Fucking MADLAX Episode 1

My name is Digibro and I hate Bee Train. I’ve watched a handful of episodes from a lot of Bee Train shows, though besides .hack//SIGN, I’ve never finished one. I decided to use MADLAX for my first tirade because it’s the only one of the “girls with guns” shows that I haven’t seen any of. Episode one didn’t disappoint.

The episode introduces itself as “another shitty Bee Train anime” with a picture-perfectly-terrible opener. Some Creepy Little Girl babbles a pretentious, nonsensical monologue that doesn’t and never will mean anything significant. Her hair is aggravatingly in front of one eye, symbolic of the overwhelming emo yet to come, and just for effect she’s got a doll and wears a nightgown, because ooooh, dissonance, so deep! The background images try to look trippy, but as always with Bee Train, their inability to draw and animate anything cool stunts the effect. Kajiura Yuki’s always-amazing music playing over the scene makes it feel even more utterly fucking pretentious.

The first shot of Madlax, our leading lady, is impressively ugly. My viewing partner, who couldn’t sustain awakeness for more than a minute at a time during this episode, put it nicely: “It’s no glamour shot.” The truth, as we’d discover, is simply that Madlax is an ugly-ass character design, never helped by the wildly terrible illustrations of the series.

What the chopper guy has to do with anything, how Madlax got him to fly her around, and what he means by “which side are you on” (which side is he on?), and what she means by “neither,” is all terminally unclear (yes, terminally, because this show has a cancerous lack of clarity.) He decides—as she’s readying to leap from the chopper, of all times—to ask about her objectives and her name—but of course, if she told him, she’d have to kill him. (I’ll get back to this line hard in a bit.)

What a stupid-ass episode title. I’m guessing that the unbelievably bad climax (later) is meant to be described as a “gun dance” but nothing resembling dancing happens and besides that, nothing about this episode deserves such a romantic title. Also, YANMANI YANMANI YANMANI YAIYA! (This is the one thing I’m familiar with from this show, thanks to the Nico Nico Douga Ryuuseigun.)

Cue the worst running joke ever. Remember how on the chopper, Madlax said if she told you her name, she’d have to kill you? I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be dramatic or comedic or both that no one can get her name out, but it gets much stupider later on. This scene also had random houses exploding with no evidence of why or how those explosions were taking place. It’s clearly supposed to be all In Media Res and shit, but I’m not sure why. Then, ugly guys in a truck.

The truck runs into a checkpoint on its way to escape wherever from whomever, and the truck is full of rebels with guns… or something. As they approach the checkpoint, the driver says “we’re just ordinary citizens selling sugar cane,” like they plan to go on through unnoticed; but then he guns on the engine. Immediately, the enemies open fire on the truck, diverting it. What the fuck happened to strategy? He then claims that the enemy were just giving them a “false sense of security,” but how the fuck did he know this, if true? And then the truck gets knocked over by a fucking tank. Who are these imbeciles?!

Meanwhile, Madlax is hanging around in a tree, just now getting her assignment. She’s supposed to get this data disk, which we just saw amongst the retarded rebels, and she has little confidence that they’re still alive. The disk is what matters. May I stress the idiocy of the rebels getting themselves into the heat of action at the checkpoint when they’re supposed to be on the run with this data? Why the hell did they take the risk, and not just—oh—turn the fuck around and get out some other way? And is the huge military force they’re up against really not capable of just fucking their shit right here and taking the god-damned disk?

Madlax looks introspective for a moment and decides “when I get home, I think I’ll have pasta. Yeah, pasta.” This is exactly the kind of insipid, useless, douchefaggy dialog that makes this kind of character insufferable. I don’t even know what it’s meant to be. Is it supposed to be badass, that she’s thinking about dinner before going to kill dudes? Is it melodramatic, her taking her mind off of the battle with thoughts of pasta? Fuck this line, and fuck it again fifteen minutes later.

I’m pretty sure that throughout this scene, this guy is looking and pointing his gun at a guy who’s on the ground. However, it’s so poorly drawn that the guy appears to be looking straight forward, like that one part in Lady Gaga’s Telephone video, except unintentional and therefore full of fail.

