Fucking MADLAX Episode 4

By now, some of you must be wondering, “who the hell are Bee Train, anyway? WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS?” To answer that question, I’ll give a bit of history on the studio.

Bee Train was founded by Mashimo Kouichi, a director and writer who did those jobs for Dominion Tank Police, Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Eat-Man, and some other decent/good shows. As the story goes, Mashimo came up with the idea to found Bee Train during a stay in the hospital. The idea was to make a “hospital studio,” which would nurture the talents of new young anime staff. The studio was founded as a subsidiary of Production I.G. (one of the greatest animation studios in Japan), and started in the late nineties making video game adaptions. In 2006, they officially became independent of Production I.G..

Maybe Bee Train sucks because the people who work there are mostly industry newbies; or maybe they suck because of their infamous brainstorming technique of getting completely smashed (yes, drunk) and coming up with ideas. I don’t want to think that it’s because Mashimo writes and directs almost all of their shows, since he did good work before he founded the studio—but if the shoe fits…

Anyway, in honor of the studio’s brainstorming tradition (which was specifically cited as the way they came up with the supernatural connection between Madlax and Margaret), I am currently writing this post while intoxicated. (I’m kind of in a sober lull right now, but I’m going to have to start drinking again when I start the episode. I’ll have to).

I’m glad I got ahead of myself and watched episode five already (also while tanked), because I wouldn’t get this line otherwise. They’re talking about the kid whom episode five is centered around. Long story short: no, he will not effect a fucking change in Galza because this fucking retard doesn’t realize that he’s in a grimdark anime. (Or at least a wannabe grimdark anime.)

Fuck this fucking stupid ass gay ass line. This is ridiculous. This girl is like possessed by the evil hacker organization that shows up in this episode and told to kill her dad and herself for some reason that we’ll never really learn. What we will learn is that this girl didn’t secretly hate her dad or anything, and is a super good girl, so only really the brainwashing should make her kill her dad, so why this fucking line I really don’t know.

By the way she kills him by fucking strangling him. I don’t care how good your fucking brainwashing is, this little-ass high school girl shouldn’t be able to strangle a grown ass man with a broad fucking neck that she shouldn’t even be able to get her little hands around. I don’t care how fucking loving this father was, if he can’t punch a bitch in the face just once to save his life, then he deserved this stupid bullshit.

Fuck I type pretty okay when I’m drunk.

I’m pretty sure this is the only shot of Madlax in this ep. So no, she won’t be meeting Margaret, who, incidentally, is equally useless in this episode. Because it’s a fucking stupid episode [lolredundantitsmadlax].

I gotta say, it’s actually amazing how much stupid and boring dialog and images I leave out of these posts. I only go for the really bad stuff, since otherwise the post would be too long and way too boring; but there’s almost not a single decent moment in this entire show (and I mention them when they happen).

But just for one example of something I hadn’t even noticed: I was watching episode five with a friend (also intoxicated), and he noticed how shitty the lighting is in just about every single shot. It hadn’t even occurred to me, but he was right: the lighting on characters’ faces almost never matches the lighting of the room, nor generally makes any sense at all. It’s a constant throughout the show.

Now, meet the episode’s comically hard-boiled main character, some detective guy. He smokes, drinks scotch, gets in way over his head, is older, and wears a trenchcoat. I’d say he missed the train to some noir film, but I’m pretty sure that Bee Train actually thinks that they make noir anime (what with the first girls-with-guns show being, y’know, Noir, yet having nothing to do with the genre except having guns and femme fatales.)

Margaret acts even more stoned in this episode than the last, and this time—since I was actually paying attention—I noticed how terrible her voice performance is. I thought that surely it must be some newbie seiyuu—but no, it’s actually Kuwashima Houko, who’s been in a shitload of anime since the early nineties and played such good and/or big roles as Medusa in Soul Eater, Guragief in Simoun, Aoi in Infinite Ryvius, fucking Yurika in Martian Successor Nadesico, Sango in Inuyasha, Myoudouin Itsuki in Heartcatch Precure, Amasawa Yuuko in Dennou Coil, Clare in Claymore, Tomoyo in Clannad, MiyaMiya in Bamboo Blade, Kagura in Azumanga Daioh, and plenty of others. She’s no doubt a pretty great actress, so I can only assert that the character is so shitty that she brings Kuwashima down with her.

While I’m on this seiyuu thing (was gonna cover it in episode five because the preview made it look like everyone would show up, but that turned out to be untrue), I may as well talk about this chick. (Whose name is Vanessa, by the way.)

