An Arm and a Leg: After the familicide she barely survived. She gets new prosthetics upon joining the SWA.
Berserk Button: When a terrorist starts hitting Jose this creates a subconscious reminder of her own trauma — Henrietta responds by hitting the man in the jaw with her violin case then killing every terrorist in the apartment, despite direct orders from Jose not to act until they'd spotted their target.
During the battle at Turin Nuclear Power Plant, Henrietta had memories of her own trauma triggered after facing an enemy wearing a ski mask—after she's already killed the terrorist and Jose is the only one left near her.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Henrietta has a face like dip whenever her handler Jose pays attention to someone other than herself.
A significant representative scene from the first series of the anime: Marco is supervising Henrietta and Angelica on the shooting range. Jose arrives - but does not immediately speak to Henrietta, instead greeting Marco and complimenting Angelica on her improving accuracy. Henrietta watches the conversation - and praise - with a silent scowl, and then starts deliberately throwing off her aim to falsely suggest that her own technique is poor. She thus gets rewarded with private tuition with Jose all afternoon!
Emotionless Girl: Inflicted on Henrietta at a later stage when she is reconditioned after her Heroic BSOD following the battle in St. Mark's Campanile. The process 'resets her to factory settings', so to speak, wiping her memories and reducing her to a robotic personality. It also catapults her handler miles beyond the Despair Event Horizon.
Eye Scream: She and Jose die by shooting each other in the eye, after Henrietta accidentally shoots Jose during a rampage triggered by memories of her assault.
Heroic BSOD: During the battle in St. Mark's Campanile the presence of balaclavaed GIS troopers brings back memories of her assault. It happens again during the nuclear plant attack with serious consequences for herself and Jose.
Yandere: She adores her handler, and his generous treatment of her. She cannot abide a world where Jose has no affection for her... and would destroy them both rather than endure it. Must be part of why Jose finds it increasingly difficult to placate her affections, at least until he re-conditions her.
An Arm and a Leg: Both of each, actually; her limbs were amputated and replaced with prosthetics after her parents signed her to the SWA for her birthday.
Badass Longcoat: As seen in the image provided, this is part of her wardrobe; whenever worn, it's over her general sweatshirt/khaki pants attire.
Bad Dreams: For all of her bouncy demeanor, Rico has a paralyzing, mortal terror of losing the gift of movement that the Agency has given her, and has nightmares about it, to the point where she checks her mobility regularly, if not daily, as revealed in chapter 2. She willingly tolerates the shit Jean (at first) and the Agency put her through for a reason, after all.
Ill Girl: Before the Agency took custody of her, she was a fairly extreme example. She had spent pretty much her entire life in the hospital, and her parents had no problems whatsoever with dumping her into the Agency's hands.
Indy Hat Roll: Done side-by-side with Henrietta during the Turin arc. And used some She-Fu against Dante later on.
Meaningful Name: There has been much speculation in fandom (no Word of God yet) whether Jean named Rico after the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations act (the "nuclear option" in US anti-mafia law, itself named after the title character in the gangster classic Little Caesar). By his background, he'd certainly know about it (military police, son of a lawyer). That it's a male variant of his dead sister's name makes it even more appropriate.
Parental Abandonment: Her parents basically abandoned her in the hospital due to her lifelong illness, although they apparently come to visit her at the Agency on occasion.
Plucky Girl: Apparently guileless, Rico has a bright, sunny, genial and bubbly disposition that nothing can seem to dull. Arguably The Pollyanna given that she has a harsh handler, but unlike the classic Pollyanna the entire universe is not conspiring to make Rico's life a misery, and she enjoys friends and many benefits in her Agency life, too.
Yu posted a series of images on his Twitpic account imagining the cyborgs as characters in THE iDOLM@STER; Rico's performance stats were indifferent, but her character bar was off the charts!
Put On A Boat: Lives out the last year of her life on a boat with Claes and the remaining 2nd gen Cyborgs.
Shorttank: While Rico's personality is well away from that of a tomboy (cf. Plucky Girl above), neither can she be said to be especially feminine. She has a boy's name, a permanent cropped haircut, and a wardrobe consisting entirely of sweatshirts, jerseys and trousers.
This is really a reflection of her handler, who treats Rico in a utilitarian way — partially to not get attached to her since she'll die sooner or later.
