Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Madlax

Go To
"What is my true wish...?"

"Is this the truth that I've been searching for?!"
"No, this is reality."

Madlax is the second installment of Bee Train's Girls with Guns trilogy, following Noir and followed by El Cazador de la Bruja. In stark contrast to gritty and down-to-earth Noir, Madlax incorporates many supernatural aspects and concepts associated with psychological thrillers and surrealism, which the audience must often interpret without further explanation. The title is a portmanteau of the English words "mad" and "relaxed", playing on the prominent theme of active insanity vs. near-catatonic sensibility in the story.

The story revolves around two young women who, at first, seem completely unrelated and don't even know of each other's existence. The title character is a legendary mercenary and assassin plying her bloody trade in the fictional civil war-torn Asian country of Gazth-Sonika. Almost everything about her, from her real name to her past, is a mystery—even to herself, as she had lost her memory soon after the war started twelve years ago. The other protagonist is Margaret Burton, the sole heir of a wealthy aristocratic family, attending school in the peaceful European country of Nafrece. Twelve years ago, an airliner carrying her mother and her crashed over Gazth-Sonika, and its passengers, as well as Margaret's father who led the rescue party, have been missing ever since. By means unknown, Margaret returned to Nafrece soon after the crash, becoming its only known survivor but losing all memories of the event—all except a single word: "Madlax". Twelve years later, this strange connection and the mystery behind their amnesias come back to haunt them after they cross paths with a powerful crime syndicate, "Enfant", whose Diabolical Mastermind leader, the masked man Friday Monday, seems to have sinister plans for both of them.


Building upon and expanding Noir's formula, Madlax stars a much larger main cast and throws Mind Screwing mysteries, over-the-top Heroic Bloodshed action, and heavy doses of existentialistic symbolism into the blender to produce a complex, yet gripping plot. And if that wasn't enough, Yuki Kajiura composed yet another stellar soundtrack for this anime. The show was licensed by ADV Films in America and Europe.

Not to be confused with Mad Max or mad use of laxatives.


This show provides examples of:

  • Achilles in His Tent: Madlax spends four episodes in borderline clinical depression after Vanessa's death.
  • Action Girl: Madlax, Elenore, Limelda, and Nakhl all kick ass and take names throughout the series.
  • All There in the Manual: Creator comments on the DVD inlets contain a great deal of background information about the characters, partly explaining the big Mind Screw this series is.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Carrossea discovers that he is actually dead in episode 21, and Margaret eventually finds out that she killed her own father.
  • Ancient Tradition: Quanzitta is the last in a long line of the guardians of Thirstari, the third of the Holy Books.
  • Anti-Hero: Madlax is the pragmatic kind: while she is a kind and empathetic individual off-work, she shows absolutely no reservations about killing people. Which may be justified by the fact that she was created specifically for murder—it is part of her true nature.
  • Anyone Can Die: Less than a half of the main characters survive to the end of the series.
  • Arc Words:
    • "The Gift" is eventually revealed to be the Reality Warping ability that Margaret and, to a lesser degree, Monday and Carrossea possess.
    • "True Nature", depending on who you ask, refers to the darker, self-destructive impulse carried by all humans or their capacity for forgiveness and self-acceptance.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Madlax loves doing it.
  • Awful Truth: Margaret killed her father. A truth so awful that she created two alternate personalities to escape it and doesn't admit it to herself until the penultimate episode of the series.
  • Badass Adorable: Madlax is cute for a Professional Killer, and Margaret becomes this after she accepts Madlax as part of herself.
  • Badass Normal: Limelda, a mundane (albeit elite) soldier, goes toe to toe with the clearly supernatural Madlax.
  • Bad Boss: Don't expect Friday Monday to treat his underlings with any kind of respect or attention.
  • Battle Butler: Elenore's grandfather is implied to have been one to the Burtons, considering his successor.
  • Beach Episode: Sort of. Episode 9 takes place in a holiday resort, complete with swimsuits and gratuitous fanservice. It also happens to be a Myth Arc-heavy one that bridges the Nafrece and Gazth-Sonikan storylines for the first time.
