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Petrushka
Petrushka (manga)
Kanji ペトルーシュカ
Romanji Petorūshuka
Alias Petra
Information
Race Cyborg
Gender Female
Professional Status
Handler Alessandro Ricci
Personal Status
Status Dead
Debuts
Portrayal

As of Book Six of the Gunslinger Girl manga, Petrushka is the Social Welfare Agency's newest Cyborg, and the first of the improved Second Generation. Prior to her hospitalization in Italy for bone cancer, and subsequent adoption by the SWA, she was a student ballerina at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow Russia [1], and bore the name Elizabeta Baranovskaya. Originally blonde and fair skinned, Petrushka is now a redhead, and one of the few cyborgs whose appearance was entirely designed by engineer Louis Duvalier of the Technology Development Department, after her acting Handler Alessandro Ricci showed little interest in her development [2].

BackgroundEdit

Born in Smolensk, to parents who had emigrated from post-Chernobyl era Belarus, Elizabeta moved with her family to urban Moscow when she was quite young. As a ballerina, she struggled with height issues, and the success of her future career as a dancer was periodically questioned because of this. Stress fractures on her right leg, which developed during the intense practice qualifiers for a production of Swan Lake, caused her to take a brief hiatus for several months, during which time the stirrings of a malignant tumour began. Resuming practice at the Bolshoi Academy some time later, persistent pain in the same leg near the original fracture point lead to a doctor's visit, an MRI, and then the devastating diagnosis of cancer.

Although the original plan was to treat the illness domestically in Moscow, the inevitable amputation that would have resulted prompted the Academy's headmistress, Irina Tolskaya, to seek less primitive therapy options [3] elsewere in the European Union, hopefully allowing Elizabeta to keep her leg and seek an eventual return to professional dance within the year, provided the tumour could be successfully treated. A suitable hospital was found in Italy that offered the groundwork for a six-month cancer treatment [4].

However, the severity of the cancer was worse than expected, and even with the Italian treatment options, amputation became a necessity. When Elizabeta, already heavily depressed, heard of this, she attempted to commit suicide by leaping off the roof of the hospital she was being treated at [5]. Heavily injured, the Social Welfare Agency moved in and acquired her, apparently her parents surrendering their rights to her in exchange for full medical cost coverage by the Italian government [6].

Elizaveta Baranovskaya (エリザヴェート・バラノフスカヤ Erizaveto Baranofusukaya) (Russian: Елизавета Барановская) was a Russian ballerina (the manga states her parents were from Southern Belarus, but later moved to Russia[14] student at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Irradiated as a result of the Chernobyl disaster, she developed a tumor in her leg at sixteen. Sent to Italy for treatment, her leg could not be saved and was amputated. Distraught at her dreams of becoming a ballerina ending, she attempted suicide by jumping off the roof. She was transferred to the SWA and made into a cyborg. Renamed Petrushka (after the Russian puppet of the same name) by her handler Alessandro Ricci, she underwent plastic surgery as part of her new life. Thus she is not naturally redheaded or green-eyed. As Angelica was the prototype for the first-generation cyborgs (Henrietta, Rico, Triela etc.), so Petrushka became the prototype for the second-generation, who, ironically, are shown to be in their mid-to-late teens, while most of the first generation are adolescents. Petrushka also had everything she needed to know about her life at the SWA pre-programmed into her brain: she knew where she was, that she would be trained for combat, and that she "must follow Alessandro's and the Agency's orders without hesitation". This also brought on side effects, such as her throwing up whenever she speaks against Alessandro. Furthermore, the conditioning was milder than that received by the previous generation and this has led her to occasionally question the SWA and its war on terrorism — such as at the time when she overheard Jean torturing a suspect. Petrushka also has dreams of herself of the time she was a ballerina and still practices the moves, even though she cannot recall where she learnt them — nor does she associate herself with the dancing girl in her dreams. At the end of the series she is discovered to have developed leukemia and as a result had to be operated on, from a request from Allesandro her conditioning was reversed and she regained her memories of her past, and decides that even without conditioning she loves Allesandro. In the epilogue of the final volume, it is confirmed by Claes that Petrushka dies of leukemia a little more than a year after the end of the Social Welfare Agency. Petrushka's preferred weapons are the Spectre M4 submachine gun and Taurus PT92 pistol. She briefly appears in episode 5 of Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino as Elizaveta. She was voiced by Brittney Karbowski.

