Volume 3 - Retaliation

Starring (voice): Akira Haga, Shizuka Itou and Hiroshi Tsuchida
RRP: 19.99
MVD 2089
Certificate: 15
Available 17 October 2005

A catastrophe is approaching the buried and forgotten city of Lukuss, Kazuho Yoshii, the mysterious outsider continues to work towards the 'Spectacle', the balance of power between the gangs that run the city continues to break down and war seems inevitable. Ichise and Ran must learn to survive in this increasingly violent situation, while Ichise searches for the truth of his fathers death...

Volume Three of Texhnolyze covers the four chapters, or "Rogues" as they are labelled, between Rogue nine and Rogue twelve. As per previous shows, in this series, the individual chapters are slow and thoughtful. Though some may see this as over ponderous, the show requires a certain amount of audience attention to keep up with the various machinations between the numerous power brokers in Lukuss. This a psychological journey through the city's darker places, so whilst there is an amount of violence and action it is defiantly more muted than in other contemporary anime shows, think Bladerunner rather than Aliens 2.

Rogue Nine: Wiggle. Yoshii, whilst being an enigma, continues to promote his desire to bring forth the 'Spectacle' and is having adverse affects as violence erupts on the streets of Lukuss. The episode opens with a character being cut in two with a sword before further mayhem ensues... Now, that got your attention. Yoshii continues his lone gunman activity trying to create a state of war in the city. The destabilised situation is causing problems for Onishi, head of the Onishi office of the Organo. In this episode the wheels are starting to turn, problem is the audience still has no idea who Yoshii is or what his agenda is.

Rogue Ten: Conclusion. Ichise and Ran accompany Yoshii on a visit as he tries to justify his interference. Onishi continue to find himself under pressure from within and without his organisation. It's a bit of a Godfather episode here, with the various factions going head to head to try and claim as much of the city's territory as possible. In the midst of this chaos someone from the top of the hill is coming down, but what can this mean for all of those involved?

Rogue Eleven: Vagrant. More machinations continue in the ongoing power struggle. Onishi, safe for the moment, protected by those higher in the organisation, cannot feel safe or rest as there are many who still plot his downfall. Ran is not having a good time, her ability to see the future, or possible futures are taking its toll on her. She spends her time avoiding Ichise as she has no desire to see his future, but he has other ideas.

Rogue Twelve: Precognition. Ran's abilities to see the future finally overwhelm her. Ichise finds out the truth about his father's death and the chaos continues.

I think I've said this before, but this is a superior anime, but one that you really should watch from the beginning. Start anywhere else and you'll find it difficult to follow the plot.

Sound and vision are up to their usual superior quality, with the audio being presented in either English or Japanese Stereo. Subtitles are included for those with better eyesight than mine. Much of the extras are so so, except the alternative dialogue outtakes which are genuinely funny, as the voice over actors put, shall we say, a personal irreverent spin on what is happening on the screen. I would dearly love to see a whole episode done this way at some point; it would make it a completely different show.

So there you have it, volume three in the continuing saga, shame the extras couldn't have been more extensive.

Charles Packer

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