Texhnolyze takes place in the city of Lux, a man-made underground city that has crumbled after years of neglect and lack of repairs. Citizens of Lux have come to refer to their home as simply "The City" and treat it as though it has a mind and will of its own. Three major factions battle to control Lux: Organo, a group of "professionals" who collaborate with the criminal underworld that controls Texhnolyze (prosthetics), the Salvation Union, a populist group that seeks to disrupt Organo's business, and Racan, a collection of young individuals with Texhnolyzes that use their abilities for personal gain.
Ichise was once an orphan who has made a place for himself in Lux as a prize fighter. One day, a fight promoter grows angry with him and the altercation that follows results in Ichise losing an arm and a leg. Before death can take him, Ichise is found by the scientist Eriko Kamata, who uses him as a test subject for her newly designed Texhnolyze. With these powerful new limbs at his disposal, Ichise begins to work for Oonishi, the leader of Organo. He soon meets a mysterious young girl, Ran, who has the power to see possible futures. Together, they soon realize that Lux is on the brink of war and collapse, and that they may be the only ones who can save The City.
Texhnolyze is a show about heavy breathing, grunting, and a pissing contest between a group of gun and sword wielding alpha males in suits who speak in bad mob movie cliches. If you force your imagination enough, you may be able to find something deep in the recesses of this art, but the same could be done if you stared long enough at the textures on a rusty frying pan.
There's a subplot about "texhnolyzation", a procedure to repair or upgrade a person using technologies such as mechanical limbs. The transhumanist ideas herein, which have potential, are unfortunately enveloped in a lot of empty atmosphere. Most scenes are comprised of long shots of nothing, sound effects that were ran through one too many flange filters, and cryptic dialog that's just later reiterated in dull exposition.
The tone is reminiscent of the cheap drawings an angry teenager would sketch up after being sent to his room for cursing out his mother. There's hardly any diversity among the characters; they all share the same stern facial expression, and communicate by either mumbling or shouting.
Episodes 19 - 22, though still reliant on exposition, are admittedly fascinating as they focus on the aforementioned subplot. With that said, I'm not entirely sure the ending was worth sitting through the preceding 6 hours of tedium. If this show had been around 10 episodes instead of 22, it could have been good, maybe even great.read more
Okay, I'm going to repeat what many others have said and state that Texhnolyze is NOT a series for everyone. The pace is slow and punishing, and if your main squeeze is the straightforward action side of anime you will probably hate this.
However rather than bore me, I personally found the pace to be a breath of fresh air. This slow and steady treatment of the story is more realistic and true-to-life for me, and while it might not be as instantly gratifying as some other series it's truly enveloping and convincing. The plot itself is highly complex, and as with Lain, Texhnolyze's spiritual predecessor, you probably won't be able to take it all in with one viewing.
The art is beautiful and highly atmospheric. The world of Lux springs to life with many lush, yet dark and gloomy settings. The characters are soft spoken but oddly compelling, especially in the case of Ichise. They're also weirdly real. The cast of Texhnolyze is one of the more believably human ensembles I've ever seen in an anime, and it's difficult not to become attached to them.
Another point I'd like to bring up is the weird disconnect it establishes between the events that happen on screen and the viewer. Right from the getgo the perspective seems grimly neutral. Texhnolyze isn't telling you how to feel about what's happening, just presenting what happens and letting you make the call. The realistic presentation and attention to detail add to this sensation. It's almost as if the story was told from the point of view of the mysterious city itself.
Between the realistic pacing, heady plot, and gorgeous settings, Texhnolyze was one of those rare anime that, for me, made everything else seem not quite as good. I don't give out 10s easily but if that doesn't earn one I don't know what does. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a contemplative, challenging series.read more
Texhnolyze manages to flatline across the scoreboard. Although there are slight variations, it's as though the show itself pursued a 7/10 in every category. That said, let's jump right into things.
Ichise is a personified existential philosophy which works properly with the constant barrage of philosophy expressed both audibly and symbolically. However, his pursuit for reason is not by constantly asking the other lead characters, but by silently observing as they advance in their personal goals. The biggest antagonist to his questioning nature is the very essence of Lux itself. Very early we are introduced to the nature of change – both in setting and characters. In some narratives, this characteristic is something that is at the hands of the personified antagonist, or the heroic protagonist, but in Texhnolyze, change takes the wheel as the primary antagonist.
