Cyberpunk Review » Texhnolyze

January 15, 2006


Year: 2003

Directed by: Hiroshi Hamazaki

Written by: Chiaki Konaka

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Rating: 8 out of 10

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Overview: Written by one of the most prolific anime writers, Chiaki Konaka (Who also wrote Lain, Malice@Doll, Hellsing, Bubblegum Crises, etc.), Technolyze is a virtual feast of visuals wrapped up in a Lain-style fragmented cyberpunk gangster story. Like Lain, the beginning is almost non-sensical, but creates the foundation for the mood of the rest of the story.

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Texhnolyze is the name for the technology to make fully integrated cybernetic limbs like those above. The story follows Ichise, a former down-and-out boxer living in Luckass, a truly disturbed city with the elite rich side and the poor slums. Ichise inadvertently crosses the local mafia (called the Organo), and ends up getting an arm and leg chopped off. But luck would have it that he’s a perfect candidate for a hot chick Texhnolyze’s doctor’s experiments in the latest Texhnolyze research. Ichise carries around a capsule containing his dead mother’s body cells, which the doctor integrates into the limbs. Ichise spends many episodes figuring out how to get revenge for how he changed, but based on discussions with a girl who can see the future, his motivations change as the series moves forward.

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This is NOT a kids story. Every episode has LOTS of gangster-like killings. We get lots of guns and a few cool sword fights. We also get some nice Texhnolyze deaths with fists going through faces. Truly, this might be described as Goodfellas meets Serial Experiments Lain. And while I haven’t gotten the last DVD set, I’m guessing this is is NOT going to be an uplifting story.

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The Visuals: Unlike Lain, Texhnolyze is as Neo-noir as they come. The use of shadows is amazing. We get lots of stark white on blacks, interesting gray patterns, and lots of yellows and browns. Also, virtually every character is flawed and mysterious. While the anime is truly riveting, you won’t find yourself becoming attached to anyone. The characters simply aren’t sympathetic.

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Texhnolyze is a virtual feast of visual textures and palettes. Whenever you look through a texhnolyzed person’s eyes in first person, you see almost a terminator-like display, only the screen is filled with noise. We also get the most incredibly detailed background sets. Truly, you feel like you know this city after watching a few DVDs worth of this. We also get great camera angles, with sweeping shots, extreme close-ups intermixed with psychedelic-like image merges. Top this with a terrific score and wonderful surround sound, and the WOW effect hits you in total.

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The Bottom Line: Truly, its clear that the creators of Texhnolyze wanted to make something as overtly cyberpunk as possible. They truly have succeeded. Texhnolyze is not for everyone, as the story is violent, obscure, and cold. It is however, a truly awesome and totally original cyberpunk series!

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Tags: cyberpunk movie review anime Texhnolyze


February 8, 2006

saed said:

Texhnolyze is a tragic love story. A bit like Dostyevsky and Shakespeare.

SFAM said:

Hi Saed, welcome! Your comment definitely motivates me to get the last in the set!

February 10, 2006

Sazuka said:

I could actually understand this watching it once, unlike Boogiepop Phantom or Serial Experiments Lain.

April 27, 2006

grobuka said:

Re-watching it gives a second layer of understanding. There’s more to Texhnolyze. When you already know the plot, your attention can be focused on other things and ideas which people certainly overlook while watching it the very first time.

SFAM said:

Hi Grobuka, welcome to cyberpunkreview :)

I think your comment would also applies to Serial Experiments Lain. Both have very post-modern story narratives which definitely lend themselves to multiple watching to gain better comprehension.

May 8, 2006

groovykid said:

I though the First episode was a pain to watch and need all your attention.
I think i’m getting lazy trying to understand slow paced cyberpunk movies while surfing

SFAM said:

Hi Groovykid, Texnolyze and Serial Experiments Lain both have a very post-modern story narrative. I wouldn’t call them slow paced, but they are almost intended to be incoherent for a good amount of time. Only later, after you’ve put a significant investment of time in, do you understand the earlier episodes.

groovykid said:

yes SFAM , Lain was definitely a great show and texhnolyze might be one too if you are in the mood for some thinker , wich I was not. You are right and I also think it must be mainly a question of investment of time to apreciate it the way it should be. I’m just afraid to find some rehashed themes.