This scene also includes the stupidest bribe ever, wherein the show forgets to decide on the point and stick to it. What would’ve made sense, given the established personality of the person being threatened, would be if the red beret said “tell us the guy’s location and we’ll let your men go safely.” Maybe I could see him giving in to save his men. But red beret also throws a sack of gold on the ground, so that instead we can say that the guy sold his friend out for money. Either way, the guy seems neither like the type to sell out his friend, nor the type to fall for such obvious fake bullshit, but given what we saw when he was driving the truck earlier, I guess we can assume he’s just stupid as all fuck.

Look, I know it was dark in that tunnel, but for one thing, she has a girl voice, and for another, it was plenty bright at the entrance. She may be ugly, but it takes an extraordinary dumbass not to realize she’s a girl in all that time.

Remember how I said it’d get much worse? Ten minutes ago, if she told you her name, she’d have to kill you. Now, she’s readily giving it out—not that it matters because she doesn’t get the fucking name out, continuing the running not-joke.

I don’t even need to explain why this is stupid, but I will anyway. This guy’s companion told him to run away with the data disk, and then got captured along with the rest of his men. Captured in a heavily-armed stronghold against which the rebellion dudes had no chance. This guy wants to go in alone and rescue him. Nevermind retard bravery and suicide mission—let’s say this guy turned out to be an insane badass and a perfect shot and raided this place; he’s still only got one gun—a handgun—and no extra clips. Realistically, he might kill one guy before getting gunned the fuck down. I know this is supposed to be dramatic and shit, but it’s not even remotely successful. This line is fucking meaningless.

He then gives a sob story about loving the guy and shit, but what the fuck ever, it’s still very obviously pointless suicide. The only reason this idea can ever make sense in the episode is because Madlax will be moved by the story and go help the guy, but this is a clumsy and retarded way to get her going about it. The worst part is that this guy genuinely thinks there’s a chance this will work. This is not badass. Badass would be if he rallied troops and weapons and tactically stormed the place. This is FAIL. Also, he RUNS off to get there. Good luck fighting while out of breath, asshole.

Here’s where all the budget for the episode went. Ugh.

I stand corrected, it was only 8 minutes later. But fuck it even harder because now the red dress is in the shot also.

And the old traitor guy is dead. Big fucking shocker there.

I didn’t even notice the irony of the lyric in this shot.

Here. We. Fucking. Go. Whoever thought this was a good idea deserves a swift kick in the testicles. For the episode’s big action scene, Madlax changes *out* of her combat gear and into a fucking red dress with heels. And then she proceeds to use two fucking handguns to massacre a large group of soldiers who’re driving fucking military vehicles.

Look, chicks fighting in dresses and heels is classic. Sometimes, it’s hot. I get it.

THIS IS NOT HOW IT’S DONE.

Never, ever, should she be deliberately putting on a dress for combat, much less taking OFF her combat gear to do so. Canaan did this shit right: it took characters normally dressed in combat gear and found a reason for them to be at a party together, dressed to kill *properly,* and it was among the sexiest girls-with-guns scenes in anime. I mean, for fuck’s sake, Madlax’s dress isn’t even hot—it’s ugly as fuck just like her. Plain, boring, stupid; and braless should only be done if you’re going to animate the proper level of bounce. The worst part for me is that she doesn’t even do up her hair. She goes to the trouble of wearing a dress into battle and still has a fucking dirt-colored mullet. This should be illegal.

I’m so pissed about the dress and the fail drama that I won’t even get into all the inaccuracies and lameness of the barely-animated fight, but I think it deserves special mention that Madlax is holding her gun the wrong way in this shot (left hand). I have no idea what that’s about. She wasn’t holding it that way before and isn’t in the next shot. It’s seriously perplexing.

Red beret fires way more shots than his clip can hold without reloading, inexplicably missing—we can’t know if he’s missing by firing around Madlax, or if his bullets are moving in mid-air, or if he’s hitting her and not hurting her, or something else, because in Bee Train shows, no bullets or encounters of bullets against things is ever depicted. We only know that people get shot because their bodies move, and I guess we assume everyone nails perfect headshots unless otherwise explicitly stated. When Madlax shoots people, their helmets and hats and shit tend to fall off, just to make us extra sure they were shot in the head, since I guess that’s somehow easier than drawing blood.

