DVD
Texhnolyze
Volume 2 - Spectacle

Starring (voice): Akira Haga, Shizuka Itou and Hiroshi Tsuchida
MVM
RRP: 19.99
MVD 2088
Certificate: 12
Available 08 August 2005


Lux is a dystopian city buried deep beneath the earth's surface, long ago forgotten by those on the surface. The people have given into despair - cheap sex and violence is found everywhere. The city is split into a number of factions that control the streets with brute force. The Orugano and the Rakan control the larger parts of the city, but maintain a balance of power in order to produce the one thing that gives the city a purpose - Texhnolyze, a substance that binds with humans to produce cybernetic limbs. Across this great wasteland of human misery the great obelisk silently watches. Though the city seems doomed, four people will decide its fate. Yoshii, a new arrival from the surface world; Onishi, leader of the largest gang faction in the city; Ichise, a failed boxer on the run in the city; and Ran, a strange young girl who has visions of the future...

Volume Two of Texhnolyze contains episodes five to eight of a twenty-two part series. The running time for this disc is about one hour, forty minutes. The opening title sequence is a dark affair set to a thumping dance beat.

Episode five (Loiter) sees Ichise finally caught and thrown down into the sewers - left to die. Meanwhile, Yoshii gets all jiggy with some extreme sex, all watched by the enigmatic Ran. Episode six (Repetition) sees Ichise, bloodied from his ordeal, explore the more desolate parts of the city and Doc gets to meet Yoshii for the first time. In Episode seven (Plot) the Doc and Onishi clash over the fate of Ichise, as the audience waits for the plot to kick in. Lastly episode eight - Crucible - parts of the city are ablaze following deliberate arson. Meanwhile the main characters wander round the city, experiencing general weirdness.

The extras are a little strange, we have the opening animation without any credits, which whilst, admittedly, are impressive are a little redundant. The Alternative Dialogue Outtakes did wet my appetite, after all who does an animation characters fluff their lines. Well there are not many of them but you get the idea of what the voice over actors get up to when they're bored, short but funny. On top of that is the throw away trailers and DVD credits, those poor guys try and get in every time. Audio is stereo in the usually flavours and the picture is great, I'm just waiting to find one that sucks so I have more to say about it, from a technical point of view.

Coming into the story at this point is frankly quite confusing, you don't really get an idea of what is going on or any of the characters motivations. The story unfolds more in images as dialogue is at a minimum. So you can either take this anime as deep and meaningful or a load of old tat, which is using images of sex and violence with a thin layer of mumbo-jumbo to justify a bit of animated titillation. Given that criticism, the animation is very beautiful, and for that alone the DVD would be well worth a look.

Charles Packer

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