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Madlax: Volume 2: The Red Book

Madlax: Volume 2: The Red Book
Review Date:
Reviewed By: Spike

Released By: ADV Films UK

Age Rating: 15

Region: 2 - UK
Volume: 2 of 7
Length: 100 minutes
Subtitles: English
Audio: English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
As the war in Gazth-Sonika rages on without abate and the number of dead increases, doubts are being raised by some regarding the premise on which the war was waged in the first place, and to what end the cyber-crime network known as Enfant is involved in planning the seemingly unlinked events that is slowly drawing the main protagonists of this world together. Meanwhile, almost as many questions are left yet to be answered as are to come, as a highly decorated army commander has already hired Madlax to kill him and a resistance operative was brutally murdered by his strangely entranced daughter. But even as this man, Piederica Morey, was being assassinated, he sent a young boy to uncover the truth about the war and the boys father, and perhaps change the objectives of the war altogether.
Meanwhile, almost a lifetime away young Margaret Burton begins to wonder the origin of the book that she cherishes, not only as a family heirloom, but as a key to her own mysterious past. Within it lies an ancient language, but one of the pages is missing, so she enlists the help of Elenore, her personal caretaker and the biblio-detective Eric Gilligan to track down another copy of the book and discover some of the secrets of its contents. What they discover can only lead to our protagonists eventually colliding and that can only mean trouble.

This second volume of Madlax is far more cohesive that the first, instead of subsisting of a great number of disjointed images and conversations, the characters have started discussing the same events or different events in the same timeline. This finally has started allowing the viewer to gain a grasp on the situation and begin to put the pieces together over exactly what is going on. This when coupled with a growing familiarity between the characters and the growing animosity between Madlax and a female sniper from the Gazth-Sonika army, leaves a far more fulfilling experience altogether.

Coupling an interestingly oblique anime style with the barest hint of CG, and an almost haunting score, with the neo-classical scenery and interesting characters, Madlax is finally becoming worth watching. The interesting thing about this volume is that when compared to the first, which may seem a bit lack-lustre, this volume is both engaging and at times, thrilling. With the tempo increasing, and the characters finally starting to show their hands, I think itís finally safe to pick up not only this but the first volume as well.

Rating: 7/10
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