  • Big Bad: Friday Monday, the insane, masked Diabolical Mastermind leader of Enfant who sends his henchmen after the four heroines, instigates the civil war in Gazth-Sonika, wants to unleash humanity’s darker nature, and is behind everything bad that has ever happened in Margaret/Madlax's life.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Madlax does this often, such as when she first introduces herself to Chris Krana and, later, to Vanessa.
  • Big Fancy House: The Burton Manor is pretty indicative of the family's vast wealth. Too bad the sole heir is too infantile and too amnesiac to appreciate it.
  • Blade Reflection: Nakhl uses her blades as mirrors on regular basis.
  • Blood from the Mouth: In the final episode, the (hitherto pretty much invulnerable) Madlax starting to bleed symbolizes her newfound humanity.
  • Bloodless Carnage: For a show with this amount of violence and so mired in Heroic Bloodshed traditions, it is rather bloodless.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: The final shootout takes place in the Enfant's HQ chapel.
  • Bodyguard Crush: If the implications of Vanessa and Madlax's relationship are anything to go by.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Nearly everyone after being subjected to the Holy Words of Saruon.
  • Brown Note: The Holy Words of Saruon drive pretty much anyone who hears them murderously insane. Only those who possess the Gift are able to No-Sell it.
  • Bullet Dodges You: After embracing her other selves (Madlax and Laetitia) in the final episode, Margaret unlocks the full extent of her Reality Warping powers and effortlessly redirects incoming bullets when Monday tries to kill her.
  • Character Title: The show is named after one of its protagonists, though her name was originally the codename of her creator's father... whom she killed.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Has this as part of the Back Story: the entire plot basically stems from the fact that Margaret killed her own father (in self-defense) when she was 5 years old.
  • Climactic Battle Resurrection: Vanessa, Carrossea, and Elenore are implied to have been resurrected at the end; but, in a subversion, don't actually assist in the battle with Friday Monday or show up again at all.
  • Code Name: "Madlax" is both her codename and the only name she has. This is because it originally belonged to the man she was specifically created to kill.
  • Colonel Badass: Col. Richard Burton, Margaret's dad. Not only was he able to enter the Sanctuary without possessing the Gift, but he also confronted Friday Monday, mutilating and stripping him of most of his powers, a feat only surpassed by Madlax who actually killed him... and "Madlax" originally was his callsign. Too bad he wasn't immune to the Words of Awakening.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: Invoked by Guen McNichol. He hires Madlax to kill him while he delivers a speech in order to show the people who were controlling his entire life that he is going out on his own terms.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Vanessa's superiors are actually in cahoots with Enfant and directly involved in selling arms to both the government and the rebels in Gazth-Sonika.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The curiously intact airliner and overturned military vehicles that resemble scattered toys more than the shredded wreckage typically found at crash sites and battlefields. Heck, the two plane crash survivors don't even get dirty. But then again, their Gift probably did it.
  • Creepy Child: Laetitia and Poupee, two eerie children who appear inhabiting the war-torn nightmare land visions throughout the series. They are eventually revealed to be "memory keepers" of Margaret and Carrossea, trapped within the Sanctuary to prevent them from learning the truth about her patricide and his Dead All Along state, respectively.
  • Criminal Amnesiac: Implied about Madlax and Carrossea. Subverted in both cases, however: Madlax did not even exist before her "amnesia" and Carrossea only turned to crime afterwards. The real criminal amnesiac is Margaret.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Madlax eventually becomes effectively immortal—ironically, death is the only thing she longs for at that point.
  • Curtain Camouflage: When Madlax comes to visit Guen McNichol before his assassination, she is first seen wrapped in a curtain—probably to conceal the fact that she's wearing a cocktail dress.
  • Day of the Week Name: Friday Monday. Given that he is the creepy, irredeemably evil, Malevolent Masked Man Big Bad, his normal name serves as quite the contrast.
