Madlax

April 5, 2015

After my stint with Noir and getting to know that Madlax is a spiritual successor of the former, I decided to give this genre of girls with guns another try. Honestly, I was a little hesitant seeing that the theme they are dealing with again is about memories, something that I would eventually find confusing. This time around, they added some supernatural elements too. Also, a somewhat serious war themed anime isn’t my cup of tea either. So what made me decide to watch this? Sighs… It must evident now… The tell-tale signs… I noticed a maid! Yes, damn right. Not just an extra background character but a supporting character in the series. The character that I look forward most in watching this series. Yup, the maid. Not the dangerous femme fatal mercenary protagonist with guns in her hands.

Episode 1
Madlax drops down from the helicopter into the virgin jungle. The pilot wanted to interview this babe but she tells him it is better he doesn’t know her name. Meanwhile some reconnaissance group disguised as a sugarcane delivery drives through a military checkpoint seeing the army opened fire on them. The lieutenant hands Pete a diskette containing some secret data. In worst case scenario, he is to destroy it. A tank turtles the truck. Meanwhile Madlax receives orders from her superior, SSS to retrieve that diskette. She makes her way to the military outpost and reads the lips of the soldiers to get information from their talk. Seems one of the captured guys sold Pete out at a cheap price. Pete is hiding in a cave and is tempted to answer a call from what sounds like his comrade. But Madlax stops him knowing that is a trap. The army general then wants the cave on fire to smoke them out. Madlax and Pete are at the other end of the cave. She reads the lips of those soldiers before taking them out. The general discovers his dead man and realizes this guy is really good. He wants the search expanded. When Pete learns how Madlax discovered him and that his comrades may still be alive, he wants to go back and save them. After handing her the diskette, he runs back. Madlax sees some vision and is in a dilemma. Pete is back at the checkpoint, he is upset to see lieutenant’s dead body and goes crazy firing. All missed. The general is stumped he didn’t run away but turned back to save his comrades. As he and his men turn around, Madlax ambushes them. FREAKING SH*T! All the high-tech army weapons can’t touch her! So many rounds shot and still missed! All Madlax needs is just a single shot in each of them! She’s even moving around more versatile in that sexy gown! She’s like dancing! WTF?! And did she just shoot down a helicopter with her eyes closed???!!! FREAKING SH*T!!!!!!!!! When Pete is awake, he finds himself in a jeep driven by Madlax. She is starting to lament she started an unnecessary war, wasted lots of time and energy. Pete relates his family was killed by the government army and that those comrades were like his family. He knew one of them sold them out when he called his name in the cave. But still he wanted to go save them. He wants to go out on a date with Madlax since she’s pretty. She agrees. However before she can tell him her name, he dies from his wounds :’(. Back in town, Madlax calls SSS and informs of another successful mission. She has dropped the diskette in the safe deposit box as usual. Everything went without a hitch. No problems. Well, there was just this little one. She didn’t get to go on a date.

Episode 2
Margaret Burton may be a noble but she is a little airhead and absentminded. Okay, make that very much an airhead and absentminded. If not for her competent maid, Eleanor Baker, I don’t know what would become of her. Because along her way to school, she detours and keeps looking at a pair of red shoes at a shop. Even turning up late at school, she must have been a frequent offender that the teacher doesn’t even bother to reprimand her. And she can still smile. And continues to daydream in class… Vanessa Rene leaves an auction house auctioning a sculpture. She knows at this rate the end price will be driven too high. Despite being told to get it, she will only if it was at an acceptable price. She knows it will be auctioned again months later and will bid again then. Consider this as renting out to the highest bidder. Eventually the sculpture is sold for 1.350 million. On her way home, she picks up Margaret who doesn’t quite remember her ex-neighbour. Well, they last saw each other 2 years ago and she only came back to the head office 2 weeks ago. Vanessa brings Margaret to her workplace when the boss calls her over her failure to get the sculpture. She claims they could not stand a chance to outbid a Japanese firm but it seems they didn’t win either. Although they don’t know who won, the item is being sent to Gazth Sonika, a country where their firm has connections with. Margaret wanders around and bumps into a guy from the auction, Carrossea Doon. She gets scared and runs back to Vanessa. Vanessa brings her back home and joins for dinner. She bought the pair of red shoes for her but she doesn’t seem happy. Wrong guess? Margaret then remembers she needs to look for something herself. Vanessa and Eleanor aren’t that worried since they know she was involved in some accident years ago and are thankful she gets to live in a place like this. Eleanor has found what she is looking for: A bloodstained picture book, a gift from her father. And some mad man, who got the sculpture, drops and breaks it! What a waste!

Episode 3
News of some bloody conflict with Gazth Sonika and Galza. It’s messy. Madlax gets another mission from SSS to take out Gwen McNicole, the military commander of Gazth Sonika. Surprisingly, it is Gwen himself who ordered this assassination. From an informant, she learns he is a distant relative of the supreme commander, Cawthran IV and a hero of a civil war 12 years ago. His hatred for Galza may be because his wife was killed 11 years ago. She meets Limelda Jorg, a prolific sniper of the Gazth Sonika Royal Guard as she ponders about her firm hand grip and scary eyes. Madlax impersonates as room service to talk to Gwen in his room. He finds it hard to believe that this woman will be the one who will assassinate him. She wants to see the guy who ordered himself to be killed. She wonders if he had fun. No. It was painful. Life without any influence over his intentions is painful. Since he’s going to be dead, might as well tell some back story. It seemed different at first, taking revenge on Galza for taking his wife. That thought kept him moving. However he felt he has been controlled by a greater invisible power. Like as though he is a puppet. Come to think of it, even his wife’s death may be planned. He tried to investigate but to no avail. Now all that doesn’t matter anymore. He doesn’t want to be a puppet. He’ll show them his decision. So in tomorrow’s speech, please shoot him. Madlax dances with him after that. Next day, she gets into position and lives up to her expectation to shoot him. Goodbye father? I hope that is just figurative. The place is in chaos. Limelda can pinpoint where the sniping is from and spots Madlax from her scope although she can’t see her face clearly. I don’t know if Madlax fired a warning shot at her. This throws her off and allows Madlax to escape. Later she talks to her commander about this and was told about a rumour of a super skilled agent called Madlax in this country. Carrossea is surprised Gwen pulled that off but is confident there are many other replacements. Besides, this country has a weapon… News of Gwen’s assassination spreads. Vanessa notes that the place will be in further turmoil. As though 12 years of civil war is not enough. Margaret is seemingly watching the news and Eleanor wonders if it is interesting. Nope. Boring. Like she understood all that.

Episode 4
Anne Moray strangles her father, Piederica after he finishes his talk on the phone. Then she jumps out the window and kills herself. Therefore detective Maclay Marini is stumped about the motive of the daughter of a moderate politician because investigations show she is a good and well behaved girl. Even questioning Margaret (the girls attend the same school) yielded the same result. Anne is a very kind girl. However Maclay believes there is a motive somewhere. As he hacks into Anne’s computer, there is some secret code decoded: Elda Taluta. Maclay recognizes that Enfant is behind this. Enfant is an international criminal organization and intelligence network. Even though he knows how dangerous and formidable they are, he believes in his job to arrest the perpetrators of the crime. Further investigations show that the police doesn’t even know anything about Enfant and that Anne’s father did mostly relief work in Gazth Sonika. As he tries to connect the dots between Enfant and Gazth Sonika, he gets a threatening call to back off or else he will be awakened. Maclay isn’t fazed and will flush them out. However this is the start of his troubles as his credit card becomes expired and his mother doesn’t even recognize him over the phone! Before him is a bunch of television screens. The madman, Friday Monday starts playing and spamming Elda Taluta. I’m not sure what is happening in this chaotic scene. People killing each other. Some flashback or something. Later when Margaret chances upon Maclay, he doesn’t recognize who she is. Not even when she mentions she was the one who sent flowers to Anne’s place and he picked it up for her. And oh, he denies he is Maclay. After he leaves, Margaret also starts to wonder who he is. Can I blame her short memory for this? Shortly, Carrossea picks him up and informs Maclay who is now like a yes-man puppet that he will be part of Enfant from now and living inside information.

