I took notes for this one, but there's no telling if I'll be able to make sense of them. From the first episode I got the feeling I should take some sort of notes, otherwise when I went to review it, I wouldn't remember anything. Texhnolyze is one of those weird shows where the story is just all over the place. It's created by Chiaki J. Konaka and Yoshitoshi ABe (both from Serial Experiments Lain), so that should give you some ideas.

Texhnolyze (which can be pronounced Tech-no-lyze) follows Ichise, a prize fighter who loses an arm and a leg and gets texhnolyzed limbs (a sort of robotic prosthetic with a bit of a will of its own) to replace them. There's also a young girl named Ran who sees the future, a mysterious man named Yoshii sowing chaos within the city of Lux, Onishi the leader of the Organo group, Shinji the young leader of the Racan gang, and Doc the texhnolyze specialist (she is a serious FREAK; she gets off on installing and working on texhnolyze limbs). Onishi's Organo group, Shinji's Racan gang, and another more mysterious group called the Union, all fight for power in the city of Lux. They manage to maintain a delicate balance for the most part, Onishi's negotiating skills preventing a city wide war. After being texhnolyzed against his will, Ichise wanders aimlessly, interacting (mostly by accident) with the groups, until all hell breaks loose and he finds himself working for the Organo. When a mysterious man arrives in Lux looking to to rule the entire city, battle lines are drawn, and it's all Ichise can do to stay alive and protect those he cares about (Onishi and Ran specifically).

The first episode of the series consists of a boxing match, a shoot out, slicing off of limbs, a girl in a fox mask, and about 10 lines of dialog. The rest of the series is pretty light on dialog as well (though with considerably more than 10 lines of dialog), and with both dubbings standing about equal, it's down to your personal preferences of reading subtitles or listening in English. It's also accompanied by some fantastic music and the excellent use of sound effects.

Basically, if you've seen your 10th super moe school girl show of the year, then maybe it's time for something like Texhnolyze. I'd like to tell you that it's as much of a mind fuck as Serial Experiments Lain, but the story is pretty straight forward. There's some psychobabble nonsense around episode 10, and a lot of techno babble in the later half of the series, plus lots of stuff about destiny, human nature, and the heartbeat and will of a living city. But really, I got the impression several times that it was just being weird for the sake of being weird. Or maybe I just didn't "get" it. Visually it's excellent, and the show's presentation fits the tone very well, but it can sometimes overshadow the plot. And frankly, by the end, the show doesn't make any sense what-so-ever.

As main characters go, Ichise is a little plain. It takes 12 episodes before we start to find out anything about him. For the most part he just sort of goes with the flow of things, without making many of his own decisions, doing whatever he's told, and not showing just a whole lot of individuality besides a short temper, a lot of apathy, and a violent streak. Ran has a mostly visual presence, without many lines, though frankly I was a little unsure of her role. She's a seer, worshiped by the people of Gabe, but she's always wandering around Lux on her own. She claims to only see one of many possible futures, and it's mentioned several times in the show that she only sees one possibility. Yet somewhere down the line, her visions are taken as laws not to be broken, which is rather contradictory. Onishi however is pretty cool, and he's at the center of the story as much as Ichise is.

It is a really interesting show, and it's very well made (it's from Madhouse, and they do good work), though I think it tries to be too many things at once. It's just a little hard to follow, and not well explained. There are 22 episodes on 6 discs from Geneon. DVD extras include clean credits (and the ending from the final episode has some beautiful music, not to mention the excellent opening for the series), interviews with the creators, and alternate dialog outtakes (ie: English VAs goofing off).