Perhaps what makes Texhnolyze so fascinating is the complimentary nature of Ichise’s unchanging question and the world’s unstoppable evolution. At times, it feels as though the two are not only complimentary, but reciprocals, as Ichise grows toward the ultimate climax and the world around him follows a natural event. It’s masterful, and an absolute beauty to observe.
That all said, the latter acts are cluttered with stunted plot developments and weak subplots that show change but fail to do it well. However, the show still remains enjoyable.
Running just short of two seasons, Texhnolyze is a 22-episode long series with a washed color pallet and avant garde stylizing. It really helps exemplify the ‘show don’t tell’ of animation. Though filled with extreme conflict, seldom were there scenes of explicit violence for the first two acts of the show, reserving itself to close reaction shots of the characters. The third and final act is when things become more graphic, and even then it’s still quite tame. It helps emphasize the fact that this anime is not about physical conflict, but cerebral conundrums.
I did grow tired of the usual locals of Lux as the show progressed. Although Lux is a city in draught (both literally and metaphysically) I would have preferred the latter episodes to bring more life to the scenery. I don't mean that there needs to literally be life, but that the setting must seem real. Seeing the buildings in the background during action sequences or conversations shouldn't feel like a backdrop, but a real world.
I found the music inspiring for the first act as Ichise grows to learn how to use his texhnolyzed limbs. Less than 15 lines are shared between Ichise and Ran as he traverses the unforgiving town of Lux. The ambience of the music, their silent relationship, and the escalating conflict worked together to tell a story without words. It brought to life the world of Texhnolyze right from the get-go, but this excellent wave hit the beach to early, and the second and third act fail to have the same impact. It’s a shame, considering the early music and emphasis on visuals over dialogue was the best part this show had to offer.
Mentioned above in the story, but to re-iterate, Ichise is not in league for best MC. He's in league for best personification of a debilitating worldview. It's an excellent character study, but not necessarily for the sake of his own actions, but how we interpret his interpretations of the actions and events surrounding him. In other words, despite his essentially boring nature, he is still a really interesting and compelling character to watch and I was always pleased to see him in the scene. I hope you enjoy his company on screen as much as I did.
Good! I liked this, but like most shows, I can't turn off my critical lense. It's a shame, because the show had potential to be an above 8. The problem is that the ending has some weak directive decisions that make it a little... well, weak. It's very strange that of the 4 Ueda Yasuyuki influenced shows I've watched (including this one), 2 were less than 8 due to poor directive control at the ending, and one the total opposite, having a boring beginning. Perhaps the biggest let-down was the failure to have proper music played during the last 2 episodes that helped convey the emotional weight of the ending, on both the characters in Texhnolyze and us, the viewers. That said, I can definitely see myself watching this piece again, and will definitely recommend it to friends.
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I’ve been meaning to describe my experience with Texhnolyze since I last rewatched it, but just like the ending to the show I found myself a bit lost for words and a little empty inside. I’ve since found that it’s very easy to write about things I don’t like in anime, but it’s difficult for me to give praise to fantastic shows in a way that gives them the respect they deserve.
Story - 10/10
Texhnolyze's story stands out because of the power of its narrative. The story of the Texhnolyzed Ichise is not one that progresses very rapidly, but the complexities of the world of Lux and its counterparts, the inhabitants and their allegiances, as well as the external forces that bring change to the city are all dealt with in full length, providing the viewer by the end of the show a wide and deep understanding of the world of Texhnolyze.
That being said, Texhnolyze shows way more than it tells, and while it's minimalist dialogue and slow pacing may be a turn off to viewers who were expecting fast action based off of the opening, to me it's a great change of pace and very fitting for the dark material that it covers.
As a result, Texhnolyze doesn't spoon feed you information, but instead tries to convey its story more stylistically through the use of different colors, drawings, scene construction, character expressions, and symbolism. And I think it does very well. The show is multi-layered, with religious, artistic, and literary references that enhances the show's already powerful messages but not so overwhelming that you're lost in an incomprehensible mess.
The themes of Texhnolyze are also thought provoking. From traditional cyber punk themes of the fusion of man and machine and the negative impacts of technology or post apocalyptic messages ranging from the fall of man to the meaningless of life, Texhnolyze gives the viewer a lot to think about when the credits rolls at the end, and it leaves up a lot to interpretation to the point where as dark as it is, Texhnolyze still offers a bit of hope at the end of the tunnel.