Of course, then there's her smile when she's about to shoot Emilio, even though she doesn't want to kill him (but she's being forced to, given that he walked in on her just as she was walking out of the room where she had assassinated her actual target).
Adrenaline Makeover: Justified as it reflects Triela's changing attitude towards her handler. She starts the series wearing frumpy clothes when she thinks Hilshire is indifferent to her, changes to Badass in a Nice Suit when he starts treating her as his police partner, and ends up in a schoolgirl-like skirt reflecting her eventual role as his surrogate daughter.
An Arm and a Leg: Happens to put her out of the fight very early in the Turin nuclear plant incident, as the terrorists are expecting to be attacked by cyborgs and so are armed with anti-tank rifles.
Antagonist in Mourning: Although most likely never taught the philosophical and spiritual side of Martial Arts in her training, Triela solemnly and sadly returned Pinocchio's treasured key-ring to him after slaying him in single combat, paying her final respects to a fellow warrior.
Badass in a Nice Suit: Hilshire starts dressing Triela in suits once he starts thinking of her as his police partner. Though she now prefers more feminine clothes, Triela continues to wear a tie and Waistcoat of Style even when geared up to assault terrorist strongholds.
Better To Die Than Be Reconditioned: Expresses to Hilshire that she'd rather die than have him see her like that, in part because she doesn't want him to have any more regrets than he already does about the SWA.
Hilshire's reaction, "Is that your will?" (The document, Japanese doesn't have the double meaning). Triela, "Yes it's a will."
Blood Knight: Increasingly as she's feeling her death coming close, and to the distress of Hilshire who wants her to live as long as possible. Triela says that the cyborgs were created to fight, but she fights to show she is alive.
Triela originates from Tunisia, lending greater support to mixed ethnicity.
Emotionless Girl: Not to the extent of, say, Beatrice, but the conditioning has heavily stunted her emotions just like all the other girls. When Angelica dies, Triela is surprised by how little she is affected.
The Evils of Free Will: In her introductory episode, Triela complains that Hilshire doesn't have a clearly defined role for her like the other girls have with their handlers. "It would be so easy if the conditioning decided everything."
Eye Scream: Gets her right eye punctured with a car key by Pinocchio in the final episode of Il Teatrino. Does it stop her from killing him? Hell no. And she gets better in the same episode.
Fallen Princess: Triela, though in her case she's pulled herself up from even further down. Most of the adults at the agency call her "the princess", half in jest half in respect. The title of her image song is "Brown Snow White", which is probably not entirely about her skin, or her first seven bears.
Fluffy the Terrible: When Triela was learning hand-to-hand fighting with the GIS, she picked up a nickname. What did the Special Forces call the little killing machine? Lepretto (roughly "bunny") after a child's doll that shares her Twin Tails.
Leading to a Crowning Moment of Cuteness when Triela runs into those GIS troopers the following year — they immediately start rubbing her "bunny ears" for luck. Cue Luminescent Blush.
Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Triela owns a number of bears, but these are an austere ornamental collection rather than a soft pile of fuzzy teddies to cuddle. The severe names she gives them (after Roman Emperors) is remarked on by other characters.
She's shown cuddling and dressing them up, but only after she realized that the bears were in fact signs of Hilshire's affection for her, not just something given to shut her up at Christmas.
Heroic BSOD: After losing to Pinocchio in hand-to-hand combat, especially since she was the one who pressured Hilshire into charging in in the first place.
Honorary Uncle: She refers to Mario Bossi as "uncle Mario" in later episodes (both to her bear Augustus and internally). Much the same, Rachelle Belleut is "mama"; she's never used "papa" even in her mind, likely due to her conflicting feelings towards the most obvious candidate for the title.
Iconic Item: Winchester 1897 Trench Gun (with bayonet); after losing to Pinochio Triela refused Hilshire's suggestion that she upgrade to a modern shotgun. Although Triela doesn't know why she feels more comfortable with this gun, a flashback shows she got the weapon from Hilshire and it was used by Mario Bossi in her rescue in Amsterdam.
Ignored Epiphany: When first hunting for Pinocchio, Triela is told to read the fairy tale story by her handler. Her reaction to reading about a "mechanical" thing wanting to be human and to please his "father"? "What a stupid story!"
