Mardock Scramble Vol. 1 (Manga)
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 2011
Creator(s): Tow Ubukata and Yoshitoki Oima
Format: 208 pgs., b&w; Paperback
Age Rating: 16+
ICv2 Rating 4 out of 5 stars
Teenage prostitute Run Balot is taken off the street by a man named Shell Septinous who lovingly takes care of her--until for no apparent reason he has her brutally murdered. Private investigator Dr. Easter uses the experimental process Mardock Scramble 09 to resurrect her as a powerful cyborg and gives her the chance to bring her killer to justice.
Rune is a compelling protagonist, a profoundly damaged character, both emotionally and physically, who's been completely traumatized by her experiences. You don't often get a series where the lead announces "I want to be dead" and really means it. Luckily she has a chipper life coach like Oeufcoque ("Oeuf Coque means "soft boiled egg" in French), a shape changer who's default form is a talking mouse. He's a nice inversion of the standard cute manga mascot character.
The series also has an interesting setting in Mardock City, one of those strangely nonspecific places with no real world analog that's fifteen minutes in the future yet looks a lot like now. That "otherness" extends all the way to the characters names which can be a little distancing; both Shell Septinous and Rune Balot sound like they were created with an online random name generator.
Mardock Scramble has an intriguing premise and strong characters and manages to put a new spin on some well-worn material. Solidly written and well drawn, it's a series that should appeal to it's intended audience of older teens.
--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.
ICv2 Stars: 4 (out of 5)
Posted by ICv2 on September 30, 2011 @ 1:59 am CT
Week of Feb. 2, 2016
January 31, 2016
After an unexpected hiatus of two weeks we resume our quick survey of home entertainment releases. This week’s offerings include a new Batman animated film, Steven Spielberg’s carefully crafted Cold War saga, Bridge of Spies , Vin Diesel’s action-packed The Last Witch Hunter , plus the final season of the post-apocalyptic TNT series Falling Skies , the grindhouse-themed second season of From Dusk Till Dawn , and the third film in the 4-part anime feature film remake of Evangelion.