Serial Experiments Lain, which Yoshitoshi Abe has also been involved in, shares a very similar story structure to Texhnolyze. Both start with a relatively unfulfilling storyline that explains nothing and expects the audience to infer much of what is going on. In the final half, the anime will leap off of the foundation that it has so painstakingly created and go in a totally unexpected direction, resulting in an ultimately satisfying experience. Unfortunately, this approach is inevitably what turns people off. Although I personally have no problem with delayed payoffs, other people seem to absolutely hate the idea that an anime can have little instant gratification and still be good.
From my perspective, the storyline is one of the highlights of the show. Though the anime starts out relatively simple, it soon expands into a very large and ultimately satisfying overarching story. Near the end, the anime moves beyond its previous themes (addiction to technology and violence) and flowers into a very well done allegory on the classic views of heaven and hell. The anime makes a case that every human society needs a healthy mix of humankind’s instinctive bestial tendencies and angelic high-minded philosophies and makes its case well.
Granted, this story is certainly not for the faint of heart, as it’s every bit as gloomy, depressing and grisly as the animation. For those wanting a pleasant, forgettable and life-affirming plot, I can’t urge you enough to stay away from this misanthropic and pessimistic show.
As for the rest, the last crucial question will found in the aforementioned slow beginning. While the exposition is by no means devoid of plot, the anime gives very little reason to care about what is going on. Rather than lead the audience along on an episode by episode basis, the writer makes a rather bold (and perhaps incorrect) assumption that everyone who sees the show will have the patience to slog through what is essentially groundwork. I personally found the superb animation to be more than enough incentive to continue, but many others may not even get past episode 1.
Absolutely brilliant – this is the first anime since Last Exile 9 months ago that I have been this impressed. In the first few episodes, where the storyline is kicking into gear, the animation was pretty much the only thing that kept me from getting bored. Especially in the visually brilliant first episode, the eye-candy that Texhnolyze sports is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
The backgrounds, for one, are probably the best I’ve seen. Dark, depressing cityscapes have been used before in anime, but never as well as what is seen here in Texhnolyze’s Lux. Every part of the city, with its grey sky, desolate streets and dilapidated buildings, works together to illustrate every bit of the living hell that Lux is supposed to represent. Character designs are also top notch; all of the individuals in the series emit a very detached and cold look that fits well into the dark and dreary setting.
Of equal merit is the absolutely amazing style of the entire show. Violent, gruesome, and morbid to the core, Texhnolyze is almost unsurpassed in imprinting images into your brain, whether you like them or not. Combat in particular looks like a million dollars, with beautifully fluid movement and flashy fatalities.
You can imagine my surprise when I found out that the opening theme was by one of my favorite bands in one of my favorite genres. The song is called “Guardian Angel,” by Juno Reactor, and is part of a relatively narrow but surprisingly popular subgenre of techno called psytrance. As luck would have it, this aggressive, grungy, and metallic song is a perfect fit for the anime, and does an excellent job of setting the mood for the rest of the show.
The rest of the O.S.T is a very interesting and varied mix that ranges from loud guitar solos to quiet violin and piano pieces. Overall, the songs fit pretty much seamlessly into the show (and are excellent to listen to). One exception, however, happens in the beginning of the final episode, where a loud, obnoxious and utterly distorted guitar "song" assaults the viewers for a full 5 minutes.
The nature of the anime doesn’t give voice actors a whole lot of room for emotion; if you’re the leader of an oppressive crime syndicate, for example, you’re pretty much expected to have ice in your blood. Fortunately, the seiyuu nonetheless manage to deliver unique voices to each of their respective characters despite this.
While by no means bad, the characters aren’t nearly as good as the rest of Texhnolyze. I found almost all of them to be strikingly charismatic, and some of them (Oonishi, Ichise, Shinji) were downright cool, but none of them ever really elicited sympathy. The storyline doesn’t really attempt to inject warmth or depth into the characters (it’s not that kind of a show), and as a result they feel more than a little like pawns in the overarching story - intricate and interesting pawns, perhaps, but pawns nonetheless. Every attempt at development and characterization feels unnatural and forced, and in the end this hurts the anime more than any other aspect of the show.
Texhnolyze is an anime that I almost don’t want to recommend, because I know that a very large percentage of people will probably hate the show. Just as the animenfo average for Serial Experiments Lain has crashed to a lowly (by Nfo standards, anyway) 8.4, Texhnolyze will most likely share the same fate if too many people watch it. This worries me, because I think this show is excellent, no matter what many people may say about it. Assuming that you can keep awake through the beginning episodes, you will be rewarded with a strikingly intellectual show that delivers on almost every front. The dense, brainy and memorable storyline, combined with the consistently amazing animation, are more than enough to provide a pleasurable watch time and time again.
This anime pulled me in right from the start because it was real. I love anime that isn't about being cute of making cute little characters with big heads. I like my anime to be almost a live action film. This was just that.
The story pulled my in to start. But as I got more into the anime I just got more confused. I understood a great deal of it, but it was slightly confusing regarding the actual plot of the story. However, it was full of pretty good fight scenes. Good acting, and it was very well drawn and created. At the end, I understood the plot. It just sucks I had to watch it all before I understood it.
Oh hey, it's review number 22. That just so happens to be my age, too. I guess I should celebrate by reviewing another favorite of mine. Let's see what we have here. Ah, how about Texhnolyze, Madhouse's 22 episode anime series. There is that number again. Jeez, what a coincidence! I really do love the show and its been in my permanent favorites list since early 2010. That said, the usual rules are in effect. No spoilers or cursing. Please read, review my review and comment on this and other reviews I have done. It helps me greatly. Thanks for reading and enjoy the review of the show.