Episode 5
SSS wants Madlax to retrieve materials sent from Nafrece that Enfant is after. Thing is, the whereabouts of the materials is unknown and it is Madlax’s job to make the impossible possible. Madlax seeks info from her informant about anyone missing recently from the list of illegal merchants and the name of Brian pops up. He is a lone wolf operating a small ship and doesn’t care about taking risks. By the time she arrives at the pier, she may be too late as the boat is gone. Chris Krana wants to hijack her bike but can he since his hands are shaking holding up a gun. Madlax is faster. She suggests that they share the ride. Carrossea summons Limelda for a mission about a boy who as entered the country illegally and can’t be allowed to roam free. Her skill is needed because he believes Madlax is also on this case. Madlax questions Chris about his illegal entry and since he came in from Nafrece, he could have done so by legal means. He can’t because before her mom died last month, she told him his dad is in Gazth Sonika who is part of the resistance group. As he always lived with his mom, he never knew he had a dad. However he didn’t get this far alone. In exchange to get him into the country, Piederica wanted to know the truth behind the 12 year civil war in which he believes wasn’t just because of religious matters between the royal family and resistance group. After they part, she remembers the trauma of searching for her father in a war torn land when she was young. Chris is confronted by several MIBs however Madlax swiftly takes them out. She realizes he is the one she is supposed to retrieve. Learning his father is Ming Dulc, the leader of the resistance group, she understands why Enfant is after him. As they trek through the jungle, Madlax knows Enfant is on the move. Limelda lies waiting ready to snipe her but gets distracted when she sees Chris. This allows Madlax to ambush and hold Limelda and Carrossea at gunpoint while allowing Chris to carry on. Carrossea is happy to back down because he personally came to see how Madlax looks like. Such a beautiful and strong woman. He can say that after he bedded with Limelda? Such a player. When Chris reaches the HQ of Galza, Friday tells him there is no such person as Ming Dulc. He never existed in reality. There is not a single fact within the info of Enfant that he is Chris, not even a record of his mother’s existence. He doesn’t exist in this world. It’s what got twisted ever since the war started 12 years ago. In the aftermath, Madlax waits for Chris’ return but he never did. He calls him a liar.

Episode 6
Margaret is sleeping in class as usual. She must have a terrible dream for her to wake up and yell that it hurts. Guess what the teacher says? Go back to sleep. Meanwhile Eleanor sees the doctor for the monthly report on Margaret. He thinks she is progressing fine since Eleanor views her as normal. When Eleanor mentions about Margaret finding a picture book, she considers it as something important to her, the doctor believes it is connected with her past and she might be remembering her past through it. But the doctor doesn’t want to rush things due to her condition. She should bring Margaret and the picture book along next time. Eleanor meets up with Vanessa to update her. They remember 12 years ago when a plane that was carrying Margaret and her mom mysteriously vanished. However a few months later Margaret turned up at their doorstep. Changed. The first word she spoke was Madlax. The plane and other passengers are still not found to this day. Margaret’s friend, Chiara invites her to come to her uncle’s party after school. There’ll be boys too and there is one who is particularly interested in her. Margaret thinks she offended him in some way. That guy must be Maurice Lopez since he has taken an interest in her and wants to talk to her. Margaret agrees but makes a call back to Eleanor to tell her that. I don’t think Eleanor is a protective maid as she has Vanessa drive her there. She has done research and knows this Maurice kid is a rascal. Okay, in a way she is that protective. So Maurice is talking to Eleanor who keeps thinking she offended him in some ways and starts apologizing. She accidentally drops her back as he picks up and browses through her picture book. After seeing those strange symbols and writings, it is like he is in a trance. He gets aggressive and gets rough on her. He will make her his. Luckily Eleanor arrives in time to put a stop to this. He gets cocky but she beats him up till he is out! Good lesson: YOU CAN NEVER DEFEAT A MAID! Maids FTW!!! And another beat up for hurting Eleanor. This maid is scary. After putting Margaret to bed, Eleanor remembers before her grandpa died, he entrusted her to take care of Margaret as their family has served the Burtons for generations. In the aftermath of that incident, Eleanor walks with Margaret to school. Can’t let that happen again, can’t she? So why not join her in school too? She already graduated but Margaret probably forgot about that too.

Episode 7
Margaret talks to Vanessa that she wants to find a book. Because there are pages torn out, she thought of finding a complete copy. However she doesn’t know its title, author or the language it is written in. That’s Margaret for you. So Eleanor finds a small time bibliodetective, Eric Gillain. He thinks she is a pushover since she has no qualms accepting his seemingly high advance fees and arrangements. As Eleanor goes to get Margaret to speak directly to him since it is her request, Eric thinks the employer must be an old rich geezer with lots of free time. He must be real surprised to see a young cute high school girl, huh? Even the cheque is genuine. So he hears her out and as usual, she knows nothing but he is willing to take up her case. Because she’s a cute girl, right? He scans the book as reference and then meets up with his linguist pal, Lucille to ask if she knows this language. Elies. It is from Gazth Sonika. Her professor once went there before the war to investigate when caves with such writings were discovered. Now with Gazth Sonika in chaos, she is not sure if the caves are still there. However she thinks Elies is jinxed. The professor’s team was attacked and he was the only survivor. Few months later, he took his own life along with his family. So what is a million bucks to Eric? That is the price of his life for going there. Because of a cute girl, right? His investigations make no progress for a few days as he even uses his connections to hire a bodyguard to get around. Guess who? Madlax! Another pretty girl? It can’t be good. Damn right he is. Because the moment Madlax meets him, she takes him away and run because gunmen are after them! Her superb skills allow them to escape. So was it worth your life, Eric? Carrossea calls Friday about the book and he is happy to see Secondari again. It is believed to be lost 12 years ago. He wants all Enfant members to concentrate every effort to find it. As Madlax and Eric camp out in the wilderness, he wonders why people are killing him over a book. Madlax is not surprised because in this country, people will kill even over her soup. He talks about morality but she views that as an illusion. After being here half a day, he should see how impermanent and fragile the world he is living in. He wonders how many she has killed. She lost count.

Episode 8
Madlax and Eric continue to run away from gunmen. They’re really out to kill them, aren’t they? Margaret has been staring at her PC for days but no daily reports from Eric. Eleanor thinks he might have run off but Margaret believes in him. Eric finally reaches a remote village supposedly where there is a person who can read Elies. The farmers do not know what he is speaking of but as said by Quanzitta Marison, others call it Elies but they call it Salon’s true words. In her hut as he shows her the scanned copies, she says she has never seen any documents written in it but will try to translate and read it although she isn’t familiar with its meaning. Sarkus Sark??? I thought I heard sex suck… Just kidding! No, seriously! She then brings him to the cave which contains some of the writings as well. It says Elda Taluta. As he looks around the eerie cave (blood and bones?), suddenly an apparition of a pair of kids pop up, Leticia and Poupee. She mentions this place is normal but the place he is standing is the edge of normal and wonders why he came here. Meanwhile Lucille talks to somebody about Eric taking some drug to delete his memories to forget something he never wanted to remember. It may come back if some similar incident triggers it. As his ex-girlfriend, living a poor but normal and safe life as a bibliodetective is the best. You don’t say… Because we see Eric remembering something traumatic. Something happened to his sister, he got beaten up, he killed those bastards and got thrown into prison. Something like that. If you’re wondering where Madlax has been all this while, she was taking out Enfant pursuers in the jungle. Success. When she returns to Eric, she is stumped that he knew her name although she never introduced herself. He somehow knew. He thinks everything is all over and has a last request. Deliver this letter to Margaret. He mentions something about taking revenge rationally for his sister but didn’t realize something was sleeping inside of him. You girls made him realize it. Margaret. Leticia. Madlax. He can’t live in this world because this place is too normal. Just like Madlax, I don’t get it. Then he jumps off the cliff! OMG! After Madlax posts the letter, she feels she has heard the name Margaret before. Carrossea ransacks Eric’s office but all traces and data of his client were deleted although Eric is dead. Friday believes the possibility of Secondari in Nafrece has increased and to keep continue searching. But Carrossea may be withholding some information because he wonders why a girl came here. When Margaret receives the letter, Eleanor believes Eric has run off with their money since the letter states he can no longer look for the book. Oddly he wrote thank you in the end instead of sorry. Margaret can tell he was crying because she could see tear marks on the thank you. As SSS notes Madlax’s first failure, she can’t help wonder what is normal because it isn’t.

