Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mardock Scramble [The first compression] - Anime Review


Synopsis (AniDB): Rune Ballot is a down-and-out teen prostitute in Mardock City. One day, she's picked up by an ambitious casino manager named Shell who gives her everything she could want. Renewed by a false innocence, a false past, and now the false life Shell has given her, Ballot feels grateful. However, she can't help but be curious about why he's done so much for her, so she does some research about his past on a computer. This turns out to be a mistake which will change her life greatly. When Shell finds out what she's done, he attempts to burn her to death by blowing up her car.

Due to the high crime rate in Mardock, a new law called "Scramble 09" has given police carte blanche to take extreme and otherwise illegal measures to revive crime witnesses. With this in mind, they allow a professor to bring Ballot back from the brink of death by reassembling her entire body with reinforced synthetic fiber. When she finally wakes up, her confused mental state eventually turns toward revenge as Shell is revealed as her killer. 



Review: The first thing that hits you is the gogeous animation, then the disturbingly calm way sex and  violence is introduced. All within the first 5 minutes of this hour long anime. The dark, gothic scenery, dystopian and glorious at the same time, a million sparkling lights. Then the brilliantly written screenplay which has not a word less, not a word more than needed, using pregnant silences to deadly effect at times.
I shall not go much into the story. This first of three movies does not go into much detail about the overall scheme of things. What it does is give the audience bits and pieces of the plot while all through being gripping, whether by witty dialogue, laugh out loud sequences (yes, there are a few of them), or the brilliantly executed action scenes. There are not many of them except near the climax, and it was mind blowing, fast, intense and brutal.



I expect big things of this anime. It is hard to rate it as it stands now, since it is just part 1 of 3 and ends with a cliffhanger too. As much as I want to rate it generously, there is always the risk of it falling flat later on, for cliffhangers are like double edged swords. 

This is an intense anime. Does not back down and is not watered down to accommodate audiences. At some point of time, I would also like to read the books it is based on. But till then, this shall have to suffice. A girl with a vendetta, the world against her, a mad scientist and a golden mouse the only two by her side. If you like seinen, you should definitely not miss this anime.

Review Rating 7.5
AniDB Rating 7.77

2 comments:

Bryan Ebey said...

Wonderful review. I just recently found the anime on Hulu and decided to give it a try. So far I've seen both First Compression and Second Combustion, and it seems like a master piece of an anime trilogy. Beautiful and dark artwork at time for Compression, and then the mood is changed in Combustion when everything is bright and vivid, perhaps in some way reflecting the new found hope Ballot finds in her case officers Easter and Oefocoque. Story line over all seems well pieced together, and not a single thing out of place. And I love the introduction of the yaoi couple Ballot meets at Paradise in Combustion. If you haven't already I suggest you watch Combustion and Exhaustion, so far it proves to amaze me.

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