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From Here to There to Japan One Day

Ergo Proxy

 

This futuristic anime is directed by Shukou Murase, who also directed Witch Hunter Robin and was involved in Samurai Champloo in an animating capacity. Ergo Proxy is the darkest anime that I have ever had the pleasure to watch. By this, I don’t just mean the themes and intricate subplots woven into the main storyline. Ergo Proxy is simply a dark anime, there is very little colour, mostly varying shades of black, grey and brown. The most striking use of colour in this anime is Re-l’s blue eyeshadow. But now let’s try to dissect this extremely complex anime.

After an ecological disaster that befell the earth, the remaining parts of the world became divided into domes to prevent the tainted world outside from infecting the cities left behind. The city of Romdeau is one of these such sealed in cities. At first the city is colourful and exotic but there’s no atmosphere in Romdeau. Perhaps, that is why it is presented to be so vibrant, when it really is just a facade. Class segregation between the model citizens and immigrants of Romdeau is quite prevalent in the first episode but it truly never leaves the minds of the characters of this anime. Immigrants strive to have a better life and eventually become model citizens, but to no avail does this happen.

Androids or AutoReivs are machines designed to assist the human populous in their everyday tasks. But, of recent, certain models of AutoRievs develop the Cogito virus. This virus gives AutoRievs self-awareness and because of this they are seen to be on their knee’s praying for divine salvation. In some cases, the AutoRievs go berserk and commit suicide.

Re-l Mayar is the granddaughter of the guardian of sorts to the city of Romdeau. She is an inspector for the Citizen  Intellignce Bureau, as she was born a model citizen. It’s suggested that because she’s a model citizen, she was given her job rather than worked for it. Her indiscretions are tolerated by the Council of sorts in Romdeau as she’s the guardian’s granddaughter. Re-l has an AutoReiv called Iggy who accompanies her on investigations. Re-l is visited by a Proxy one night to her terror, she then embarks on her obsession of Vincent Law and his connection to the Proxy.

Vincent Law is an Immigrant from the Moscow Dome. He works as a decommissioner of Cogito infected AutoRiev’s. Vincent strives to become the epitome of a model citizen, but he realises that he had to kill his own personality to achieve this goal. Later on, we discover that one of Vincent’s reasons for his driven goal of model citizen is for Re-l. He saw her at first when he came to Romdeau, but he knew that Re-l, a model citizen, wouldn’t even look twice at him. His connections to the Proxy are unveiled quite early in the series, but I’m not going to give away any big revelations. Pino, a child-like infected AutoRiev accompanies him on his journey, in an effort to discover herself.

Now, I know that Ergo Proxy is quite a complex anime, especially from the first episode. Episode one sets up all the chess pieces for the game to be played. It’s confusing to watch at first, but the episodes introduce more hardships upon the characters. It’s an anime that actually engages you and leaves you to consider philosophies. Give it a chance, view the first few episodes. I was also quite surprised when I heard the credits theme at the end of each episode, it’s Paranoid Android by Radiohead, a very good choice in this case.

Here’s a taster of Ergo Proxy.

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4 Responses to “Ergo Proxy”

  1. Personally, Ergo Proxy is brilliant, thought provoking, unpredictable and a good piece of anime. It has a high re-watch value and I am pretty sure will be a classic someday.

    Some say it is too pretentious or overreaches itself but I disagree. Its quite an enjoyable anime and I think the person to decide if it is worth one’s money or time is you.

  2. @Christopher C. I agree in the fact that Ergo Proxy is one of the few anime that can be watched several times and each time something new is discovered, even if it’s something that’s in the background or in a scene for a split second.

    It’s definitely an anime that breaks convention and does something retro and different. It’s called pretentious by some people but in truth Ergo Proxy is simply a different perspective of a dystopian future.

  3. I am glad we share the same view.

    To be honest with you, I just discovered Ergo Proxy by chance. Saw an image of Re-l toting the shotgun (her iconic image) in Ep1 form cyberpunkreview.com and I got curious and searched for a copy of it. Then, I got the copy last Thursday, finished it last Sunday and now I am a fan.

  4. @Christopher There’s nothing quite like discovering an anime like that by chance. It’s a complex anime but thoroughly enjoyable. 🙂


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