Judge Mitchell Hattaway loves the pickled, salmony taste of this anime. Oh wait, that's gravlax. Never mind.
Find your way back to the truth.
The second volume of episodes from this anime series continues the tale of Madlax, a mercenary making a living by making a killing in the war-torn country of Gazth-Sonika, and Margaret Burton, a young girl who lives in the nearby country of Nafrece. What is the connection between the two? Well, it probably has something to do with the Red Book, a mysterious manuscript entrusted to Margaret by her father. What is contained in the pages of this book? I'm not sure, but I do know that everyone who does not possess it is trying to get their hands on it, including the members of Enfant, a high-tech criminal organization.
Four episodes are included on this disc; here's a brief synopsis:
• Episode 5: "Nonpresence"
• Episode 6: "Dying Wish"
• Episode 7: "Picture Book"
• Episode 8: "Soul Words"
I'm still not sure exactly what the hell is going on in Madlax, but I continue to enjoy the series immensely. Just when I think I have something figured out, along comes another twist, forcing me to question my previous assumptions. Not that I mind, though, as every new twist only strengthens the plot. Yes, the story is quite complex, but it doesn't appear to be complex just for the sake of being complex. The plot is a big puzzle, but I have a feeling all of the pieces will eventually fall into place.
ADV provides another stunning transfer; I looked and looked, but I couldn't find a single flaw. The Japanese stereo track features very good channel separation and some rather nice low-end action. The 5.1 English dub features plenty of surround activity, but the voice acting (especially that of the actors voicing Madlax and the leader of Enfant) simply does not fit the tone or style of the series. Extras include the standard clean opening/closing sequences and previews, along with a gallery of production sketches and a few Japanese TV spots. You also get another installment of "Conversations with SSS," the exceedingly unfunny featurette in which various characters find themselves the victims of prank phone calls made by Madlax's boss. Yippee.
I'm not positive, but it looks like the disparate plot threads will start coming together in the next volume, and I cannot wait to see how things unfold, nor can I wait to find out how Margaret's maid learned to kick ass. Madlax once again earns a strong recommendation.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
• Clean Opening/Closing Animation
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