  • Dead All Along: Carrossea is eventually revealed to have been Poupee: a boy slightly older than Margaret who fell in love with her on the plane and survived the crash thanks to also having a weak Gift. However, Poupee died by Taking the Bullet for Margaret when her Brainwashed and Crazy father shot her but before she brought herself to kill him. Poupee's love for Margaret allowed him to use his Gift to cast out the memory of his own death in the last moment, creating the Poupee we see in the Sanctuary visions and the amnesiac young man who was picked up by Friday Monday and given the name "Carrossea Doon".
  • Death by Flashback: After Carrossea learns how his original self was killed twelve years ago, he instantly dies.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Vanessa is reunited with her parents in the afterlife after saying goodbye to Madlax.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Madlax is surprisingly serene under bullets and especially when gunning down mooks.
  • Disturbed Doves: As befit the series' Heroic Bloodshed inspirations, doves go flying, for instance, during Madlax and Limelda's duel in episode 12.
  • The Dragon: Carrossea Doon is the right-hand man to Enfant's leader Friday Monday, and the one who spies on the heroines on his behalf.
  • During the War: Most of the plot takes place against the backdrop of the Gazth-Sonikan civil war and goes out of its way to remind the audience that people are dying every day.
  • Easy Amnesia: Madlax, Margaret, and Carrossea all lost their memories from before 1999, but seemed to have no trouble picking up all the basic skills like language in no time. That's because their amnesias were supernatural and self-inflicted.
  • Enemy Without: Subverted with Margaret and Madlax. Margaret originally created Madlax by casting out her self-preservation instinct (and some other parts of her psyche) and discarded her after she fulfilled her purpose. Although she begins to see Madlax as her enemy under Friday Monday's influence, she eventually understands the need to accept her as part of herself and Madlax's right to a separate existence.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After Margaret is brainwashed by Friday Monday, she takes to wearing a darker and more ominous version of her usual clothes.
  • Evil Laugh: Carrossea pulls this off when burning down Enfant's base, while Friday Monday does this all the time in the later episodes.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: If Kirika is a witch, that makes Madlax a goddess of superhuman asskicking.
  • Eyepatch of Power/Mask Power: Friday Monday wears a cool red-and-gold half-mask over his right eye, which was shot out by Colonel Burton during their confrontation twelve years ago—which apparently had a side-effect of robbing Monday of most of his Gift powers.
  • The Faceless: The most we see of SSS, Madlax's liaison and manager, is the lower half of his face. Friday Monday also gets this treatment early in the series.
  • Faceless Goons: Enfant's agents usually come in droves and die by the dozens.
  • Fanservice: Madlax's more memorable fights include her taking out a tank while wearing a skimpy dress and heels, and dispatching a group of mooks after distracting them by throwing off her dress in front of them and subsequently wreaking havoc while completely in the buff. Also, Madlax runs around in tiny leather hot pants in jungle combat.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Alternate History Counterpart Culture, but Gazth-Sonika is somewhere in the vague vicinity of Pakistan but is Southeast-Asian in culture; Nafrece shows some English influence but is mostly France; parallels with the Vietnam War are obvious (and clearly intentional).
  • Fingore: Do not lay your hands upon Margaret while Elenore is less than four hundred kilometers away—she will break them.
  • Firing One-Handed: Madlax and Limelda do this all the time, especially during their duels.
  • Flashback: The flashback of what really happened 12 years ago is glimpsed in bits and pieces throughout the series before finally coming together in the end, giving The Reveal.
  • Flung Clothing: Madlax used it to distract the soldiers she's fighting on one occasion.
  • Forgot the Call: After walking into Enfant's data trap, Madlax loses all memory of being a badass mercenary for a couple of episodes.
  • Foreshadowing: Rather subtle because of the Mind Screw nature of the story but it's there if you squint. Luciano's comment of Margaret "smelling like Gazth-Sonika" before he dies is one of the biggest ones early on in the series.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Madlax fights in the nude in episode 16.