July 20, 2006

unamas said:

I love the caracter of pic 5.

May 5, 2007

kefka321 said:

This is one of the best cp animes ever made imo second only to lain.

May 15, 2007

Sajrajt_von_Kuku said:

It needs something like personal investigation to find all the connections and happenings in Lain and Texhnolyze together… But it worths multipla watching, its like re-reading Bulgakov, its totally different book each time…
Unfortunately, there´s a psx game that tells the second part of a story (Experiments Lain) and it is nearly unreachable…

August 3, 2007

project_2501 said:

PLOT SPOILER (kind of…)

I’ve watched all but the last couple of episodes, but for me the story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It seems to have taken 20 episodes for Yoshi to turn the three gangs against each other and for the Class to take control. Every episode seems to be the same: prophet girl acts mysterious, main character says nothing then punches a wall in rage (usually threatening or hurting doctor too), Oonish looks thoughtful, loads of people die. Having said that, the visuals are excellent. It’s just seems that so much effort has gone into the mood and the setting that the creators didn’t spend enough time on the plot. If I watch the series again I’ll probably enjoy it a lot more…

August 30, 2007

aestheticbend said:

I may be the exception to the rule, but this is my absolute favourite cyber punk anime. Often the characters in this series are knocked for being cold and alien; but I think this results from a misinterpretation of what the characters are. When I watch this series and especially considering the ending, i am of the belief that the characters are physical constitutions of psychological drives. Only when left in particular context and taken in a holistic sense do these characters give any meaning to the viewer. They cannot be isolated and viewed as a singular entity.

I could even see making an argument that the entire show was based on symbolism of a sort of Nietzchean psychological determinism based on competing wills. And the people and groups just happen to represent these wills.

This series moves me beyond anything else, because of the sheer amount of human passion that is expressed. I feel that the aesthetic of this leans far more towards the dionysian, which throws many viewers off, both cyberpunk and not cyberpunk fans alike.

September 2, 2007

Raskol said:

It looked interesting. It sounded interesting. But I just couldn’t really get into it. The story is quite good but it may just be too slow for me.

Worth watching though.

Whilst I have only watched the first eleven episodes for now, it is certainly very fascinating. Though the characters are hard to sympathize with, they still are very real. The plot itself is not yet wholly revealed, but that contributes strongly to my wanting to continue to watch it.

September 8, 2007

Rick said:

If this is Cyberpunk, then so is Gungrave; do a review on Gungrave, please.

September 24, 2007

Momitchi said:

this is definently one of my favorite anime’s, one because it has great action, and two because it has a good plot. i really wish the ending was different, but that may be something that needs to be there to make you think?

November 12, 2007

Tim said:

I really like cyberpunk-anime like lain, GITS, Bubblegum Crisis - and this sounds cool too, but i heared the finale is really depressing. I think thought-provoking endings are great, but the Japanese often overdo it. So, could someone tell me how ‘bad’ it is (like, everybody dies) without spoiling too much?

November 13, 2007

Hattori said:

I absolutly LOVED Lain, I just started to see the first ep. of this one, looks more of the same, wich is good XD

project_2501 said:

re the ending, it is fairly dark but no more so than the rest of the series. I would say it is more ambiguous and philosophical than depressing. In keeping with the rest of the series, there is a showdown between factions involving a lot of violence

January 5, 2008

Tim said:

Thank you very much for the review without it i would surly never seen this series. Only a minor thing but it kept nagging me after i had watched it, for all the time spent in Lux and talk of the city i never got a impression of the people that actually inhabit the place besides the gangsters and the class.

