Texhnolyze



  • I watched this series around 6 or 7 years ago, and for the most part I enjoyed it; mostly because of how it ended, the art style and the way the character development was executed.

    After finishing it, I knew I liked it enough that I considered it an old favorite; however, I was still sketchy about the first couple episodes and even at times throughout the series. At the time, I felt that they bordered on what I would consider a combination of avant garde, pretentiousness and self-indulgence. The way the scenes transition into each other at times felt disjointed and inhibited the pacing and had me rolling my eyes every now and then.

    Fast forward to the now where I’m revisiting some old anime DVD sets I haven’t watched in a few years to see if my opinion on them has changed, and, just because I feel like walking the road of nostalgia. One series that I’m re-watching as of now is Texhnolyze and I just finished episode 11.

    This time, my perspective on things is much different, right off from the first episode I’m into it; the scene transitions are smooth and easy to follow, the pacing is flawless, there’s loads of allegory along with a unique surrealism to everything, and I’m more intrigued by the tight story and developed characters this time around.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like this series more than ever and I understand why I’ve always had it in my top favorites. It’s always great to revisit an anime after a few years with a fresh perspective on it.

    All I can leave everyone with is; if you want something unique with tight, intricate storytelling, well written characters and you’re one of those people (which I’m not) who complain about anime having too much/many high school characters, harems, fan service, moeblob and whatever else people take issue with, this is a great series. I enthusiastically recommend it.



  • I finished watching this series a few weeks ago but just never got around to doing a follow up post for it.

    I think it’s an amazing series; if you haven’t watched it, maybe you should, it is completely worth your while.

    Since everything clicked on this series nicely and there was a great and different resolution, since I’m short on time, it’s easier to mention a few criticisms I have than it is to go into what I liked about this series so much.

    My only real issue here is that when it gets to the last 3 or 4 episodes, things feel like they were a little rushed, other than that, I don’t have any major problems with it.

    So, when you get the chance, check this series out.



  • It's a great series. A sort of "more realistic" Ergo Proxy. Dark, tragic and it doesn't "hold the viewer's hand" in any way. It also has a stellar dub. It is one of those series where the first episode might be better off skipped.

    Though Psycho-pass tries to surpass it, I'm pretty sure that Texhnolyze still holds the record for "most on screen brutality in a serious show".



  • @sidereal_presence:

    It's a great series. Dark, tragic and it doesn't "hold the viewer's hand" in any way.

    This was one of the biggest problems with Elfen Lied; it so desperately wanted to be taken seriously, so it force fed a lot of the contrived morality and philosophy down the viewer's throat. It, in the same fashion as Kill La Kill seems to relish in spoon feeding the viewer all the information pertaining to the characters or the world the story takes place in; it affirms and reaffirms everything two or three times over. It's almost like; "Did you get that? You say you did but I don't believe you. Okay, better that we'll remind you again next episode."

    Whereas better series simply show, or imply a dynamic with characters through interaction; from the way they look at each other to how they speak to each other. They establish their mythology or world "laws" by just showing how something works, or touch on it in passing with dialogue. Shows like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, GunGrave, Fate/Zero, Queen's Blade and Fullmetal Alchemist are just a few great examples of giving the viewer information without resorting to any spoon feeding tactics.

    Texhnolyze on the other hand is a different beast all together from most anime I have seen. It seems slow moving, but that's not the case; it actually moves at a quick pace and is saturated with information; which is so subtle, you blink and you miss something of great significance to the plot or characters.

    @sidereal_presence:

    It also has a stellar dub.

    For the most part it does, however, my only criticism here is that two or three characters were voiced by the same actors at times; I swear I heard Kirk Thorton play at least three characters, supporting characters mind you, but three; and he didn't change his voice in any way.

    Aside from that, it was a great dub, I'm actually kicking myself now because Patrick Seitz came to the local Anime Con last year and I didn't make it because I had to work overtime that weekend. I was planning to get the cool little holographic cards with my set signed by him. The performance he turned out for this role establishes him as an amazing actor in my eyes and I think he's grossly under rated.

