Front row tickets to the END OF THE WORLD!: Hi-octane action in GSG

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Front row tickets to the END OF THE WORLD!: Hi-octane action in GSG

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 28 Mar 2009 - 20:39

While I'm fond of Gunslinger Girl, one criticism that I have to level at it is that it doesn't have a particularly grand scale.

You can legitimately argue that this is missing the point, and you'd be right - I know that GSG's primary focus is not the action, and that the battles are more punctuation distinguishing different phrases of character development, the brief flurry of spray and spume after a long wave of drama and interaction has rolled in. Even so, though, virtually all of the series' fights have been scrappy, small, simple skirmishes - when the 'death at the opera' chapter (I forget the precise title) was played out against the backdrop of a performance of Tosca, it emphasised to me that the Agency's own struggles lack similar operatic grandeur. It can feel a little underwhelming and demeaning. Heartfelt and soulful drama is wonderful, mature and sophisticated, and to be encouraged and applauded, certainly, but sometimes you want to let your hair down.

This is one of the reasons why I'm looking forward to the resolution of the "Vendetta" arc with some eager anticipation - there's potential for a real upping of the ante. I'm having exhilarating visions of the Padanian missile wreaking havoc as it brings down a landing aeroplane and treating us to the incredible spectacle of a blazing metal roc careering through a terminal building and inflicting annihilation and carnage on a stunning scale, a roaring tidal wave of triumphantly total devastation.

I doubt that it'll happen - even if he wants to stir things up and push characters out of their comfort zones, the aforementioned history of little fights leads me to believe that Yu would baulk at making a great extravagance like the one that I've described.

Even so, though, I think that the girls could do a lot more than tussle with the Padanians in the streets of Milan, Rome and Naples - there are many more sorts of confrontation that Yu hasn't taken advantage of yet.

It might not occur for a while yet - in narrative time, we've just left winter behind - but I'd certainly like to see the girls making a trip into Padania's alpine heartland and having a snowbound battle. Epic feats of endurance testing cybernetic tolerances and enhancements to the very limit, trekking across desolate, scathingly blizzard-blasted empty valleys; mortar bombs setting off avalanches; facing down charging piste machines; exchanging fire while skiing through glistening, immaculate powder. Hot blood melting through cold snow - a gripping vision of trouble in paradise.

Something else that I'd like to see would be a car chase. GSG has had a couple of these already, but they're brief affairs on open roads,with the cars little more than platforms to fire shots from - I'd like to see one with genuine and complicated manoeuvre taking precedence. I'm sure that most of you have seen The Italian Job - seeing as Turin is in the north of Italy and full of the famous landmarks that Yu likes to use as a backdrop it seems a prime thing to play on in the fight against Padania. I've mocked Alessandro's Smart car in another thread, but it'd be well-suited to dodging down alleys or skeeting through subways with a scarce inch of breathing room!

What other sorts of action-intensive set-pieces would you like to see GSG get embroiled in in future chapters?


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Re: Front row tickets to the END OF THE WORLD!: Hi-octane action in GSG

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 28 Mar 2009 - 21:02

I am going to guess Yu is partly constrained by the limited amount of space he has to tell a story and the fact that each bit he reveals is 30 days apart.

Looking at the Pinnochio arc, for example, it took fifteen months to tell, thanks to him breaking it up into two three-chapter sub-arcs that have an eight month break. He even put a nod to it in the manga since Part 3 and 4 take place four months apart within the story. And Triela's arc (Chapter 50-56) took seven months - and that was with each piece published sequentially.

I do agree with you that, overall, the manga story lacks grandeur and scale. But then, part of it might be because that is how the SWA operates. Italy has scores - literally - of special forces groups, each with their own little fiefdom. And their enemy works in cells, keeping their positions and personnel dispersed to prevent a single strike from bringing them down.

It tooks months for the SWA (and likely others) to dismantle the PRF in Milan, for example, because they couldn't just hit one place and take them all out.

As to what we see, I'd love to see a remake of Ronin in downtown Rome. That would have been epic. Good


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Re: Front row tickets to the END OF THE WORLD!: Hi-octane action in GSG

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 28 Mar 2009 - 21:15


I'll be on top of the Empire State Building with cheap wine in one hand with a grease ball pizza, and a hot babe in the other when this one happens!


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Re: Front row tickets to the END OF THE WORLD!: Hi-octane action in GSG

Post by Danjo3 on Sat 28 Mar 2009 - 21:39

I think Yu is trying his best to keep it ever so slightly on the realistic side. If he were to go all ass-crazy on all of his story arcs, it would come off as stereotype comic book crap. That’s not how things Happen in real life. One of the things I like about Yu’s work (something you can’t say about too many other’s in his field) is that you can say to yourself, “Yeah, that really could happen.”

If action is what you want, Marvel and DC are what you’re looking for.


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Re: Front row tickets to the END OF THE WORLD!: Hi-octane action in GSG

Post by Ghostfriendly on Sun 29 Mar 2009 - 0:33

The first thing I think of is an Italian 9/11. If an earth-shattering set piece turns up in GSG, it'd be that. And there'd be ten times more post-disaster trauma and angst than spectacle, which is the way we're used to it.

Something like the padinians getting hold of an H-bomb would be a little daft; a car chase would be nice, or a massive shoot out on the scale of Hard Boiled...but its just not the right style.


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