Fucking MADLAX Episode 2

The idea of Bee Train’s “girls with guns” series is to focus on a pair of girls—one older and sexy, the other younger and cute—both of whom have mysterious pasts and mad gun skills, and whose relationship borders heavily on lesbian. A lot of my rage towards these shows comes from the fact that if you removed “Bee Train” from that description, it would sound like the remedy for my favorite show ever. Unfortunately, Bee Train fucks it up time and again. Had Canaan not finally done the formula right, I’d be haunted by this.

Madlax episode 2 introduces the younger, cute girl, who thankfully is—in fact—cute. In Noir and El Cazador de la Bruja, both of the leading ladies were stunningly attractive, whereas in this case we have the hideous, mullet-wearing Madlax. Margaret is still the least cute of the younger girls, but she’s not all bad…

…in stark contrast with this episode, which is as boring as humanly imaginable. It only manages to be better than episode one through sheer lack of ambition; there are still plenty of godawful lines to tear into, though.

Before I start, I want to give a shout-out to AMV Hell 3. In it, there’s a short where someone took a clip from Madlax (see above image) and dubbed over it so that the girls were discussing constipation and the recommendation of “Madlaxatives.” I can’t think of a better analogy for Madlax—a show in which shit flows freely.

Ep 2 kicks off with Margaret’s maid attempting to wake her. The maid’s demeanor and manner of speaking strongly implies that she’s a robot—I will be severely disappointed if this proves untrue. Sadly, we don’t learn what “wake up method number three” is, but for the sake of my amusement, I’ll assume it involves rape.

I didn’t notice whether or not there was a red moon in this episode; I was very bored, so my eyes kind of glossed over while watching. I’ll be sure and let you know if I find one, though.

Honestly, I kind of enjoyed this scene. The maid walks Margaret through her morning routine, pointing out again and again that Margaret is asleep while performing her morning tasks. Finally, as Margaret is about to leave, she wakes up enough to acknowledge her maid’s existence. What I like about this scene is that it’s very dry, not needing annoying “funny” music to point out that something comedic is happening (this bothers me in other anime).

In truth, the lack of “funny” music is probably either this show’s pretentious desire to be SUPER SERIOUS all the time, or the director having forgotten to tell Kajiura to include a comedy track. (Yes, I’m being a jerk at this point.) Considering how terrible the comedy track is in Kajiura’s (otherwise great) Mai-HiME soundtrack, this is probably for the best.

I’m trying not to bring it up every single time, but dialog like this is so fucking awful—all this needless ambiguity and vague phrasing in a fail attempt to be mysterious.

It so fucking obviously was not a dream, or else she wouldn’t be bringing it up.

GRRRRGHGHHG

We get our character exposition from a random pair of gossiping classmates (who aren’t actually shown for a good thirty seconds). See, this shit happens all the time in anime, and it’s bad, but I forgive it, because most anime doesn’t take itself very seriously. We aren’t meant to think about how stupid it is, because the show itself is stupid. When a show starts taking itself seriously and presenting itself as something deep or gritty, and the viewer is supposed to buy into the drama, shit like this stops being acceptable.

Margaret shows up late to class, and when her teacher confronts her (“class is in session”), the above is her response. When asked why she was late, she says, “Um… red shoes?” while wearing the same smug smile. What a bitch!

It’s quickly becoming evident that this girl was a former warrior, but while the memories of tanks and shit are acceptable bits of foreshadowing, I find the fact that her memory of wearing red shoes implies that she used to be a warrior is utterly frightening. This means she’s going to be fighting in a red dress at some point. God help us all.

Ugly auctioneer auctioning an even uglier golden rock. Whoever pays that much money for this thing deserves to have it fall from their mantle and crush their skull in. Also, I don’t know what country “yur” is a currency in. The series is being coy about its setting, trying to clue us in with these little bits, but I highly doubt the average viewer has any idea what “yur” is—elitist, pretentious bullshit as usual. I’m only pretty sure that it’s a real currency because the girls with guns shows are all set in exotic locations (not that the background art makes it very obvious.) [Edit: Research seems to show that the locations in this show are, in fact, made up.]

Speaking of exotic location, this new character’s first lines of dialog are a rip on the Japanese. [“There was a Japanese firm next to us. If we go up against people who bet on the brand name and appearance without knowing the real value, we’ll never win.”] Self-hating much? Also, this chick clearly wants to be Katsuragi Misato.

