Many years ago, a boy named Pinocchio was sent to kill someone, and although he succeeded, he was also forced to kill a young girl who had seen the immediate aftermath of what happened. Back in the present, an older Pinocchio sets out from his home in the town of Montalcino and briefly speaks with a young neighborhood girl named Aurora before boarding a bus headed towards Genova. There, he completes a hit job and, as he’s waiting for his contact, he recalls a scene from his past where a man lying on a car roof wanted him to repay a debt and had chided him for making excuses after Pinocchio had pointed out that he was still only a kid. When his contact arrives to trade cars and to take the dead body that Pinocchio has stashed in the trunk, the man lectures Pinocchio about being on top of the Mercedes due to how it’s a girl’s name – he should be respecting her. Pinocchio, however, admits that he’s not good with girls.
Sometime afterwards, Pinocchio meets with Cristiano and learns about more work that’s coming soon. Cristiano then gathers with the rest of the Milano Group to discuss what to do and to talk about a bombing plan with Franco and Franca. The pair are sent to meet up with Pinocchio in Montalcino, and while Pinocchio is showing Franca where to park the car, Franco heads inside to inspect Pinocchio’s house and hides a gun in the bathroom. Franca meanwhile reveals to Pinocchio that Franco is her partner, bodyguard, and bomb-making teacher, but they aren’t related by blood. She also comments on Pinocchio’s interesting name and compares Cristiano to Geppetto. While Franca showers, Franco tells Pinocchio about the bridge that’s their target, and in discussing Pinocchio’s specialty of using knives, Franco points a gun at him to test him. Pinocchio talks tough and backs it up by making the observation that Franco has an old wound on his left leg, so Franco backs off. On the way back from the store a little while later, Pinocchio runs into Aurora and asks her to stop following him around since it’s troublesome. He also thinks that her being with him won’t do any good because he’s the mischievous boy Pinocchio.
After eating, Franca and Franco show Pinocchio a CG rendered picture of their target – the Messina Bridge that has yet to be completed. This is something that the North is paying for it, but it’s certain people in the South who are the ones benefiting. Franca intends to plant the bomb herself because she doesn’t want unnecessary people to get involved, and when Pinocchio asks, she reveals that she doesn’t approve of killing any more than needed. This leads to Pinocchio commenting to Franco, as the two take out the Pinocchio’s hidden cache of weapons, about how nice Franca is compared to other terrorists. Franco feels that Franca isn’t a normal terrorist, and for him, she gives him the purpose he lost. Meanwhile, at an Agency shooting range, Hilshire and Marco talk about Angelica’s recovery and their upcoming mission that will take Marco and Angelica to Milan while Hilshire and Triela head to Montalcino.
Huh, the ED changed this week, but not the song itself – only the singer. Last week it was sung by Tada Aoi, but this week it was Lia. They match up surprisingly well when you play them together, but I much prefer Lia’s version.
Anyway, this episode had the beginning of the Pinocchio arc, so there was very little of the girls and a lot of, well, Pinocchio. They didn’t follow the manga exactly, but it was fairly close, covering all of chapter 13 and part of 14. In particular though, the anime appears to be establishing stronger relationships between Pinocchio and Cristiano and also between Franco and Franca. I see that as a good thing, but it remains to be seen if they add anything else.
Still, if you didn’t like the first episode, I doubt there’s anything in this episode that’ll change your mind. I think it’s pretty much assured that some of the production aspects won’t ever improve to as good as they were for the first series, and I’m personally just trying to view this as a separate entity so that I don’t have to draw comparisons all the time. In that sense, this hasn’t been a bad show so far, though it also hasn’t really shined yet. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the later episodes.