    @sidereal_presence:

    It is one of those series where the first episode might be better off skipped.

    No way, that first episode was amazing; when I first watched this show I thought; "what the hell is this?" At the time when I got it, I didn't know what I was getting into, or how unconventional the presentation would be. This past recent time I watched; every second made perfect sense.

    @sidereal_presence:

    Though Psycho-pass tries to surpass it, I'm pretty sure that Texhnolyze still holds the record for "most on screen brutality in a serious show".

    From the preview clips I've seen of Psycho-Pass, while I'm sure there are some similarities between it and Texhnolyze, the two seem very different. Texhnolyze seemed to utilize a lot more abstract art stylization, and can come off ambiguous at times if the viewer is not devoting their full attention.

    Psycho Pass (going on what I know) seems more straight forward, literal and conventional; I'm not implying that it's simplistic and devoid of any significant depth; I'm sure it has a lot to say as a piece of art/entertainment. It also seems very clean and polished in its presentation.

    What I'm getting at is the execution of Texhnolyze seems to be more unique, darker, grittier and carry a greater emotional weight to it; aside from GunGrave, it is one of only a few real tragedies out there that end where there is no "good side" or "it could've been worse" to what has happened.

    The case with Fate/Zero and Puella Magi Madoka Magica while many consider them to be tragedies I disagree in the sense that these shows, despite the fact that characters like Saber and Lancer ( "A plague on both your houses!" ) really got screwed over due to factors beyond their control, had glimmers of hope at the end of them. I consider them to be bittersweet; not the most ideal outcome, but not the worst.



  • If Elfen Lied was aiming to be taken seriously, it wouldn't have included the various ecchi and cute Nyu scenes

    I think you're reading too much into it. It's a standard horror with some pretty memorable deaths, and while the manga probably has a lot more detail on the psychological and moral aspects of the story, the anime just kind of glosses over both the psychological and the moral stuff in favor of showing the unnecessary plot twists and the severing of limbs



  • Elfen Lied was probably my first "otaku pandering" show. I didn't much care for the ridiculous levels of pandering. I definitely wouldn't put it on a list of "dark 'n serious" shows. When I saw it I was told to expect more of a dark comedy than a serious show but I do wish that it had been more serious.

    Psycho Pass (going on what I know) seems more straight forward, literal and conventional.

    Psycho-pass is Gen Urobuchi's version of Sherlock Holmes. I'm going through it now but it, while far from bad IMO, doesn't compare to Texhnolyze. One of my complaints about Psycho-pass is that it spells out, through characters having long monologues, every development in the plot. Another "show, then tell them just to make sure that they got it" show, though IMO it does that better than most of 'em. Texhnolyze was much more of a "show, don't tell" show and that's the way it should be done, I believe.

    I remember a con with Seitz and Sabat and Seitz had no line while Sabat had a several-hour-long line. At that time, I believe the only thing that I'd seen with Seitz in it was Ergo Proxy and I'd forgotten that he was in that. I'm not sure that Kirk Thornton can change his voice lol, he's like a deeper version of Vic Mignogna or a Sabat in that respect, not a "vocal chameleon" like, oh, Jason Liebrecht.



  • @Riles:

    I think you're reading too much into it. It's a standard horror with some pretty memorable deaths, and while the manga probably has a lot more detail on the psychological and moral aspects of the story, the anime just kind of glosses over both the psychological and the moral stuff in favor of showing the unnecessary plot twists and the severing of limbs

    I found it tried to be edgy and “mature” by being overly violent and as a result came off melodramatic and pretentious; I’m not really reading into anything here. When I watch an anime or movie, whatever interpretation I get from it comes naturally to me. Aside from that, I’m not alone in my opinion on this anime.