  • Gag Dub: The original English releases from ADV included a hilarious series of extras called "Conversations with SSS", where SSS is shown partaking in some extremely random, outlandish, and just plain weird dialog with the rest of the show cast.
  • Gainax Ending: It's hard to distinguish a Downer Ending from Earn Your Happy Ending when there are vague implications both ways about the eventual fate of three supporting characters.
  • Girly Run: Madlax, of all people, does this while running through a jungle and being fired at in episode 19.
  • Gratuitous English: Words like "invation" and "denyed" tend to pop up on computer screens.
  • Gun Fu: Madlax signature combat style revolves around acrobatic leaps and backflips while gunning down mooks.
  • Guns Akimbo: Madlax usually wields her P210s in pairs.
  • The Gunslinger: Madlax is a mix of the Trickshot and the Woo: she has incredible sharpshooting skills but is also proves quite efficient when surrounded and outgunned.
  • Healing Factor: Towards the end of the series, Madlax's body seems to effortlessly recover from pretty much any injury she suffers. This probably has something to do with proximity to her creator.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Although Vanessa wasn't aware at first of what her company was up to, she was too complicit with it for this to count a Mook–Face Turn when she learns the truth and goes against the system. Also Limelda, playing up her role as Vanessa's Foil, though "Face" in her case means more of a murderous avenger/vigilante.
  • Here We Go Again!: The series opens and closes with SSS contacting Madlax about her new assignment.
  • Heroic Bloodshed: The series obviously takes up a lot of stylistic clues from Hong Kong Blood Opera movies, just like Noir took inspiration from European crime films and, of course, Film Noir.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Vanessa attempts to save Madlax from Limelda, but ends up getting herself killed instead. The fact that Madlax didn't need to be protected at that point any more makes it a borderline Senseless Sacrifice, too.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Friday Monday's real goal is not revealed until late in the series but he is clearly the Big Bad.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: All over the place. The most prominent example is between Madlax and Vanessa. While their relationship is never explicitly stated to be romantic, they become very attached to each other quite quickly. They both ask the other to share the bed with them (even cuddling together on one occasion), promise each other that they'll stay alive, and Madlax even refers to herself as Vanessa's "prince" when she goes to battle Limelda. Though their relationship carries the strong implication of a mutual Bodyguard Crush, they do only ever refer to each other as "friends".
    • Eleanor and Margaret's relationship also has it's fair share of subtext, perhaps even more so than Madlax and Vanessa, at least on Eleanor's side. She's completely devoted to serving Margaret, and pulls a Cannot Spit It Out at least a couple times (with what she can't spit out left unstated). Also, despite not having the Gift, she manages to overcome Friday reading her the Words of Awakening, her Essence presumably being her love for Margaret. For Margaret's part, she tells Eleanor that she loves her when the latter agrees to go to Gazth-Sonika to look for Vanessa.
    • Finally, there's Limelda and Madlax, which, again, seemingly moves beyond subtext as far as the former is concerned. Limelda develops a strange love-hate obsession with Madlax after learning that Gazth-Sonika's civil war was orchestrated, and is being prolonged, by Enfant, and at one point says that she loves her while preparing to snipe her. On Madlax's side, she tells Limelda to keep watching her and to remember her if she dies before the final confrontation with Friday, which Limelda lampshades as sounding quite like a Love Confession. And then, after Friday is defeated, Madlax and Limelda essentially ride off into the sunset together, despite Limelda having killed her other Implied Love Interest.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Madlax says this verbatim to Monday who demanded her to embrace her supernaturalness.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In the original Japanese, each episode's title consists of a two kanji-long Japanese word and a short English word.
  • Idiot Hair: Margaret, presumably to signify her infantile mindset.
  • Immune to Bullets: Towards the end of the series, Madlax regenerates from her wounds so fast, bullets no longer hinder her at all.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Madlax can shoot a bullet out of midair.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The cocktail dress, in which Madlax takes on a platoon of tanks in the middle of a jungle.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Madlax enjoys looking good and doesn't have any ulterior motive for it.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The Beach Episode looks like just another borderline filler before you realize that it's the first step towards all storylines set up thus far to converge into one.