Margaret keeps making this face with lazy eyes and a satisfied smile, and everything she says is hesitant, weird, and simple… I’m now convinced that she’s stoned 24/7. (This isn’t a complaint—that face is actually making the character likable for me right now.)

I can tell that this is supposed to be an important, mysterious pretty boy because they put some random curls in his hair, while all the other guys in the show have horrible pompadours and shit.

Margaret’s hair is supposed to be in two little braids, but they don’t bother with detailing the braids half of the time. This is the first shot after an eyecatch, and has her in full frame with no dialog—this is the kind of shot you’re *supposed* to make look *good.*

Margaret gets walked through an office, and the camera passes by a series of cubicles. The first shows a guy typing at his computer; the second shows a guy frozen midway through waving at the camera; and then there’s this. Mmm. Moving along.

What in the name of fucktarded bullshit—no, I can’t- …

Margaret went to put this picture down, and as it was hitting the table, she said “ow,” and her hand just happened to slip, the picture gravitating over and hitting this random fucking button which, for reasons completely unknown to logic, turns on a computer monitor that happens to look like this:

Which displays the important words that Margaret needs to read, as prominently and gaudily as humanly possible. I mean, how do I even respond to this? It literally can not get any fucking worse than this!

By the way, the pompadour guy went to get Margaret a drink in the day time, and it was dusk by the time he got back. What a lazy fuck.

Margaret runs through all the arc words she’s accrued throughout the episode, including her ongoing premonition that “it’s going to rain,” which I’m thinking is either a meaningless recurring tidbit like Madlax’s “pasta” shit in the first episode, or merely a stupid one, like Madlax’s unfinished name bullshit in the first episode.

The fact that this shot gives me Lain vibes makes everything feel even more fucking pretentious. (I know, I’m being unfair; I don’t care.)

Is it Italy? Is that why everyone eats fucking pasta? [Note: It isn’t Italy.]

In an excellent article on Pulp Fiction, Roger Ebert praised its dialog for being “about something” all of the time, instead of constantly exposing plot points. It’s a lovely article and a lovely point, and one that I strive to adhere to in my own writing. However, it deserves mention that this kind of dialog only works when its something that anyone would ever actually say. I hate this line not for being pointless, but merely for being stupid as fuck.

The woman who’s been driving Margaret around all day says “oh, I picked this up on the way,” and pulls a box out of a bag that she has under the table. Margaret asks, “what is it?”

ONE MINUTE AGO, the woman DROVE MARGARET HOME, meaning that Margaret had to have been IN THE FUCKING CAR WHEN THIS WOMAN MADE HER PURCHASE. There hasn’t been a single moment that this woman could’ve snuck away to buy this thing. ASLKSDKASEKJ

NO. DO NOT TRY THAT SHIT. THAT’S NOT EVEN POSSIBLE AT ALL. AND SHE STILL WOULD’VE SEEN THE FUCKING BAG. AND WHERE WAS THE BAG WHEN YOU WERE WALKING INTO THE HOUSE? AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

when she moves, the bubbles move with her like she’s wearing them as a shirt

A bunch of stupid bullshit happened between the last two clips, but it was more ordinary, boring stupid shit than the other stupid shit. Then there’s tits. If you can pry your eyes off of those long enough, the dialog on this screenshot is yet another plot hole. While we’ve seen Margaret talk about the impending rain plenty of times, she never mentioned it to this lady; so why’s she the one pondering the meaning in Margaret’s words?

The cityscape shots are the only halfway decent images in this show. While you can’t see it in this shot, they actually showed rain in the cut right after this, which was impressive in an ass-backwards way, what with Bee Train having decided not to animate the rain in episode four of El Cazador de la Bruja (you only know it’s raining because you hear sound effects and the characters say so). Good for you, Madlax—you actually have rain.

That does it for this ridiculously boring, plot-hole-ridden episode. I never saw a red moon—there were red shoes and a red picture book, but neither of those things is a moon, so the episode title is still retarded. Stay tuned for episode three!

2 thoughts on “Fucking MADLAX Episode 2

  1. Digiboy, if I said I love you, will you get hit/slashed/shot by a truck/crazy bitch/pretentious ninja with guns in a terrible fit of irony/bullshit?

    But great post! Keep it up. Hopefully your desire to live will not overcome your desire to finish Madlax.

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