Texhnolyze (2003 IMDb)

Categorization

A very ambitious progressive SF drama that ends in a pit of silly fantasy pretention. In the field of unbalanced realism, this competes with Someday's Dreamers (2003), but falls even further from its greater altitude of effort. Permanently bleak and intentionally abrasive to eyes and ears, with an ending theme sung by the talentless Gackt.

Subject

A dark city known as Lukuss (rukusu in Japanese, probably alluding to the latin lux (light) and English looks, i.e. appearances) exists because of a strange species of flower that grows beneath it. The flower greatly simplifies cybernetic splicing, making it possible to equip humans with durable new limbs quite cheaply. However, Lukuss is in disrepair, practically abandoned to warfare between a number of gangs with contrasting philosophies. The former rulers are aloof, slowly dying.

Commentary

So you want to make really serious dystopic anime with the people who made Serial Experiments Lain (1998)? Good, just make sure the title is cryptic. You produce a first episode with less than a dozen lines of dialogue. You keep the brightness way down to ensure that nobody who watches the first couple of DVDs will have a single lamp in the room. Yeah, that works. Keep it all mysterious, don't let anyone know there isn't a plot. Then you kick up the brightness, throw in an army of root-sprouting cyborgs with anti-tank weapons resisted only by infantry with small arms, and space out completely. You've got yourself an idiotic bloodbath, a 9.0 average on IMDb and a group of loyal fans who don't mind being bludgeoned by ridiculous symbolism.

Japanese production animation series