It Is Not Your Time: Triela has a near-death experience after sustaining a head injury during the battle for the nuclear plant. She encounters Rachelle's spirit and is excited to meet her 'mother', but Rachelle shuts a door on Triela and she's pulled back to consciousness. Also notable, Triela was wearing a one-piece sun dress. Turns into a Hope Spot, as the next time we see her, Triela and Hilshire have fatal injuries.
The Lancer: Having received minimal conditioning or interaction from Hilshire, Triela is the most independent and outspoken of the girls, and directly disobeys her handler when she lets Mario Bossi go so he can see his daughter. Ironically this causes Hilshire (who secretly witnessed this) to start seeing her as his partner as opposed to a cyborg killer or a little girl — neither of whom he knows how to relate to.
Even better, when she calls the detectives investigating Elsa's death to tell them that Henrietta and Jose have suddenly gone off to Sicily. "Oh, and this phone is probably bugged."
Last Stand: Triela is crippled early in the nuclear plant attack. She sends Rico and Henrietta on, and waits for the mopping-up team.
Snuff Film: Poor Triela was taken from her home in Tunisia to Amsterdam by a child sex trafficking ring, where she was tortured and possibly raped on camera before being rescued by Hilshire (then with Europol). He brought Triela to the Agency to treat her traumatic injuries... only for them to turn her into a brainwashed cyborg instead.
Taking the Bullet: Does the literal version for Roberta during vol 7 of the manga. Later she takes a smoke grenade to the head while shielding Beatrice. She survives both, as does Roberta (though still wounded). Beatrice however...
Take Up My Sword: When she's wounded during the Turin attack, she tells Rico to look after the other girls. Hilshire also believes that Rachelle's courage was somehow passed on to Triela with her death.
Teen Genius: Not as widely read or philosophical as her roommate Claes. She still has learned a LOT of history, writes startlingly good essays, and speaks at least three languages well enough to translate. In addition to lock-picking, combat medicine etc...
Together in Death: Marco finds Triela and Hilshire dead with their arms around each other.
Call to Agriculture: She no longer fights (unless strictly necessary, like when she was used as a Trojan Prisoner), so Claes has a lot more free time than the other cyborgs - she likes to spend her time planting vegetables.
Cultured Warrior: She inherited a library from her former handler and has a bookish air. Also, her father was an university professor.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Claes is restricted to the compound, has no handler to lean on, and is used for brutal experiments by the Agency, but she neither tolerates sympathy from the other girls nor puts up with them angsting over their own situations.
Good Thing You Can Heal: Her role as the cybernetics test bed frequently requires her to stress her body past the breaking point. Then they fix her up and order her to break herself again.
The Glasses Come Off: Literally! Her former handler instructed her to be calm and composed while wearing her glasses, so she has to actually remove her glasses in order to remove the mental block and let her fight.
Loners Are Freaks: Averted. Claes can be coldly pragmatic and prefers it when everyone goes off on missions and leaves her alone, but she does care about her friends; she simply prefers to socialise on her own terms.
Meganekko: Her glasses are sort of a memento of her handler, who she can't remember.
Punch Clock Hero: Prior to the death of her handler, Claes compartmentalized her life thoroughly — fighting for the Agency and leisure time spent with her handler were hermetically sealed from one another and she would never let the aspects of one intrude in on the other.
Put on a Bus Put on a boat: Lives out the last years of her life on a boat with Rico and the remaining 2nd gen Cyborgs. It isn't said how long she lives (every day is much the same to her), but she is the last survivor of the first gens.
Technical Pacifist: While on a mission with Petra, Claes finds herself unable to pull the trigger of her firearm as a result of the subconsciously-remembered suggestion from her deceased handler that she be "gentle Claes". This means Claes has to stay at the SWA compound while her fellow cyborgs go to attack the Turin Nuclear Plant.
Tested On Humans: After Raballo's death makes her unsuitable for normal combat operations, Claes literally becomes the Technology Department's test bed, outfitted with and testing each new iteration of cybernetics.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Claes goes catatonic after learning of her handler's death and loses memory of him, although it's uncertain whether that is because of her 'systems failure' or if the Agency re-conditioned her to make her operable again.
Unable to Cry: Whenever Claes sees something that subconsciously reminds her of her dead handler, who's been wiped from her memory.
Wise Beyond Their Years: How many twelve year-old girls do you know with an advanced knowledge of Balzac? She also carries herself primly.
Big Friendly Dog: Before being run down by her father and transformed into Angelica, Angelina's only friend was her amiable dog Perro.
