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Ergo Proxy

A television show

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The journey is more important than the destination.

  • Jan 20, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+4
The series' plot is summarized in the Wiki to the right.

Ergo Proxy is a dark, mature series that should appeal to those who do not require fan-service, humor, or excessive fight-scenes in their anime. There are several well-animated and imaginative fight-scenes between Proxies throughout the series, but they usually occur episodes apart. Ergo Proxy will definitely try certain viewers' patiences, because, while the first few episodes start off strongly with a gripping, mysterious attack on the leading female protagonist, subsequent episodes focus less on the mystery of the Proxies and more on the psychological states and mentalities of its characters.

Ergo Proxy is one of the few series that I've seen where the episode animation is of the same quality as that of the opening sequence. I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed because an anime's opening sequence or DVD case was more attractive than the series or film itself. The world of Ergo Proxy is dark, with some locations appearing bleak and dystopic, and others, such as the Romdo dome itself, appearing almost antispetic. The series uses a lot of blacks, greys, and blues. For some reason, Pino's hair changes from brown to purple toward the beginning of the series, and toward the end, Ergo Proxy suffers from a decrease in the quality of its character animations (as is typical of several anime series), but considering the quality of the animation up to that point, it can be overlooked. I would say that Ergo Proxy's animation most closely resembles that of Blood: The Last Vampire or Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Ergo Proxy has one of my absolute favorite soundtracks. It's one of the few series where I can think back and remember a specific background song, and not just the opening or closing themes, which, by the way, are equally impressive. The series' ending theme is "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead, while the opening theme is "Kiri" by Monoral. Both are rock songs sung in English and perfectly reflect the series' mood. Ergo Proxy's musical score, along with its dark animation, aid in the setting of the haunting atmosphere perfectly. I also found the English dub to be impressive. I especially enjoyed Liam O'Brien (Monster, Paranoia Agent) in the role of Vincent Law and Patrick Seitz (Texnolyze, Higurashi) in the role of Raul Creed.

One thing that's great about Ergo Proxy is that it does not fall victim to the "Monster-Of-The-Week" formula. Throughout the twenty-three-episode series, only eight Proxies are shown. While the series' pacing is rather slow, I believe that this allows for character development and casual pondering. Ergo Proxy's plot and pacing may be a bit disjointed, and there may be some episodes that feel as though they served no purpose at all, but none of them felt as though they were a chore to watch. Even the episodes that added nothing to the immediate plot ("The Girl With A Smile", "Nightmare Quiz Show") provided answers to underlying questions that the viewer may have had about the characters, Romdo, or the Proxies.

Perhaps one of Ergo Proxy's greatest attributes is that of its characters. The cast of main and recurring characters is rather small, allowing for the adequate development of each. Of all the series that I have seen so far, Ergo Proxy has some of the most impressive character development. After watching the series through once, if you return to it and watch it again, it's almost uncanny to see how much the main characters had changed from the beginning to the end of the series. One reason why I keep coming back to the series is because I love watching the three main characters learn to get along with, accept, and understand each other.

The one aspect of Ergo Proxy that I have mixed feelings about would be its plot, or rather, the execution of its plot. While Ergo Proxy is a twenty-three episode series, I feel that, as far as the immediate plot goes, it could have been adequately summed up in maybe fifteen or less episodes. Instead, the series' creators decided to include several episodes dealing with characters' dreams and illusions, in which you aren't certain until the end whether they are or are not they are real. I personally did not mind these episodes, but there are viewers of Ergo Proxy who felt that it meandered along without much of a sense of purpose, and that, in the end, Ergo Proxy did not say much of anything at all. In a sense, I agree with them. After watching the first volume of the series, I had high hopes for the series' final volume, because, after watching such a strong beginning, I was sure that Ergo Proxy's conclusion would blow me away, or at least leave me feeling very satisfied. However, the ending instead feels a bit rushed, and for all of the head-games, deciphering, and thinking involved, I felt that the ending was a tad inadequate. The ending did tie up any and all loose ends, and the origin and purpose of the Proxies is revealed, but I was just surprised to find out that many of the episodes did not have anything to do with the plot's conclusion at all. Looking at Ergo Proxy as a whole, it is a bit disjointed, and sometimes seems to lose its footing. However, each episode is strong in its own right when they are looked at individually. While Ergo Proxy does not confine itself to exploring one single philosophical concept, I felt that its application of several ideological and philosophical concepts made the series much more enjoyable and accessible to several different people.

