Plot: "The country of Gazth-Sonika has been engaged in a civil war for more than a decade, struggling to stay afloat amidst attacks from the anti-government faction known as Garza. With lies and corruption seeping into the political food chain, a mysterious book in one young girl’s possession may be the only key to uncovering the truth and bringing an end to the war. This book, however, is sought by many. And when the invincible agent Madlax is hired to protect those in search of its truth, Gazth-Sonika dispatches a ruthless soldier to make sure that truth stays in the darkness..." (site synopsis)
Story: Yes, you're damn right! another Bee Train work that explores the famous "girls with guns" theme. I asume that there are alot of fans that think that a show having a female main lead is always an epic failure, well i have to tell to those fans that they are just some fuckin hypocrites. Noir, the first Bee Train work that started the "girls with guns" theme was indeed briliantly developed and even though there were some drama moments the characters weren't the typical drama queen's. Madlax is just like Noir's reflexion in the mirror, aside from some minor details it uses the same plot elements and presentation that Noir did, however this time this doesn't deal with secret organizations only but with a country engaged in a never-ending civil war. A splendid setting for a fabulous assassins show. Unlike Noir, Madlax in my opinion had more depth in its story, much more action sequences and much more twists. The story is centered on two female leads (owh old Noir, we actualy see another Mireille and Kirika but with other names this time and with different personalities), one of them is a proffesional assassin code-named Madlax (more like a nickname since she doesn't have a proper name) and on a wealthy girl called Margaret Burton. Like any other assassin Madlax is skilled at using all sorts of guns and receives different tasks from different clients. She lives in the demilitarized zone of Gazth-Sonika (i have a feeling that this is actualy a reference from a region called Gaza in the south-west of Israel, a religion that has been under civil war for decades already, since even architecturaly speaking and from the landscape it seems to be of a country localized in the Middle East), a zone where war does not rage, where conflicts between the two factions do not colide. The country of Gazth-Sonika has been engaged in a civil war for more than a decade although no one knows what causes it. Rumor has it that a mysterious book might be the only key to discover the truth behind the conflict in Gazth-Sonika and bring an end to the civil war. However the book is seeked by many people and also by secret organizations as well which are willing to obtain it, or to do everything possible to keep it in the dark so that the truth will never be discovered and revealed. Madlax has been hired to protect the people that are trying to uncover the truth and a secret organization named Enfant responses with the same coin and sends someone to interfere with her jobs. The owner of the respective book is a wealthy girl called Maragart Burton, who as well as Madlax has no recognition of her memories since 12 years ago (same presentation like in Noir). The only word that she remembered was "Madlax" and it seems like Margaret and Madlax are tied by a special bond. Why so many people want the book? What actualy is written in it that is so important? And why is the book in Margaret's possession? What could possibly connect Madlax and Margaret? Alot of questions eh? Well i think those words apply to this show "curiosity kills the cat" however those that want to find out what will happen won't get anything more from me after all watching the show is the best solution rather than listening to spoilers. Same like Noir, Madlax develops slowly, but enough to make a good story, without leaving much flaws (lets face it, an anime without flaws, is non-existant).
Animation and Sound: The same like Noir, superb animation design, directing and quality, the character designs were also great. Regarding sound, i pretty much liked the voice acting, the voice actor that voiced Madlax is one of my favorites known for voicing in Baccano! (Ennis), Elfen Lied (Lucy, Nyu) and in D.Gray-Man (Allen Walker). About soundtracks/OSTs five words only, Yuki Kajiura and Fiction Junction. Nothing more to say just that the same like in Noir, the songs are extremely listenable and fit the scenes and the mood in a perfect mather.
Characters: Regarding characters, here is where the differences between Noir and Madlax appear. Madlax even though she is an assassin she clearly doesn't seem like one. Unlike Mireille she is much more younger, cheerful and kind to the persons which she interacts with. I remember her being called "the kind killer", a nickname that i kinda acknowledge after watching all this show. Margaret is the perfect copy of Kirika, nothing more to say here. The person that resembles Mireille the most in this show is actualy another main female lead called Vanessa Rene, Margaret's closest friend although their personalities are similar, Vanessa is not a gunslinger but a business woman.
Overall: Overall, in my opinion i have to say that Madlax is superior when compared with Noir, a story with much more depth, developed pretty well, mysterious characters, intriguing twists and unpredictable situations. The action sequences in Madlax are much more eye-candy-ish than the ones from Noir as well. Well it all comes to people's opinion in the end however i enjoyed it much more than i did with Noir. For Noir fans this is a must to watch and also for those that love nice action sequences or assassin shows, you won't be dissapointed with this one.
~Enjoy and cya around~