ARTSY ANIME SERIES
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
Texhnolyze is a very interesting project. Trying to deconstruct some formulas and stereotypes, the production team decided to make it as ANTI-MAINSTREAM AS POSSIBLE. Meaning, it deliberately pisses on the casual viewers in an attempt to either make them give up on it or be assimilated to its quirky style. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE! … or isn’t it?
First of all I appreciate when the industry goes for something different instead of just rehashing the same old crap again and again. And indeed, ask anyone who has watched this show and he will admit that this is one of the weirdest shows ever; thus I call it in this regard a success. Well done you guys, I salute you.
The thing is, being weird/different and being exciting/entertaining are not one and the same, unless you have been completely saturated after the millionth tsundere loli hitting in an identically fashion some fail of a male specimen called “the ideal anime lead”. Sure, ok, fire away at this baby if you feel like it; chances are you will love it with this sort of mindset. I too am fed up with this crap and I do admit it is good to stand out from the manure piles. At the same time I didn’t exactly love how the show was begging me to hate it. I am not joking, it was yelling HATE MEEEE! For six episodes.
The first fourth of the story is made to be as incomprehensible as possible. The characters talk little to no-at-all, exposition of the story is minimal, the artwork is like the animators were stoned and the pacing is … well I don’t know what it is; time was irrelevant while watching. Although it was an interesting way of showing us an anti-mainstream way to begin a show, at the same time it was a pain in the butt to just keep watching. What is the purpose of this show? An objective? To feel depressed for the sake of feeling depressed? Even as such, for what reason? Give us a reason to be depressed! Of course the show was just aiming to be as mysterious and confusing as possible and for that reason it didn’t have some narrator explaining everything with forced monologues. It was all one big “Keep watching and find out you impatient fool!” type of attitude and as much as I liked it I still say it was annoying. I mean I knew there is some weird shit going in the story but leaving me hovering in the vacuum of space without some hook to why or whom is indeed something I am unable to stand for long. As so doesn’t most of humanity.
After the first fourth, the pacing of the show becomes easier to understand and for that reason more mainstream for casuals to follow (BLASPHEMY!) and from here on you can finally understand what is going on since people now TALK and slowly reveal stuff, while the animation is less stoned. The story is very interesting and it has to do with punishment and boredom of life. To put it bluntly, some guys are suffering because of their crimes and the legit guys just gave up on living and wait to die. Yippee! Makes no sense but then again it is also unorthodox and has nothing to do with FAKIN TSUNDERE LOLIS thus it is good.
Again, I remind you that being different and being entertaining are not the same thing and eventually the show demands from the viewer to be in a very-very-very specific mindset in order to be appreciated. For example, it demands from you to feel like an emo who hates the world and wants to die. Sorry to say this but most viewers watch a series in order to feel more positive emotions. The initial episodes were supposed to get you in the proper mood and chances are if you lived through them you will definitely be painting yourself white and polishing your nails black by now while wearing some KISS related uniforms. Good for you, you passed the entrance test. Thus the first part of the show is indeed telling you to hate it as means for only the chosen few emos to keep watching later. Very nice trick I must say.
… Hey so why did I continue watching it if I didn’t like it, you may ask? Simple, I gave up on it the first time and during the second try I just skipped the entry exams. Worked like a charm.
The rest of the series is very good as I said in terms of themes and storyboard. It is one fine piece of pessimistic sci-fi concerning all sorts of ghastly ways to be disgusted with bodily functions such as breathing, having sex or just listening to that damn heart of yours still beating in your chest. It practically has to do with the dehumanizing side of technology and how it slowly eats away emotions and morality to the point you become a machine yourself (duh, it’s right there in the title you idiot).
The thing is, the pacing of the episodes is way too slow and many of the characters are so apathetic you just don’t care about them. You end up watching ten episodes in a row with some uncaring people doing nihilistic stuff. There is no sympathy here and I’ll be damn if there is identification. The entire cast ends up being unimportant before the mood of the setting and thus you remember the show as “some weird world” and not “some weird machine people”. Which is bad in a way since it is people who make up the world or create the plot and not the other way around. Who are you people? I don’t care about you.
Texhnolyze is very good in terms of atmosphere and overall themes. The animation and the soundtrack fit its emo feeling, while the camera angles and the filters used are used properly to further maintain the feeling of joyless. I am very pleased with the successful overall direction of the show but in no way did I enjoy it. And perhaps that was the point all along, to feel bad. Well yes I do feel bad for watching it, not because it was badly done (in the contrary, it is very good in directing) but because I like cheerier stories, like most people do. WHAT THE HELL, I AM PILLED WITH THE MASSES NOW???
In all it is very good at making you feel bad. And in a way that is its motto: “So good it is bad” so to speak. Recommended if you feel like getting depressed and not recommended if you like rather straightforward, cheerier stories.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 8/10
General Artwork 2/2 (atmospheric)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (atmospheric)
SOUND SECTION: 9/10
Voice Acting 3/3 (fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 3/3 (creepy)
STORY SECTION: 6/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 0/2 (damn slow and confusing)
Complexity 2/2 (rich context)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 2/2 (solid)
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 0/2 (invisible)
Personality 1/2 (basic)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 6/10
Historical Value 1/3 (still remembered by some as an interesting retro title)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of the too weird plot)
Memorability 4/4 (extremely moody to the point of forever remembering it)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
I liked its moody atmosphere but the characters are like invisible and the story is hard to tolerate.