    The issue here is that you’re presuming to tell me that my opinion or sentiment of this series is wrong, when it took little effort on my part to arrive at it. It’s the same when I talk about Queen’s Blade or High School DxD having much more going on besides fan service in the form of depth and good intelligent storytelling and people tell me I’m “digging” when I just sit down, watch this stuff to be entertained and whatever I get out of it, that’s what I get.

    As far as me analysing any of these shows, it’s usually done after I’ve finished and is dependent upon how entertained I was. A series like Fate/Zero for example blew me away, I absolutely adored it, so I ask the question; “What’s so great about it?”

    Which gets me thinking about the characters, their dynamic, their relationships and how their behaviors affect those relationships; Fate/Zero is an exploration of morals, ideals and the spectrum of good and evil, that the idea isn’t just some black and white construct. This is just a little bit of why I felt it was so interesting and entertaining to watch and when I go through the same process with my other anime, it’s why certain shows are in my top favorites; I usually find everything from the execution, to the consistency to the characters all pan out nicely resulting in a worthwhile, entertaining anime.

    @sidereal_presence:

    I definitely wouldn't put it on a list of "dark 'n serious" shows. When I saw it I was told to expect more of a dark comedy than a serious show but I do wish that it had been more serious.

    You know, when I think of it as a silly anime not to be taken seriously, it’s not as bad, and the problem is that when I watched it, it felt as though it was demanding to be taken seriously, especially with how emotionally manipulative it was.

    @sidereal_presence:

    I'm going through it now but it, while far from bad IMO, doesn't compare to Texhnolyze.

    Well, I’ve seen a couple clips Funimation posted on YouTube and I’m very much looking forward to watching it, but I have a strong feeling that although there are a lot of similarities between the two, I almost feel that comparing them is apples and oranges. Psycho Pass, from what I know seems more similar to Minority Report, 1984 and Equilibrium and Texhnolyze, well; I’ve never seen anything like it.

    So, if we look at it from a perspective of originality, Texhnolyze probably does win out, but in terms of overall entertainment and literary value; I’ll just have to wait and see what Psycho Pass brings to the table.

    @sidereal_presence:

    One of my complaints about Psycho-pass is that it spells out, through characters having long monologues, every development in the plot. Another "show, then tell them just to make sure that they got it" show, though IMO it does that better than most of 'em. Texhnolyze was much more of a "show, don't tell" show and that's the way it should be done, I believe.

    Texhnolyze was very rapid, if the viewer isn’t paying attention, the scene changes and the actions of the characters can easily become an incoherent mess; this isn’t a flaw, this is the direction the series takes, like I said, you blink, you miss something.

    As for Psycho Pass, if it’s anything like I think it’s going to be considering who wrote it, there will be plenty of dialogue; and you know? That’s what I love about his shows, I love the character exploration through dialogue and how some of the mythology is built around it as well.

    @sidereal_presence:

    I remember a con with Seitz and Sabat and Seitz had no line while Sabat had a several-hour-long line. At that time, I believe the only thing that I'd seen with Seitz in it was Ergo Proxy and I'd forgotten that he was in that. I'm not sure that Kirk Thornton can change his voice lol, he's like a deeper version of Vic Mignogna or a Sabat in that respect, not a "vocal chameleon" like, oh, Jason Liebrecht.

    Considering that Patrick Seitz was on Stein’s; Gate and even Girls Bravo and he played Sloth on Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, you’d think that would gain him something more of a reputation among fans. He sounds somewhat similar to Travis Willingham actually.

    As for Kirk Thornton, some of his roles I never thought of like Bunshichi from Tenjho Tenge and Bart Garsus from Vandread but after I found out he played the role, while it was shocking, it was obvious after.



  • One aspect of Texhnolyze that I really liked was that it didn't have what I'd call filler. Everything was necessary. There's an arc in Psycho-pass that, so far, hasn't proven to be necessary (I'd equate it with the "Will B. Good" episode of Ergo Proxy).