  • Insert Grenade Here: Madlax blows a tank up like this in her very first big action sequence.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: You'll need at least a couple of rewatches to get who does what for which reason in this show. Just check out the Flash Back example description above.
  • Karma Houdini: Limelda is accepted by Madlax in the end, despite killing her best friend/possible lover, Vanessa.
  • Karmic Death: Friday Monday is killed by Madlax, whom he indirectly brought into existence himself.
  • Killed Off for Real: Carrossea in episode 21.
  • King Bob the Nth: King Korslan IV of Gazth-Sonika never appears on screen, but is mentioned from time to time as one of the major forces in the Civil War.
  • Knife Nut: Nakhl, Quanzitta's bodyguard, never parts with her trusty dagger and is scarily proficient with it—even able to dominate Madlax in a close quarters fight.
  • Last of His Kind: Lady Quanzitta is the last remaining member of the Ancient Tradition that guards Thirstari; and, following her apparent death in the ending, presumably the last overall.
  • Legacy of Service: The Bakers have served the Burtons for centuries.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In an early episode, the snarky but harmless-looking maid Elenore suddenly goes into SWAT mode when she cannot locate her mistress, mounting an emergency search-and-rescue mission and going completely medieval on a guy who dared to lay a hand on Margaret.
  • Literal Split Personality: Madlax and Laetitia are Margaret's self-preservation instinct and memory, respectively. While Poupee is Carrossea's memory of his own death.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Limelda's love-hate obsession with Madlax eventually renders her a borderline raving lunatic ready to stalk her object of affection through the jungle, indiscriminately murdering anyone who stands in her way. She gets over it, eventually.
  • MacGuffin: The three Holy Books. Nobody quite knows where they come from and what exactly their contents are, but many characters want them for their own purposes.
  • Mad Artist: Friday Monday is revealed to have been an artist (presumably before his criminal mastermind career) in the promotional materials.
  • Meaningful Name: Madlax is a portmanteau of "mad" and "relaxed", as in, someone who manages to stay calm in an insane world.
  • Meganekko: Vanessa seems to be slightly longsighted as she only wears her glasses when working on a computer.
  • The Men in Black: Enfant employs them, for instance, to catch Vanessa in Gazth-Sonika.
  • Mexican Standoff: Madlax and Limelda do this all the time, and the latter apparently genuinely enjoys it.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Margaret sports these while she is brainwashed by Friday Monday.
  • Mind Screw: Explaining the plot of the series to someone who hasn't watched it is gonna get you some strange looks. The Other Wiki tries.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In episode 3, Madlax poses as a maid to infiltrate a hotel. The real maid is briefly shown Bound and Gagged in her underclothes inside a storage room.
  • Mysterious Parent: Colonel Richard Burton seems to have known much more about what's going on than anyone gives him credit for.
  • Mysterious Past: Tons of it. Pretty much the only major character who does not have some mystery in her past is Elenore (if you don't count her Ninja Maid training).
  • Name Amnesia: The title heroine has retrograde amnesia regarding everything prior to being left in a warzone by her father twelve years ago, including her true name - "Madlax" is just a codename she picked for her mercenary work because it sounded cool. It is eventually revealed, however, that her "father" is actually another character's dad, and "Madlax" was actually his old codename.
  • No Body Left Behind: After Carrossea dies for the second time, his body disappears—presumably because his real body remained in the Sanctuary after his first death twelve years ago.
  • Noisy Guns: All over the place, particularly from Madlax whose pistols sound like the pump of a shotgun just from pointing it at something! A standout example is when she breaches a room, and sweeps her gun across three positions looking for hostiles, and we get a loud cocking sound with each turn, even though she hasn't manipulated any of the gun's controls!
  • Number Two: Although it's never actually stated, Carrossea seems to be Monday's right hand man, presumably because the rest of Enfant is made up of Faceless Goons.
