Texhnolyze poster


Cult-favorite Yoshitoshi ABe tempts us to witness man's downward spiral in a future overrun by violence, greed, and depravity. After Ichise loses an arm and leg, he's equipped with experimental robotic limbs against his will. When an army of men transformed into terrifying machines invades his city, Ichise rages against humanity's demise—but can his actions actually be the catalyst? (Source: Funimation)

Ranking 715

User Count16257
Favorites Count415
Start Date17th Apr 2003
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank715
Rating Rank1315
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity


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*"I believe it wasn't by accident that I picked you up. I for one think that it's boring to keep reproducing the same technology over and over again. With Raffia and texhnolyzed limbs a human only recovers the previous shape and nothing more. I've been wanting to create a more unique chemistry from the combination."* First, let's talk about the animation for Texhnolyze: it's Madhouse, so if nothing else you can expect it to deliver visually. This show was animated in 2003 (the same year another, much more famous anime character first lost his arm and leg) and it still holds up surprisingly well even by today's standards. The movements are clean and fluid, colors are surprisingly vibrant and expressive, and the use of off-kilter camera angles and clever cinematography always serves the story well. The characters' faces are refreshingly earthy compared to the exaggerated and cartoonish styles you're probably used to, and when they do become disconcertingly stiff or grotesquely distorted it's always intentional and used to great effect. There are some minor slip-ups here and there, but overall this is a thoroughly solid visual production. The music is probably more diverse than it needs to be, and I very much mean that as a compliment. Most of the time, the show does indeed rely either on silence or at most a few light echoic grinds, rings and hums, I think I'll call it an "angel of death" sort of sound, but that certainly isn't the limit of its breadth. There are some quaint string pieces, a little sad violin, the occasional angry use of electric guitar to accompany its most violent moments, a smattering of techno, and several other pieces that would be difficult to list. Not all of it sounds particularly memorable on its own, but it's uniformly spot-on in placement and execution. Vocally, Texhnolyze is appropriately low-key in both languages, but I don't think it translated particularly well into English, mostly due to the direction. Specifically, the script and direction stick very closely to the original Japanese track, resulting in some awkwardly written lines delivered with unnatural intonations in places, characteristic of some of the less refined dubs of its time. That said, the English track is still serviceable, and despite having some wooden acting at times there are still a few really strong performances mixed in. William Knight, Liam O'Brien and Wendee Lee can be heard taking on at least two roles each, but they handle their roles well enough that it's not really a flaw. Michael McConnohie, Sam Riegel and Patrick Seitz all perform memorably, while some of the less seasoned voices struggle to keep up sometimes. Then there's Victoria Harwood, whose only other role of note is Integra Hellsing. She plays the cool, seductive scientist Doc spectacularly, leaving me wondering why she hasn't had more roles. It's a rough and unpolished dub, and that ironically fits the show just fine. Go with your usual language preference. So, there's one thing I need to get out right away, and that is that this show is definitely not for everyone. To put it concisely, this anime is very cold and very unfriendly. I could count on one hand the number of times this show actually tries to make the audience smile or laugh, and on the rare occasion that humor is present it only serves to make the series feel even more disquieting. The entire first episode goes by with almost no dialog, and the episodes that follow are nearly as quiet. None of the characters are "good people" in the usual sense. The show focuses heavily on themes of human carnality, specifically sex and violence. It is brutal, cynical, and at times very difficult to watch--not because it's bad, mind, but simply because of what it is. I don't doubt that some of you have already decided that you will never watch Texhnolyze, and I respect that decision, but for those still reading there's actually a lot to praise here if you're willing to give the show a chance. It's one of the best anime that will leave you feeling miserable, because throughout its run the story always has a sense of purpose, of saying something about humanity and the world. As I've said, these characters are far from good people, and taken at face value their problems might not seem relatable, but they all stem from very common, very human flaws. Because of these flaws, each character finds him or herself partially responsible for the terrible conflict that ultimately arises--one that ultimately becomes bigger than all of them--they are forced to face themselves and these consequences in their own way. There's also an underlying theme of identity, both as a human and as an individual, which ties nicely into texhnolyzation and the role it has in the world presented. This is especially apparent when we learn the origin of Raffia, the substance that makes the process possible. In effect, texhnolyzation represents the lengths humans will go to in order to survive, but then the show takes that concept a step further and asks: "Do they even deserve to survive?" As these questions come to the fore, all of the characters have to take a step back and reassess the paths they've been following. Shinji, who's always envied the class, discovers how empty the life he had been striving for really was. Doc, who wanted to use technology to further human evolution, is shunned by her own people for it. Ran's ability to see the future brings nothing but pain to herself and her followers. Ichise's arc is the most subtle yet dynamic of them all, as he slowly comes to terms with his new limbs and his meeting Doc and Onishi prompts him to strive to be less of a stray dog and more of a man. We learn more about his backstory, about how he became who he is and where he'll go from there. He often stumbles and occasionally backtracks, but everything he experiences leaves an impression on him. That's just great character writing. That's not to say that this show is without its problems. As mentioned previously, it is exceedingly cold and humorless, and its storyline can get quite obtuse and confusing, which makes it completely inaccessible to wider audiences. It practically demands multiple viewings to understand, but it's such an unapologetic dirge that it's very hard to actually want to. The story can get heavy-handed at times--notably, the show's use of silence in the beginning does have a purpose, but it goes on too long for comfort and as it gets phased out it starts to feel forced and unnatural, though this thankfully goes away after awhile. What ultimately saves Texhnolyze, though, is that despite its extremely dark and cynical overtones, it's never truly biting or hateful. It may be alienating, but it handles its subject matter with passion, reverence and sincerity, for which I can't but applaud it. It's not exactly "lovable", but at the very least it's hard not to feel something for these characters and their struggles against an uncaring and unrelenting world. At the end of the day, do I recommend Texhnolyze? Yes, but only if it truly interests you. I know that should be obvious, but this show in particular is one I don't think you should force yourself to try out if the concept doesn't appeal to you. If you're at all intrigued by this exercise in exploring the darkest depths of the human condition, though, I highly encourage you to check this one out; it's a thoroughly well-crafted, insightful, surprisingly rewarding experience.

