica is injured shortly before Claes knocks her attacker unconscious. Marco expresses his disapproval of Angelica afterwards. In the hospital, Angelica exclaims that she would rather be dead than suffer Marco's anger and indifference. To Claes angrily slaps her, claiming to have regretted saving her.
#19 - Gelato
Season 1 - Episode 6
After barely defusing a bomb in a subway, the police begin to search for Enrico Beldini, a noted bomber. Henrietta and Jose overhear a conversation in which Beldini deals with the Padania Republic Faction for a bomb to use. The PRF, namely members Franco and Franca, agrees, but Enrico is tailed by Carabinieri agents throughout the city. Subsequently, Henrietta, Rico, and Triela raid Enrico's hideout, and they are able to dispatch his guards and capture him alive. Afterwards, Jose buys Henrietta gelato from the Piazza di Spagna as her reward. Franco and Franca accidentally meet Henrietta, and remark after assuming that she is a daughter of wealth that she is one of the ones they are fighting for.
#20 - Ragazzo
Season 1 - Episode 3
Rico, another of the young assassin girls, recalls her finding by her handler, Jean, and how she was able to move thanks to the cybernetics she received. In the present, she is assigned on a mission to assassinate a politician, and in a preliminary run through the building, meets a boy named Emilio. She is unsure of how to react to him, but afterwards, she asks Henrietta to teach her how to play the violin since Emilio asked her to. During the mission, Rico succeeds in killing the politician, but encounters Emilio, and is forced to kill him to preserve the mission's secrecy.
#21 - Protezione
Season 1 - Episode 7
Rico and Jean encounter a man named Filippo Adani, and after conversing with him, tour the city of Florence, enjoying the artwork and architecture. In the museum, Filippo muses on how he threw away a possible career as an artist to become an accountant. Meanwhile, Jean apprehends an assassin from the PRF sent to kill Filippo, who is revealed to be an accountant for Pirazzi, a member of the PRF. Under the command of Cristiano, PRF members attempt to apprehend him, but he manages to escape with the aid of Rico and Henrietta. As he sits safely in the getaway car, he claims that he has nothing to live for, but Rico convinces him to go back to his artistic passions, which he accepts.
#22 - Pinocchio
Season 2 - Episode 2
In a flashback, Pinocchio, a young child, commits his first murder under the auspices of his foster father Cristiano. In the present, he finishes an assassination for the Padania Republic Faction (PRF). The leaders of the PRF, including Cristiano, meet to plan a bombing on the Strait of Messina Bridge, and they enlist the aid of Franco and Franca, a pair of terrorist bombers, to destroy the bridge, with Pinocchio assisting them. Franca is surprised at Pinocchio's social awkwardness, especially when he fails to identify that her car is a Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Afterwards, Pinocchio tells Aurora, a girl living near him, to stay away from him. At the Section 2 headquarters, Hilshire and Marco observe Angelica, Marco's partner, and Rico, as Hilshire prepares to leave on a mission with Triela in Montalcino.
#23 - Fratello
Season 1 - Episode 1
Henrietta and her "handler" Jose, members of Section 2 of the Social Welfare Agency, which handles covert government actions, are ordered to a site to acquire a witness. In a flashback, Jose recalls how he found Henrietta in a hospital after her family had been killed. He had her nursed back to health, fitted with cybernetics, and trained her to be an assassin. In the present, he approaches the armed group surrounding the witness, but one of the men's threats against him causes Henrietta to start viciously attacking, and she dispatches the men inside the room. Jose reprimands her for this, as their mission is a failure, although the witness is later found outside the building. Back at base, Henrietta is comforted by two of her counterparts, Triela and Claes.
#24 - Il Principe del Regno Della Pasta
Season 1 - Episode 8
Henrietta undergoes emotional testing with Dr. Bianchi, and afterwards, Angelica also comes, who is revealed to have suffered memory loss. Marco, her handler, is confronted by Bianchi over his lack of care, and Marco reveals his frustration with teaching things to someone that merely forgets them. He recalls how, to sooth Angelica, he would read a story called "Il Principe del Regno Della Pasta." However, three months after their training started, she was unable to remember any part of the story, to his dissatisfaction. Combined with Marco's girlfriend deserting him due to his job, Marco treats Angelica coldly, regarding her solely as an assassin.
#25 - Orione
Season 1 - Episode 2
Henrietta is treated for her injury, although the doctor warns that repeated surgeries would weaken her body. Jose then recalls how he needed to teach her manners, and during her training, attempted to treat her as a young girl rather than simply a killing machine. After Henrietta finishes tea with Triela and Claes, who are supportive of her despite her mission's failure, Jose gives her a coat and asks her to join him on top of the main building. Once there, he shows Henrietta the stars through a telescope for the first time, noting that he wanted her to look upon the sky with something other than a rifle scope.