Mardock Scramble: The First Compression begins, of course, in the opening section of the series, which in some respects is a fairly standard origin story for a manga/anime, but features relatively fast-paced and energetic, with explosive action and violence sorted amidst. A teenaged prostitute is resurrected by a government agency that wants her to testify against her killer, but with their own options running out they supercharge her into a fighting machine. So as you can see, this is a mature anime. The themes are mature and violence and sex are all over the place. And Balot spends almost half the film nude.
That said, it is very good,and takes you into the motivations for the lead character. Character development is one of the strong points of this show. The film is very short (approximately 60 minutes) but the movie as it currently exists is good, and I’m glad I’ve seen it. Most of the first two-thirds of the movie focuses on establishing the franchise’s premise and characters and thus may not terribly excite those itching for sci fi action. The show also works in a bit of court procedural drama as part of its course which also opens up dialogue to try to examine the psychology of the characters. Again, character development coming into play. Awesome stuff.
The court scene was my favorite part of the movie. Balot, since she can’t speak, is given three buttons to answer questions with: yes, no, and silence, along with a jeopardy-style writing stylus. The film managed to convey an incredible amount of information and emotion through these three buttons and a skillful use of flashbacks. Visually this is one of the better looking anime to come out, and looks like they actually had a budget to work with. It also features some CGI use for scenes with cars which i didn’t really like but they are getting better at merging it with the hand drawn stuff. Mardock Scramble: The First Compression gets the three-part film off to a good start, faithfully translating the original book to the screen in a way that manages to capture its quirky mix of SF action anime.
Unfortunately, she’s torn between two extremes: the complete lack of control that she had in the past, or the godlike power that this new technology gives her. This comes most brutally to the fore when Boiled and his gang of assassins come gunning for the three of them, and Balot becomes a death machine on two legs in a shootout vicious enough to dislocate the viewers’ eyes. By the end of the movie, the chain comes full circle. But to finish off i would suggest waiting till all the Mardock Scramble films are finished before watching this, so you can enjoy the story in full rather than only being able to see 1/3 of it.