Texhnolyze is a mature series - it isn't mature down to:- sexual content- swearing- masses of gore- taboo subjectsInstead, it's mature simply down to the high psycological element that requires the audience to commit full attention to every factor of what's on screen.This is very diffeent series - an odd, cyberpunk, apocolyptic style, partial conspiracy that still confuses me a tad.Story...This series really is a great example of a psycological mind mess. It leaves a great deal up for discussion an it offers little information.The story pretty much starts at episode one; backstories aren't too importiant and events that occur during the run of the series are the only ones that require explainations. The tone is eerie and the pace is very slow - delibrately, just to ensure the audience gets a full insight into just how bad a situation is, in favour of simply skimming over the uncomfortable and featuring a character re-adapt in no time - these characters are a gloomy as it gets, the detail to their desperate prediciments makes can easily lead a viewer to yearn for answers just as much as the character in question.Story comes before character type within this anime and as stated, the delivery is purposley slow, so this isn't for everyone, some viewers should avoid, some may have to put effort into pushing threw a few early ep's (it picks up as time goes by), whilst others may simply accept and enjoy the pace (it is something rare afterall).Characters...This series features loners; the deeply depressed, the disturbed, mystery workers and mystery travelers - some suffer in silence whilst others are calmly sadistic - basicaly, nobody is extrovert; characters in general don't feel the need to fill a slience, yet they get their points across.It becomes clear that the characters are all fairly complex, possibly the headlining male lead in particular, who appears to be an anti-social loner who you could easily assume to be a selective mute - he's set in his ways, yet he undergo's a journey - his journey in particular is one you must really follow carefull, as; he hardley speaks, he has no friends or family speaking for him, no narration on his thoughs and past and no clear enemy.Art...The scenery in general is eveerything, as in this series, actions speak louder then words (litterally;the characters hardly speak, easy job for the voice actors?) - the scenery is pretty, quite realistic looking and constantly changes - the colour tone witin the series fits in with the mood - anything from dull to misty; generally eerie. The characters are well illustrated; reaslistic looking in comparrassion to most modern animes, where the characters are very 'cute' and animated looking - this looks a little like some of the animes popular in the 90s. Overall...It seems as though this isn't really one of those things you're suppose to sit and 'enjoy' as such (i.e. not entent to get the audience too excited); you're suppose to simply take in what you see and watch what unfolds - it's not loaded with action scenes or clear info'; it's one of those each individual watching may percive differently.Enjoyment...Brilliant, well though out, mature material - much reccomended!Very different; not normally my thing - being into; high energy, fast pace, action tales with quirky characters - this is the polar oposite; a purposely slow pace, moody and suprisingly realistic story I'm not even sure you're suppose to enjoy.

