Mardock Scramble: The First Compression Review [Movie]

Synopsis

Rune Balot is a 15-year old prostitute working in Mardock City. At the brink of death after a murder attempt by Shell, one of her clients, she is artificially given a new life by Dr. Easter through the Scramble 09 law and turned into a cyborg to serve testimonial at a case. Though initially confused, when Shell sends men after her to finish the job her mind quickly turns towards exacting revenge.

If you liked the Terminator series, as well as Deadman Wonderland (or have a strong stomach in general) this is the anime movie for you. If not, then just watch it anyway xD

-THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS-

Impression

Now before you all start running away from the notion that the protagonist was a former prostitute, the fact that she used to be one is a key factor towards some of Balot’s motives and actions, as well as all of her feelings and insecurities throughout the movie. Unlike other protagonists, Balot is undeniably unique. I don’t think she wanted to be a prostitute for the sex or the money okay, maybe the sex and when asked about it by cops, she tells them how she was raped by her father at 12 and does not deny this in court too. Balot has lived an amazingly fucked up life, and the scene near the end where Shell’s men hunt her down reminds us of that so amazingly, as she just snaps and becomes a splitting image of that awesome bitch Takami Minatsuki except she has a gun.

But when fellow cyborg Boiled arrives to kill her, she loses all her self-confidence and we see her for what she is on the inside – a terrified 15 year old that has no place in this world, yet still wants to live. In the last ten minutes of the film, so many emotions are felt by Balot; fear, anger, horror among others which is why I felt that though the film had a rocky start, it just improved as it progressed and it went out with a bang. I’m certain there was symbolism in the ending credits as Amazing Grace was sung, it’s almost as if someone out there is saying that Balot can redeem herself and lead a good life, that forgiveness is possible even though she has sinned as a prostitute.

The final scene of the movie

Mardock Scramble is in fact a trilogy of films, however the other two haven’t been released as of yet, and so everything ends in a cliffhanger in the final moments of the movie. With cyberpunk being a main genre, the city that the story takes place in, Mardock City is ridiculously high-tech and advanced, and the rest of the character cast is pretty interesting too.

On the “good” side we have Dr. Easter and his golden Stuart Little mouse, Oeufcocque, who save Balot and revive her using Scramble 09, the latter character forming a partnership with her and serving as her weapon of defence. All through the movie I was uncertain what their real motives were, but I suppose they have to prove their use to the higher ups if they want to continue living. As for antagonists, Shell and Boiled are the main bad guys, and as Boiled is a fellow cyborg to Balot, a lot more than a gun is gonna be needed to kill him in the end. Shell is just fucking evil, gassing and trying to blow Balot up after having sex with her just so that his secrets don’t get out.

Before Scramble 09

As with the good + bad, we also have the ugly, and Mardock Scramble has far too many of those. If you’ve watched the movie, it’s obvious I’m talking about Boiled’s men, who chop up their victims and implant parts into their own bodies – I truly felt this part of the movie was sickening. From one guy who implants eyes into their bodies to another that replaces victim fingers with his own, a true horror was Fresh the Pike, who implanted all the female victim’s boobies onto his body. Just seeing it in blu-ray made me recoil, and I can’t imagine anyone who’d want a character like that. Yes, even you Oki. What was even worse was a guy nicknamed Pussyhand – I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what kind of fucked up retard would want a hand with a vagina in it. I’m just glad they didn’t show his hand in any sort of detail.

I won’t spoil any more, but do I recommend this? Hell yes. As long as you can take the slight profanity, gore and the occasional retard character thus the preferred liking of Deadman Wonderland, this is a pretty sweet anime film to sit through, along with REDLINE I’ve heard. Really must get to watching that.

Overall Result

Quality: 8/10 – Overall quality was really good, some of Oeufcocque’s morphs were a bit dodgy though.
OST: 9/10 – The music used in all the fight scenes added to the suspense really well, and Amazing Grace at the end was really symbolic.
Plot: 7/10 – Picked up a lot near the end, but was pretty slow throughout.
Characters: 9.5/10 – Balot’s different emotions and development in particular were extremely well done.

Vantage

I love cute things.

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