Episode 9
Luciano says goodbye to Madlax as he is going to leave this country for a big job. He thinks he’ll retire after that. Vanessa, Eleanor and Margaret are on their way to some exclusive hotel when their car breaks down. Thank their lady luck for this passing biker dude, Luciano who was there at the right time to help fix it. At the pool, Vanessa spots Carrossea coming her way and pretends to be a relative of somebody. She’ll be fired if they find out she did some company policy violation. Meanwhile Luciano tries to snipe Carrossea from the mountains but the girls distract him and he loses his chance. But Margaret senses something there and later ventures there only to see Luciano. They talk with Luciano mentioning he has been searching for a place to call his own and that being with Margaret somehow soothes him. This place is too peaceful that it’s scary because it feels fragile. Apparently Margaret doesn’t know what peace means because everywhere is fighting and people hurting each other. Luciano says it is better than being killed. That is what this place is. That is why he dislikes it. He remembers being in a war and saw Leticia. As the ladies are searching for Margaret, Vanessa overheard Carrossea talking to the hotel manager that their company will supply materials to Gazth Sonika as always. It looks like they have no intention of ending the civil war and it will be their best interests if the war continues. Vanessa couldn’t believe their company has been supplying weapons when Luciano bumps into her to return sleeping Margaret. Next day as they leave, Vanessa reminds if they have forgotten anything. True enough, Margaret rushes back out. That’s so Margaret. How can she even forget that picture book? Luciano is trying to snipe Carrossea again. However Carrossea sees Margaret dashing before him and he is shocked that she has Secondari. This causes Luciano to accidentally snipe the hotel manager instead. As Carrossea takes cover, he calls for Limelda who in turn takes out Luciano. Margaret has another wish and it is to see Luciano. At the top of the hills, she only sees his bike and stuffs. No Luciano. Time to go. Luciano barely alive sees Margaret. He realizes why he feels calm around it. It is her scent. She smells like Gazth Sonika. So did her pass away peacefully? I guess not. Bullet in your body is such a pain. SSS calls Madlax for an urgent mission but he can tell she is crying although she doesn’t know why.

Episode 10
Margaret asks Vanessa about what is right and wrong. I think everyone’s opinion about it differs. Vanessa then tries to search for data about her company as she is concerned about it contributing to the war. So she goes to see her old friend Badgis and tells him her worries. She could easily do some hacking and expose the company but she can’t because Enfant is involved. What she wants is proof that the company and Enfant are involved in Gazth Sonika’s war and get it without revealing who she is. Badgis shows her his room containing a super computer called True Cluster (the specs may sound frightening at that time). There is no chance Enfant could interfere with its system since he and his students develop it and only Badgis writes all the source code for programmes. Carrossea tries to find out who hired Luciano to kill him. However even the data of the guests have been properly changed without leaving any trace therefore no information about the girl with Secondari. Firstari on the other hand is in Friday’s hands. True Cluster begins its hacking but it’s going to take some time since Enfant’s security is tough to crack. Even for a super computer. Unfortunately, Enfant fights back and is trying to shut them down. There is a risk that they may trace them here and Vanessa wants to break off all connections now. In the end, Badgis manages to forcefully shut it down but just in time transferring the required data. Friday calls Carrossea about the hacking and it could be linked with the person who tried to assassinate him. He wants him to deal with the issue. Too bad the hacker got away but knows the chunk of data is stored in a certain location. Since Badgis forcefully shut down the system, its location is a server in Gazth Sonika. The only way is to physically retrieve it there. I guess there is only one option left. Vanessa packs her bags and arrives in the war torn Gazth Sonika.

Episode 11
Margaret doing research on Gazth Sonika’s geography and history? I think she just sucks in maths. As Vanessa makes her way around Gazth Sonika, Carrossea is also spying on her by in a dilemma on what to do as he has his own ulterior motives. Vanessa receives a call from her boss to quickly return. Looks like she has limited time to get it done. She remembers Badgis telling her the computer where it is stored. It is in a small town called Daman. No worries of finding which shop. It is the only PC shop there. She must move fast because since he forcefully shut it down, if it reconnects to the internet, Enfant can trace the stolen data and ultimately her. Badgis has also underground information and knows certain people she can call for protection and guide. SSS calls Madlax and her new mission is to protect a civilian. He can’t say much as Enfant is involved. When Vanessa arrives at the store, she finds it has been sold to a frequent customer, Ainse. He is a student and from a family of doctors. Lucky her, Ainse just came in to buy a network card as the PC he bought cannot connect. Vanessa pretends to be from the troubleshooting company but he feels suspicious. Using her PR skills, she coaxes him into letting her have a look. As he brings his laptop to her, to her horror he has connected to the internet with an old and slower card. Quickly she inserts her disk to download and then delete everything. Ainse must be confused what the heck is happening. Oh no. MIBs confront them. Hand over the data or this kid will die. Vanessa has no choice but before they can take it, they took the bullets from Madlax instead. Apologizes for arriving late as she was disposing more men than expected. Madlax drives Vanessa away. Carrossea has seen everything. Then he shoots his driver and reports the data is in Madlax’s hand and her whereabouts unknown. Vanessa is shocked that Madlax, a girl like her could kill 3 men. 7 to be exact. The rest were hiding. It’s her job. She had no choice because Enfant has saw her face and will be targeted by the entire organization if there were survivors. Pointing out Vanessa is kind, however she shouldn’t have done this. She points her gun at her as reminder that this is Gazth Sonika, where the price of life is cheapest.

Episode 12
Carrossea sends Limelda to do a job. She agrees since she has a score to settle with Madlax. Vanessa and Madlax are staying at a motel. She tries to retrieve the data but there is a password blocking it. She calls Badgis about it but Madlax unplugs the phone. Don’t do anything unnecessary because he will die too. Vanessa reveals her intention to expose Enfant exporting Gazth Sonika and this could end the war. However Madlax doesn’t think so. The moment she publishes the data, she will be killed. There are only 2 options to stay alive. Don’t publish it or have her be her bodyguard. What if she publishes the data while having her bodyguard? A lot of people will die. She will kill them. Vanessa cannot believe she can say that with a straight face. It’s what she has been doing since. Madlax calls SSS to check for any movements from Enfant. Her informant tells her a personal bodyguard is working alone aiming for her. She knows who that person is. Deep in the night when Vanessa has fallen asleep, Madlax goes out to see Limelda. I guess it saves her the trouble of finding her. They question each other and Madlax plays along that the data is with her and took her for her own reasons. Liar. Madlax thought she can’t be killed as the data is with her. On the contrary, Limelda can because the data will fall back into darkness. And now the hide-and-seek cat-and-mouse game begins. Madlax hides well but Limelda can still sense her whereabouts. It ends when Madlax shoots her jeep to explode as distraction to get away. Madlax returns in the morning and Vanessa sees her a little injured, although the bullet just grazed her arm. Madlax reports that it seems Enfant is under the impression she took the data herself. This means they don’t know about Vanessa’s existence and she can go home. But Vanessa won’t because she is bent on exposing the truth even if this means die trying. Meanwhile Carrossea sees Margaret in person.