**NOTE:** This is my written version of the review. It's pretty much verbatim with my video review of the series but minus the jokes, so for that make sure to check out my youtube channel and watch it. I'll drop a link. Some coarse language, viewer discrestion is advised: <strong> INTRO and SYNOPSIS</strong><strong>~WRITTEN VERSION~ </strong> Texhnolyze is kind of an anomaly. Decode the pretentious word and what it boils down to is Texhnolyze is the weirdest darkest show I have ever seen. Ever. Whatever anime you think is darker, it’s not. Berserk? Texhnolyze makes it look like it’s about candy cane wielding super hero fighting demo kittens. Okay, maybe not. But it still stands this is a dreary and depressing show. Even its predecessor Serial Experiments Lain doesn't really stand a chance against the utter bleakness and disparity this thing has to offer. Not only that but Texhnolyze doesn't want to get to know you. It doesn't have anything against you. You look fine and you dress well, but it’s just not that kind of show. It’s as distant as anything can be. It’s like watching End of Evangelion without seeing the series. Or like playing Dark Souls mixed with Silent Hill 2. It’s a strange feeling and maybe you’ll start to understand just by the first episode. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Texhnolyze is an experimental cyberpunk dystopian philosophical apocalyptic anime thingy. We follow protagonist Ichise, a former boxer whose rescued from the brink of death by a woman named [Eriko][1] AKA Doc. In exchange for his life, she’s installed prosthetic limbs to replace his old ones after they were cut off by his former promoters. Back on his feet, he soon gets caught up in the politics of the city he resides in called Lux getting tangled in the warring factions that want to determine the future of technology and how humankind intersects with so said technology. **STORY** How do you even start talking about the story to this thing? It’s an incredible achievement, but such a bizarre one. It was written by Chiaki Konaka who is responsible for such works as Digimon Tamers, Serial Experiments Lain, Hellsing, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 and Ghost Hound. Even though Yoshitoshi ABe is often attached to this project, as far as I’m aware of, he was only the character designer. That being said, Texhnolyze feels like the second installment in the ABe Trilogy sandwiched in between Serial Experiments and Haibane Renmei. If those two shows were about the theme of insertion and ascension respectively, Texhnolyze would be destruction. It’s a very Nihilistic show and doesn’t have the lining of silver you’d come to expect from pretty much anything else that’s dark. There are no smiles, no glimpses of light. There is only you and Texhnolyze staring each other down--and suddenly, you start to realize sitting in the darkness known as your room watching this show late at night, that you are very much alone and insignificant and so is everyone else. When will technology get to the point where it stops improving us and changes us and can we handle that change? How sure are you there is a God, and will your life be pointless and toyed with if there is one? Is there an afterlife, or do we just die? People seem to have this desire to feel special and to have purpose, but what if there isn't one? The world will cease to exist one day and then what proof of existence do we really have? And if there is no point how can we go on living without feeling self destructive or have an objective morality? Texhnolyze asks us these questions and they’re extremely frightening ones to come to terms with. A majority of people would rather face questions like these with self imposed ignorance and denial. But some may start answering them, and ultimately come to a realization that’s either positive or negative. The show has its own conclusions, but they certainly aren’t optimistic. I really think the questions themselves are the important parts though. And trust me, there are a lot more than what I just posed. It’s an anime that manages to get into your brain and make you think--so it’s an excellent supplement for the stupid anime you may run across. That being said, Texhnolyze isn’t very preachy or what I’d call pretentious. It makes strong arguments for it’s messages--almost to a fault. The lore revolving around the world is rich and creative, but it never really keys you in on it in an obvious way. There aren’t really any monologues spouting philosophical jargon like in Psycho Pass, and any sort of monologue is very much contained within the context of events. A lot of the characters are deep and tragic, with Doc and Toyama being stand outs, but everyone feels distant. This is due to Texhnolyze’s deliberately slow pacing and lack of dialogue. It’s a minimalist piece and in this way is highly experimental. Some may seek shows with instant gratification and this is not one of them. You’ll have to trudge through so much slog before reaching the final four episodes which are nothing short of absolutely genius. To be honest, I actually shed tears by the end of series. And any show that makes me do that is a special one. But in a 22 episode series, this is a lot to ask for and herein lies the Achilles heel of the show. At the same time, it doesn’t change just how good it is and this is a special occasion that I’d say this. Normally I hate shows with slow pacing, but I found myself engaged enough to persevere, much more so than it’s predecessor Lain for whatever reason, if that says anything. Of course, you may just want to stick this one out simply for the animation, and I can’t blame anyone there. It’s quite excellent. **ANIMATION** This one was done by madhouse, who is probably my personal favorite animation company from Japan. They seem