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Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01
I really liked the highly detailed opening sequence, which gives the viewer a crash course in how these battlesuits of the not-too-distant-future would be operated. Initially, the plot is quite serious and seems fairly plausible. I didn't get as much comedy as I was expecting, which was kind of disappointing. Also, the story seemed to make less sense as it progressed. To a certain extent, the Madox has a mind of it's own, and is liable to return fire when provoked. But it seemed that as his situation got more and more dangerous, Kouji started shooting at people himself--his determination to be on time for his date was admirable, but this was going a bit too far. Of course he never would have gotten into trouble if he hadn't been trapped inside the Madox. Given the way the show ends, at some point he clearly has to have figured out how to escape, yet he stays aboard 'til the end and dukes it out with Lt. Kilgore--it didn't make a whole lot of sense. Maybe I'm expecting too much, but if it had been made clear that Koji is only trying to avoid his pursuers and reach his girlfriend, without doing anything that might hurt anybody, it would have been easier to sympathise with him and enjoy the show. In spite of all my complaints, I did enjoy Madox--I just feel a few changes would have made it even better than it was.
Last updated Sunday, April 04 2004. Created Thursday, December 25 2003.
Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01
This lesser known 1987 mecha OAV was clever and enjoyable. Fans will notice similarities to both Gasaraki (1998) and Black Magic M66 (1987) and it may have influenced their respective creators.|
In any case, while it probably won't make anybody's Must Own Anime list, it is still a worthwhile rent, with decent animation, cool mecha and pretty good writing.
The opening battle, pitting the MADOX prototype against a group of tanks features some very nice cel animation for the time, and the quality remains pretty consistant. While some of the human characters look bit rough, and a couple of still shots are used, the mechanical equipment (the real stars in any show like this) are lovingly animated and look very slick.
The high point is probably the mecha action. Hardcore genre fans will love it, and even people who tend to scoff at "those implausable fighting robots" (like myself) will find themselves entertained. Like the later Gasaraki, the combat in MADOX is more realistic, small, agile ground assault suits more akin to exo-suits than 45 story tall laser-sword equipped Gundams.
Interestingly, the story is quite humerous, with points so funny that I laughed out loud. Unable to get out of his hardsuit, Koji orders food and struggles to eat with chopsticks...held precariously by the suit's mechanical hand. This willingness to poke fun at itself may rankle those who like their mecha deadly serious, but for me it was a welcome change.
Aside from the cheesy '80's synth soundtrack, MADOX was very enjoyable anime. Clocking in at roughly 45 minutes, it wraps up before outstaying its welcome and manages to mix action and comedy into a very agreeable show. This would make an excellent starter show for anyone unfamiliar with the mecha genre, or even anime in general.
Thumbs up to AnimEigo for even including the Japanese post-show program about the real-life military equipment portrayed in the show, a very nice touch.
Last updated Friday, December 27 2002. Created Friday, December 27 2002.