Texhnolyze (Japan 2003)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/3/12

Divided into 22 episodes.

Never watch a show with a title that you can't pronounce. Actually, the correct pronunciation is tek-no-lies, but the funky spelling is a mystery. This is the most unpleasant and messed up anime series I've seen since "Gilgamesh" (2003), which I suppose I should have expected since it was created by the same team that brought us the cerebrally challenging "Serial Experiments Lain" (1998). The mind-bending pilot episode introduces us to all of the primary players, but there's not a single line of dialog. There's a stupid and reckless street fighter, a clairvoyant girl, a sexy cyber surgeon, a troubled Yakuza boss, a mysterious traveler, and a young punk revolutionary who all live in an underground city called Lukuss. The city exists solely as a mining operation for a precious substance that the privileged upper class relies on for their existence, but poor living conditions make it ripe for conflict and violence. Three political factions are vying for power in Lukuss, and the convergence of all the primary players throws the town into chaos. I only made it through the first twelve episodes before I lost interest and gave up on the series.

This is definitely intended for mature audiences, and doesn't shy away from graphic violence, violent sex, murder, terrorism, incest, and homosexuality. The story is bleak, grim, morally corrupt, and full of hopelessness. Apart from Ran (the clairvoyant girl), none of the characters are very likable, and everything becomes increasingly ugly, depressing, and unpleasant as the series progresses. The animation is good and the character design matches the adult tone of the series. The story is fairly convoluted, and all of the philosophical chatter and techno-babble makes it difficult to follow. Sadly, the best thing about the show is the theme song by Juno Reactor, which actually inspired me to go out and buy the album.