Art - 9/10
The art of Texhnolyze really does deserve a ten, and my giving it a nine is more of a personal snicker than anything else. The show's set pieces are very fitting for its content. There are few shows where the expression of a character's face or a camera angle or the depiction of certain buildings adds value and importance to the story. Whether it's the haunting perspective of Ichise where his view is now covered with details about his new robotic limbs or the apathetic expression from the show's deadly instigator, Texhnolyze offers up a lot of fine detail to analyze.
Texhnolyze manages to do that and more. While the majority of Lux is bound in grey and other colors that have been shaded with darker hues, the use of lighting is used very effectively when it comes to important and critical scenes or used thematically as a means of splitting characters in light or dark. In short, Texhnolyze uses all forms of visual storytelling to improve upon its already powerful story.
My only gripe with the show is that its cover art is kind of misleading. Ichise, Ran, Onishi, and Motoharu, some of the main characters in the story, are nowhere near as sexy (and for Ran...well she's still kind of cute) as they are in the cover art. Which made me sad. :(
Sound - 10/10
The opening and ending of the show are really interesting and I think they kind of set the pace for the show in a very noticeable way too, getting our bloods pumping by the beginning of the show and then gradually calming us down by the end with a peaceful melody by Gackt. Juno Reactor's Guardian Angel is splendid and I can't think of any better way to have opened the anime.
Its soundtrack is also a diverse mix of slow piano pieces, guitar solos, fast more trance/techno beats, and even the occasional rap. One wonders when listening to Texhnolyze's soundtracks how such a violent and depressing anime could have uplifting tracks, and I think that's one of the qualities of Texhnolyze.
But beyond the sounds, one must realize that Texhnolyze is still a very sensory experience. Just like how the art was used in a way to highlight characters, sound is used pretty extensively as a means of conveying the narrative. The ragged breaths of Ichise as his anger rises up and down, the soft sound of footsteps at a suspenseful moment, the sound of trains, gunfire , shifting of the legs, all these sounds are amplified and brought out in a way that creates such an intense atmosphere that wouldn't have existed with such good sound editing.
Character - 10/10
The characters in Texhnolyze are deeply flawed, but that's all part of their charm. I've heard many people say that they couldn't get emotionally attached to these characters, and while I disagree, I think that's still missing the point.
I'm not a big fan of the phrase "I'm in this show for the characters" because that implies an attachment to certain characters than a show might or might not really need to succeed. There are plenty fans of Eva who find characters like Shinji or Asuka or Rei revolting and still love the show for what it is. The same can be said with a show like Ergo Proxy (and that's not the only thing asinine about that show).
I happened to love the characters but even so, Texhnolyze offers up very human characters that all have plenty of development and screen time. We understand their motives, their philosophies, and they all add something important to the narrative. Whether it's Doc and her attempts at bridging the world of man and machine or Onishi with his steadfast sanity that kept the city from falling into utter chaos or Yoshii with an apathy that I have never seen since reading The Stranger, all of these characters have great characterization.
Enjoyment - 10/10
Texhnolyze is not a show for everyone. It's violent, slow, and almost downright depressing. It's also not a show where people just sit down and expect a fun experience. It's thought provoking and tries to create a narrative that's multi-layered and deep, and it definitely succeeds. It just happens to frighten away a good proportion of the anime fanbase in the process.
I personally thought that Texhnolyze was an intensely enjoyable experience. Every episode was filled with such great world building, characterization, atmosphere, and sometimes even action to admire and think about. I left every episode thinking about something new, and Texhnolyze was enough of an interesting take on cyberpunk that I would say that I came out kind of enlightened and thought about the genre in a different light.
The fact that a lot of the show was up to interpretation was also interesting. Plenty of friends cite how bleak it is, but I happen to think Texhnolyze has some uplifting moments. It offers up that mankind, even down in its darkest moments, is constantly fighting for survival, to live, to find one's meaning in life. It offers that while technology may be a bane on existence, perhaps there's something else there, that it helps us forge bonds or become more human than we were. Texhnolyze has these kinds of themes and messages for us, lying in wait. One just has to look for them to understand and enjoy what the show has to offer.
Overall, Texhnolyze is easily one of the best, if not the best, anime I have ever seen. I think I've found the words I've been meaning to say for a long time.
Texhnolyze is not for everyone, but if one is an anime fan, I highly recommend you give it a shot.read more
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