Death by Adaptation: Not exactly true due to the series nature but Angelica is implied to have died at the end of the first anime, far earlier than her death in the manga.
Dojikko: Trips often enough in missions and in training, likely due to her not adjusting well to her implants or losing control over her enhanced body.
Flawed Prototype: Was the first cyborg to be put into action, and also the first to show the symptoms of memory loss. Later cyborgs are able to last longer and have better control over their implants, but Angelica is an unspoken reminder of how all cyborgs who aren't killed in action will end up.
Ill Girl: Gets injured in the anime and takes the brunt of a large explosion in the manga, she never fully recovers from either. Much is also made of her steadily decline from conditioning poisoning before these events.
They can always put her body back together; thing is, the drugs required are slowly destroying her mind.
Parental Neglect: Angelica's handler, Marco, is initially very close to his cyborg. However, he grows increasingly distant and resentful as conditioning problems advance and he considers that the little girl he was introduced to has already died. Really not helped by how the poor girl's brainwashing actually destroyed the personality that he was so fond of.
Throw the Dog a Bone: At least she wasn't around to witness the Hell on Earth the Agency was about to experience...
Petrushka AKA Petra (formerly Elisabeta)
Anguished Declaration of Love: Happens literally — Alessandro is convinced her declarations of love are simply a result of her conditioning. To prove otherwise Petrushka slaps her handler and insults him, an act that makes her physically ill from the strain of fighting the conditioning that prevents her from harming him.
Anti-Hero: Somewhere between Type III and Type V; she's the least moral of the cyborgs, though that's just because Sandro passed quite a few vices on to her.
On the other hand, she's the only girl who appears to have doubts about the morality of their methods (torturing prisoners that is, not brainwashing girls like herself)
Sandro: You looked so cute, all curled up like a cat.
Dream Ballet: There is a dream-sequence where Petrushka witnesses her pre-cyborg self (aspiring ballerina Elisabeta) practice her dancing.
Driven to Suicide: Having been irradiated during Chernobyl disaster when she was a child, Elisabeta developed cancer in her leg. Then she was sent to Italy for treatment and had said leg amputated, which destroyed her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. She throws herself off a roof, but doesn't die; this however brings her to the Agency's attention.
Meaningful Name: Petrushka is the name of a puppet used in Russian theatre - thus reflecting both the character's origins as a Russian ballerina, and her status as an Agency cyborg.
Ms. Fanservice: A frequent accusation thrown at her is that, having been converted into a cyborg at a significantly older age than most of the earlier girls, she was intended purely as this. Truth is, we've actually seen more nudity of Triela and underwear shots of the other girls than we ever have of Petrushka. This is something that gets talked up by Petrushka's Hatedom more than anything else.
Neural Implanting: When Petra first wakes up at the Agency she can speak Italian and has a detailed knowledge of firearms.
Secretly Dying: Leukemia. Inverted in that she's the one that doesn't know, but the staff and her handler do.
Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: She does literally have green eyes and red hair! Petrushka also does fulfil the further characteristics of the archetype — she is much more acquainted with hand-to-hand combat than the other cyborgs, and sometimes loses her temper with her handler (Fiery Redhead) and becomes a Love Interest (Green Eyes).
Teacher/Student Romance: Petrushka falls in love with her handler Alessandro, who after initially resisting her increasingly obvious affection (incorrectly believing her to be driven by cyborg conditioning and not wanting to take advantage of her), eventually acknowledges her feelings to be real and genuine and forms a relationship with her. This is not a Mentor Ship because the pairing is not implicit but actually occurs.
Anyone Can Die: After Angelica's death, we were led to believe that Beatrice was becoming an Ascended Extra to replace her. Beatrice started to make several more appearances where previously she had barely featured... then an anti-material gun pits her like an olive. And she's vaporised by a cruise missile.
Emotionless Girl: Beatrice says she's never felt moved enough to smile, and is curious about how the other girls seem to feel happiness or fear so easily.
Gimmick: In the sense of a defining trait, before beliefs, personality or appearance Beatrice was distinguished chiefly by her abilities as a bomb-sniffer, being able to literally smell traces of explosive.
Heroic Sacrifice: The one time Beatrice raises her voice beyond a flat monotone is her scream at Triela to hit the deck as she, mortally wounded, heaves an imminently-detonating warhead out of a window, and herself along with it.
