Texhnolyze is a man going out for night of drinking. This man starts off in a nice suit, impressing the ladies, even me with a flashy introduction I don't normally see, but his interest goes straight to the alcohol. He procedes drink heavily - in a short manner of time this man is talking like any other person with drunken slander and gibberish here and there. Shortly thereafter, he begins to take his walk out of the club to get things moving; he straggles along, bobbling around, not making any clear sign to where he is going and what his next plans are going to be.
If you didn't catch that, its an extended metaphor for how Texhnolyze starts off and the expectations it provideded to me. The first episode was quite impressive, beautifully portraying the atmosphere and tone of the rest of the show, and manages to introduce the main character, Ichise, in quite the graphic manner - not only does he get some female action in the first episode, he manages to get mutilated in one of the most graphic scenes I've watched just from the animation style and shreek of the character.
So what does the show decide to do after such an amazing intro? Well, a lot of thumb twiddling.
Without giving away too many details the show starts off to a crawl (for those who watched the show: ba-dum-tss) in terms of the plot. The following episodes are just a repercussion of the first, slowly building the world that the main character lives in - I might add that this world is quite depressing and shown in a magnificent manner.
Once the world is established strongly and events start happening, I had to ask myself, what exactly is going on? The show was not necessarily intruiging so much as confusing me - some terrorism, something about syndicates, something about a future predictor; what does this have to do with anything and the big picture? I let the questions slide by in hope that something will explain it all.
Sadly enough, I recieved concrete answers that had no logical reasoning to them. Worse yet, the show stagnates again with the death of a character, and then the second half of the show is based off the repercussions of what happened then. After watching over half of the series, the show felt like it was based upon side-effects of one action rather than developing. One could argue that such an approach is like embracing the butterfly-effect but I personally shoot that down because it doesn't give much reasoning to the why and how. If you can swallow down the facts of this universe without question, you will see a lot more good in the plot than I did.
After finishing the show, I actually think this had an extremely powerful story and a very suitable ending leaving a nice message and a bit to chew on; however, the execution of it was done poorly through its sluggish pacing and blank characters...
Almost all the characters were not rememorable, undeveloped, and static. Ichise has two emotions the entire show: blood boiling rage and blank expression. Oonishi always has the look of being serious trying to fix everything. Ran serves no more purpose than to be a plot driver - she could have been a rock and the story would seem to hold the same.
I realize that reading these basic character bios are probably boring - that is exactly what they are, boring. These characters lacked humanity, which is a core theme of this show; the least the producers could have shown would be different sides to each character. They acted as exposition producers instead of people in a world, which was highly dissatisfying to me. Not to say that they were robots, Oonishi did have his moments as well as a good portion of the secondary characters...
The detrimental blow, at least from what I noticed, was the split plot that focused on several characters, not allowing for enough screen time for each character. That, or the screen time used was not used effectively for the shorter amount of time they had.
I definitely would not put this on your to-watch list unless you have some major interest in the story and depressive nature.