Mardock Scramble: The Third Exhaust – Review
Rune Balot goes to a casino connected to the October corporation to try to wrap up her case once and for all.
Mardock Scramble is the cyberpunk story from Tow Ubakata (writer of the Le Chevalier D’Eon anime) that has been adapted into three theatrical anime features. These movies are relatively short, but visually striking, and of significant production value. At the start of The Second Combustion, that confrontation is interrupted by Dr Easter, but it isn’t without cost to all involved. Easter takes Rune Balot and Ouefcoque to Paradise. Paradise was the research facility where the forbidden technology behind the cybernetic mouse and Rune Balot was perfected, and it’s the perfect hiding place for them to recover. The transition to the Third film is rather seemless.
Mardock Scramble has been a great ride… It’s been once of the most visceral storytellings I’ve ever experienced. There’s the criminal underworld, corrupt officials, human depravity, and broken characters. The story is violent, sexual, reflecting, and gives a perfect picture of the despair inside a person whose been abandoned by the world. The viewer feels not only this despair, but also the bleak and often fleeting hope for redemption. The animation is beautiful film noir (I fell in love after the first frame of the first movie), and the soundtrack–particularly the choice of “Amazing Grace” at the end of the first movie and repeated during this third–is exceptional. The first half of the Third Exhaust finishes the casino heist of the second movie.
This film exceeds the second in terms of fantasy imagery, especially with the other-worldly Paradise, and the lush and decadent casino scenes. Detail levels are high throughout, and the animation is excellent. Not all anime shows a major difference when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray, as the source resolution is usually less than 1080p. Not so for Mardock Scramble, as this is a film that really has to be seen on Blu-ray. Mardock Scamble is a story of fallenness, despair, and little-by-little… redemption. Unlike stories with a perfect hero who completely saves the day; it’s a real story of the battle just to get through life, and maybe come out a little bit better. The story is difficult to watch, but to anyone who has the stomach for it, I highly recommend it.
The Blu-Ray looks, as is often the case with animation movies and animes, almost continuously first-class.
Only the vehicles act badly animated.