Original Date: December 16, 2011
First up, Madlax
As part 2 of the “girls-with-guns” trilogy by Bee Train, Madlax (which seems like the name of a laxative) alternates storylines between the two leads, the title character Madlax, an efficient special ops agent for hire in the country of war-torn Gazth-Sonika and is mainly similar to Mirelle with a dash of Kirika of Noir. Yeah, there are similarities between this & Noir like the other main character Margaret Burton, a clumsy amnesiac (see?) living in Nafrece, a France-styled country and yes, her parents are dead as well and similar to another character on the fore-mentioned show. But Margaret has a few people looking after her, such as Vanessa Rene, her former tutor whose parents died in the Gazth-Sonikan war and found out that her employer supplying weapons for both sides of the war and apparently yuri bait for most of the episodes for Madlax since Vanessa hired her for protection, not that I’m complaining but yes, that similarity trope keeps coming back and that also follows to Elenore Baker, Margaret’s devoted maid and sometimes mom-figure and friend.
The main villain or secret criminal network du jour is called Enfant (Les Soldats, anyone?) and led by a man named Friday Monday (Seriously, who comes up with these names?) with agents Carrossea Doon, one of Enfant’s top operatives and right hand man of Monday & Limelda Jorg, the second lieutenant of the Gazth-Sonikan Royal Guard who obviously had a grudge against Madlax for an assassination attempt that she failed to stop and that yuri factor does kick in for her, too.
There is somewhat of a twist to the show and the main characters as most of the first half of the series, they never appeared together until halfway in but I’m not going to spoil anything for you.
FINAL VERDICT: This show is just a carbon copy of its predecessor with a few changes and twists. Some characters are mostly decent and well-acted (the two leads) and some are just there for mostly there to make the difference. The animation is somewhat muted most of the time and the music is okay, conducted by the same composer Yuki Kajiura, who did all the “girls-with-guns” trilogy shows. It’s very too similar but it’s passable.
Now, Eden of the East
Eden of The East has a very strange concept behind this and somewhat is a bit controversial or bring some topical allusions to it. From Production I.G., who brought us The Ghost in The Shell franchise, Blood: The Last Vampire, Blood+, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade & the anime sequence in Kill Bill, Vol. 1. And this series is directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who also directed the GITS TV Series.
11/22/10, ten missiles strike uninhabited areas of Japan, but on the bright side, no victims were harmed and it was named Careless Monday and no one really cared about that. This situation still does occur throughout the show.
Meet Saki Morimi, a young Japanese woman visiting Washington D.C. on a trip and then she meets an mysterious Japanese man, whose introduction is mostly him being naked carrying a gun and a cell phone with the amount of ¥8.2 billion in digital money but apparently you know waving a gun on the nation’s capital isn’t a grand idea. The guy goes by Akira (not that one) Takizawa and he is part of some game where it consists of a Seleção of 12 individuals that are given ¥10 billion to save Japan in some way with help from the phone operator named Juiz to fulfill any order for a price but used the money for your own selfish needs, you are instantly eliminated.
But I bet you wonder this: “Who the hell are the Eden of The East?” Good question.
The name comes from the name of a cell phone application developed by Saki’s friends, which is mostly a much-improved version of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube mashed in together. The members include: Satoshi Ōsugi, Saki’s friend who does, in fact, has a crush on Saki but when she neglects him for Akira, the typical love triangle or something like that happens; Kazuomi Hirasawa, the de facto leader who wants to create a NEET Paradise; Mikuru Katsuhara, or Micchan, the talented yet shy and frank (also a character I can relate to….a little and cute, too) programmer who programmed the image recognition system and Yutaka Itazu, a prodigal reclusive hacker whose nickname is “Panties” because he lost his pants and never went outside again.
There is another character Kuroha Diana Shiratori, who is a president of a model agency by day and a mysterious serial killer who kill men by cutting off their penises and yes, that does sound like it hurt like hell but she only kills rapists so if you’re respectful to women, you are safe.
FINAL VERDICT: This is an so-so and mostly innovative show but kind of hard to understand when watching it for the first time, much like Ghost in The Shell, both the movies and the series. The main characters are decent but the supporting characters did a top-notch job. Both the animation is really superb and vivid. The themes of this show are slightly controversial but it is mostly done in a subtle way and the music is acceptable, although I wonder why that one theme song in the 1st episode by Oasis was used only once but used another one for the reminder. But I am not done with this franchise yet…….there is still 2 more entries, but that’s for another day. Now I bid you Noblesse Oblige.
MADLAX: 6/10 – Mostly Average
EDEN OF THE EAST: 7/10 – Interesting…for a little while
Planet Tyro Ratings:
EDEN OF THE EAST: Solid B
And that is all of the anime reviews I’m doing for the rest of the year.
But I’m leaving you a hint of what anime I’m reviewing in January and ‘til then, I’m MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the elements in one format and I need to buy an headset this year.
MADLAX – animation by BEE TRAIN, distributed by Aesir Holdings (formerly ADV FILMS)
EDEN OF THE EAST – animation by Production I.G., distributed by FUNIMATION ENTERTAINMENT.