Episode 13
Carrossea remembers her. On pretence he is sent by Eric to see the book, he becomes a smooth operator to let her have a look at it. He promises to give it back. As he goes through the pages, he notices a page missing. It has been like that when she got it. The next page is soaked in blood and Carrossea suddenly becomes hypnotized in fear. He is snapped out when Margaret takes it back. He notices she has seen and touched the book so many times but nothing happened. Who is she? Margaret. Duh! Vanessa is blindfolded and brought back to Madlax’s secret hideout. There is a page of Secondari on her wall. Madlax considers it her charm and doesn’t know how to read those words. Vanessa explains her parents were tricked by Gazth Sonika. Her father was a diplomat and at the time the civil war was at its peak. He was in charge of relations between the countries but her parents were arrested on grounds they incited the war. Vanessa knows that is not true and that is why she sought the truth, a reason why she joined this company because it has close ties to Gazth Sonika. Her parents might be dead but she wants to know what her father set out to do. For the first time, Madlax also reveals that she is looking for her father, the reason she is in this country. She has faint memories of him. He was in fatigues and probably a soldier. The army database has nothing. As Carrossea drives Margaret back, she tells him she has no memories of her younger days. She can’t remember the face of her father, the one who gave her the book. Carrossea says they are the same. He too has no memories. At her doorstep, before he could ask, Margaret says no. Somehow she knew he was going to ask to give him the book. She can’t. It is hers. Worried Eleanor has Margaret go change as she is wet from the rain. Carrossea confirms with her that Margaret has no memories. She even further reveals when she returned after missing from that trip, the only word she spoke was Madlax. Carrossea is in shock as he tries to connect the things together. He is sure the blood in the book is his. He vows to take it back and return it to that boundless place. Friday calls him for report and since there is no progress, time is up and he is going to use that word. Madlax receives a call from SSS about rumours that she stole Enfant’s data. He wants her to be careful as sometimes they lace it with trap. Just when Vanessa has unlocked the password, the data acts strange. Madlax pushes her away but her eyes see the Elda Taluta words spamming on the screen. She becomes hypnotized. Meanwhile, Quanzitta’s servant and agent, Nakhl creeps into Margaret’s room to steal the book. But Margaret grabs her hand. It’s like she is sleep walking and talking. She warns her if she takes the book, she will kill her.

Episode 14
Vanessa wants to look at the data again but sleeping Madlax wakes up and tells her not to. She notices her personality has changed. She’s a little in a daze. Carrossea calls Limelda that the search is off. The data doesn’t matter. So is Madlax dead? Even if she is alive, she isn’t the same person she used to be. Of course Limelda personally can’t accept this. Carrossea talks to Margaret and Eleanor about the book. The book is very dangerous and thus she is being targeted. As of now, she is being watched although he doesn’t know who. Because Margaret won’t give it up, he’ll take care of the situation somehow but hopes she will not bring it to public anymore. As Vanessa talks to Madlax, she seems to remind her a lot of Margaret especially when she mentions about the missing red shoes. Wasn’t it that pair she bought? Carrossea confronts Nakhl and wants some answers about what she is after. She won’t say. She also knows who he is but from his actions, he doesn’t seem to be operating under Enfant’s orders. She notes he has the gift and escapes. Vanessa wakes up to find Madlax gone. Looking for her shoes? Limelda sees her and realizes what Carrossea said was true. Vanessa finds wandering Madlax but Limelda points her gun. Madlax cowers behind her. Is this for real? I don’t know if Vanessa can shoot her with those shaking hands and at such a close distance. Madlax continues to remember the trauma of chasing her father’s back and suddenly she’s back into her groove overpowering Limelda! She lets her live as she doesn’t want to kill without knowing what’s going on. She might regret this. And she thought Vanessa was the one wandering by herself. She doesn’t remember, doesn’t she? Well at least she’s back. As Margaret goes to school, she passes by Nakhl. Instinctively she tells her not to take the book although Nakhl pretends to ignore and continues walking. She notes Margaret too has the gift.

Episode 15
Madlax thanks Vanessa for coming after her. Now they need to seal the data because after she fell into their trap, Enfant may have found out who she is. Nakhl returns to Quanzitta to report about Margaret as well as Carrossea who also possesses the gift. Limelda reports to Carrossea about Madlax. She also informs the accomplice she has and sends a picture of Vanessa. Seems Carrossea is not too happy about this. He has her on standby when he gets a call from Friday. Time to meet up. Eleanor dresses up as Margaret’s fellow student to better protect her and the book. Yeah. Margaret can’t recognize her. NOOOO!!! PUT BACK ON THAT MAID OUTFIT!!!! Madlax further explains to Vanessa that she doesn’t know who she is as she doesn’t have memories of her childhood. All she remembers was her father’s image and the word Madlax. That is why she became just Madlax. Before she knew it, she was in an institution where SSS picked her up and had her do assignments. She just did them and get by without having to think it all. Carrossea meets Friday and the latter talks about his report about Madlax hacking and stealing data. However he knows that is not correct. Because he has a picture of Vanessa. Carrossea must be trying hard not to press the panic button as Friday explains briefly about this colleague of his. But his interests lie somewhere else. The one who received baptism of Firstari and overcame it, Madlax knows where Secondari is. Since Madlax is curious to know her past, she activates the data again. Oh no. Elda Taluta! As she goes into that trance, similarly Margaret is affected and collapses. Madlax finds herself in a decimated warzone. She sees Leticia running around. There is her dad too but no matter how much she chases, she loses him. Talking to Leticia, she mentions this is a normal place. This place is the truth. However Madlax is different. She is false. Just like the warzone. Madlax snaps out and returns to reality. She isn’t changed although she is reeling from that ‘dream’. Margaret is fine too but she notes that she saw a doll. A very important doll. All the data Vanessa wanted appears shortly. It shows the balance of power in this war is being controlled by Enfant. Including the government and the economy. It’s like they control this country and has been waging a meaningless war in a place that is basically their own country. Madlax now realizes what false warzone means.

Episode 16
Vanessa ponders the irony of the war. Enfant supplies free weapons to both sides of the conflict and that both sides too have members from Enfant. What meaning does it have for Enfant to do this? You asking Madlax? Like hell she knows. Here’s a surprise. Margaret calls Carrossea to meet him. She tells him of a strange dream she has each time she sleeps with the picture book. She is in an abandoned place filled with junk. It is very lonely there. Eleanor is such an awesome maid that she knows how to trace Margaret and picks her up in a helicopter. Now don’t you just love maids already? Carrossea notes that her dream is due to Secondari’s effects. If that theory is correct, it means she is closer to that place than him. Vanessa tries to find a way to publicise the data but Madlax believes it is impossible as every information network is secured by Enfant. But there is a way. She talked to SSS to help arrange and contact an intelligence office in Nafrece. Vanessa makes a copy of the data so Madlax can go deliver. However Vanessa wants to come along as she only knows the password to the data. They meet an agent but since he refuses to tell them what he’ll do with the data, Vanessa warns about the password. In that case, he throws it into the drain! His army surround them and they have to be good girls since he is going to take them to a place. Madlax is knocked out unconscious and when she comes to, she finds herself in a decimated place and wearing a white gown. Before her is a book and red shoes. When Friday appears before her and says this is the place she used to be, Madlax goes into a little traumatic mode. She remembers she was here. Friday tells her she already heard the words of awakening but needs another one. She knows it. He asks the whereabouts of Secondari but she doesn’t know. She claims all she wanted was to be normal but he took it away. Her existence too. Why continue with this endless war? Friday is disappointed that she abandoned it on her own and wished this worthless life instead of his ideals. After he leaves her, Vanessa wonders who that guy is. The guy who started this war. Now that Friday didn’t accept her, the army is out to kill her. But you know… She can kill all of them in her gown and even with her eyes closed! No chance! But the army leader is shot by Vanessa. At that moment, Margaret abruptly wakes up crying.

