Posted on 2 September 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




And here’s another widely anticipated movie: the first of the Mardock Scramble trilogy. Finally, Gohands could get in a project that actually showed off their talent, rather than making the umpth bad harem clone. The promo art for this series looked absolutely gorgeous, it had the writer of Fafner and Chevalier behind it. There was a ton of promise behind this. So, how did it go?

Well, that was screwed up. Mardock Scramble is science fiction. It’s based around all kinds of interesting ideas, some of which do not care how sick in the head they can get. There’s a ton of nudity as well, but despite all this it has an style that works really well. Its story is dark and well acted, it takes itself seriously and ends up as a great science fiction character study.

There are multiple characters, but within the first hour of this trilogy the focus went mostly to just two of them, and they got a good dose of airtime dedicated to their backgrounds. They’re both pretty interesting for a one-hour movie. Nothing stellar, but the bond that develops between them is quite engaging to watch.

Beyond that, this movie just oozes with style. The animation and art are both utterly gorgeous, especially the use of colours makes this a visual feast. The action is really well directed and amazing to watch as well, especially during the second half of the movie. It’s one of the strengths of the movie, but also one of its major weaknesses: it’s so busy with this style that at times it forces things along, just for the sake of this. This leads to sometimes rather jumpy editing and character development that may be a bit too sudden.

The meat of the story obviously isn’t in this first movie yet, and whether I’m gonna recommend it is going to depend entirely on the direction that the other two movies take it in. It’s very much a continuous story, so this movie doesn’t really just stand alone (especially when considering its cliff-hanger). It set up all of the building blocks. Now it’s up to the other two movies to use it.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A bit jumpy, but nicely paced, good dialogue.
Characters: 8/10 – The development is a bit forced, but good background and the bond between the two main characters is interesting.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous; great style, excellent use of colors.
Setting: 8/10 – Lots of neat ideas, though some are just pointlessly gory and are a bit out of place.

Suggestions:
Kara no Kyoukai- The Garden of Sinners – Overlooking View
King of Thorn
Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance

5 Responses

  1. dango says:

    A lot of interesting sci fi concepts here, does have a lot of dark elements.. another brillant animated film,definitely going to see how this turns out.

  2. Samejima says:

    That was great fun, when are the other two gonna come out?

  3. sheratan says:

    I especially like the chemistry between the main heroine and Oeufcoque too.

  4. DangerMouse says:

    Yeah, really liked it, it was a great start.

  5. M0rg0th says:

    I liked the movie for the way it reminded me more of cyberpunk than the typical sci-fi but that movie alone really isn’t recommendable. It always felt like they started walking but stopped short of going anywhere with it. There was nothing conclusive about this movie even as it did have some progression and some character-development.
    But I really look forward to see the other two ones ^^ .

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  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:23 PM)
    The only time they ever get along seems to be during non-canon alternate universes made for fanservice, official or not.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:21 PM)
    Erm, no. They didn’t “get along” so much as Sayaka at least sympathized nicely with her. At least, until the end, when she basically swore never to sympathize with her again. XDDD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:20 PM)
    Another interesting point is that the character relations are pretty fluid, too. Characters can act differently toward each other in different timelines/potential futures. Rebellion actually solidifies Homura’s consistent feelings toward Mami and also that Sayaka just cannot seem to be on good terms with Homura… but even then, for a while, they got along pretty well until the end. XD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:17 PM)
    Madoka’s characterization seems pretty non-linear and only show up when necessary, so it’s definitely easy to see that they’re “dependent on the plot,” but there’s a ton of stuff there to piece the characters together into something coherent and solid.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Madoka’s characters act pretty confusingly? I never got that. I always felt there actions were pretty logical in the first viewing.
    Though a second viewing of anything can help. Mostly because you know the main story so you can focus on the little details.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:27 AM)
    If anyone wants me to ask any specific questions, let me know. Funny enough, people are saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time–that multiple viewings help us understand the characters better. Because a lot of characters DO act pretty confusing at first, but upon a second viewing, after we know more about them, those actions make complete sense. Meaning that Madoka’s characterization is not linear.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:20 AM)
    Thankfully, derailment usually doesn’t happen with serious topics like this, so it’ll probably just die down over time when there are plenty of great answers and not a lot more to say, or go on for a very long time if there are a disparity in perspectives from different people.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:17 AM)
    On a very, very interesting note, I just asked one of the small communities of respectable Madoka fans to sit down and think with me about the potential flaws of characterization and development in Madoka, or why they may be perceived as flaws. I’m getting a lot of well-thought-out answers, so when the thread starts to die down (or derail, which hasn’t happened yet), maybe I’ll share the link here.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:15 AM)
    @Kenjeran: I keep hearing that Up has a really emotionally engaging short intro or insert or something. I STILL haven’t seen it yet, but that might be a potential example.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 08:36 AM)
    I must say Daimidalar, the breast grabbing/groping really bothered me actually in that one that I wouldn’t watch it.

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