Posted on September 16, 2012 AT 12:52pm
Texhnolyze takes place in the underground city of Lux. The city itself is divided in to a very specific caste system with the “dogs” being one of the lowest levels. Ichise is a prizefighter and part of this dog class. He punches a fight promoter’s girlfriend during sex and is punished by having his arm and leg cut off. Normally, this would mean death since the lowest classes are not entitled to be texhnolyzed, given artificial limbs/enhancements, but through sheer willpower, Ichise manages to survive.
A member of the upper class, Doc, is researching the texhcnolyze technology. She finds Ichise and sets him up with a new arm and leg, for which he is not grateful and is not entitled to receive as one of the “dogs”. In the midst of all this, there is a war brewing between those that rule who are lead by Onishi, the city and the Union. Workers are tired of being treated like dirt and the ruling caste has no desire to give in to their demands.
Yoshii is a visitor from above ground. He has come to Lux with a plan to incite a battle or “Spectacle” between all the groups in Lux. There is a power struggle raging between the ruling powers and the lower classes who are dissatisfied with their lots in life. Yoshii has all the ammunition he needs to fan the flames of discontent. Many people have deserted the city and joined with the army of Shapes, a group of people that have had all but their heads texhnolyzed. Shapes begin an attempt to take over Lux and yet another bloodbath falls upon the city.
Ran is a little girl that lives with the Elder. She is a seer and the “flower girl” of Gabe. Gabe is the place where the Raffia flowers are grown. These are essential in making the human body compatible with being texhnolyzed. Ran and the Elder tend and sell these flowers. She is an odd little girl, quiet and observant. Her abilities to see the future are limited and she can only see the immediate future.
This story is too convoluted and obtuse. I could probably sit here and type out 10 pages and still not list everything that happened in this series. To be honest, I am not sure how I felt about this series exactly. While the story itself was interesting and I wanted to know what was going on, it was slow to unfold and everything was treated as a mystery. I found myself losing interest in watching it. The writer has obvious talent but I wonder if they were trying too hard to be artistic and forgot that a series needs to engage its viewers. I love a good mystery and I love when a story plays out in such a way you cannot guess what is going to happen next, but this took that to a place that was completely unnecessary. It hurt the series. I spent a vast majority at the beginning of the series in a state of confusion. It started to clear up a little towards the 3rd and 4th discs, but it was difficult to get through the first two.
The art style is a style I have always enjoyed. More realistic and artsy with less chibi and cuteness. All the colors are muted and earth-toned lending to the senses of desperation and despair that evident in the inhabitants of Lux. It is gritty and unforgiving. You really get the sense that Lux is not a place you want to live. It’s dirty and hold no beauty at all.
The voice acting was pretty good, not phenomenal, but it wasn’t terrible. It was good enough to work with the series, although, I would have liked a little more personality from some of the characters. Good voice acting can really help differentiate between characters that look similar and it helps the viewer develop an emotional bond, good or bad, with the characters on the screen. I didn’t feel any desire for one side to win or lose because I couldn’t empathize with any one of the characters. I had no relationship with the series and without that relationship, I didn’t feel the need to continue watching it. A series needs to make the person watching excited to see what the next episode brings.
The opening music was well chosen. The industrial metal tone fits in perfectly with the overall look of Texhnolyze and the general story. However, I did not think the ending song fit well at all. It was more slow JPOP ballad and just didn’t seem to go well with the story. That being said, it was a very pretty song and by itself, I think it is great.
All in all, though Texhnolyze is a decent anime series, it is definitely not for everyone and it isn’t on my list of favorites. If you can get through the first 12 episodes or so, the story picks up and though the ending is depressing, it is a good. There is graphic violence and some sexual content. If these things make you squeamish, then you might want to skip this one.
The Good: Interesting look at caste systems and the future of humans when technology takes over.
The Bad: Only average voice acting and enough violence to turn people off.
The Ugly: Story is too slow, convoluted and obtuse. Takes too long to really get going.
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