to open the vault to pretty much any project thrown their way and are like “JUST TAKE THE MONEY AND MAKE YOUR SHTUFF”. It especially shows here. Much like it’s story, Texhnolyze is gorgeous in a bleak and oppressive way. Movement is fluid, and while the show does have fight scenes, they’re rarely used. When it does use them, it’s incredibly swift and brutal. Aw! That was awesome. Yoshitoshi Abe as mentioned before has made a valiant return in character designs for this one and boy oh boy are they just ridiculously good. His designs are unique, nothing like I’ve seen before in anime. They have their own flare and I must say suit the show very well. Each character is distinctive and brings their own feeling as to what he or she is like. In terms of the backgrounds, they’re suitably gritty, to parallel the show. That’s not to say this is Ergo Proxy levels or grey, no. There’s lots of earthen tones rich with muted colors. Many times, you’ll find the backgrounds are illuminated with white, which brings a sterile feeling to the city of Lux in contrast with the rubble that makes up a majority of the scenery. Pretty much every image this show throws at you burns in your cornea and it’s hard to forget a lot of what you see. This is in a way a very good effect Texhnolyze has. On an interesting note, a lot of the imagery later on reflects paintings by the artist Edward Hopper. He was the artist I studied most during my last semester at college and I nearly jumped out of my skin when I realized what the art in the show was paralleling. It’s perfect for this series to emulate his work, after all--all of Hoppers pieces borrowed by this show are about isolation and loneliness. I can’t really give any examples for fear of spoiling the last four episodes and their impeccable atmosphere. **SOUND** The sound is another fantastic aspect of Texhnolyze. I’ll get into voice acting before I talk about music. Keep in mind, subs tend to have really solid voice acting all around. Those Japanese can really sell emotion, which is something no language barrier can detain. So you’ll be 100% safe going into that official Japanese track. But I’ll veer towards dubs if they’re good. Thankfully, this is one of the few dubs I can confidently recommend. I admit, it has some weak cast members. But it has strong ones, and in this case the strong outweighs the weak. Victoria Harwood as Doc, Justin Gross as Ichise and [Freddy Douglas][2] as Kano are absolutely mindblowingly good in their roles. They’re also rarely heard in anime with Freddy doing mostly live action stuff, Victory only having played in Hellsing and Justin playing Warcraft 3. So this is a great opportunity to really key into their performances which are all very natural while sounding disconnected. Sure somehow every side character has either the voices of Sam Regal or Michael McConnohie, but I’ll forgive it for this dub. In terms of music, this has to be one of the strongest scores I’ve heard in a long time. Everything works atmospherically within each scene, but they also work stand alone. I actually went out of my way to get this OST because it’s extremely unique. I have a policy to use the OST from each show that I review for my full blown reviews, so I’ve been playing it in the background. You’ll hear the swift soft strums of guitar plucking away, the low cello and high violin playing in unison and even the ambiance of techno or distorted strings that sound distant. There is only one truly bad song in the entire soundtrack and that would have to be the one used at the beginning of the final episode. It’s an electric guitar solo that not only is an assault to the ears, but ruins the mood going into the episode. To talk about the opening and credits briefly, they’re both strong. The opening is done by Juno Reactor. They typically do songs under the techno subgenre called psytrance, and the song “Guardian Angel” is the perfect way to lead into an episode. It’s high energy, which compliments a lot of the slower events that happen in the show. The ending theme, Tsuki no Uta mellows down dramatically with a melancholic song sung by Gackt. **CONCLUSION** I loved every moment watching Texhnolyze. It was a thought provoking show that really dug down and got to me emotionally. The ironic thing is, it’s characters are hard to get behind despite being deep because of how detached they are. They feel like part of a bigger picture and the pacing will ruin it for a lot of people. I’m actually afraid to recommend this one to anyone. So in the end I’m going to award it an 8 out of 10 with a recommendation to anyone with a high tolerance for everything I described. I would say everyone should probably try and plow through the first four or five episodes before making any judgement calls, but after that I’d say it’s probably best not to waste your time. Especially if you know you’d hate something like this. It’s a polished product with a lot of heart which makes you feel like it has no heart. It’s one of the many series to have sort of dropped off the face of the earth after the Geneon crash in the US, but has been recently rescued by Funimation and can be bought for like 20$ over here in the good ol' US and A. If you wind up liking this show, I’d recommend it’s spiritual predecessor Serial Experiments Lain. Or if you’re looking for something with a little less bite but just as much intellect, check out the controversial Neon Genesis Evangelion as well as it’s move the End of Evangelion both of which are highly recommended. This has been GoatJesus and I hope you enjoyed this review. Check out my youtube channel of the same name if you're interested! Thanks so much! ~GJ [1]: http://myanimelist.net/character/3006/Eriko_Kamata [2]: http://www.tv.com/people/freddy-douglas/


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