Odd Couple: Beatrice is flat and almost monosyllabic, while by contrast her handler is effervescent and talkative.
Satellite Character: Given less focus than the girls talked about above, however she has a somewhat larger role in the second season of the anime.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most of the characters in Gunslinger Girl have fairly conservative hair colour arranged in realistic styles (Triela's body-length pigtails notwithstanding) - but despite being in all other respects an unexpressive character, Beatrice has mauve hair.
Mauve is a dull colour, which might suit her lack of personality.
Ascended Extra: In the manga Elsa and Lauro are only shown in a couple of panels, and we never know them as characters. In the anime an episode is devoted to their fratello, plus a flashback scene in a later episode which shows their deaths.
Asshole Victim: While Lauro was technically doing his job, the cold treatment he gives to Elsa, especially in contrast to how the other handlers treated their girls, made him a victim of this trope.
Ice Queen: Elsa has a cold demeanour which only changes when she's reacting to her handler or showing contempt for her fellow cyborgs.
The Jerk Ass & The Woobie: Lauro orders Elsa off her rifle moments before a hit because she's distracted by the warm interaction of the Jose/Henrietta fratello. Lauro ignores her pleas to be allowed to continue the mission, and when he views Elsa's Heroic BSOD afterwards says only, "Useless."
Loners Are Freaks: Elsa spurns the friendship of the other girls, living alone in a room where the only extraneous object is a photograph of her handler. The photo is not even a proper portrait, showing only a partial reflection of Lauro in a rearview mirror.
Only One Name: Averted as Elsa is the only cyborg with a full name, and not a Gender-Blender Name either. Presumably this is because Lauro isn't troubled by the idea of turning little girls into killers as he doesn't think of Elsa as human.
This really illustrates Lauro's Parental Neglect - even though Elsa has a fuller name, there's even less behind it. Lauro simply had to call her something and the first thing that came to his head when he stopped to think about it was the name of the park he was walking through at the time. Elsa's name is precious to the poor girl - in addition to being a "gift" from her handler, it's the keystone that maintains her very sense of self and describes her as a person, not a latterday golem, whose struggles have meaning. The realisation that that self is a dismissive and indifferent mere token destroys her, literally.
Shadow Archetype: To the other cyborgs, showing what could happen if a girl's obsession with their handler gets out of control.
What Measure Is A Cyborg: Lauro despises handlers who show affection to their cyborgs, but even so makes the effort to know Jose better, as he believes everyone has some likeable qualities. As Lauro doesn't regard Elsa as a person however, he simply doesn't bother in her case.
Yandere: Due to her heavy conditioning Elsa has become obsessed with Lauro, and her only reason for existing is to serve him.
Jose Croce (Henrietta's handler)
Voiced by:Hidenobu Kiuchi (Gunslinger Girl) Kozo Mito (Il Teatrino) (JP), John Burgmeier (EN)
Anti-Hero: Type V around most people, and also Henrietta after his crossing of the Despair Event Horizon. Before that Henrietta saw him as nice enough to be Type IV at worst.
Mercy Kill: He has Henrietta shoot him after she accidentally fragged him during her rampage at the nuclear plant. As she does so, he puts one in her eye. They both die instantly.
Morality Pet: Given the affection Jose showers on Henrietta, it's easy to forget that he too is a ruthless anti-terrorist operative, engaged in a personal Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Lampshaded in a scene where a female politician crippled by a bomb comments on how frightening Jose seems. Henrietta naturally protests that he's "the kindest man in all of Italy!" The politician wisely lets the matter drop.
New Roman Legions: Was an officer in the Carabinieri, stationed with the Tuscania Regiment.
Nominal Hero: Supposedly the most decent of the SWA handlers; this turns out to be a facade once Henrietta's constant need for affection starts to wear on him.
Sanity Slippage: Following the tower strike, where he lost an eye to the very same guy that had already killed his parents, his sister, and his brother's lover in one fell swoop. As memories of Enrica torment him and the Agency prepares to reset Henrietta to factory settings, he finally jumps over the Despair Event Horizon.
Spanner in the Works: He and his brother try to go out exactly the same way: they ordered their own cyborgs to do them in. In the case of Rico and Jean, though, Jean used that order to pull a Thanatos Gambit on Dante and he ends up alive, unlike poor Jose.
