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Madlax, Vol. 7 - Reality

ADV Films // Unrated // March 28, 2006
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted April 19, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

With its seventh volume, Madlax comes to a conclusion.  The show wraps up very nicely wrapping up dangling plot lines and explaining what happened to Margaret in the plane accident 12 years ago, as well as revealing exactly who and what Madlax is.  Though there's a lot of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo about the nature of reality and what it means to exists, but this doesn't get so deep that the ending is ruined.  A satisfying conclusion to a solid series.

Series recap:

Madlax is a mercenary, a gun for hire, who is reputed to be the best there is.  This assassin doesn't look like a hired killer though, she's a delicate looking young lady.  Looks can be deceiving thought as she is quite competent and deadly.  She shoots her victims with her eyes shut, but with pin point accuracy.   Caught up in the middle of the Gazth-Sonika civil war where the Galza resistance is fighting the government, Madlax has more than enough work.

This is also the story of Margaret Burton, an odd young girl.  She lives in Nafrece, alone with her maid Elenore, and it's rumored that she's very wealthy.  Margaret marches to the tune of a different drummer.  She will spend a long time staring at shoes in a store's window display, or leave school early because she's afraid that it will rain, even though there isn't a cloud in the sky.  When she looks at the world, it's almost like she's seeing something different from what everybody else sees.  In addition to her maid, Margaret spends a lot of time with her adult friend Vanessa, a woman who works at a large corporation.  Vanessa has traveled to  Gazth-Sonika, where she has retrieved some very important data that will show who really started the civil war and who is profiting from it.  There are many powerful people who want to kill her for the data, and she's hired a bodyguard:  Madlax.

Margaret also has a book, the Secondari, a very special tome that may have mystical powers.  Many people are looking for this book.  People who are willing to kill for it, including the criminal organization Enfant.

When Margaret brings Secondari to an ancient temple in Gazth-Sonika, it is joined with the two other mystical tomes and Margaret opens up a door to another dimension.  She travels through along with Carrossea Doon, who has a surprising connection to little Margaret.  Once on the other side, they are presented with the "door of truth" and while opening it will reveal Margaret's lost memories, it will also have some dire consequences.

This volume:

The lives of Margaret, Madlax, and even the maid Elenore all come crashing together in the final three episodes.  Elenore and Madlax are both searching for Margaret but with the young girl under the control of the leader of Enfant, Friday Monday, she's not acting as she usually does.  Will Monday's plans to remake the world come to fruition?

The ending to this series was very good.  In the last episodes the show managed to take several disparate plot threads and managed to weave them together tightly.  I especially enjoyed the explanation for Madlax and Laetitia.  There was a lot of metaphysical pontificating, as sometimes happens at the conclusion of anime series, but it doesn't get too deep and it's not very confusing if you pay attention.

The DVD:


ADV provides the original stereo Japanese track to this DVD as well as a 5.1 English dub.  I alternated tracks between shows, and both of the audio tracks sounded very good.  The English dub was a little more full and robust, but the Japanese track reproduced the sound well.  The voices seemed to fit the characters a little better in the original language, but that's just my opinion.  The only problem I had with the dub was that the music level was a little high in places, making it hard to hear the dialog.  There were no audio defects.


The anamorphically enhanced widescreen image is very good.  The lines were very crisp, and the colors were reproduced well.  The color reproduction is important, since They used a wide palate, with both the jungle scenes and the urban settings having distinct looks created by the colors that were employed.  Digital defects were practically nonexistent.  A great looking DVD.


This disc has a good number of bonus features.  In addition to the standard clean opening and closing, there are Japanese promo spots and a two-minute reel of design sketches.  My favorite bonus feature though was Conversations With SSS, an 8-minute reel of out-takes where the English voice actors come up with some pretty humorous lines for the scenes they are dubbing.  This installment features a series of answering machine messages on the main characters machines.  Very funny stuff.

There's also a music video to "I'm Here" in both regular and karaoke versions, a gallery of the Japanese DVD covers and an alternate preview for episode 26.  Finally the Elenore  video clip strings together a series of scenes of the character.  A very good set of bonus material.

Final Thoughts:

This series ended on a high note, something that not all anime shows are able to do.  The story wrapped up in a very satisfactory way, explaining a lot of the things that have been hinted at and tying together the myriad plot threads.  A very enjoyable show from start to finish, this one is Highly Recommended.

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Highly Recommended

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