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Anime: "Girls With Guns" Part 2
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Time for a few more reviews of "girls with guns" style shows!

Madlax


Madlax (of which I have currently seen 16 episodes), is often critiqued as of its similarity to Noir but upon watching this far, while their are some fundamental things that are the same between the two shows, the plots and cast are remarkably different.

A civil war has been raging in the country of Gazth Sonika and gun for hire Madlax works for an agent named SSS (three speed), who gives her missions in the war torn country. Meanwhile in Nefrice a nearby country, a young girl named Margaret Burton lives happily with her maid Eleanor. Little do Madlax and Margaret know that their two worlds are linked through a criminal organization named "Enfant", and soon their completely different lives will slowly merge together.

The anime itself moves very slowly, by episode 16 the two leads have not yet met but their worlds are now incredibly close and intertwined. Its not a show that rushes into things. The characters are all interesting and for the most part likeable and well developed. There is lots of OTT action sequences with Madlax (and occasionally other cast members) leaping about dodging bullets impossibly. Its both a masterwork of storytelling and a adrenaline pumping show all at once. There's also certainly a lot of yuri-esque tones between some of the cast, which makes things all the bit more entertaining too *wink*! My only complaint I can level at the anime so far is the rather ridiculous names of the cast, I wonder if the person behind Kiddy Grade's stupid names was called in to name them.

Overall Score (so far): 9/10
Its no secret I love everything about "Madlax", the characters, the story, the action. I can't wait for more!



Najica Blitz Tactics


It's rather embarrassing to admit I sat through the blur of underwear shots and jazz style music that is Najica Blitz Tactics, and even more embarrassing to admit I liked it. This show sets records for ridiculous fanservice camera angles and you can't help but laugh at the evidently vast amounts of time that have been put in to discover the worlds most pointless view to watch a scene from. However somewhere under the vast amounts of fanservice to be found here is a fairly decent story and some slick entertaining action sequences, backed up by a good enough cast.

Najica Hiragi (perfume seller by day, super spy by night. *boggle*) rescues a girl named Lila from an island stronghold and soon discovers Lila is a type of robot named a Humaritt. Najica is most annoyed when Lila is assigned as her partner and servant to assist her in tracking down many of these other Humaritts'. What follows is plenty of "James Bond" style adventures with Najica and Lila battling various villains and their robots. Najica herself is a very likeable lead and is smart and skillful about what she does for a living, Lila providing a decent enough sidekick style character and some comic relief. There is an overriding plot too it all and a fairly decent (and a little sad *wipes a tear*) conclusion. Of course while all this is going on the aforementioned ridiculous camera angles come into play. Personally I found them funny enough not to mar the series, as its a series that begs not to be taken too seriously in the first place. However if extreme fanservice offends you its probably best to avoid this.

Overall Score: 7/10
Its fun, its fairly pointless.., but you'll be having too much fun to really notice once your past episode 1.




Noir


Mirielle and Kirika are two assassins working under the codename Noir. They both need the other to unlock the secrets to their pasts and both their pasts seem to be linked to a group called "Les Soldats". What follows is a slow moving plot, lots of stylish gunfights where countless numbers of goons are dispatched by Mirielle and Kirika (and later in the series the knife wielding Chloe). All to discover the truths the two need.

Noir is quite frankly a masterpiece, it may be very slow moving at times so therefore not for everyones taste, but the masterful plot mixed with stunning action sequences and an interesting cast kept me hooked. The plot edges forward bit by bit giving the viewer only the smallest snippets of information and keeps you on the edge of your seat, guessing what shall happen next. The rather cold characters are off putting for a start, but they all do have unknown depths to them once the story allows them to develop. Many dismiss the cast early on as being too cold, but id you watch closely they subtly change throughout. Of course my take on Noir is that its a romantic story too, (which can be seen in a previous blog post) and it's to the shows credit that there's room for interpretation. Bottom line: If you give Noir a chance past its slow opening arc, it will capture you in the depths of its dark story and refuse to let you go till its stunning conclusion. Watch it.

Overall Score: 9/10
I love it, I just love it. What more can I say?




Evidently there areplenty of "Girls With Guns", style shows I haven't seen. But there plenty I intend to watch in the near future which I shall of course blog. Its a genre I always take an immediate interest in as even the worst examples tend to be at least fun to watch, and every title I have reviewed here (including BGC Tokyo 2040) does have its merits. I can't wait to see more.
posted by Mangaminx On Thursday, September 29, 2005  
1 Comments:
  • On Tuesday, 20 June, 2006, Blogger Anga said…

    My personal favourite from girls with guns-genre is Gunslinger girl. Guns aren't really my thing in anime, but that series managed to tell tragic story and had fairly good music too.

     
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