  • Off-Model: More than Noir. The eyes are often more than just a little off.
  • Old Retainer: Elenore's grandfather to the Burtons.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Several of the often-heard soundtracks are not actually Latin but totally ominous.
  • One Last Job: Luciano's hit on Carrossea is supposed to be his last job before quitting his mercenary life and settling down. Of course, given how Luciano is a minor character and Carrossea is one of the main ones and is guarded by Limelda, another main, this job can only end well.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: As described above, Madlax starts regenerating her wounds so fast in the final episodes, she is practically immune to injury.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: This is how Limelda comes to see Madlax eventually, even picking off some of Madlax's pursuers when she thinks they came a little to close to killing her.
  • Only One Name: Madlax and Nakhl. Madlax doesn't remember her name because she never had one and goes by her codename, while Nakhl is happy with whatever Quanzitta decided to call her.
  • Out of the Inferno: In the very first episode, Madlax walks out of an inferno she herself caused. In a completely uncharred cocktail dress.
  • Parachute in a Tree: In the first episode, Madlax paradrops into the middle of a jungle and, unsurprisingly, gets stuck on a tree. Instead of dangling there, however, she simply unstraps herself and lands gracefully on the ground.
  • Parental Abandonment: Madlax has regular flashbacks of being abandoned by her father in the middle of a warzone, but these are actually fake memories. She never had a father and the man she sees is actually Margaret's dad, whom Madlax was specifically created to kill. Madlax was, however, abandoned by her progenitor—namely, by Margaret, who left her behind in Gazth-Sonika when she returned to Nafrece (something that Margaret ultimately makes up for), so the two facts seem to have conflated into one flashback in Madlax's mind.
  • Posthumous Character: Richard Burton, Margaret's father who went missing twelve years ago and is presumed dead by everyone.
  • The Promise: Madlax and Vanessa promise each other to survive the current predicament. Vanessa breaks her promise.
  • Rare Guns: Madlax's SIG P210s are a collector item in real life.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Considering how much of a Mind Screw the series is, first-time watchers will undoubtedly miss the importance of several moments such as Luciano's comment about Margaret's smell being similar to that of Gazth-Sonika's or why Margaret commented that it was going to rain despite the skies of Nafrece being clear. Watch through the series a second time, and the story will make more sense.
  • The Reveal: Monday attempted to use his Gift, the three Holy Books, and the power of the Sanctuary to plunge the world into mindless self-slaughter. This accidentally brought down a plane flying over the site of his ritual and carrying two unwitting Gifted children: a boy, Poupee, and a girl, Margaret. Margaret's military officer father went looking for her but stumbled onto Monday's ritual and managed to stop it by depowering Monday. Monday retaliated by driving Colonel Burton violently insane and turning him onto Poupee and Margaret, who survived the crash thanks to their Gift and were watching them from the sidelines. Poupee died Taking the Bullet for Margaret, who, unable to shoot her own father, created a Literal Split Personality to pull the trigger for her. Poupee, who fell in love with Margaret during their brief time together, used his Gift to cast out the memories of his past life, including his death, and to trap them within the Sanctuary in order to continue to exist for Margaret's sake. Margaret herself similarly trapped the memories of killing her father in the Sanctuary and warped back home to Nafrece, leaving her other, murderous self behind. The self-resurrected Poupee was picked up by Monday to serve as an Enfant agent under his new identity of "Carrossea Doon"; Margaret's split personality, in the meantime, was left to fend for herself and took on the name "Madlax"—Colonel Burton's old codename, which Monday used to address him during their fight. The cast-out memories of Carrossea and Margaret/Madlax sublimated themselves within the Sanctuary as Poupee and Laetitia, respectively.
  • He's Back: Madlax does it at least twice: after snapping out of her temporary Enfant-trap induced amnesia to save Vanessa and after getting a pep talk from Nakhl to finally snap out of Vanessa's death-induced Heroic BSoD and go save Margaret.
  • Shout-Out: Early in episode 1, Madlax uses her Spiritual Predecessor Kirika's Catchphrase "There we go" ("Yoishou"). Also, the red shoes appear in this series, too.