Episode 17
Vanessa is in shock that she fired a gun. Although that guy is still alive, she is reeling from her conscience of pulling a trigger. The sounds of war and gunshots further drive her crazy. Madlax gives her a harsh reality check that if she hadn’t done that, she would be that. And death is a way to say that you have failed in life. A couple of soldiers ambush them and recognize them as killers of the royal family. Madlax realizes they have been framed and then guns them down before Vanessa’s eyes. Limelda calls Carrossea about it and now she has a reason to kill Madlax. Carrossea feels the need to decide faster now that a connection has been made between Vanessa and Margaret. News of Vanessa and Madlax killing Jaham Cawthran, the cousin of the king spreads worldwide. It is no doubt Margaret and Eleanor are shocked to hear this. An inspector even comes to their house to question about their ex-neighbour. Later Badgis comes by to reveal the data has been manipulated by Enfant to make the ladies look like bad guys. He knows because he helped Vanessa out. However Vanessa is still alive and wanted posters of her is proof of that. He mentions about Madlax being her hired bodyguard and this made Eleanor think back this was the only word Margaret remembered then. Margaret then wants to go to Gazth Sonika to see Vanessa. At the airport, the inspector stops them. Naïve Margaret tells him everything he asks. The more reason he can’t let them go. Thankfully Carrossea was there to say some magic words to make him go away. Do you call it a coincidence that he is also on his way to Gazth Sonika? Eleanor thinks he planned it all out despite claiming it is just a big coincidence. Oh yeah. A big coincidence too since they’re staying at the same hotel. Madlax returns to her home to get all the stuffs they need and run. SSS calls her about what has happened. He hints he sold out information as he values his life. He hopes they can work together again in the future. So don’t die. With nowhere to go, they aimlessly run away from Enfant. Madlax knows Enfant is after a book she has never seen before. Since she doesn’t know the language, they have to find out first. However Enfant ambushes them. Madlax is surrounded. It could have been game over if not for somebody throwing a couple of pistols for her to gun them all down! The soldiers with machine guns cannot even best her with revolvers?! Big joke. Thank Limelda for that because she will be the one to kill her. Madlax tells her this war was setup by Enfant and gives her the diskette that contains the truth. Or is she too scared to face it? Limelda lets them go as she ponders about looking at the data. Vanessa wants Madlax to teach her to shoot. Because they both can’t die, right? The biggest coincidence: The cars Vanessa and Margaret are riding pass each other.

Episode 18
Limelda must be confused after learning the truth. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s assistant, Charlie Winston is looking for clues on Vanessa but nobody is being cooperative. He stumbles upon Eleanor and Margaret and they exchange information. Apparently Margaret has this great idea of asking those pursuing Vanessa. Oh yeah. I’m sure they’re going to tell. Elsewhere Vanessa begins her gun training. She must use up the box of ammo to get her body used to it. Happy firing. Limelda confronts her superior about the truth. From his reaction, he already knows about it. Limelda notes how everything is meaningless. But as told, it doesn’t have to be as long as she doesn’t accept this fact and be faithful to orders. She knows the orders will come from Enfant and not the army. However she is not smart enough to live a fake truth and shoots him. Now she has to face the army outside. I don’t think it’ll be a problem for her. Madlax studies the history of Gazth Sonika and sees that same picture. She realizes it is the Elies language. Nakhl creeps up and points a knife behind her back as she believes the book is not meant for her. Madlax answers that she is researching it for her own sake to remain as herself. Nakhl points out she is wrong because she is different. Madlax remembers that traumatic memories of her father. She doesn’t want to her existence to be denied and fires her gun but Nakhl avoids. Limelda confronts Carrossea and now that she knows the truth and he as an agent of Enfant, what is she going to do? She shoots him but intentionally misses. I guess she still has feelings for him. As she wanders in the streets, she notes everything is fake and Madlax is the only truth. That’s why she will kill her. Uh? What? Madlax and Nakhl’s standoff continues. However Madlax loses as Nakhl warns her she is outside time and those with no talent shouldn’t come into contact with the book although she had a brief encounter with it. Margaret and Eleanor are still searching late into the night and this brought them to the library where the duo are. Their appearance distracts Nakhl and enables Madlax to retrieve her gun. Although she only managed to break Nakhl’s gun as she got away. Rather, Nakhl let her live. When Margaret introduces herself, Madlax remembers who she is because Vanessa told her she is her friend. Speaking of Vanessa, after wasting a whole lot of ammo, she finally hits the can. WTF. I know she’s an amateur but this bad?

Episode 19
Vanessa is happy to see Margaret and Eleanor again. But it’s getting dangerous and she wants them to return to Nafrece. Margaret wants to stay because she is being targeted too. Her book. As the ladies talk, Madlax remembers about Eric and what Friday said to her. They conclude that Enfant is searching for this book but for reasons unknown. Madlax remembers a place she went with Eric before and it may hold the clue. Margaret really wants to go even if that place is dangerous and she might die because she wants to know the truth. If this is what she has decided… Nakhl reports to Quanzitta about Margaret and Carrossea coming here as they have the gift. However Nakhl points out one is an unknown. Although she has no gift, she can feel it. She is Madlax. As the ladies drive along, Margaret believes finding the truth of this book may lead her to find out about her father and of course her memories from 12 years ago. That’s the same case for Madlax. They are attacked by soldiers and although none are hurt they no choice have to abandon their jeep and leave on foot. Madlax leaves Vanessa to protect the rest while she heads off alone to take out the rest. However somebody is sniping the soldiers too. Limelda won’t have anyone kill Madlax. A soldier creeps up on Vanessa and Madlax can’t make it in time. When Margaret screams, Nakhl throws her knife at the soldier. Meanwhile Carrossea confronts Friday and is going to take Firstari from him. Nakhl brings the ladies to see Quanzitta, the one who watches the era. She explains there are 3 books. The one Margaret is holding is Secondari. Firstari is in Enfant’s hands. Quanzitta has Thirstari. By itself the books mean nothing. All 3 must come together and the door to that place will open (where Leticia is waiting) and they shall find true kindness and warmth. You can find out about yourself and the way you’re supposed to be. Quanzitta tells Margaret that if she gets Firstari, she will give Thirstari to her and then guide her to that door. Friday doesn’t believe Carrossea can go to that place. However Carrossea knows the person having Secondari and that person will guide him there. He then shoots Friday. Margaret wants to go to that place but Madlax is having second thoughts. She doesn’t want to go there. But Leticia knows she will come to find out about herself.

Episode 20
As told, the war was started all because the books were gathered. 12 years ago, Friday obtained all 3 books and opened the door to the other side in search of something. Eleanor supports Margaret to gather the books because she believes her memories will return. Margaret thanks Madlax but the latter says it is only because of her job. She had to kill many. She knows it is bad but otherwise she will die. Margaret calls her a kind person but kind people don’t kill, right? Then she is a kind killer. Oh Margaret, you crack me up sometimes. Madlax goes to see Quanzitta so that she can have a look at Thirstari. Quanzitta ‘scans’ her and finds she doesn’t have the gift. However she somehow got caught in it. Madlax mentions about that unseen warzone and Leticia’s words. After handing Madlax Thirstari, we delve into her memories as we see young Madlax calling out to her father. I think her father was pointing a gun at her and in the end she shot him. After he falls, before her was young Margaret. Leticia mentions she is a moment, a thought left behind. Limelda shoots the candle as warning. Time to get your game on. But Limelda is puzzled that Madlax is walking straight towards her. And crying. Like as though she wants to get killed. Happy to oblige. However Nakhl saves her and she herself doesn’t know why. So they talk about reasons to exist and some promise. This gets Madlax back into her groove as she ‘dances’ with Limelda in a gunfight. Meanwhile Margaret is surprised Carrossea is here. He reveals he is from Enfant although with a different goal. He hands over Firstari to her in exchange she will guide him there. He hopes to find his memories and truths that he lost 12 years ago. He needs her. Madlax and Limelda are point blank at each other. Limelda realized her life up till now has been fake and fabricated by Enfant. Even so, she has her reasons why she wants to kill her. Madlax continues to fight because of a promise and for her own existence. Limelda views that reason the same as hers. She will forgive her own existence by killing her. Vanessa’s lousy shot distracts them but Limelda manages to put a bullet in Madlax’s guts before running away. I think it is beginner’s luck because Limelda got injured by her stray shot. Limelda curses Vanessa for interrupting their ‘dance’. Madlax wants them to find Margaret instead of worrying about her. After Quanzitta confirms Secondari, she guides Margaret and Carrossea to the door. Nakhl has an uneasy feeling that something is wrong. Oh, Friday still lives and he can hear a beautiful melody. Cue for madman laughter.