Story; Ever consider abandoning principles and morals? Well, Texhnolyze's Ichise did just that. He abhors his new arm and leg that he obtains from a pretty crazy female doctor. Well, stuff happens and my memory is pretty hazy after most of the WTF moments in the second half of the series. Some of the stuff that they come up with, oh boy! Anyway, it should go without saying, but I may as well ay it because some are dense. The story is pretty complicated and the meaning behind things is pretty difficult to understand. Texhnolyze is a thinking or mental anime. Mature and dark in every corner.
Animation; It is a very dark series. That is really what it boils down to the animation front. Even on the surface, it has the dark tones to it. It is a significantly dark series no matter how you want to look at it. Settings are beautiful and articulate. Character designs look fantastic. ABe does great work and surpasses Haibane Renmei, Lain and Niea Under seven no problem with this work. Dark series can be beautiful too.
Sound; The soundtrack is a rock or techno mix, I would lean more towards rave music in fact. It is a great soundtrack and I am pleased to own both soundtracks. The opening is a great piece of music, it gets you pumped up for the depressing episode ahead easily and without fail. The ending, sung by Gackt, is a fantastic and depressing but somewhat hopeful piece. The English track was listened to for the entire series and I briefly listened to the Japanese track. You would be safe to listen to it either way, both are excellent work by the actors and actresses involved. It is fantastic.
Characters; By far the weakest thing the anime has going for it. How does it still get a ten in this area? Simple. Its weakness is actually its strength. Texhnolyze showed me that character development or back story is needed in an anime. The show and its characters can still be impacting and unique in their own ways. It's realistic in that I do not care to hear back stories. Texhnolyze doesn't live in the past. It lives in the present or here and now. It lives in this dystopian, depressing and insane world. You can get hurt for dwelling on the past. Texhnolyze has proven this.
Overall; I truly love Texhnolyze. Words cannot begin to express that love nor do I think words can begin to express it. I will say this that if you do not like dark series with truly terrifying moments, avoid this anime series. It is pure insanity and despair. By the end of it, you will have fallen into despair and depression over what you have witnessed over the course of this series. You will be numb and confused of what to do. Very few anime can be truly life-altering, Texhnolyze is one of those few. It's like nothing you have ever seen before. This is one of the many high points in animation. Period.
The word “cyberpunk” has been synonymous within the anime and manga world and most of the media over the last 40+ years. Examples like the works of Philip K. Dick, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic, Metropolis, Akira, Battle Angel Alita, Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix and it seems that most of these titles has been a bit of inspiration for today’s anime du jour but sometimes when you have a fascinating theme that can be entertaining in the eyes through visuals and storytelling, you accomplish something but let’s just get into the synopsis.
The events take place in the vibrant yet dilapidated underground city of Lux. Denizens of Lux have come to call it "The City" and treat it as a sentient force. Three factions vie for control of the city: the Organo, a strictly professional conglomerate with ties to the criminal underworld in the prosthetics business ("Texhnolyze"); the Union, a fanatical populist group interfering with Organo's affairs; and Racan, a marauding group of Texhnolyzed youths. The series has an ensemble cast, but events particularly focus on Ichise, a stoic prize fighter who loses a leg and an arm to satisfy an enraged promoter; Onishi, a young but level-headed executive of the Organo who has many enemies; and Ran, a little girl who has a very important gift that affects the entire city. As they struggle to accept the challenges that they are dealt, the characters bear witness to major events that determine whether the city continues to exist.
Now, this is a very gritty and complex story that I actually can see being made beautifully and graphically into something I can get with although it has been done before in most of the anime released but the main problem of this anime is that it has a very slow pace of storytelling and while most of the main characters represent some symbolic figures that bear these deep psychologies, motives and desires, they just seem too dull and uninteresting for me to care about. I can honestly say I have no feel or relation to any of these characters and I really hate to say this but most of the time I fell asleep through some of the episodes, which is a fail at my part due that this requires you to pay attention to the plot and may leave you to think at some parts and the animation has a bit to do with that, too.
Yes, the animation of this is very dark, bleak, and has a depressing tone that perfectly matches this anime but its favorite colors happen to be black and grey and there is a bit too much of that color scheme. Also, there is to be minimal dialogue in some of the episodes (especially the first one) and some that I just can’t keep up with.
I think the music has be the saving grace of this show. While it may something I expect from The Matrix movies, Juno Reactor’s “Guardian Angel (Xavier’s Edit)” has got to be one of the most energetic high-electronica songs I have ever heard and yeah, I love this song. As for the ending song by Gackt, it was fine. It wasn’t that great but it was suitable for the show.
FINAL VERDICT: While having a story that is at first interesting but isn’t that unique anymore, they tried too hard to execute it and only manage to put some viewers to sleep, but then again, Texhnolyze isn’t the anime for everyone, just like Angel’s Egg but that anime is only 80 minutes in length while this is 22 episodes long and could have worked better as a movie. I will say this as a positive, this is highly recommended for anime fans have more of an artsy side of them and to those that want to learn all about this. I won’t rate it too high or too low for this but…..
Texhnolyze gets the final grade of:
Planet Tyro Rating: Low Watchable (it was that close to being a Vanilla title)
I’m not going to put any spoilers... just a recommendation: If you are going to watch this Anime start watching it from episode 12. and I’m been serious. I undoubtedly think that the first 11 episodes are a waste of time. No wander why so many people have dropped watching this Anime.
You might think that you need those first episodes (half of them) but trust me you don’t need them.
Starting from episode 12 the story starts to get more and more interesting, to the point were you are not going to want to stop watching it. But if you start from episode 1, I doubt you’ll pass from episode 7...
All I have to say is that is a fantastic anime, but the first episodes are really slow pace (more than necessary) and will most likely make anyone want to give up on this Anime.