  • Sleep Cute: Madlax and Vanessa pull this off at least twice.
  • Slow-Motion Pass-By: Happens at the end of episode 17, when Margaret and Madlax just happen to be in the cars driving past each other on the same road. They don't notice/recognize each other yet, however.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Margaret, after she finally arms herself.
  • Sniper Rifle: If there's one aspect where the writers have Shown Their Work, it's guns. Limelda's signature gun is a H&K PSG-1, while Madlax wields a Remington M24 SWS Custom during their Sniper Duel.
  • Spiritual Successor: Madlax to Noir, El Cazador de la Bruja to Madlax.
  • Straw Nihilist: Friday Monday can go on for hours rambling about how humanity is worthless vermin hellbent on destroying itself and how the world is better off burning.
  • Suicide by Assassin: General Guen McNichol hires Madlax to kill him in public since he's that sick of the war. This triggers the rivalry between Madlax and Limelda, who was in charge of the general's safety.
  • Synchronization: Early in the series, Margaret and Madlax seem to synchronize some fleeting feelings, such as a sudden hunger for pasta or a feeling that it will rain soon—despite being geographically separated.
  • The Syndicate: Enfant, a global underworld network with ties to the highest corporate and governmental echelons.
  • Taking the Bullet: Vanessa do this to "save" Madlax (unaware that Madlax is Immune to Bullets by then). Poupee/Carrossea did it to protect Margaret in the backstory.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: After shooting a man for the first time during their escape from Enfant, Vanessa asks Madlax to teach her to shoot properly, despite having previously been against violence.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Whenever you hear the "Yanmaani!" chant, expect Madlax to kick some ass.
  • There Is Only One Bed: There is only one bed in the hideout Madlax arranges for Vanessa while they're on the run from Enfant. Not that they have any trouble falling asleep (and cuddling) in it.
  • To Create a Playground for Evil: This is essentially Friday Monday's goal, since he sees all humans as evil deep inside and actively tries to bring out their "true natures".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Madlax is the tomboy to Margaret (who is actually the same person as herself) and Vanessa's girly girls.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Holy Books contain the Words of Saruon—whose most obvious effect is driving people violently insane and trying to murder their loved ones.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Both Margaret and Madlax have a thing for pasta.
  • Undying Loyalty: Elenore, towards Margaret. Sadly, she isn't as undying herself, though she may have been resurrected in the last episode, but it is never shown.
  • Unperson: Maclay Marini, the PI investigating Enfant, comes so close to learning the truth about him that they destroy all evidence of his existence, eventually forcing even him to acknowledge that he never existed (and fabricating a new identity for himself).
  • Urban Fantasy: It's set partly in a European city, partly in a South Asian city, and partly in the jungle (including most of the last twelve or so episodes). Its contemporary (if Alternate History) setting still qualifies.
  • The Voice: SSS is only ever seen in glimpses, while we mostly hear his voice on the phone talking to Madlax.
  • The Voiceless: Poupee never speaks, except for a single flashback in the beginning of episode 6.
  • War for Fun and Profit: This is what Enfant (and Bookwald) seems to perpetrate the Gazth-Sonikan civil war for, but this war is actually a minor (albeit beneficial) side effect of Friday Monday's previous failed attempt to plunge the world in chaos twelve years ago (They're arming both sides for free). He later uses it mainly as a ruse to conceal his base of operations in the middle of the warzone.
  • Weird Moon: It's either red or blue (and in the Sanctuary, there are both at once) in this series.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Signs point to Gazth-Sonika existing somewhere around where Pakistan should be, but it has Vietnam-like jungle and several recognizable Hong Kong landmarks. The name might have been inspired by the Gaza Strip.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It is implied that Friday Monday went insane after first coming into contact with the Holy Books—which is exactly why Quanzitta's Ancient Tradition was guarding them from unauthorized access.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: The Words of Awakening can be used to drive (almost) anyone insane.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: