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.
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.
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.
Texhnolyze is an adult show.
You may happen to witness homosexuality, SM, pedophilia,incest, blood sheds, meaningless violence and utter despair while watching it.
This is a pitch black cyber-punk tale of High Quality -Abe Yoshitoshi- in all regards : entrancing music, beautyfull art, bright direction and mind-blowing plot.
The pacing is slow, and the naration often resorts to visual communication and minimalist dialogues as you follow the taciturn (yet so hot) Ichise in the turmoil-city of Lux. You have to think of it as a highly symbolic and esthetic tale questioning civilisation, progress, evolution, survival, violence, loneliness and their conflicts with morality and sanity.
Story: Due to the slow,
unusual story-telling and somewhat symbolic plot, the show sometimes fails to keep your mind plugged. However, the directing is really top notch: centerings, lightings, designs are some of the best i ever seen in an anime, period.
Sound: An opening with no karaoke is just pure win, plus it's trans-what else? The sound track fits the dark-industrial-cyberpunk mood very well, with some strings here and there and a heart-breaking song for the last episode.
Characters: Oonishi the King, Ishise the Fighter, Eriko the Artist, Ran the Virgin, Yoshii the Stranger... each of them are strong symbolic figures with deep and complex psychologies, motives and desires.
Enjoyment: I won't say this show is a masterpiece, but it is so refreshing, ambitious and wiked that the flaws are easyly forgiven. I did not had a really fun time watching it, it is indeed pretty violent and utterly depressing -this is no entertainment. Nonetheless, the show is apart (and far far better) from your daily anime, and it truely deserves some attention and praise.
Welcome to the land of futuristic drama where humans have evolved to cyborgs, computer viruses are the norm of the day and war has completely destroyed the lands. The terminator franchise no longer seems funny, does it?