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Mardock Scramble: The Third Exhaust

「マルドゥック・スクランブル 第3部 排気」 (Marudukku Sukuranburu Dai 3 Bu Haiki)
“Mardock Scramble: The Third Exhaust”

With this, we bid a fond farewell to the Mardock Scramble trilogy. It wasn’t quite Ghost in the Shell, but I loved it nonetheless. Yes, it might gave been drawn out at times and might have felt pretentious to some, but the fact remains that there things done well here, and this third installment does much to demonstrate those aspects—starting with its continuation of the casino/blackjack moments from the second movie.

Indeed, the whole “casino arc” portion of Mardock Scramble ends up being one of the most important bits of the entire trilogy, and it’s in no small part due to the symbolic nature of the whole exchange. Because essentially, the casino ends up being a representation of life in the Mardock universe: unfair, full of skewered odds, empty of justice, and trampler of hope. Looking back, it was something we got in both the first and second movies (in regards to the circumstances that got Balot where she is in the first place and Bell Wing’s manipulation of the roulette wheel), and well, let’s just say the third movie just adds the final nail in the coffin so to speak. Not only do we get even more dealer manipulation this time around, the “even money” bets are anything but even, and we even got Ashley Harvest emphasizing how the casino is essentially a place where you can legally steal from others. And all in all, it’s something that just demonstrates how if you want to survive in the Mardock world, you’re going to need one of three things: relevant knowledge, help from someone else, or just plain old luck.

With that said, it’s clear which ones of the three Rune Balot possesses, and it’s notable because despite the terrible hand she’s been dealt up until now by life, the hand’s arguably anything but terrible now considering what she’s gained since the first movie. On the other hand though, what this does is make her life tougher than before as a result, because in her attempt to solve her own case, she ends up having the trample on the hopes of Ashley Harvest and Bell Wing—of which at least one is now unemployed due to her victories at the casino. And it’s important because it highlights how a victory might not always be sweet and how winning sometimes means you’ll be trampling on someone else—someone else who may have been dealt a bad hand in life too. Combine that with her decision to go even money despite her guaranteed victory with trip sevens though, and what we end up getting some quality development in regards to Balot, who shows that she’s clearly a stronger, more independent person than she was before.

With this strength, Balot finally manages to find the motivation behind Shell’s actions, and I gotta say, I was surprised at how reasonable it ended up being. After all, it makes perfect sense that someone who’s lost their memories could continue to act on a residual impulse left over subconsciously—especially when it comes from such trauma as the one he and his victims ended up going through. And what this effectively does is end up making Shell someone I actually sympathized with a little bit, which was pretty big considering how much of a mystery he’s been throughout the trilogy so far. Balot having to (and agreeing to) subsequently protect him from Boiled just culminates some pretty good development overall, and it goes without saying that the fight scenes between the former and current users of Oeufcoque also delivered on expectations too.

And ultimately, what we get with the Mardock Scramble trilogy is a solid story with mature topics few series would even think about touching. In addition, we also get a novel world that stimulates the imagination—assisted in part by GoHands’ superb animation—and a memorable heroine who ends up developing quite well through the course of the series. Yes, it some things could’ve developed better. Yes, some things could’ve been paced better. But that doesn’t change the fact the series ended up quite enjoyable in my book, and hopefully it did for those of you reading this as well.

Full-length images: 005, 078, 088, 116.


ED Sequence

ED: 「つばさ」 (Tsubasa) by 林原 めぐみ (Hayashibara Megumi)

October 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm
  • October 8, 2013 at 7:07 pmTakala

    I loved the movie, loved balot too she was just to awsm

  • October 8, 2013 at 7:49 pmturin

    I really enjoyed this series.

    Only problem I had with it, was it should have been 2 movies instead of 3. Seems like a way to sell more discs.

    • October 8, 2013 at 7:56 pmClockwerk

      The reason there are three movies is because LN consists of three Volumes. So 1 movie per book.

  • October 8, 2013 at 8:32 pmWindaerie

    I want an Oeufcoque. Sho cuteee. (´▽`)

    Thanks for the review, Zephyr!

  • October 8, 2013 at 10:27 pmpetitorenji

    I thought all of these screenshots were glazed with a layer of bling sparkles. Such generous application of PS gradient filters.

    • October 9, 2013 at 3:23 amZephyr

      Well, that’s how the movies have been like for the most part, for better and for worse. Didn’t modify the screen shots on my end.

      • October 9, 2013 at 11:13 pmpetitorenji

        of course, of course. I know it’s all on their part. Keep up the good work

  • October 8, 2013 at 11:06 pmthedarktower

    I love Mardock Scramble triology. (Go “GoHanda”!!).
    the first was so great, and although the second wasnt as amazing as the first(and seems
    unnecessary to most), it “prepared the ground” to the third, which close the entire series very well. it take place exactly where the second has ended and just bring everything to fine end with all Mardock’s special features – battles, casino, story, characters.
    Zephyer really said everything – great review!

    if we look at the movies as one “entity” we can clearly say it was a great in all parameters. yes, maybe the 2nd was a bit…”stuck in the middle” but considering the fact that each movie was one-hour, it is good.

    there aren’t many (even any) “mardock” movie alike in the anime-world,it is very unique and not just the superb animation, so for me it was a very enjoyable watching experience.

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:38 amSolace

    After watching all three movies, I can’t help but think that a lot of detail has been left out in the adaptation.

    Maybe it’s because it’s been a year and my memory of the events are kinda hazy, but I still dunno what the deal with Boiled is all about. Why is he so intent on getting Oefcoque back? And did Oefcoque backfire?

    I also wouldn’t say Balot is memorable, but she certainly grew to be a strong character by the end. Although I wish she took that one extra step to exact vigilante justice “…you can’t deny that lives were saved because those bastards were put down.”

  • October 9, 2013 at 10:56 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    blue red green…blue red green…blue red green…blue red green….blue green…blue green…lemme get my 3d glasses…besides that i guess i expected too much from this series

  • October 11, 2013 at 12:35 amAltasia

    3 years already. After watching the first movie, I ended up buying the Triology and reading it. Havent had a good Sci-fi movie in awhile.

    I do wished they showed Oufcoque’s Mouse look in the end again. Barely saw it in the last movie.