Girls with guns is a subgenre of action films and animation that portray a female protagonist engaged in shootouts. The genre typically involves gun-play, stunts and martial arts action.[1]


The 1985 Hong Kong film Yes, Madam, directed by Corey Yuen and starring Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock, was described by film and gender scholar Lisa Funnell as the first "girls with guns" film.[2] Other films of the subgenre were produced until 1994, featuring the likes of Yukari Oshima, Moon Lee, Sharon Yeung and Cynthia Khan. In the early 2000s, films part of what has been called a "girls with guns revival" cycle were produced. They included Martial Angels (2001), The Wesley's Mysterious File (2002) and So Close (2002).[3]


The "girls-with-guns" subgenre has also permeated the anime space. Some examples include Black Lagoon, Bubblegum Crisis,[4] Dirty Pair,[5][6] Gunsmith Cats,[5] Gunslinger Girl,[5] Lycoris Recoil, Noir, Madlax,[7] and El Cazador.[8][9] Other examples of "girls with guns" anime are Masamune Shirow's and Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell and its television adaptation Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex as well as Yasuomi Umetsu's works Kite, Mezzo Forte, Mezzo DSA, and Kite: Liberator.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Hendrix, Grady (3 June 2015). "Kaiju Shakedown: Girls with Guns". Film Comment. Film at Lincoln Center. Retrieved 2021-11-08.
  2. ^ Funnell, Lisa (2013). "Fighting for a Hong Kong/Chinese Female Identity: Michelle Yeoh, Body Performance, and Globalized Action Cinema". In Lent, John; Fitzsimmons, Lorna (eds.). Asian Popular Culture in Transition. London: Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 9781136300974.
  3. ^ Funnell, Lisa (21 May 2014). Warrior Women: Gender, Race, and the Transnational Chinese Action Star. SUNY Press. pp. 70, 172. ISBN 9781438452500.
  4. ^ "Bubblegum Crisis Collection VHS". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  5. ^ a b c "How Many Girls with Guns Anime are There". AnimeNation. 2003-10-23. Archived from the original on 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  6. ^ "Dirty Pair Sub.DVD Boxset 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  7. ^ Wong, A. (March 2005). "Inside Bee Train". Newtype USA: 8–15.
  8. ^ "January 3–10 News". Anime News Service. 2007-01-06. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2007-01-19. Following Noir and Madlax, this El Cazador will be the third installment in a series of what Director Koichi Mashimo has referred to as his girls-with-guns genre trilogy.
  9. ^ Yegulalp, Serdar Yegulalp Serdar Yegulalp is a seasoned technology journalist who has covered anime for nearly a decade our editorial process Serdar. "All of the Best Studio Ghibli Movies From Nausica to Marnie". LiveAbout. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  10. ^ "Justin Sevakis's Review on Kite Liberator". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-01-15.