Texhnolyze Episode 1



"I want shows like Kokaku [Ghost in the Shell] to stop saying things that are hard to understand, and make shows that everyone can enjoy a bit more."
- Yuji Matsukura, Producer, J.C. Staff

There's a gimmick in American comic books known as "the silent issue". It's pretty self explanatory. No sounds, no bubbles, just art. It annoys the heck out of me, as it rarely seems natural, always contrived.

Enter Texhnolyze, which, for its first ten minutes, feel like the anime equivalent. No music, echolicious, nightmare-like sounds, no dialogue, and a bunch of slow motion images that barely serve as an introduction to what's going on. Then you get three lines of dialogue, and you're back into yawnsville.

There's no music, either. Because, you know, silent soundscapes evoke a certain feeling. So, in that sense, it fits great. The most common sound effect is not speech, but rapid breathing (I'm not kidding).

Animation, art and style-wise, this is the next in a long line of anime with long, slow shots (and even slower pans), where everything moves at a sloth's pace, drawn out to the point where you could watch it fast-forwarded and not miss anything. You get the feeling that every shot has been carefully constructed to convey some sort of meaning. It doesn't really come across, and I don't see why anyone would care except for the pretentious guys who come up with this crap. In fact, this whole torturous episode just feels like one big ego stroke.

The creators are screaming out at you:

Check out how not commercial I am! Check out how deep my dark, gritty pictures are! Can you not see my genius from the darkness? And, oh, look, a girl wearing a mask! The reason you think you're confused, is you just don't understand my high concept! Philistine.

This is art at its finest.

Rating: F

Posted by Kei at 10:53 PM | Comments (7)

Texhnolyze Episode 2



Well, it can only get better, right?

At the beginning of the episode, we see a man who has just had his arm and leg severed. While watching this show, I wish I were him. (By the way, it is totally unpleasant listening to him scream.)

By the way, how absurd is the word "Texhnolyze" anyways?

I'll admit that the reasons I'm probably so confused by what's happening in this episode are twofold: 1. I kept drifting in and out of sleep while watching the first episode, and 2. I thought the first episode was so bad, I had to let weeks go by before I hazarded the second.

I've been really harsh on this show up until now, so let me give it a few compliments. Okay, one compliment. I do think that the visual design is extremely good, with the near-future, grittiness well-realized and believable. But it's all static, which is boring in animation. The show is so slow that there's never much movement at any point, not to mention the pacing of the show is so slow, the plot could be summarized in about two sentences.

I'm also not really crazy about the character designs, but that's just my personal preference.

This show stinxhz.

Rating: D

Posted by Kei at 11:36 PM | Comments (3)