    As for Psycho Pass, if it’s anything like I think it’s going to be considering who wrote it, there will be plenty of dialogue; and you know? That’s what I love about his shows, I love the character exploration through dialogue and how some of the mythology is built around it as well.

    There have been plenty of scenes (scenes with money-saving low visuals; that woman sure can solve a Rubik's Cube lol) with dialogue in Psycho-pass. I'm not sure they're on the same level as Fate/Zero's though they are more similar to those than to, say, Gargantia's.

    I’ll just have to wait and see what Psycho Pass brings to the table.

    Why wait? It is streaming now :)

    …Bart Garsus from Vandread but after I found out he played the role, while it was shocking, it was obvious after.

    As much as I enjoyed Vandread, that dub was the one that scared me away from dubbed anime for a long while.



  • @neonwalrus:

    I found it tried to be edgy and “mature” by being overly violent and as a result came off melodramatic and pretentious; I’m not really reading into anything here. When I watch an anime or movie, whatever interpretation I get from it comes naturally to me. Aside from that, I’m not alone in my opinion on this anime.

    The issue here is that you’re presuming to tell me that my opinion or sentiment of this series is wrong, when it took little effort on my part to arrive at it. It’s the same when I talk about Queen’s Blade or High School DxD having much more going on besides fan service in the form of depth and good intelligent storytelling and people tell me I’m “digging” when I just sit down, watch this stuff to be entertained and whatever I get out of it, that’s what I get.

    I do not understand why you think it is wrong of me to think your opinion is wrong

    I don't know how it can be considered overly violent and pretentious. These chicks rip off heads and slice people in half, how do you exaggerate that? Aside from Badass Scientist Mom who was ripped in half, thrown through a bulletproof glass wall, and still managed to detonate Fake Daughter's arm, I can't think of any other death that exaggerated the brutal deaths. There weren't, like, people running around with their heads cut off or anything like that. Pretty much everyone just naturally fell over and died. I suppose the bullet wound in that female scientist's arm put out a lot of blood as if there was an artery in her shoulder, so there's that pretentiousness too

    I think it's silly that people try to find the meaning in anime the same way they approach live action movies, as if a director has a vision for an adaptation they've been contracted to animate. I assume it's because an anime season is typically a coherent story between all 12 episodes, so reviewers lump it with movies and assume that anime has more than just thematic merit. Most of the time, it does not, and I don't like how most anime reviewers try to force rhetorical messages that don't exist into the anime they're watching, based on themes presented in the story

    Elfen Lied's intent was to disturb and sadden you, to say nothing of the imaginary higher level of thinking it was trying to accomplish. If Elfen Lied accomplished both these things for you, it was good. If it only accomplished one, or didn't accomplish either, then it wasn't very good. I thought it was alright, since it was pretty disturbing, but other than one specific subplot that I won't spoil, I can't really say the story beat me down with sadness. Maybe I'm just a hollow shell of a man



  • @Riles:

    I think it's silly that people try to find the meaning in anime the same way they approach live action movies, as if a director has a vision for an adaptation they've been contracted to animate. I assume it's because an anime season is typically a coherent story between all 12 episodes, so reviewers lump it with movies and assume that anime has more than just thematic merit. Most of the time, it does not, and I don't like how most anime reviewers try to force rhetorical messages that don't exist into the anime they're watching, based on themes presented in the story

    The thing about this is, the very reason I got into anime in the first place is that most of the time, it plays off the same way a movie does; one main storyline. Now, I know, not all anime does this, but the ones I favor the most tend to avoid situational storylines opting for more long running ones. Add to that when an anime isn't being "cartoonish" I find more often that anime tends to be more cinematic, at times almost like watching a live action movie; only animated; but maybe that's just me.

    I agree that some reviewers, aside from being quite pompous, do tend to stretch things a little too far, however on the other hand, sometimes reading reviews helps to point out why I may, or may not have liked a particular series. Other times it may shed even more light on perfect aspects and flaws on a given series that I might have been otherwise unaware of.

