6 Anime Like Gunslinger Girl [Recommendations]

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Gunslinger Girl is a classic anime that crosses many genres beautifully. It is a combination of a mystery thriller, with a ton of human drama. In this anime, young girls are taken out of terrible situations by a secret government organization, and “reprogrammed” to become assassins. This anime is set during the mid-twentieth century in Italy, with the main enemies being the various kinds of Italian mafia gangs.

The girls are trained in various forms of killing and often have had their bodies enhanced with cybernetic technology. They are then assigned a caretaker who helps them with their training and missions. This anime takes the common Lolita themes found in most stories and flips them on their head. Instead of adorable students who only worry about boys or dolls, these girls are more concerned with proving themselves on their next assassination mission. But they are still kids, and kids are emotional. So definitely be careful not to cross them or their handlers.

If you have fallen in love with this unique story and need more, here is a list of some the most similar anime we could find. These cover the many varying themes found in Gunslinger Girl.

Similar Anime to Gunslinger Girl

6. Strike Witches

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul 4, 2008 to Sep 19, 2008

When the world is under attack by evil alien invaders known as “Neuroi” the only defense against them are a new battalion of witches. These witches are young girls who possess magical abilities and come from all over the world. It is their duty to use their magic to fight off the Neuroi and save the earth, even if they are only 14 years old. EAch witch has her own speciality and gun type, just as in Gunslinger Girl.

Also similar to Gunslinger Girl, this anime is full of adorable girls who work together to fight their enemies. It takes the girls with guns genre to a whole new level. Strike witches does contain some other themes not found in Gunslinger Girl, though. Because of the tech they use to fly around and battle the Neuroi, the witches are not able to wear pants. Putting Strike Witches firmly in the lolita and ecchi categories. This anime is a bit more light hearted as well, despite it being about saving the world. But if you wanted some more panty shots with your girls with guns anime, this is a good option.

Strike Witches PV:


5. Dogs: Bullets and Carnage

  • Episodes: 4
  • Aired: May 19, 2009 to Jul 17, 2009

This OVA follows the lives of several assassins who live in a futuristic version of Europe. The underground world is deep and corrupted, as one man Miha, returns to the town which holds his dark past. Mihai was a hitman for his organization and one of his duties was to train and raise the boss’s heir. As we delve further into this story we see their stories become even more twisted.

This anime is dark and controversial just like Gunslinger Girl. Each episode follows the life of one of the assassins. We get to see how they are connected and what is the conspiracy that has them all in their grasps. This show is not well known, but deserves some love because of it mysterious plot and well rounded characters. Plenty of human drama to go with the the hitman action scenes.


4. Monster

  • Episodes: 74
  • Aired: Apr 7, 2004 to Sep 28, 2005

Gunslinger Girl is a dark anime. There is no doubt about it. When you take young girls and turn them into assassins, it’s difficult to make that light and fluffy. Monster is similarly themed. Set during the same time period as Gunslinger Girl, but in Germany, it deals with many mafia-like gangs and organizations. Monster takes the disturbing idea of young killers to a whole new level.

In the story of Monster, a promising Japanese doctor treats a young boy who has been shot in the head. But nothing good comes from saving him. We soon learn that the boy is a monster himself, and has no remorse when it comes to killing. We follow the doctor as he tries to find this boy and stop him before more lives are lost. This anime is an emotional rollercoaster. We learn that perhaps this boy is not one of a kind; maybe this has been going on for much longer than we can imagine.


Any Anime Like Gunslinger Girl ?

3. Kantai Collection: KanColle (KanColle)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 8, 2015 to Mar 26, 2015

If your favorite part of Gunslinger Girl was the ‘girls with guns’ aspect, then look no further than Kantai Collection. Kantai Collection started its life as a videogame, but since then it has evolved into so much more. There are now manga, anime, and light novels to go along with the games. But with its movie release last year, Kantai Collection’s popularity has hit a new peak.

Kantai Collection, otherwise known as KanColle, follows young girls who are actually naval ships. This is a confusing premise, but this is no ordinary group of young girls and women. The group is known as “Kanmusu” and they actually hold the spirits of famous Japanese Naval ships from history. Each girl represents a different ship, and thus, has a different ability and weapon. These can range from gunner ships to carriers, with many in between. It may take a while to get used to, but KanColle has a huge fan base for a reason. You’ll find that one girl (ship) that you just can’t live without.

Kantai Collection Trailer:


2. Noir

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Apr 6, 2001 to Sep 28, 2001

In a similar setting as Gunslinger Girl, Noir starts based in Europe and Japan during the mid to late 20th century. Two women with mysterious pasts have no remorse for killing and they decide to join forces against an evil organization that is hunting them. Their goal is to travel the world and to discover who they are and what really happened to them. Despite their rocky start, these two form an unbreakable bond of partnership.

Themes of partnership, assassins, and mystery can be found throughout the anime. But very quickly we realize how complicated this anime can become. What is the secret organization that hunts for both of them? Why are they both trained assassins, but have no past? If you love a gripping mystery thriller, then Noir is for you.

Noir Trailer:


1. Black Bullet

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Apr 8, 2014 to Jul 1, 2014

Black Bullet is definitely set in a different world than Gunslinger Girl, but if you enjoyed many of the themes in Gunslinger Girl you will like this. Black Bullet also utilizes the old/young partners fighting crime theme. In this story, young girls who are infected with small amounts of an alien virus known as “Gastrea” gain superhuman abilities. These girls are then assigned partners by the Tendo Civil Security agency called “Initiators” to help and instruct them while they fight monsters.

So while there are not as many guns or mafia members in this anime, you will find plenty of young girls kicking some monster ass. This can get a bit bloody, so be warned. If you enjoyed Gunslinger Girl but wanted a bit more action and a little less emotional drama, then try out Black Bullet. There are plenty of supernatural creatures and sassy attitudes to keep you entertained.

Black Bullet PV:


Final Thoughts

We hope that this list gives you some insight on some anime that are similar in nature to Gunslinger Girl. It is a dark story that makes you crave the tender moments that it has sparingly throughout, but it’s also full of mystery and action. Since Gunslinger Girl, fans have been craving the Girls with Guns genre more and more. If you have more suggestions to add to this list, please let us know. Hopefully either some battleship girls, or disturbing killer boys will satisfy you until we get a season 3 of Gunslinger Girl. (Fingers crossed)

Devan Baird

Writer

Author: Devan Baird

I was the co-founder for the anime convention Swampcon at the University of Florida. Currently living and working in Tokyo as a writer, editor, and video editor. With my daily vlog on everyday life in Tokyo, you can see how the Japanese lifestyle can be completely different from what you expected!

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