Overall, I would recommend Ergo Proxy to anyone with a soft-spot for cyberpunk works, or works that are dark in nature. It is a well-thought out and intelligent series, with characters named after philosophers and scenes that made reference to mythological concepts (i.e. the story of Daedalus and Icarus). The fact that such things were effectively incorporated into the series' plot truly impressed me. While it may not provide you with any astonishing revelations regarding your own life and sense of self, Ergo Proxy is an entertaining work that provides the chance to ponder over several small ideas (What is my reason for being here? Is there a chance that none of this is real?). I would say that it is definitely worth a look.

The journey is more important than the destination. The journey is more important than the destination. The journey is more important than the destination. The journey is more important than the destination.

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January 24, 2011
Excellent review!! I have been meaning to see this series for sometime now and after reading your review I think I will give it a go I mean it looks extremely interesting and has that Blade Runner feel to it that just reverberates through out(I saw the first episode). Excellent work!!
 
April 01, 2010
Great info and pictures even though I have never even seen this you make me want to see it. Great job thanks
 
February 02, 2010
Awesome review. I love the fact that you took your time and really gave an in-depth look at this. All in all, I'm pretty new to anime, and I have to admit that so far I've had a pretty poor sampling (other than "Akira"). But this doesn't look at all like the norm. Sounds quite intriguing, especially after reading that the show has references to philosophy and mythology. That sort of thing usually has me geeking out. ; )
February 02, 2010
Same here. I'm not exactly a veteran of anime myself, but these are the types of series that I come to love. There are others, such as Serial Experiments Lain and Texhnolyze, that are for those in search of an intellectual series, if you're interested. Thank you for the feedback.
 
January 20, 2010
I've caught an episode of this before and really dug it. Aside from the plot, I couldn't get over how visually stunning and beautiful the animation is. I've got a lot of catching up to do on this, but thanks for updating the wiki for us people who aren't in the loop, and for sharing this great review! :)
January 20, 2010
Ergo Proxy definitely has my favorite animation of any series or film that I've seen thus far. Not just because of how stunning and well-done it is, but also because I have a soft spot for dark color schemes in animation.
 
January 20, 2010
oh yes! I really liked this series and you did an awesome job breaking it down. It is so true, this anime series is not for those expecting a fast-paced experience, the nice thing about it is the way it takes you into its world. Excellent review, Ulalume. Glad you're back to writing here again.
January 20, 2010
Thank you. I was having computer issues, which was why I had to take a brief hiatus. Yes, Ergo Proxy is definitely atmospheric in the way it draws you in.
 
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More Ergo Proxy reviews
review by . January 11, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
  Before I kick off this review, I'd like to say that I really haven't had much enjoyment watching most anime titles that go beyond a 4-5 hour running length because so many of them have bad plotting and repetition, but Ergo Proxy is one of the really few full-length anime series that I've seen that doesn't fall into most of the traps that so many longer anime series fall into.   STORY   In the domed city of Romdo, a creature known as a “Proxy” escapes …
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About this tv show

Wiki

The story begins in a futuristic domed city called Rondo, built to protect its citizens after a global ecological disaster. In this utopia, humans and AutoReivs (androids) coexist peacefully under a total management system. A series of murders committed by robots and AutoReivs infected with the Cogito virus (which causes them to become self-aware) begins to threaten the delicate balance of Rondo's social order. Behind the scenes, the government has been conducting secret experiments on a mysterious humanoid lifeform called a "Proxy". The Proxy beings (described as God-like and Immortal) are believed to hold the key to the survival of mankind.

Re-L (pronounced "Rielle") Mayer is assigned to investigate some of the murders with her AutoReiv partner Iggy. She encounters a Cogito virus-infected AutoReiv and a fast and flexible monster. She later learns that the monster was a Proxy. The other central character, an immigrant named Vincent Law, is revealed as being the eponymous proxy, but the memories of his past in his native dome of Mosque are suppressed. After being hunted down, Vincent and Re-L leave Rondo, only to discover the truth behind the Proxies and the domes.

In the domed city of Rondo (and possibly in other domed cities) various sections of the 'government' are referred to as Bureaus - the Intelligence Bureau, the Health & Welfare Bureau and the Security Bureau, among others. The AutoReivs are referred to as either 'companions' or 'entourages', ...

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Details

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Cyberpunk, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Philosophical
Studio: Manglobe
Original Air Date: 2/25/06 - 8/12/06

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