    Lastly, for this bit, as far my viewing habits go; I already said that I interpret and get what I do out of whatever media I'm watching with little to no effort. I assure you; I'm not "digging" or "reading too much" into anything. I'm just a guy who likes watching anime, a lot of the intellectual, or deeper material I just happen to pick out as I'm watching a series.

    @Riles:

    I do not understand why you think it is wrong of me to think your opinion is wrong

    Because, like the stupid show, my opinion is subjective and based on what I thought of it personally, which I back up with what I felt the series was trying to accomplish; which it failed miserably at. I thought the series was pretentious and melodramatic and lacked the entertainment and enjoyment I was seeking. If people like it, that's fine, I'm not going to tell them they're wrong for liking it, I simply didn't like it and I've watched the darn thing twice and have already stated my reasoning as to why I felt it blew monkey chunks.

    I will give it points for good animation, decent music and crafty character design, but aside from that, I really didn't find this series entertaining in the least.

    @Riles:

    Elfen Lied's intent was to disturb and sadden you, to say nothing of the imaginary higher level of thinking it was trying to accomplish. If Elfen Lied accomplished both these things for you, it was good.

    It didn't, it tried, but it was all smoke and mirrors, a fabricated intellectualism brought on by elaborate gore porn scenes designed to manipulate me into believing it was a tragic series. I was completely indifferent to it, however, getting on topic, Texhnolyze accomplished an emotional and intellectual response from me along with just being a captivating and entertaining anime, and it was unique and intriguing to boot.

    I enthusiastically recommend Texhnolyze to anyone looking for an anime "off the beaten path."



  • The only way that Elfen Lied saddened me was that they wasted potential on otaku pandering. Kinda difficult to take a show serious enough to be saddened by it when it keeps breaking from the "serious bid'ness" to show us a clueless dolt wetting herself on the floor. That also kept it out of "bona fide" dark comedy territory as I was laughing at it-and as a defense/coping mechanism-not with it.

    Several scenes of Elfen Lied reminded me of Bubblegum Crisis: 2040 and while they did so in a superficial manner they did remind me of an anime that was worlds better than was the one that I was currently watching.

    I believe that I came close to concussing myself when watching this show due to the facepalming it induced. Perhaps I should revisit it and check out the dub, since I saw this subbed, but knowing what Elfen Lied is and that Sentai didn't preserve dub continuity has kept me away from following through with that.

    I have to disagree that the directors of anime lack a coherent vision when directing anime. The director of the Death Note anime definitely had a different-and better-vision for the adaptation than did the mangaka for the original story, to pick an example. I do agree that the reviewers, especially @ ANN, love to "read into" the series too much and attribute whimsical, quasi-profound thoughts to it, in some vain attempt to be like the highfalutin movie critics that they seek to ape.

    There's a quote from Psycho-pass that sums up too many anime reviewers: "There's something missing now: originality. Like he wants to be seen as profound but he doesn't have anything to say."



  • @sidereal_presence:

    There's a quote from Psycho-pass that sums up too many anime reviewers: "There's something missing now: originality. Like he wants to be seen as profound but he doesn't have anything to say."

    Oh man, that goes beyond anime critics; I see so many people high jacking their logic and validation for misguided idealism or elitism, or verbally bashing a particular type of anime and its fans from other people who didn't get it right in the first place.

    You spend enough time around people, real life, online, no matter; you begin to see how unoriginal and phony they are.



  • Talking about Elfen Lied's over the top "violence just to shock you" crap got me to thinking that Psycho-pass has a lot of that too. In texhnolyze, the brutality had a point and I never felt that it was there just for shock value. Psycho-pass is feeling like a snuff film, where the justification of the killing is perfunctory at best. They're trying to make a point through violence and I don't think that they're doing it correctly, as texhnolyze did.

    I don't believe that I've seen such over the top brutality in an anime since Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne and that had a fair bit of torture pornness to it.


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