ADV Films // 2004 // 75 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // April 20th, 2006
Back to the beginning...
Well, here it is. This is the final volume of Madlax. More questions are answered, more characters go out with a bang, and everything gets resolved (more or less). The three installments included here play out more like one (overly) long climactic episode. Providing you with plot descriptions is out of the question, as there is no way to discuss what occurs during these last seventy-five minutes without revealing some major spoilers. Let me put it this way: what really happened twelve years ago is finally revealed. Trust me, that's pretty much all I can say without giving anything away. And I really wish I could be more detailed than that, as I now have to find a way to pad out this review.
I have been singing the praises of this show since the initial volume, so it pains me just a little to report that there is a dip in quality in the episodes on this release. These final installments don't send the series off the rails (cough...Evangelion...cough), but they are somewhat disappointing when compared to what has come before. I think there are two reasons for this: stretching things out, and too much mumbo jumbo. The first two episodes included here could have easily been condensed into one; there is really only enough plot for one episode, but the creators allow scenes to drag on and on, which is both unnecessary and annoying. I kept waiting for them to simply get on with it, but the pace really didn't pick up until the last ten minutes of the penultimate installment. As for the mumbo jumbo, well, there's only so much stilted exposition about truth and the nature of human existence I can take in one sitting. I understand why it's included, but the pseudo-existentialism pouring from the mouths of a couple of the characters is enough to make Camus and Sartre spin in their graves. Like I said, these flaws aren't enough to sink these episodes, but it's impossible not to notice them.
Broken record time: the transfer is excellent and the audio options perform their jobs nicely. Extras fall in line with the previous releases. As far as extras go, you get a couple of music videos, clean opening/closing sequences, a sketch gallery, another installment of "Conversations with SSS" (I'm glad this is the last one I'll ever have to sit through), and previews for other ADV releases.
Despite my quibbles with these final episodes, I still recommend this series. Just lower your expectations when you hit the final act and you shouldn't be too disappointed.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Production Insert
* Design Sketches
* Music Videos
* "Conversations with SSS" Featurette
* Clean Opening/Closing Animation
* Official Site
* Anime News Network Page
* Volume 1 Review
* Volume 2 Review
* Volume 3 Review
* Volume 4 Review
* Volume 5 Review
* Volume 6 Review