ADV Films // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // January 12th, 2006
A language long forgotten has awakened.
The plot of the anime series Madlax has rounded third and is headed for home. The episodes collected on this fifth volume bring together most of the major players and answer several key questions. Here's a brief synopsis of the installments you'll find on this release:
* Episode 17: "Killing Moment"
After having been framed for the assassination of a member of Gazth-Sonika's royal family, Madlax and Vanessa Renee are on the run. Margaret sees a news report on the murder and decides to go to Gazth-Sonika to find Vanessa. Margaret and Elenore are met at the airport by Corrossea Doon, who says he is also headed to Gazth-Sonika. Madlax and Vanessa return to their rundown hotel room, where Madlax kills the hitman who is waiting for them; Madlax then receives a call from SSS, who is starting to fear for his life. Madlax and Vanessa later encounter Limelda, to whom they divulge the true nature of the war. Margaret, Elenore, and Doon arrive in Gazth-Sonika.
* Episode 18: "Two Separated"
The newly-enlightened Limelda begins to question her involvement in the war. Madlax begins teaching Vanessa how to handle a firearm. Margaret runs into Charlie Winston, who says he is also looking for Vanessa. Madlax breaks into a library and swipes a book on the history of Gazth-Sonika. Limelda visit her captain, who says he already knew the war was just a front for Enfant's true mission; Limelda pops a cap in his ass. Nakhl finds Madlax in the library and attacks her. Margaret and Elenore walk in and interrupt the fight; Nakhl flees.
* Episode 19: "Targeted Book"
Madlax reunites Margaret and Vanessa. Vanessa says she knows Enfant is looking for the mysterious book Margaret was given by her father. The group then goes to visit Lady Quanzitta; on the way to Quanzitta's village they are stopped by Gazth-Sonikan soldiers. Madlax manages to take out several of the soldiers; Vanessa is almost killed, but Nakhl arrives and saves her. Nakhl takes Margaret and the other to Quanzitta, who explains the true nature of Secondari and why Enfant's leaders want to possess it.
* Episode 20: "True War"
Limelda, who has followed the group to Quanzitta's village, attempts to kill Madlax. Vanessa arrives and wounds Limelda, but not before the other woman has finally managed to shoot Madlax. Doon gives Firstari (which he mistakenly believes he forcibly took from Friday Monday) to Margaret. Quanzitta reveals that she is in possession of Thirstari, which she also entrusts to Margaret. Quanzitta says that all three components of the Red Book are needed to open the door to the other side of human existence -- the side where the true essence of humanity lies.
I would be lying if I were to say I fully understand what is going on in this series, but at least I can say I have a few more clues as to exactly what is going on. As I have said before, the plot of Madlax is quite complex and more than a little perplexing, but this is part of the show's charm. I enjoy trying to keep up with what is happening almost as much as I enjoy trying to figure out what is coming next (if that makes any sense). There are six episodes left, and I cannot wait to get my hands on them.
The technical quality of this release matches that of the four previous volumes. The transfer is impeccable, and both audio options feature very good mixes (although the voice acting in the dub still leaves much to be desired). Extras once again include the standard clean opening and closing sequences, another unfunny installment of "Conversations with SSS," a teaser for the next volume of episodes, and previews for other ADV releases. You also get some Japanese TV spots, a gallery of design sketches, and a music video.
I know I am repeating myself here, but Madlax just keeps getting
better and better. This volume earns another unqualified recommendation.
Review content copyright © 2006 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Production Insert
* Clean Opening/Closing Animation
* Design Sketches
* Music Video
* Japanese TV Spots
* "Conversations with SSS" Featurette
* Volume 6 Preview
* ADV Previews
* Official Site
* Volume 1 Review
* Volume 2 Review
* Volume 3 Review
* Volume 4 Review