Gunslinger Girl (ガンスリンガー·ガール Gansuringā Gāru) is an ongoing manga by Yu Aida. It first premiered in the November 2002 issue of the monthly shōnen magazine Dengeki Daioh. The chapters are also being published in collected volumes by MediaWorks. Nine volumes have been released in Japan as of April 2008. The manga series is licensed for an English language release in North America by ADV Manga.
A thirteen-episode anime adaptation produced by Madhouse aired in Japan on Animax and Fuji Television from October 8, 2003 to February 19, 2004. A sequel created by Artland premiered in Japan on Tokyo MX TV on January 7, 2008. Titled Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-, this sequel spanned thirteen episodes, concluding on March 31, 2008.
Set in modern-day Italy, Gunslinger Girl follows the exploits of the Social Welfare Agency (often referred to as simply "the Agency"), ostensibly a charitable institution sponsored by the Italian government. While the Agency professes to aid the rehabilitation of the physically injured, it is actually a military organization specializing in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. It comprises two independent branches, Public Safety (公安部 kōan-bu) and Special Ops (作戦部 sakusen-bu), with Public Safety being its surveillance and intelligence-gathering arm and Special Ops its anti-terrorist division. Special Ops is itself divided into Sections 1 and 2, the latter of which employs young girls fitted with cybernetic implants as agents. The implants, which consist of synthesized muscles and carbon fiber frames, result in heightened strength and reflexes as well as high resilience to damage and pain. Each girl is paired with a male trainer, or "handler," and together they are referred to as a fratello (Italian for "brother"). The handler is responsible for the training, welfare and field performance of his charge, and is free to use whatever methods he considers suitable. While these methods vary according to the handler, a common part of each girl's regimen is brainwashing called "conditioning," which produces a deadly assassin with unquestioning loyalty to her handler.
Gunslinger Girl, written and illustrated by Yu Aida, first premiered in Japan in the November 2002 issue of the monthly Dengeki Daioh magazine. As of April 2008, 51 chapters have been published in the magazine. The chapters are also being published in collected volumes by MediaWorks, with the first volume released November 27, 2002. Nine volumes have been published in Japan so far.
When ADV Manga was formed in 2003, the Gunslinger Girl manga series was one of the first titles the new branch of ADV Films licensed for an English language release in North America. The first volume was released on November 18, 2003, with the next two volumes not released until 2005. At the 2005 Anime Next convention, the ADV representative David L. Williams said the slow schedule was due to ADV Manga feeling the market was too saturated with new manga titles at the time and that they had rushed into the manga market. However, after the third volume was released that year, the series went on a two year hiatus. The series was restarted in July 2007 with the publication of the fourth volume, and six volumes have been released as of April 2008.
- Aida, Yu: "Gunslinger Girl," vol. 2, p. 153
- Aida, Yua: "Gunslinger Girl," vol. 1, pp. 47-48