All it takes is the first episode of Texhnolyze for one to see that its offerings are much more cerebral and artistic than any other typical anime TV series. For the complete duration of the entry into the world of Lux and the series’ main character, Ichise, there are no words uttered by him and a few sparse words muttered by the characters introduced. It is an intense visual and audible exercise, in which the creators wished to show us this underground urban dwelling that is full of decay, corruption and body manipulation that is one of the most interesting anime shows to come out of studio Madhouse. The story follows Ischise, as the newly recipient of experimental Texhnolyze, robotic mechanical limbs, that some people obtain for looks and other as a necessity. He becomes intertwined with a war between the Organo Crime Syndicate that runs Lux, an anti-Texhnolyze group called the Citizen Salvation Alliance and a youth group called Racan, that have fully embraced Texhnolyze body parts as a symbol of freedom. The series was initially released by Geneon Entertainment back in 2004 and now Funimation has rereleased the title under their Anime Classics line, which is quite fitting.
Texhnolyze was written by Chiaki J. Konaka, writer of other seminal cyberpunk classics, such as Serial Experiments Lain, Parasite Dolls and Armitage III. With this in mind, it makes much sense that this series plays much more into how anime used to be back in the 90’s. Its full of intense violence, shocking content and imagery that was anime’s stigma for a long time. The style and pacing of the show can be extremely off-putting as well, with the repeated use of decaying images and the very slow nature of the narrative. It can down right put you to sleep if your not careful, but while someone would see this as just a boring, poorly plotted show, this is exactly what makes Texhnolyze worth watching.
Texhnolyze on Funimation’s Anime Classics line retains all of the original content that was on the original Geneon releases. This includes English dub outtakes, an interviews with character designer Yoshitoshi Abe and producer Yasuyuki Ueda, textless opening and ending credits and the alternate Japanese ending. With all the extras that are on this set, including all 22 episodes of the series, its too easy to see that this set is loaded, compared to most anime boxed sets that come out today. The English dub outtakes are some of the funniest outtakes you’ll hear on a set and give the dub outtakes for the Berserk TV series from Media Blasters, a run for their money. The interviews are also very much insightful, coming from two key creators of the series and help give a better understanding to what they were going for in this seinen show.
I’m glad that Funimation has re-released Texhnolyze for a whole new audience to see. While its never been too hard to find, it has been technically out of print and having it in a single DVD case, as opposed to a hulking boxed set, makes for much more shelf space for more anime. Again, this show is a bit dense for most people and also pretty graphic, but if your willing to give it a shot, you’ll find that Texhnolyze is a fantastic vision of cyberpunk grit and one of the best offerings the genre has. Highly Recommended!