March 2, 2008

MACC said:

Really worth downloading… a very original series featuring an interesting mix between mythological and technological themes.

September 24, 2008

Cyle said:

I loved this one! I found each and every character to be quite interesting. The end was very sad tho.

January 13, 2009

Terminal Reality said:

I watched it already but I’ll probably re-watch it again. I was very sleepy while I was watching some episodes so I believe I missed lot of stuff. But from what I’ve seen I can easily say that Texhnolyze is one of the best and also most complicated cyberpunk drama out there.

February 3, 2009

Junglist420 said:

Texbnolyze is defenitly one of my favorite anime series, It is really dark and minimal and so is the music and it works just right. This is Not a series to rush thru, it really takes time and patience to watch, but the story is really worth the effort. If u pick it up I would suggest that you watch it early in the day after a wake and bake so that you give the series your full attention, in my opinion I think everything is done perfectly accept it could be longer.. also if you enjoyed it check out Akira Ghost in the shell 3 movies and 2 second gig series, Appleseed 3 movies also, Gungrave, Bubblegum Crisis, Armitage, Ergo Proxy, Cowboy Bebop, Ad Police, Animatrix, Dead Leaves and many i Have forgoten

February 15, 2009

SolidFake said:

this anime is also one of my favourites
In some parts it’s full of action and in some others you just lean back and try to look at the beautiful drawings.
The only thing that I didn’t liked was that the different persons didn’t get explained much, there are loads of interesting characters, each one of them could fill a anime by their own, so it’s a bit of thrown away potential.
But it truly has one of the best endings of all films I’ve ever seen.
good to watch, hard to understand

April 14, 2009

Hugo said:

I’ve just watched this (episodes 1 - 22) today/tonight.

And whoa. You can’t really describe it any other way. It’s got that sort of fatalistic, beautiful, Philip K. Dick-type flawed-ness to it (did that make sense to anyone other than me?) that makes it a truly satisfying experience.

Sorry, mind was blown. Still haven’t recovered :P.

July 1, 2009

Showren said:

I liked serial Experiments Lain and I’m a huge fan of Boogiepop Phantom, and I have watched the first few episodes of this series. The only thing I’m having a hard time with is the slow movement of the plot. Does it get faster later in the series?

January 9, 2010

Asura said:

aestheticbend, thanks for pointing out Nietzsche! It hadn’t come to me at all while watching the series (finished it like 10 hours ago), but there is SOOOO much that seems to resonate back to this philosopher in the series, even to the simplest of subjects such as Übermensch that you don’t even have to think critically about to make the comparison.

Now I am pretty much hyped to go read the works of Nietzsche in detail and re-watch Texhnolyze.

As far as how much I enjoyed it… not even close to Lain, but definitely worth it. I assume it will be much better when I re-watch it and realize from the start everyone is part of a whole (well, hell, they were that way to begin with, but in the actual sense - which happens to be the metaphorical sense, haha, since the world isn’t physical).

July 10, 2010

dr490nw4rri0r said:

I hope you got to the last few episodes, because that’s when everything really gets fucked up…and thus awesome.

February 25, 2011

Shodan Disciple said:

That really hits the nail on the head. Each of the characters must viewed in the greater context of the story. That is why, as several have mentioned on this post already, that this is a very rich anime the 2nd time through - you pick up so many character details that are missed the first time.

A fantastic series. Its one I plan on watching a third time through when I get a chance.

A very tragic story..its the freaking curtain call for the human race so yes…its morbid, violent, characters are very cold and the series has a very unique and un-happy feel through and through. Ichise is so interesting…he in essence becomes humanity’s greatest hope as he increasingly becomes less and less human as the tech is strongly incorporated into his being….that and he is just totally badass.

February 22, 2012

Tim Baxter said:

I Work for Funimation and i am looking to Use this quote but cannot find someone to approve its usage. Please contact me.

A truly awesome and totally original cyberpunk series!” “A virtual feast of visual textures” - –

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