TransformationEdit


Elizabeta Baranovskaya

Petra's only appearance in the anime is in Season Two, as her former self, Elizabeta Baronovskaya.

Given Elizabeta's frequent appearances in public and in the media [7], it was deemed necessary to give her significant facial reconstruction and follicular modifications to mask her original identity underneath a slightly different face and new natural hair colour. This also further differentiates her from the rest of the first generation of cyborgs, because they almost always reused their original face and hair, with just a drastically different haircut to give them a new look.

Also unlike the first generation, Petrushka uses a variety of artificial internal organs, though it isn't made clear which ones, beyond the fact some of her circulatory organs have been replaced [8].

Her Conditioning is also unique when compared to the previous generation, and features slightly different variables than before. Unlike the first generation "gunslinger girls," Petrushka emerges from her post-op slumber already fully knowledgeable of what weapon she'll be using (the Spectre M4 SMG), down to it's exact weight and catalogue specs, and why it's a tool of her trade [9], whereas Henrietta (following her conditioning) for example, only felt a instinctive reassurance at being part of the SWA, and required handgun training immediately thereafter [10].

The second-nature urge to protect her Handler, interestingly enough, is still a foremost concern, but is somehow less refined in that Petrushka is so heavily mentally regulated on the topic, that should she even attempt to speak badly of Alessandro, or try to insult him (as he jokingly persuaded her to do, asking her to try calling him a "pezzo di merda" or "piece of s---") she suffers from immediately lightheadedness, and begins to vomit, much to Alessandro's chagrin [11]. He then phones the Technology Development Department, almost like a disappointed consumer needing troubleshooting advice, and is told to be patient while she recovers from her surgical procedures and adjusts to her new reality [12].

Petrushka's role in the continuing sagaEdit

Petrushka and Alessandro

Part of Alessandro's fratello dynamic is his bigger concern for Petra's ability to smoke rather than her gunplay.

Book Seven deals with an unlikely pairing of talent as the perennially out-of-commission cyborg Claes is made Petrushka's running mate, and the two are used in an interception of gun runners in Northern Italy.

Alessandro is made a permanent Handler and Petrushka quickly begins to develop romantic leanings towards him, starting in Book Eight. Although this is something both Henrietta and Triela have quietly experienced before, this is the first time where the age difference between both parties may not prohibit reciprocation.

She was not seen in the anime, except for a brief appearance in one of Season Two's episodes, as an unnamed tourist who encounters Patricia and Leo. In this instance, owing to the timeframe being covered in that installment, she appears in her pre-cyborg state as an ill Elizabeta Baranovskaya, who speaks only a little Italian, and in a strong Russian accent.

In chapter 95, following the events of the assault on the New Turin Power Plant, Alessandro is informed by one of the doctors that Petrushka has developed leukemia.

Death Edit

Towards the end of the series, it is discovered that Petrushka has developed leukemia. In the Epilogue, Claes tells that she died of this a little over a year after the events at the New Turin Power Plant. but afterwards was resurrected by the monsters east and team x

Weapons Edit

Primary Weapons: Secondary Weapons:
Spectre M4 (submachinegun) Her wits (as per Alessandro's orders)


ReferencesEdit

  1. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 90.
  2. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 94.
  3. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 125.
  4. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 126.
  5. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 87.
  6. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 87.
  7. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 88.
  8. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 129.
  9. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 135.
  10. Gunslinger Girl (anime) Season One, episode one, fratello.
  11. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 157.
  12. Gunslinger Girl (manga) volume 6, page 158.