Episode 21
Carrossea notes everything about him is fake. His name, title and life. That’s why he wants Margaret to guide him to the truth. Eleanor learns Margaret is trying to open the door and has a guide. She won’t accept this (probably because it’s that guy) and goes to see her. Margaret chants the secret words that will open the door: Elda Taluta, Sarkus Sark and… Ark Alks. It doesn’t sound as good as the first two. By the time Eleanor arrives, Margaret has already gone to the other side. But where’s the door? Duh. But as Quanzitta says, those without the gift cannot see it. So Eleanor is sad but what else can she do but pray and hope for the best for her return. Margaret and Carrossea are walking through some strange dimension. She heard Leticia’s voice that they can’t come in here to get to the truth yet. She tells Carrossea not to open the door but he doesn’t listen. After coming so far and only to back out? No way. Once he does, Margaret falls unconscious and finds herself in some jingle plains. There is a flashback whereby young Margaret and her mom are on a plane. Poupee was onboard too. The plane hits some strange turbulence (Friday opening the door then) and crashes. Only Margaret and Poupee survived. She is sad that her mom is dead but he takes her to run and hide in the midst of the warzone (Friday laughing like a madman in the background?). He gave her candies and promised he’ll live through this. Carrossea realizes Poupee is him but can’t understand why he looked so different. Colonel Burton who is also known as Madlax confronts Friday who is in possession of the books. Colonel Burton shoots him and Friday is blinded in his right eye. Margaret runs to her father but Poupee stops her. In the process, he gets shot and his blood stains the pages of Secondari. The door closes as Carrossea realizes this is the truth. His chest starts to bleed too. He wants to go to Margaret but Leticia tells him not to open the door or else he will cease to exist. He doesn’t listen. Leticia starts crying as Poupee disappears. Carrossea is next to unconscious Margaret, grateful that he is able to realize his true feelings. He wants to protect her even if it costs his life because before he became who he is, he loved her. As he lies beside her, Friday picks up the books. He says his existence was nothing more than his will to live which he made incarnate using the power of that place. If he finds out the truth, that existence will disappear. Thanks to him, the books have come back into his hands.

Episode 22
Leticia confronts Friday and wonders if he wants that to happen again. Everybody will kill each other and disappear. He thinks this is what human wants but just doesn’t know. He is just trying to lead them to that paradise. He will save them using this book. However Leticia says she is alone. He then notices a page missing in Secondari. She believes he can’t find it as the through is on the other side. Quanzitta can feel Margaret is refusing to open the door. Nakhl thinks it is because of Madlax. Madlax can feel Margaret’s presence. Over the mountains. Eleanor and Vanessa seek her help to guide them there. Get this. Madlax walks right into the middle of somebody’s war and starts shooting everyone with her eyes closed! The survivors call a retreat! WTF?! Margaret is walking along thinking about the doll, book and red shoes. She remembers going to hug her father but Madlax shot him. A soldier picks her up. He tries to interrogate her and thinks she’s trying to be funny when she says she’s going to die. She didn’t like to be pushed down. After that, you’ll hear a very piercing scream from the guy… Holy cow… What happened… Looks like Madlax has to face off with Limelda again. It really feels funny to see her dancing her way to dodge the bullets! She can do this all because she knows who she is and accepts herself? Of course we know eventually Madlax will come out tops. Vanessa and Eleanor got separated looking for Margaret. Vanessa bumps into Friday who knows all about her. He will tell her what she wants in exchange for a page of Secondari. Screw that. He hints to her that war is what people want. Not based on religious grounds or a country’s economy but their deep desire. Her parents were trying to go against that instinct and paid the price. Vanessa blames him for this war and everything but Friday is going to awaken her and says Elda Taluta. She falls into a trance as she sees those memories. Madlax is here and Friday hopes she can give the page. No way. She’ll kill him. Vanessa notices Limelda creeping from behind and picks up her gun to shoot at her. Again, Vanessa is the one nailing the victory over Limelda. But why the heck was Limelda hiding behind a rocky cliff?! Now she’s falling dooooooooown. However Vanessa got shot too. Then in some alternate dimension like as though it’s a place to say goodbye, Vanessa tells Madlax that all she wanted was to prove her parents’ innocence and protect her friends. But now she leaves everyone in Madlax’s care. How can she be this irresponsible? Can’t blame her. When you see little Vanessa happily reuniting with her parents like a happy kid, you just let her go. Margaret screams upon seeing Vanessa’s dead body and thinks Madlax killed her just like she killed her dad. She picks up Vanessa’s gun and without hesitation shoots her! Now it’s her turn to fall off the cliff.

Episode 23
Eleanor finds Vanessa’s dead body. So sad… Madlax wakes up. She finds no wound. Is this a dream? Nakhl doesn’t think so. It’s real. Because Vanessa is really dead. Madlax believes she is no good at living and wants to disappear. Sure, she can do that anytime. But only those living can carry on the things they’re supposed to do. Nakhl informs Margaret has gone with Friday. He might be trying to open the door now. Madlax knows he can’t because she has that page with her. Now that she has finally understood the truth and herself, she is going to rescue Margaret. She joins Eleanor praying at a makeshift grave for Vanessa. Telling her about Margaret’s situation, how does she know where Margaret is? Nakhl will guide the way. They enter an area where the battle is most heavily fought. Madlax explains that Enfant is responsible in creating this war and is trying to make it last by using the books. Now they’re trying to recreate it again but this time need someone with the gift. It’s time for Madlax action as she storms through the battlefield killing everybody with her handgun. Yeah, they’re armed with all the combat gears and machine guns and still cannot best her. But Madlax didn’t have 100% kill record. One of them is taken out by Eleanor. With a torchlight!!! Maids FTW! Then on the boat ride as they are ambushed, Eleanor’s desire to see Margaret so much has her use the boat’s machine gun and random fire! Holy sh*t! Did she kill everybody?! I didn’t know she had such talent in using this assuming this is her first time! In actual fact, the soldiers are done in by Nakhl travelling on land. Oh, Limelda lives! She’s sneaking around killing those soldiers too. Meanwhile Margaret is talking to Friday and calls him her father. She asks him about this yellow flower and in the ancient language it means allurement. Just like how it will allure Madlax here and then his wish will be granted once the lost time of 12 years is reborn again. Margaret says she hates Madlax and asks for permission to kill her. Go ahead. Since it will make father happy, she’ll do it. Madlax and Eleanor stop for the night. Eleanor asks her real name. She doesn’t know as she doesn’t have memories and that was the only word she knew and assumed it as her code name. As for her connection with Margaret, she isn’t entirely sure but feels they are connected. That is why she will go to her and find out about the truth. And now for more Madlax action as she dances her way to kill the ambushing guards. They thought the flare could make it more visible but they don’t know she doesn’t need to use her eyes to kill them. Get this. A soldier is about to shoot Eleanor. Madlax could time her shot that she shoots away his bullet! Eleanor believed in her and didn’t flinch! So unbelievable that it’s just awesome. Speechless.

Episode 24
If you are feeling bored with the flashback talk between Vanessa and Eleanor, I’m sure you would enjoy the Madlax action of her killing all the armed soldiers with just a pair of guns and in a white dress. Freaking awesome. Freaking unbelievable. And how is she going to take an army of choppers coming her way? I don’t know but we know she’ll do it somehow. Yeah. Even she herself said she can’t die. So much so that the entire platoon is wiped out, Friday even shoots his so called best soldier as he is tired of him thinking he can do the job. Madlax is more interesting, right? Then another faceoff between Madlax and Limelda but this time it just feels unenthusiastic. They’re missing each other at such close range? And they’re not even making any effort to dodge or move from their spot! So are they interested in killing each other or what?! Even Limelda begs Madlax to kill her but she won’t. Instead she has a request and that is to watch her till the end. I guess everybody has gone mad since Limelda thought she was being confessed to. What? We take a break from all that to have some reminiscence flashback from Eleanor thinking about Margaret. Then it’s time for some maid action stuff as we see Eleanor giving a few high kicks to disarm fully armed soldiers. Hah. What a big laugh. I love it! She even holds one hostage and is willing to go as far as to pull the trigger. However thoughts of Margaret won’t like it made her stop. She runs. Soldiers fire. Miss. As expected. Then… Eleanor is cornered at the cliff and shot! But… Maids are tough people. She is still alive and crawls her way to the flower beds. She hears Eleanor singing and goes up to her. Unfortunately Eleanor doesn’t know who she is. Eleanor wants them to go home. She apologizes that she had always wanted her memories to come back. However she is fine that if it doesn’t. As long as she is herself. Friday is introduced as Margaret’s father as Eleanor points the gun at him. He’s not her father. Friday tells Margaret to say the words of awakening. This causes her to go into a trance. Then she points her gun at Margaret and Friday thinks her true desire is hating her. However she breaks free from the spell and points the gun back at Friday. Her true desire is love. Margaret remembers her and reunites with her. However she is at her limit as she succumbs to her earlier gunshot wound. Eleanor is glad to be her family. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Why you kill her off???!!! You don’t have to remind me twice that she’s dead, Margaret. Don’t. I’m so depressed now… So depressing that even Leticia is crying and needs to be hugged by the maid. Where the hell were you Madlax when she got shot?! Nooo… :’(

