Madlax (マドラックス Madorakkusu?) is a 26-episode Japanese anime television series produced in 2004 by the Bee Train animation studio. Kōichi Mashimo directed Madlax and the soundtrack was composed by Yuki Kajiura. The DVD version was released by ADV Films in North America and the United Kingdom and by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.

The story revolves around two young women who seemingly have little in common and do not know of the other's existence at the beginning. The titular Madlax is a legendary mercenary and assassin in the fictional civil war-torn country of Gazth-Sonika, who cannot remember her past or indeed her real name before twelve years ago, when the war started. The other protagonist is Margaret Burton, the sole heir of a wealthy aristocratic family in the peaceful European country Nafrece. Twelve years before the story begins, an airliner Margaret and her mother were on crashed over Gazth-Sonika, and its passengers, as well as Margaret's father who led the rescuers, have been missing ever since. Margaret, however, mysteriously traveled back to Nafrece on her own, losing her memories prior to her return; the only thing she recalls is a single word, "Madlax". With this thread linking the two girls, they both independently start investigating the powerful crime syndicate Enfant after its enigmatic mastermind shows interest in both of them.

Madlax was produced as a spiritual successor to the studio's earlier project, Noir, and together with El Cazador de la Bruja, these series constitute a trilogy exploring the "girls-with-guns" genre. The production of Madlax began in 2002 but it wasn’t until Yōsuke Kuroda joined the project that the series took its final form. While the critics noted the resulting similarities between Noir and Madlax, they also acknowledged the differences, such as the latter's less episodic and more plot-driven style and, in particular contrast to the predominantly realisticNoir, incorporation of many supernatural elements, which the audience must often interpret without further explanation.

The first half of the series alternates between the two leads. Madlax is one of the most efficient special ops agents for hire in the war-torn Gazth-Sonika,[1] while Margaret Burton is a sleepy, clumsy amnesiac living in Nafrece, a country styled after France.[2] When a "picture book", presumably given to Margaret by her late father, attracts the attention of international criminal network Enfant, she discovers that the origins of the book lie in Gazth-Sonika. Enfant's top operative, Carrossea Doon, tracks Margaret down but tips off his superiors in the wrong direction, towards Madlax, who has been causing Enfant trouble for some time. Meanwhile, Vanessa Rene, Margaret's former tutor whose parents died because of Gazth-Sonikan war,[3] discovers that her current employer, Bookwald Industries, covertly supports the war by supplying both sides with firearms and starts investigating its true cause. Her investigation brings her to Gazth-Sonika, where Madlax is hired as her bodyguard, and together, they uncover data that proves that Enfant orchestrated the entire conflict. Enfant eventually intercepts them and they are forced into hiding. Back in Nafrece, Margaret decides to help Vanessa and travels to Gazth-Sonika, accompanied by her devoted and sometimes overprotective maid Elenore Baker and Carrossea Doon.


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