Taking You with Me: Following that shot to the chest, he asks Henrietta to put one through his head right before putting his own gun to her eye. They proceed to put each other out of their misery.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Initially Jose appears to be a model for handlers who treat their cyborgs kindly and compassionately; however, it is later revealed that he finds being nice to his cyborg a draining experience and that keeping her happy and placated is an increasingly troublesome act. Eventually he becomes emotionally exhausted, and can't muster any opposing argument when the Agency wants to "reset" Henrietta, wiping out her memories and personality (essentially destroying all that distinguished the girl he's cared for for years), to reprogram her with new combat skills. Thereafter Jose, no longer keeping up a pretense of being mellow, starts flat-out ignoring her.
Anti-Hero: A Type V with a few Type IV moments, but on the whole he is a very bad man. Were he not faced with the extraordinarily villainous Giacomo Dante, he might even qualify as a Villain Protagonist. He is manipulative, violent and single-mindedly pursues revenge no matter how many lives he destroys in the process.
Defrosting Ice King: Jean, he starts off by far the coldest handler but by the end of the second anime season finally seems to have warmed up to Rico.
Rico is precious to Jean (she's the instrument of his vengeance). Jean is just really crappy at nurturing and softer feelings and stuff like that. This causes problems, recently Jean tries to give a rousing speech to Rico about getting Dante for him, even if it kills her. Rico's reaction is totally uncomprehending; if you haven't taught someone emotions, you really can't appeal to them.
While in the Carabinieri Jean was pursued by female subordinate Sophia Durante, who fell in Love at First Sight with the handsome aloof officer despite his warning that he was a cold fish. Her persistance breaks through his reserve and they agree to get married — her subsequent death in the same terrorist attack that kills Jean's sister no doubt reinforces his belief that it's better to go through life as a ruthless unfeeling bastard.
In the Distant Finale he has mellowed considerably, and is married (presumably to his sister's equally vengeance-worn friend). He even tells his subordinates to send Hugo a buck for his Dante Documentary. He also keeps a photo of Rico on his desk.
Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Has no qualms about using it himself, if there is any chance of gaining useful info, or sometimes when he's just extra angry. Usually delegates this to Rico, who will cheerfully (though not maliciously) take care of it.
Jerkass Façade: Jean maintains a cold demeanor towards his cyborg Rico, and hits her whenever she doesn't perform to standard. Seeing as the cyborgs are all going to die before adulthood as a result of their conditioning, he has good reason not to get too attached, especially since Jean still feels the loss of his sister Enrica. On rare occasions, however, this façade cracks, like when Rico is injured and falls into the sea during a battle and Jean desperately dives in to save her.
Jerkass Woobie: Jean might actually feed off of the resentment directed his way to some extent - the strained atmosphere removing comfort and understanding away from him, and stoking up frustrations in himself, and so strengthening and keeping him by default in the hard-set flinty face that he's set to the world.
Knight Templar: Has been one pretty much since birth, having his family killed only increased his fanaticism.
Make It Look Like an Accident: Implied to have had Raballo murdered and disguised it as a terrorist attack, when Raballo tried to expose (and presumably shut down) the SWA.
New Roman Legions: Was an officer in the Carabinieri, stationed with the Tuscania Regiment.
Redemption Equals Death: Right before Turin, he feels guilty about betraying Raballo to the Agency and orders Rico to kill him when Dante tries using him as a Human Shield. Following this Thanatos Gambit, he apologizes to Rico and tells her to move on. However, in chapter 95, he's confirmed to be alive, but amnesiac regarding Rico.
Shoot the Hostage: Giacoma tries to use Jean as a shield. Jean's response? He orders Rico to shoot through him anyway with an anti-material rifle.
Thanatos Gambit: When Dante tries using him as a shield, Jean pulls one on him, using Rico for his gambit.
Would Hit a Girl: You bet, and the woman doesn't have to be the SWA's quarry either—he's smacked Rico hard enough to draw blood, and gave Priscilla a shiner during hand-to-hand sparring. To be fair to him, though, he doesn't enjoy hitting them, and he never hit his fiance (though he did throw an orange in her face, it made sense in context).
The Atoner: Hilshire clearly feels guilty over Rachelle Belleut's death in their bungled raid in Amsterdam, and goes far beyond the call of duty to protect the girl she died to save in an effort to make her Heroic Sacrifice mean something.
Last Name Basis: Hilshire is never called 'Victor' by the other handlers; Triela doesn't even know his first name until Roberta Guellfi mentions it.
Morality Chain: Inverted. He's a good cop who's forced to carry out assassinations because becoming Triela's handler was the only way to protect her.
Naïve Newcomer: At Europol Hartmann is kept on liaison work because he's believed to be too sensitive and idealistic for field operations.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You've got this girl who's traumatised and mutilated from a snuff film, and you've heard of an agency in Italy that can make her all better.
Nom de Guerre: His real surname is Hartmann; Hilshire is a fake identity given when he joined the Agency.
You Know Too Much: During a flashback to how he ended up with the agency; when Hartmann discovers that Triela has been turned into a cyborg killer, he threatens to blow the whistle on the Agency, Jean gives him the choice of either becoming Triela's handler, or becoming a corpse and abandoning Triela to an unknown fate.
Marco Toni (Angelica's handler)
Voiced by: Norihiro Inoue (Gunslinger Girl), Kazuki Yao (Il Teatrino) (JP), Jim Foronda (EN)
The Bus Came Back: Marco drops out of the story after Angelica's death, but he reappears five volumes later. This is not a case for shouting out He's Back excitedly, partially because he was never the central hero but also because his return to active service is treated in a very low-key, almost incidental way.
New Roman Legions: Marco was with the Polizia di Stato's Criminal Police Central Directorate, plus he had combat experience with NOCS.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Flashbacks reveal that Marco was a good handler to Angelica (of the friendly brother type) but when she starts losing her memory he becomes resentful and indifferent. He does show moments of concern, but it isn't until his Heel Realisation that Marco starts trying to comfort Angelica in her final days. Later when Sandro asks for advise handling the cyborgs, Marco can only warn him against getting attached to them in the first place.
Jerkass Façade: Raballo is a gruff veteran embittered over the loss of his leg in a meaningless accident, who's only training Claes so he can get back into the Carabinieri. He's curt towards her and strikes people on a couple of occasions (not without cause) but in the end is the only one who makes an active step towards trying to stop what's being done to the girls.
Heroes Want Redheads: Averted. Alessandro actively dislikes redheads (after his redheaded mentor ran out on him) and is frustrated when his cyborg arrives with a luscious scarlet mantle. It's assumed the agency put red hair on Petra to spite him.
Honey Trap: Sandro's job was to seduce female radicals (or women related to radicals) which has given him a Handsome Lech reputation among his colleagues.
Nietzsche Wannabe: Sandro is specifically recruited from Intelligence because his morals will be more flexible than the military and police types previously recruited as handlers (e.g. police and soldiers are supposed to protect women and children, whereas spies are more likely to be Manipulative Bastards). He has no discernable patriotism or sense of duty. He loves to watch people, not interact with them. However, perhaps because of that there are several instances where he gives bad guys every opportunity to surrender and tries to talk them down.
Irony: Caterina is the one responsible for Marco (a handler with the Agency) getting together with his girlfriend Patricia.
Shell-Shocked Senior: Franco no longer believes in terrorist causes; only the fervour of his partner keeps him going.
The Stoic: Franco. Franca often jibes him about it.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The pair try to avoid placing bombs where children will be hurt, and Franca manages to stop Pino from offing a young girl, never mind that said girl had been snooping on them at the worst possible moments lately.
You Killed My Father: Caterina's father dies in prison under suspicious circumstances when she appeals his conviction. This is what caused her to become a terrorist.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Being rescued and mentored by Cristiano since a young age has fostered Pinacchio's fanatical devotion to the man; he kills mostly to please Cristiano ("Because I am a good boy") and sulks when Christiano berates him for failing to take down Triela completely.
Even Evil Has Standards: Orders his men not to commit violence in sight of art galleries or churches — as they're in Florence his underling gripes that it doesn't leave much for them to attack.
Like a Son to Me: Averted; from the way he raised and treated Pinocchio everyone close to him can see that Cristiano thinks of Pinocchio with parental affections but Cristiano isn't aware of it until at least two people point it out to him (and this is when the SWA is already very close to his door). Pinocchio's death at the hand of the agency motivates a crippled Cristiano to summon Giacomo Dante back to Italy; and having Pinocchio's memento returned to him at the end of the series finally persuades Cristiano to give the agency the name of the mastermind behind Croce bombing affair.
Meaningful Name: Girolamo Savonarola was a 15th Century Dominican friar who preached against the corruption and immorality of the established order, and was executed for it.