Episode 25
I share Margaret’s pain that Eleanor is gone (because it’s no fun when the maid’s gone). What did she say about staying by her side forever? Now she is all alone. With Madlax here, Friday wants the missing page. Madlax blames him for the sadness and everything. He talks about the distorted world and hidden evil but Madlax doesn’t care for it all. Because within the lies are truth. The truth for Margaret. However Margaret shoots Madlax as she doesn’t want her to kill her father again. OMG. I think Margaret pumped lots of bullets into her. Overkill. But why do I have a feeling she isn’t dead? It’s not like Margaret was firing blanks or Madlax was wearing some bullet proof vest. Limelda is disheartened that Madlax is shot but is told not to go an inch closer by Nakhl. Beyond there is the sacred place and those with the gift can only enter. All they can do is watch over them. Now that the books are completed, Friday successfully opens the door and will go back 12 years in time and eliminate those who interfered with his wish. Because that bullet caused him his right eye, he was unable to open the door. Now with the guide of his daughter, he will open the door. Margaret goes back to the past to see everything from the time she boarded the plane, its crash, her runaway with Poupee and the ultimate faceoff between her father and Friday. When father and daughter are happily reunited, Friday recites the words of awakening. This causes her father to pick up the gun and getting ready to shoot her. Margaret is scared to death. She doesn’t want to die but yet she knows if nothing is done, father will kill her. In that great dilemma of hers, she split into 3 personas. Herself, Madlax and Leticia. Madlax as seen pulls the trigger. Leticia says she is her doll, an instant impulse, the part that separates them. As Margaret is in shock learning the truth, Friday talks about how she killed her father, sealed her memory and led a normal life. 12 years of her life spent in falsehood. She must now not run away from the truth and must not deny her doings. He recites the words of awakening again and this causes the entire world to go mad and kill each other. Time will start moving again where it stopped 12 years ago. Cue for super mad madman laughter. Margaret regrets everything and is sorry that she ran away from the truth. Suddenly Friday’s mask is shot off. That should stop his laughing. He remembers. As long as there is a person carrying that name, that person will interfere with his plans. Yup. Madlax is here. The one who carries Margaret’s sin and born of sadness. She is Pandora’s jewel, the kind murderer.

Episode 26
Madlax understands that as a product of Margaret’s sins, she is not at fault for shooting her father as she wanted to live. Friday tries to persuade them to unite but Madlax shoots to shut him up. Madlax then gives the gun to Margaret to decide. She is the one to open the door and must decide whether to save or erase her other personas. Margaret can’t. It’s too sudden. She doesn’t want to go back to be the one who killed father. Leticia notes that it is because of her indecisiveness, she is stuck in this place for 12 years and doesn’t want to be alone anymore. Madlax on the other hand doesn’t mind being erased because her friends wished it. Since there are others who care about her (like Limelda), in that sense she will still continue to exist. Margaret doesn’t want to run away anymore and even though if becoming one with Madlax means undertaking her ruthless personality, she doesn’t want Madlax to carry the burden alone. The trio hold hands and merge into a single entity and Margaret’s original self. Friday is happy for their ‘reunion’ and believes Margaret is not as fault. It is the world. It is also the reason her father was crazy. Now they have to tell the world about it. Once Margaret starts believing she wasn’t wrong to kill her father because she wants to live, she is going to teach the world about its crookedness. To Madlax. She picks up the gun and points at Friday. That stopped your laughing, bro? Margaret elaborates that she and everyone else has known for a long time that the world is crooked and therefore no teaching is necessary. But there is one person who doesn’t understand about that: Madlax. That’s why she wants to teach her that she doesn’t need to be nice. To do that, she will kill the evil within her, which is to kill him. A lot of people died. That’s why she hates him and that feeling makes it her sin. Friday is not happy. This is not what she wished for. He shoots her many times but it looks like Margaret could bend his bullets! OMFG!

And with a single shot, Friday is sent back to reality. He gets the ultimate shock when Madlax is before him. What the hell? Weren’t they supposed to have become one? I don’t know. Nobody knows anything. All Madlax knows is that she is here to kill him. Time for some final superb Madlax action as she adds to the body count and all those useless soldiers jumping into the scene just to get shot and die like ants. Really. Serious. Not even the bazooka guy could touch her. Really. Serious. Friday must be confused about intrinsic nature and what he wished for because certainly this is not the truth to him. Oh hell. Like I care anymore. Madlax just needs a bullet to send him down. As he is dying in his last breathe, he is spewing some crap about the lie and mistake in front of him and that he couldn’t see it. What a dramatic way to die. Meanwhile Margaret is a step from opening the door. She knows her wish for herself and the world. Next we see Margaret picking up Madlax from the rubbles. Margaret realized something when they became one. It was a lie when Madlax said she has been killing unconsciously because she’s been screaming each time she killed somebody (oh really? I didn’t see anything but a calm smile on her face?). She kept crying over it. Her sadness is from her kindness and thus the kind killer. There is no need for them to become one because the time she lived as Madlax was truly her own. She is fine the way things are now. Knowing the truth and her sins. The world might be twisted but she wants to try live in it. I think she is already twisted for wanting to do that. The duo hug but so as not to leave Leticia feel left out, Margaret wants her to become her little sister. So when the sisters return to their normal life, Madlax travels on her own with Limelda becoming some sort of her bodyguard to ‘watch over her’. And it’s back to business when SSS calls Madlax for a job.

Madness, Memory Lapse
What is it that I truly wish for this anime? I don’t know. Something enjoyable that I could at least understand? Unfortunately for the understanding part, it feels like a maze. So let me get this straight about what this entire series is about. Because some maniac wanted to turn the world into its intrinsic instincts, an innocent girl who is too afraid to face the truth started to live a lie and a fabricated world for the last 12 years. Is this what this show is about to sum it up? So now that she has accepted her past and sins, time moves again? I don’t know. There are so many darn things that I didn’t understand like how Poupee and Carrossea are supposed to be the same person but no explanation is given to how he turned into a handsome young man. Maybe this is how he looks like when he grows up but then again it couldn’t. For a great deal of the series, we are spammed with snippets of Leticia and Poupee inside this sealed warzone area, observing and saying things. Feels like they’re teasing and taunting us for some big revelation and when it came it didn’t feel so grand after all. I mean, Leticia is just a doll? If that is so, who the heck is the doll she is holding? I’m so confused. Even doing some brief research over the internet also didn’t yield much. Okay, that’s just me being lazy but if I can’t understand further than that or it takes more brain power for me to digest it all, then I don’t think I’m ever going to get it by the time this series is dusted and gone.

The ending feels unsatisfied in the sense that I thought when they started killing off characters like Carrossea, Vanessa and especially poor Eleanor, I thought everybody should just die. The world is already so twisted. Margaret has accepted it. So time to end it all and just kill off everybody. Why let side characters that don’t matter like Limelda live anyway? It’s not like she did anything that has got a big impact except for her fight with Madlax that always ends in a draw. Then when Margaret brought back Madlax and Leticia and have them live as their own separate entities, I thought she was going to wish for her dead friends to come back. Like how she brought Madlax and Leticia to life. They didn’t. Well, no such happy ending. I guess in that way you don’t have to tie up the loose ends if you ever bring them back alive. It only makes sense to upgrade your doll into your little sister and Madlax continue what she does best as a mercenary. Heck, I thought she was going to be her big sister or at least somebody to replace the maid. How the heck can Margaret go on living without the maid now? See how important the maid is? And they even had the guts to kill her off… Triple thumbs down for that!