This is fucking embarrassing. Madlax apparently shot this guy in the head, and if it’s not bad enough that there’s no wound, he actually stays alive long enough to comment on how beautiful she is standing over him. Which is silly because Madlax is fucking ugly.

This shot was meant to piss someone off (me). A chopper is (apparently) flying in the vicinity of Madlax. So she hugs a gun, with her eyes closed, and fires into the air. At it? Hitting it? Killing the driver? Crashing the copter? I don’t know, because it cuts away right after she shoots. That’s right—they went through the trouble of showing the most contrived and terrible kill in the history of animation without even sticking around to confirm it. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-

Cut now to Madlax and guy in car, guy clearly having been shot. While it’s not surprising that he got shot offscreen, I have no idea why he’s actually still alive, since the guys who shot him presumably would’ve continued to do so. Madlax says that both of them performed a wasted effort just now, like the effort that was wasted in watching this episode. But here comes my favorite line:

Okay, hold on. So. We are, in fact, to assume that this guy’s father-like figure, who was fighting, putting his life on the line, against the enemy, sold his son-like figure out for cash and a promise of freedom that was obviously fucking fake, and got killed… and the son-like figure knew that he’d been sold out, but tried to fight anyway, even though he also should’ve known that if his father-like figure had already given the enemy the info they needed, he’d be dead. These guys are the two stupidest fucks in the world.

At least he agrees!

He asks her out on a date saying she’s hot and has “good taste.” Fucking die already.

And here we are, at the finale of this stupid, would-be-cruel would-be-joke. She tries to say her name, but stops midway upon the realization of the guy’s death. You know what? If she’d actually gotten her whole name out, and he’d died in the middle of it, then I wouldn’t hate that so much. Whatever. I’m glad that guy got out of the gene pool before he ever got laid.

The cityscape shots are actually pretty cool when listening to Steely Dan while collecting screenshots. That aside, Madlax is now in an ugly white dress and not wearing shoes, even though she’s on the roof. I hope she steps on a rusty nail and fucking dies.

“Next time” shows more gay dialog and the main character from Angelic Layer is gonna show up. Thus concludes what may have just barely edged out Phantom as the worst opening episode of a Bee Train show that I’ve suffered to date. Come back soon for my rant on episode 2.

11 thoughts on “Fucking MADLAX Episode 1

  1. >>Then, ugly guys in a truck

    As long as it’s not that QUALITY chase scene from Polyphonica, I’m not gonna complain

    >>Realistically, he might kill one guy before getting gunned the fuck down.

    There are many things to complain about in an anime. Realism is not one of them. This anime is bad enough even without real-world considerations.

    >>Madlax is holding her gun the wrong way in this shot (left hand).

    Depends. If she was pistol-whipping someone that’s actually the right way.

    >>These guys are the two stupidest fucks in the world.

    I think it’s called Bu-shit-do

  2. Shit, don’t take this the wrong way, but this rant was much better than anything you’ve been posting on your other blog recently. Keep the Bee Train hate coming!

    • I dunno, the sturgeon’s law post was pretty interesting and so was the thing about Madoka. But I do miss that digiboy who would speak from the heart, pour his love, and dispense his hate in copious amounts toward things that deserved it.

      • Lol I’ve just been very lazy lately (and, more recently, been in another country, doing shit.) I have plans to bring the main blog back to life, and this blog will dispense haterade every Sunday for as long as I possibly can keep watching Bee Train (I’ve already got the next few posts scheduled, too).

      • But then again, it’s perfectly natural to mock a bad show. The real challenge would be making a good show sound absolutely terrible. And to do it without using the word “overrated.”

  3. I noticed the ridiculous aspects of the anime when I saw the first episode, but I think i’ll continue watching. This review was funny as hell. “I hope she steps on a rusty nail and fucking dies.”

    too good.

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