While Vanessa is still a horribly boring character, I actually like her voice and wasn’t surprised to find out it was Yukino Satsuki. She played such great roles as: Chidori Kaname in Full Metal Panic, Kasukabe Saki in Genshiken, Shimura Tae in Gintama, the Sonozaki sisters in Higurashi, Kagome in Inuyasha, Nenene in ROD the TV, Milly Thompson in Trigun, and plenty of other greats.

I’ll cover some of the other seiyuu in my post on episode five.

Vanessa and the robot maid share some fun quips (they’re always at one-another’s throats for some reason, and I admit, I enjoy it), and then start discussing the potential motives of the girl who killed her father (and was also a member of Margaret’s class). When asked what the motives might be, the maid says “I can’t know that,” which I will assume means “I can’t understand human emotions because I am a robot.”

I am not drunk enough. (I’m going to die.)

FUCK, the detective just slammed down a cup of scotch like it was nothing. This guy is a fucking beast and he’s making me look bad. But seriously, if I try to drink any more of this rum I’m going to puke all over everything…

I love these facial expressions. They make me like the character, even though they simultaneously make her look stupid as all fuck. I like them for that exact reason.

Fuck, I thought listening to Steely Dan over my rewatches of these episodes was great, but listening to Galneryus over them is like fucking mindblowing.

Margaret remembers her meeting with the dead girl wherein she decided that the girl was very kind because she picked up something that Margaret dropped. The conversation is, well… it’s very Magaret, which is synonymous with very Bee Train in the stupidest way (not necessarily the worst way). I don’t know why they got teleported to a flowery shoujo manga universe. I will say that Bee Train must’ve been quite proud of their looping CG flowers swaying, sky moving, and colorful particles flying around, because they play clips of them for a solid minute. While the girls just fucking stare at each-other. (I enjoy this for some stupid reason.)

And then this:

Literally happens right after the flowers, with no context at all—just a random explosion in a fucking forest somewhere. And then it cuts to:

WHAT WAS THAT THE FUCK ALL ABOUT?!

Oh, I guess I was wrong, because Madlax came back. And now I rememeber she’ll be back later.

This next scene is a very special kind of stupid that will require me to briefly spam screencaps just so you can see the whole stupid conversation.

I think this speaks for itself. [Edit: the more I think about this scene the worse it gets.]

[Image used as post header]

Shortly after that, Margaret shows up at the dead girl’s house with the flowers we saw her buying a bit ago, and runs into the detective on the way in, leaving the flowers with him. What would make sense would be for Margaret to take the flowers to a graveyard where the girl is buried, but since there needed to be a reason for her to run into the detective, she went to the girl’s house. I’m not even sure why she knew where the house was.

God I can’t believe I just now hit the eyecatch. I feel like I’ve been watching for an hour.

There’s nothing worse than a genius criminal organization that feels the need to use vague arc words while talking to people who can’t possibly know what the fuck they’re talking about. (This is a pretty common problem in anime.) How the fuck does the detective know if he wants to awaken if he has no idea what that is?

Now, suddenly, the loli is shown commenting on/reacting to events in the plot. She’s an all-purpose device, I guess.

Now shit gets all noir horror movie on the detective as the criminals start hacking all his shit. This will take up the next five minutes or so of the ep, so just imagine in your head a chaotic scene of some guy figuring out that his identity has been completely erased.

…by hackers using futuristic keyboards.

Now stuff starts getting trippy as Kajiura’s horror music kicks into overdrive. I must say, the following scene of reused footage and dialog made to look trippy and shit ended up being really awesome—but not by the show’s hand. The subbers decided to get creative with this scene, and the next few minutes are like this:

Which heightened the intensity of the scene threefold. As for what actually happened, the hackers apparently brainwashed the detective just by showing him the words “elda taluta” on a shitload of monitors, and that made him shoot some random guy in an alleyway.

I found this funny.

Margaret meets the detective, who doesn’t remember her nor the flowers, since he’s been brainwashed.

Why this guy gets to live on as a part of enfant, whereas the one guy’s daughter had to jump out of a window, one can only guess. (Or not guess, since the answer is plot convenience, as always.)

Madlax decides to dramatically conclude the episode by examining the same kind of flower that Margaret had happened to pick out for the dead girl on the reasoning that they “felt right.”

Right, irony, deep, sure.

Next time on Madlax: watch the deadliest assassin in the world spare the lives of the two biggest threats to her life AGAIN!

[I hope that the drunken rambling in this post was more humorous than annoying. I left as much of it in tact as possible during editing.]

7 thoughts on “Fucking MADLAX Episode 4

  1. >but I’m pretty sure that Bee Train actually thinks that they make noir anime

    “She smells like angels ought to smell, the perfect woman… the Goddess. Madlax. She says her name is Madlax.”

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