The helicopter which delivers Ellie and Unit 0 to track down Kouji has the name "Rodger Young" stenciled across it. This is a reference to the troop transport Rodger Young in Robert Heinlein's novel "Starship Troopers", widely considered to be the definitive work on powered combat armor. See more »
Briefly nice, but immediately forgettable mecha-fest.
This sure looks very 80's-style by now. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, and there are some elements to like in Madox-01, but unfortunately there are a number of flaws as well that just make it fall in the average category.
For starters, the video seems to have trouble deciding whether it wants to be serious or silly. The box will probably promise non-stop hilarity, which is really just a lie. Anyone expecting an all-out comedy will be badly disappointed. There are one or two chucklesome moments in the film, but they're pretty mild. As such, the only real "joke" is that a highly powerful military mecha ends up in the hands of an average joe, and he gets stuck at the commands of the machine despite himself. Granted, such a set-up has ample opportunity for comical moments, but very little of that actually happens, apart from a bit of fumbling around with the mech. It's more light-hearted than some other mecha films, but it's not of a purely comical nature such as Urusei Yatsura or the Tenchi Muyo series, for example.
Instead, it's mainly light action fluff, with a good deal of explosions, chaos, and millitary devices. The story is actually not as daft as it sounds, and works pretty well. Alas, this being just a short 45-minute OAV, it never delivers -quite- enough to really satisfy the viewer. The battle at the end is quite intense, but otherwise, this is rather thin on the ground in the action department as well as in the comedy department.
In an action romp, it doesn't matter that the characters are rather flat. And one-sided as though they may be here, they're still enjoyable to watch. It's just a shame that they don't get to do -quite- enough exciting things to give this film any kind of impact. Also, the mecha somehow seemed rather bland in design. The idea was probably to make them look more like realistic warfare engines, but it doesn't quite work. The Madox lacks any kind of spunk to it's design, it could just as well be one of those police mechs from Bubblegum Crisis. Oh sure, it's supposedly the most advanced combat tool ever made, but then again, don't they say that about each and every mecha in a Japanese film?
So, while it has a certain charm (and the music's nice), Madox-01 is pretty much entirely disposeable. There certainly is not enough in here for you to go out and buy the tape at full price, but it makes a nice rent if you want an odd hour's worth of light blasting action. But after watching it once, there's nothing more to remember about it. You might as well forget you've ever watched it.
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