Parental Substitute: Raises Pinocchio as a child assassin, but by default he becomes a surrogate son.
Revenge: Hires Dante to destroy the SWA, whose cyborgs killed Pinocchio, Franco and Franca.
The Man Behind the Man: He was the one who broke Dante out of captivity to kill the Croce family in the first place. Later, he finances Dante's operation to destroy the SWA.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Cristiano appears to accept his fate when Padania betrays him to the police, as someone has to pay the price for their recent failures at the hands of the SWA. When Pinocchio refuses to leave his side, Cristiano decides to flee the country to save Pinocchio's life. Unfortunately that decision comes too late as the Agency is already moving in for the kill.
Batman Gambit: His men seize the Belltower of St. Marks to demand the release of a terrorist leader — it turns out Dante is actually several miles away with an anti-material rifle and the detonator for a cruise missile, waiting to ambush the SWA when they attack.
Bond Villain Stupidity: If he had been present when Jose and Henrietta killed each other, he might have figured out that the best way to get himself killed would be to use a handler as a Human Shield and just gagged Jean after capturing him.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Considering he's the first of the SWA's enemies to use such things as bait-and-switch traps and anti-materiel weaponry...
Karmic Death: Gets shot by his own 20 mm rifle (Rico using it) and falls down into the power plant's yard. Then dies in front of of the young soldier woman who was the only survivor of the initial attack. In her youth, she was Enrica's soccer girlfriend.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Enrica does not react well to Sophia's arrival on the scene, decrying Jean's fiancée as an interloper and making every effort to be an ass to her.
Ghostly Goals: In death, Enrica's soul has been distilled down to a core of bitter, resentful, vengeful spite. Her ghost is a cold dagger pricking at her brothers to accomplish the Unfinished Business of ending her killer, Dante. A weak Type B - she cannot destroy Dante herself but relentlessly drives others to do so.
Harp of Femininity: Enrica played the harp and was accomplished enough to win competitions. This also serves to illustrate her Big Brother Worship because this image of serenity (and the fact that she's only adolescent) conflicts with her precocious desire to follow Jose into the Carabineri.
Parental Neglect: With middle-aged career parents and adult brothers away with the Carabinieri, Enrica has to clean, cook, and manage her own way around the family home.
Posthumous Character: Enrica is long dead when the manga starts, and her life is detailed entirely through later flashbacks and spectral visitations.
Purity Personified: Whenever Jose has a flashback memory of Enrica, she's portrayed as the personification of innocence. When the manga starts to cover Enrica's backstory, she's shown to be a lot more flawed and human.
All Love Is Unrequited: Although they do consumate their relationship, Hilshire forgoes a life of happiness with Roberta because he has sworn to protect Triela. In the Distant Finale, there is no sign she has ever married.
My Beloved Smother: To a minor degree — Roberta makes Speranza photograph her lunch to make sure she's eating properly, as well as checking that a student who shows an interest is who he says he is. The latter is justified given Roberta's past as a target of terrorists.
Parental Substitute: A literal version when she brings Triela's eggs to term, giving birth to Speranza whom Roberta raises as her own daughter.
Dramatic Irony: Triela's cyberization was due to a snuff film; Speranza's "birth" as an actress came from an indie film project.
Generation Xerox: The young Speranza has adopted Rico's haircut, Claes' glasses, Henrietta's Luminescent Blush, and Triela's dress sense (plus her tendency to hook up with older German men). She's also studying medicine as per Rachelle Belleut, the doctor Triela mistakenly assumed was her mother. However ten years later Speranza is shown to be going her own way as an actress.
Girl not appearing in the Doc: Her first on-camera appearance is for Hugo's Kickstart-style fund-raiser for his documentary. The subject of the documentary? Giacomo Dante.
Has Two Mommies: With a variation; she's Triela's biological daughter, but was carried to term by Roberta Guellfi.
New Child Left Behind: A different take on this trope. Hilshire leaves Roberta Guellfi a letter explaining he had some of Triela's eggs stored. Roberta carries the eggs to term, but it's left unanswered whether Hilshire or some anonymous donor provided the sperm.
The Promise: Once Triela had been turned into a cyborg, her limited lifespan as a brainwashed killer made it impossible for Hilshire to keep his promise to Rachelle Belleut, but he is able to ensure Triela's daughter will have the life she never could.