Mardock Scramble: The First Compression (Japan 2010)

Rating: *
Review Date: 2/19/13

Simply awful. This pathetic excuse for an erotic sci-fi thriller is a misogynistic mess that stumbles at every turn, and has the audacity to end on a cliffhanger. Rune Balot is a teenage prostitute who gets murdered by a psycho creep named Shell, and then she's brought back to life (sort of) as a cyborg in order to testify against him. She's paired with a shape-shifting AI named Oeufcoque who serves as both her partner and attorney, and he spends most of his time in the form of a cute talking mouse. Nearly the entire film is devoted to misogynistic philosophical techno-babble, as Balot and Oeufcoque struggle to understand their lives and justify their existence. Shell decides he needs to kill Balot again to keep her from testifying, and orders his five insane neurosurgeons to go after her. In the last five minutes, Balot finally does something other than sit around and mope, and has Oeufcoque morph into a gun so that she can kill all of the bad guys. Except the strongest one. They're saving him for the sequel.

The animation is decent and the character design is okay, but the convoluted story and weak execution are completely uninteresting. They try to spice things up with sex, violence, psychology, and adult language, but that only succeeds in making it unpleasant and distasteful. Even the brief action scenes are boring and pointless. I will admit to being shocked by one of the villains named "Pussyhand", who actually has a vagina transplanted in the palm of his hand. Um, why? Apart from the shock value, what's the point? Unless you like your anime to be all talk and no action, "Mardock Scramble" is a sad waste of time with no redeeming qualities.