The final plans to finish Shell off in court have been made by Easter, Balot, and Oeufcoque. But in order to execute those plans, they must set foot into Shell's domain: the BlueEgg Casino in the center of Mardock City, and find the chip where his memories lie. If they can't find the chip, their case will be dismissed in court, and their "usefulness" will be gone – resulting in all of their deaths. Will Balot find the chip in time, while still dodging Boiled and his now mad search for her and Oeufcoque?
I don’t often write reviews because most things I watch have so many reviews already there’s nothing left to be said, but at the time of my writing this there is only one other review for Mardock Scramble: The Third Exhaust, so I thought I’d share my opinion of it.
Spoilers for the review (not the movie): I thought it was absolutely fantastic.
The end, you don’t have to read the rest of my ramblings, watch it and enjoy.
Wait… you actually want to know HOW it’s fantastic. Well ok I guess I can do that.
Mardock Scrambled Eggs doesn’t do too much new in the cyberpunk genre, but
that’s okay because what it does do is executed fabulously in all three movies. (Slightly less in the second but we’re not here to talk about that one)
Rune’s inner and outer conflicts come to a head in the final movie, and while the resolution of Rune’s case against Shell might seem too short in terms of crime drama or mystery, it fits the themes of the other movies perfectly. These movies were never really about the case, the case was the driving force behind Rune’s mental trauma and character development, and through the resolution of the case here we see how she’s changed from the first movie.
And again the weight of the action scenes falls on the arguably more main of the two antagonists; Boiled, whose feud with Rune and her shape-shifting AI partner Oeufcoque reaches a satisfying and bombastic conclusion.
The action scenes in these movies are spectacular, but few and far between, this a character focused drama first and an action second, it’s not a movie for people who just want explosions and action all the time, might I suggest Ghost in the Shell: Arise for that.
However, because the action is not happening at all times, it makes the action scenes in this movie stand out due to excellent pacing that never leaves any part of this movie boring and doesn’t make you feel a scene has overstayed it’s welcome.
The voice acting and sound direction is top notch, though as I’m not an expert on these aspects I can’t go into much detail besides two key points.
1. the soundtrack is incredible, it fits every scene so well you barely notice it’s there, it never sticks out but always complements the scene it’s in.
2. Rune’s voice actor is incredible; she gave s such an amazing performance that even without being a native Japanese speaker I could fully understand all the emotion behind each line.
Like the first two movies, Mardock Scramble 3 has some of the best animation I’ve
seen, every shot is near perfection, Easily in my top 10 for best animation, the contrast of colors leads to a drab, dark yet beautiful city.
The characters are all very well crafted and enjoyable to watch, with the standout Oeufcoque stealing the show and reminding me quite a lot of the dynamic between Kino and Hermes in Kino no Tabi.
Rune Balot, the star of the show gets a good share of development and by the end you will feel like she’s actually changed and matured as a person.
The other characters are somewhat of a mixed bag with most at the most filler for the cast, though the resolution of Shell and Boiled’s character arcs were quite good as well.
The ending, while left quite open, also felt very final, the openness really only leading more to the cyberpunk nature of the series where open endings are quite common.
In conclusion, I found the series as a whole to be a very smart, well thought out cyberpunk story, sure it retreads old ground but it has enough unique ideas and style to get past that. I would highly recommend them all to anybody who wants a strong cyberpunk drama in the vain of ghost in the shell.
Mardock Scramble: The The Exhaust - the third and final movie of the trilogy. From the first 2 films, there was a set up feeling to bring about this finale. As such, expect a conclusion from this film that ties up everything together.
Like its previous predecessors, the film takes place in a futuristic city called Kamina City. The main character of the series is Rune Ballot, a young girl whom suffers a near fatal fate after a certain incident from the first film. However, she survived with the unlikely help of a man named Dr. Easter while at same time undergoing some transformations that
alters her body. What makes her existence fatal now though is the fact that her life is still in danger and every day is painful to live in.
The third film directly continues off from where The Second Combustion left off. The Bluegg Casino gives off a feeling of intensity as our characters ventures deep to discover secrets of the past. The casino game itself balances between a bit of psychological warfare with our main character Rune Ballot. Even though she is no longer human, Rune still looks human in many ways. The casino game itself also twists around in a form of mind games. At one point, characters mentions that the burden of winning can sometimes be even greater than losing.
I do give some praise to the action of the film in being consistent with the full throttle execution. There’s the brief road war and quick movements by our action girl Rune Ballot. However, the scenes were presented in such a fashion that it almost felt like it was over in a flash. On a more psychological side though, we get to witness more scenes revolving around Rune Ballot’s violent visions/flashbacks. Through them, it’s easy to relive those grim moments and realize that she is a character created by tragedy. It can make us feel pity for her because of her circumstances although by now, it should be a bit obvious already especially for those who’ve already seen the first two films. There’s also questions regarding Shell, the man responsible for both Rune’s reanimation and near destruction.
The violence returns as well with bullets being fired, blood being spilled, body parts torn off, and scenes of torture in cases. This is directly displayed by Rune Ballot later on in the film with her anger and hatred. Now it seems like that rage is directed at mistakes in the past as well as towards Shell. The result? Self carelessness and more ruthless decisions with unpredictable outcomes. Surprisingly enough, there’s not a whole bucket load of fan service. Unless you count the violence with blood being splattered as service, the amount of skin being shown on screen is minimal. I guess in a way, the movie tries to wrap up the trilogy up mentally rather than visually. Oh and speaking of mentally.....among other emotions displayed in Mardock Scramble is a lack of compassion. This is usually heard from the tone voices of the antagonists. Then again though, in such a violent world, there’s not much empathy for anyone as much as anything goes.
Artwork wise, I do give praise to the movie's visual standards. The concept of the cyberpunk world is presented clearly to reflect its theme. More than that though, the visuals gives an aura like background with rich details. Rune Ballot’s design is a fusion of both a girl and cyborg and matches the science fiction idea well. Soundtrack is also decent especially during battle scenes and more of the psychological themes in the beginning. At the same time, we can hear a mixture of emotions and sorrow from Rune’s VA Megumi Hayashibara.
Overall, this film wasn’t earth shattering at all. As the final film of the trilogy, the climax did settle a conclusion but it wasn’t something that made me go “wow, now that was worth waiting for”. No, instead it was more like a feeling of completing the series in order to move on. Why? Because the plot, characters, and themes tied together overall wasn't explosive or lived up to expectations. Ultimately, this film lands a 6/10 for me. It’s only slightly over an hour long though so there’s not much loss to despair over. What I did lose though were my somewhat high expectations. But if you're a fan of the Mardock Scramble series, then have a blast at this film to finish off this trilogy.