September 23, 2007


MadlaxMadlax is a more recent anime done by Bee Train, the same people who did Noir. I guess as their sophomore work in this genre, Madlax certainly shows that they've matured. But I think there's still a long way for them to go.

Madlax suffers from some of the same problems that Noir did, such as close-quarters gunfights with unrealistic dramatic emphasis, and a soundtrack that is better but misused. This time the music was pleasing, but it repeated so often and was not used as character themes but instead mood music, that it became tiring. Although you'll probably walk away with it stuck in your head. There is extensive recycling of content again, including as the series comes to a conclusion, which is disappointing.

What Bee Train got right this time, though, is the character development and plot. Madlax is told in a manner similar to some excellent novels, where in the beginning you move back-and-forth between different players whose threads are then brought together as their relationships and roles in the plot are revealed. Sometimes I think this approach works very well, and other times I think it makes you get lost. In Madlax, I think they used the approach successfully. However, I also think they moved too slowly in the beginning. A viewer will need patience and the will to try and piece things together for the first several episodes, otherwise boredom is likely to set in.

I did feel that the ending was a little disappointing. The nature of the conclusion and the connection between Madlax, Margaret, and Laetitia were fulfilling and met my expectations and suspicions, based on things that had been hinted at or revealed before. But I felt the end result was a little bit too close to taking the easy way out, in terms of writing an ending. There was an opportunity to really expose Margaret's innermost desires, and the opportunity wasn't exercised to its fullest potential.

Posted by josuah at September 23, 2007 4:51 PM UTC+00:00

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