Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: C+
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.98/39.98
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Texhnolyze
Texhnolyze Vol. #1 (also w/box)
By J.M. Rich
April 16, 2004
Release Date: April 06, 2004
Texhnolyze looks like an independent film with a slick style and an unusually creepy feeling to it. In a show that looks like it is willing to take big risks for big rewards Texhnolyze is going in the right direction.
I listened to this show in the English track (due to my love of New Generation dubs) in the 2.0 that was placed on the disc. The first episode doesn?t give you a true idea of how the dialogue will be throughout the series due to the 20 plus minutes without a single word. The old adage that a picture says a hundred words is absolutely true with this rogue. But the eerie background noise during the flashbacks to go along with the techno music is done masterfully. The lack of verbalizing in the episode does create the mood that will be seen in the first four rogues. The next three episodes contain plenty of dialogue and sound is clear and distinct.
This show is only a year old and the transfer definitely exhibits that with an anamorphic widescreen presentation. The scenes that ABe wanted crystal clear were and the grainy flashbacks were just that. During the traveling scenes you actually felt like you were looking out the window of the train, especially at the train tracks as the zoomed by. Not a single detail on every frame was spared. This is one of the most lifelike series I have every seen on my television. A primarily dark show with incredible shading does have moments where color just simply fills the screen, especially during a scene where blood was a main focus. This is definitely a show that is such rich that it is sometimes hard to keep total focus on the characters with the backgrounds being so unique and beautiful.
In the upper left corner you have the Geneon and Pioneer logos. Then you rest is from the warehouse that Ichise was living at before he became the man that he is now. He has his sleeve rolled up to show his Texhnolyzed right arm and has his fingers through the O of Texhnolyze, which looks just like the eye balancing mechanism that he sees. The front all has Texhnolyze going vertical up the left side with the annunciation in brackets right next to Ichise?s arm. There is a limited edition reflective card that comes with the disc that is an exact replica of the front art. The back has a much different feel than the very dark front art. It is white with the blue Texhnolyze emblem in the middle of the litho. The back does have an unique character guide which gives you a little info on four of the main characters, and this could be very helpful keeping up with who the people are in the first couple of rogues especially. In the black ribbon that goes along the left hand side it has the listing of the four rogues, and these are also vertical like on the front cover. In the bottom left hand corner the features and dvd bonuses are clearly shown. Directly under the emblem on the right-hand side is the extensive list of credits for the show.
The menu is primarily white lettering on a black background. A very good balance of classic look with a very modern feel, and it reflects the style of show. It also exhibits a lot of the eye mechanism that is used by the patients who have had Texhnolyze done. The techno music that is played during the menu is another perfect fit with the series, and has a very eerie ending to the piece which just adds even more mystery to a very mysterious series.
Probably the biggest disappointment of the disc was the very minimal amount of extras on this disc. Even the Geneon trailers which usually average about ten previews per disc were cut down to only three: Captain Herlock, Fighting Spirit and Master Keaton. The interview with ABe and Ueda was interesting look into the creation of the series. Also the dub out takes from New Generation was amusing, although not very long.
Content: (please note that content portions of the review may contain spoilers)
Texhnolyze follows the theory of survival of the fittest, for when an underground fighter Ichise decides to follow his own decision there is a horribly new fate. In a world where chaos reigns supreme this series takes that to the limit. Lukuss is a city where corruption goes to the core and then continues to rot further. This underground city is easy on no one, and harder on all the lower class that inhabit this bizarre metropolis.
These four episodes start with now famous almost mute episode which shows the choices made by Ichise and what will lead to his new future. Ichise is a loner who gets by on sheer determination and belief in his will to survive, while backing down to nobody no matter what it costs him. In that is what causes him to pay for his choice with the removal of his right arm. On the ground screaming in pain and staring at his lost limb you can feel the dark torture of this world. Despite the profuse bleeding Ichise decides to charge his attackers and ends up have his left leg removed as well. Then we see the arrival of Onishi who tries to put Ichise down for good. Lukuss is a city where you take your opponents apart literally in pieces, but those who are rich or connected become Texhnolyzed.
Bound to the his life by only his unwavering will to survive Ichise drags his limbs behind and ties off the wounds to stop the bleeding. As he limps his way slowly down the winding, dank, dark streets of Lukuss you see the detriment the people are living in and his will becomes all the more impressive.
Outside of town a mysterious stranger from the upper world has come down, but for what reason even he does not know. He sees a girl in a mask, and follows her. This leads Yoshi to the place where the wise sage resides, yet for Yoshi he did not find the sage at tranquil moment. In the first of many assassination attempts in this series the union tries to eliminate the sage. Fortunately for the sage his young granddaughter Ran can see one possible future and lead Yoshi there in time to prevent the murder. In a symbolic gesture the animators threw in the before and after of the pond fish, for when Yoshi arrives they were calmly being feed but soon even they were swimming in blood. Just another example of how cerebral this show is, for not just the characters are import but every inch of the screen gives something important to this series.
Yoshi agrees to accompany Ran back to Lukuss for he and she were already going to go into the city. While riding on the train Yoshi specifically asks Ran not to tell him his one possible future, and she gives a sly little grin in return letting us all know she has seen it.
Ichise is the epitome of a never say die person as he hops through the alleyways leaning on a homemade crutch. With his wounds tied he makes it far enough to get a little nourishment. Then as he is running out of his last bits of strength and his eye sight is blurring he is discovered by the head of the Texhnolyze program. Irony, the woman who gave Onishi the legs he has was now going to do the same for Ichise. She helps him back to her laboratory to use Ichise for as a lab rat; performing a Texhnolyze procedure like never before. She mixes the cells of Ichise?s dead mother into the alloy arm and leg along with making the appendages to exact measurements to make the ultimate prototype.
When Ran and Yoshi get off the train she disappears into the mist and he looks for something to do. He soon has his bag stolen and goes in pursuit of the thieves. In the skirmish that ensues we all discover that Yoshi has a Texhnolyze arm, and he meets another mysterious person in the gang leader Shinji. What will this chance meeting between Shinji and Yoshi mean? What will Ichise do with his new Texhnolyzed parts? What future did Ran see for both of them? This show is filled with intrigue and after only four episodes the give you lots of questions, but leaving you wanting all the answers.
This is without a doubt a series that each episode can be watched four or five times before you can catch everything that is there. With the characters as well as the background being the focus of this show it creates the most surreal yet enrapturing environment. A show that is known for the first episode consistently gets better with each rogue. Dark and disturbing at times with flashbacks to the pain the Ichise lived through makes these show very enthralling. You see incredibly realistic settings, possibly the best artwork I?ve seen in years, and then on top of that you throw in a great plot and very different characters and you?ve got one unique series. This is a show that I am eagerly anticipating June 29th so that I can find out what will happen next.