Texhnolyze, Vol. 1: Inhumane and Beautiful (2003) – DVD Review

Texhnolyze, Vol. 1: Inhumane and Beautiful

Film:
DVD:

Story Composition by Chiaki J. Konaka
Directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki
Original Character Design by Yoshitoshi Abe

Features:

  • Alternate dialog outtakes
  • Interview with character designer Abe and Yasuyuki Ueda

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Sexual situations
  • Partial nudity
  • Brutality
  • General weirdness and disconnected storylines

Released by: Geneon
Region: 1
Rating: 16+
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Buy it.

The creators of such anime titles as serial experiments lain, Hellsing, and Haibane Renmai are back with a title even stranger and more engrossing than ever. Lukuss is an experimental city buried deep underground, where fighting pits and cruel gangs are the only rule. Yoshii is an explorer from the surface who feels drawn to see the world below; we see the length of time it takes him to get there, emphasizing how removed Lukuss is from the “real” world.

Along the way, Yoshii meets Ran, a strange girl who can see possible futures. Once in the city, we meet Ichise, a prize fighter in the pits who has gone almost all the way to victory; alas, he is defeated in the last battle, and for his punishment, the Organo gang cuts off his arm and his leg and leaves him for dead in the sewer. Ichise the “wild dog,” however, is not so easily defeated, and he refuses to die. The Texhnolyze of the title allows for the cybernetic replacement of limbs, and Ichise has plans.

The jagged edges of the world are mirrored by the disconnected storylines and character vignettes of the first episode. We are introduced to a number of people and places with little idea who they are or how they are connected. This would be frustrating in a lesser show, but this one keeps viewers interested. Just be warned that many of the scenes we see are rather bloody and brutal, though never overly explicit. In fact, the despair we see is all the more effective because of what we don’t see. The world is corrupt, and that affects the people in it.

The look of the show is not only very well done as far as the digital transfer goes, but it’s also perfect for the show itself. Lukuss is far removed from the sunlit world of the surface in more ways than one; the look of the city is dark and corrupted, just as the heart of the city is, as we shall see. The anamorphic transfer makes great use of the show’s realistic and stunning artwork. The sound is also matched to the show: clear and balanced between the various elements, with fantastic music (including a driving techno theme by Juno Reactor destined to become a fan favorite). The first half of the first episode has no dialogue, which also seems to work spot on with the show’s themes. Both the Japanese and English casts know what they’re doing and do it well. You’ll even recognize the voice of Victoria Harwood (previously, “Sir Integra Hellsing”) as the Doc.

Texhnolyze

The DVD features are few, but good. We are treated to an excellent interview with Abe and producer Yasuyuki Ueda. We also get some dialogue outtakes that may not shed much light on this complicated show, but are a nice choice and amusing enough.

The show is very confusing to begin with, especially as we don’t even get names for the characters for a while, but it pays off in the richness of the story and the uniqueness of the characters and their world. If you expect to be spoon-fed everything about a tale, then you will be disappointed, but if you want a show that challenges you while it entertains you, then Texhnolyze is a great bet–but be warned that it isn’t light viewing.

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By | 2017-09-25T00:00:35+00:00 April 9th, 2004|Reviews|0 Comments

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