The flow of the series also feels a bit like Noir. But unlike the first half in Noir that feels episodic and filler-like, this series too have a bunch of early episodes that feel like fillers. However each of them are somewhat linked to the main story and these ‘fillers’ are what bridge the overall plot together. For example Eric and Luciano’s short-lived appearances. But I can’t say much for the detective who became part of Enfant’s puppets. Whatever happened to him? Therefore the first half of the series feels more like introducing and bringing in the main concepts because as you would have noticed, Madlax and Margaret don’t actually meet until after halfway through the series. We’ll be pacing back and forth between both sides of the story before their inevitable meeting (at least Madlax meeting with Vanessa first before Margaret).

The main and supporting characters do play their part in driving the story but sometimes otherwise feel a bit redundant. Thanks to a multitude of characters, sometimes you begin to wonder what happened to a certain character and the fate in store for them. Like Badgis and Charlie. They feel slightly more important than your ordinary character-for-the-episode but at the end of the day, you don’t know what happened to them because it’s like perhaps with all the madness going around, it isn’t like it really mattered. A fate worse than being killed off? It makes me wonder if they are real or not because as I said and understood, this is just one big fabrication created by Margaret so there might be some questions if to whether such characters exist outside the time line. If Madlax could now, why not them? Then there are those like Quanzitta and Nakhl who exist just to observer. And they continue to do so.

Margaret as the main character, sometimes her retard makes her the coolest character in the series because she is in a world of her own. In which, she literally is. It’s like she is such a slow person and you would forgive her for it because we were being told about her traumatic experience so it is okay for her to keep acting this way. So when she returned to her true self, she might still sound the same but you could feel that there is this tinge of danger coming from her. So I guess that Margaret is now competent by our standards, she doesn’t need a maid or an ex-neighbour to look after her. All she needs is a little sister for company, no? Madlax on the other hand ironically the best mercenary in the land is also quite an attractive and charismatic young woman. I guess sometimes you have to fight fire with fire and in Madlax’s case, she fights to end the fighting. I wonder how long would that take. If there is ever a bodyguard I need, it would be her because no matter how many times you kill her, she just can’t die. Really. I know in this fake world she might have some God mode on or something but you’ll definitely be safe with her around.

Then there is Limelda who keeps ‘chasing’ Madlax around and it makes it feel like as though she is some sort of love stricken stalker. Because nobody else gets the right to kill Madlax except her. I don’t know how but it seems she feels it is her right to do it. She is only qualified to do that. I thought they were going for some yuri thingy now that they have become partners or something. Friday as the antagonist seems laughable only because he spends half his time laughing like a madman for being a step closer to realizing his dream of plunging the world into a big war. So this is his wish? Well, he should open his eyes because the world is already fighting without needing his help or anybody else. Oh wait. He got half his face disfigured. I suppose he was blinded by this obsession that he didn’t really see what is going on before him. Carrossea, Vanessa and Eleanor play great supporting role for Margaret when she was an absent-minded girl but it’s sad that their fates were sealed. It goes to show that not everybody has got their natural instincts of hatred and wanting to kill. A very few have got love and hope and that is why all is not lost for mankind in this twisted world.

Although the action parts fare much better than Noir, some of them feel pretty unrealistic and in a way silly. I know this is anime and sometimes you should leave logic at the doorstep. Especially the way Madlax coolly kills the soldiers and mercenaries. It is at first awesome and at the same time mind boggling to see her dance her way shooting at all the useless soldiers who feels like they are just there to exist to be shot and add to the body count. She does it often enough to make you wonder if she has some sort of cheat code on ever since the war. It shows that either Madlax is pretty damn good in what she does (her accumulated years in spilling blood and survival is a damning proof) or the soldiers are just pretty useless to begin with. Or both. Another slight gripe is blood. Remember how Noir didn’t have blood? Here too but there is a tiny amount of blood shown. This is only confined to when the characters are injured (but not dead) and you can see ‘blood stains’ on the clothes. Otherwise, the dead don’t spill blood after they get shot. Odd. Anyway, personally the action parts are the most enjoyable segments that I look forward to the most.

Being an old school anime (produced in 2004, which is over a decade old and in anime years, this is already a pretty old anime), the art and drawing style are of course from that era. Because of that, I started to see some similarity of the characters. For example, when I first saw Madlax, I was wondering what on earth Love Hina’s Naru was doing in this anime. Suspiciously similar. Then there is Margaret who looks like Mai-HiME’s Mikoto and Carrossea looking a bit like Death Note’s Kira. Oh, did I mention that Quanzitta resembles closely to Vandread’s B.C.? Others are not so obvious but if you look closer, you might see the uncanny resemblance especially to the characters in Noir. For instance, Vanessa might be Altena’s reincarnation, and it feels like you will get Nakhl, Eleanor and Limelda if you mix up Mireille, Kirika and Chloe and then split them out again. And when Margaret got her personas united, she seems to resemble like Kirika. Finally, I thought Friday wanted to be the Phantom of the Opera. Just saying…

As for the setting, I have a big feeling that the warzone of Gazth Sonika is modelled after a certain Middle Eastern country. You know, Gaza Strip? The fictional country of Nafrece seems to take after France (I learnt that Nafrece is almost an anagram of the country of love) since I noticed the very familiar Eifel Tower in the background as well as the very European-like houses in the series. (Note: Noir’s setting is also in France). As this is an old school anime, the effects of war of decimated places and ruined warzones don’t look that convincing (probably it is because like I said the lack of blood ‘colouring’ the place). Maybe because a big part of the war seems to be occurring in the middle of the dense jungles, which is odd for a dessert country but then again it is not surprising in such fictitious setting. Sometimes I think the jungles make it feel like they are in South East Asia and this war feels like the Vietnam War.

The supernatural stuffs weren’t that scary except for the fact that sometimes when the words of awakening of the book are read (or going to be read) there is this eerie background music. I don’t know if I should call it that because there is this sort of tribal chanting that gets louder and louder that it makes my heart beat faster thinking that something supernatural might pop up and scare the daylights out of me. I’m not sure if this is an effect for the viewers getting affected by hearing those words of awakening too. Thank goodness I didn’t. Still it is pretty mind boggling that by the mere mention of the words of awakening, you’ll start to go into a trance and give into your instincts of hatred and killing. So it’s like if anybody can say and activate it? Unless of course those with the gift can only do this.

Yuki Kajiura once again composes the music for this series as she did in Noir. Her trademark style is still evident in the backgrounds music although I feel that those with voices sound like Middle Eastern type of songs (or is it Indian?). All the opening and ending themes including the insert songs are sung by FictionJunction Yuuka. Hitomi No Kakera as the opening has this enigmatic and sad feel to it although it is the flute play that I prefer. Inside Your Heart is the ending theme sounds pretty okay but nothing that spectacular. The insert songs of Nowhere and I’m Here are not bad too (although usually played during fight sequences) but I noticed something which I found out has become a running joke by fan of the series. The insert song Nowhere has this meaningless chant (it feels like some sort of ritual to summon black magic or something?) that is repeated when Madlax enters a fight. It became so coincidentally repetitive that fans started joking that this song gives her the power up to do all that silly bullet dodging and death waltz kills. So maybe that is why Madlax is dancing. Perhaps to this tune to kill all her enemies. I won’t blame if you can’t stop laughing right now.

Well, I can’t say that I totally enjoy this series thanks to the few confusing parts that I don’t understand but it is still better than Noir including the action scenes although they may seem quite far-fetched. Fans who love slow build-ups where it takes time to develop the story and characters would find this one a pleasant watch. Although I won’t say that watching the atrocities of wars and people killing each other would be something pleasant. This time and memories thingy made me reflect that I am probably similar to Margaret’s case because while I am here watching my animes, there are a whole lot of problems going on elsewhere in the rest of the world. It’s like I’m trying to avoid facing the truth and dealing with it. I don’t know. Do I have the guts to accept everything and let time flow again? Personally, I think it would be safer to just live in a fake world even if it’s all just lies. Nobody gets to die and if not, we could die happy, right?

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