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)
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