Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Feb 5, 2006 to Aug 12, 2006
25 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.091 (scored by 63858 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama mystery psychological sci-fi
SynopsisThe world is bigger than you think...
After the explosion of the methane hydrate layer, the remaining members of mankind are forced to live in isolated domed cities scattered across the arid and inhospitable planet. They live in a controlled society and are assisted in daily life by autonomous robots called AutoReivs. In one of these cities, Romdo, Inspector Re-l Mayer, granddaughter of the regent, leads an investigation concerning AutoReivs that have gone mad after being infected by the Cogito virus. In the process, she comes in contact with a monster called Proxy. Elsewhere in the city, immigrant Vincent Law is on the run after being framed for involvement in several Cogito cases. Together, along with the adorable child-AutoReiv Pino, they set out on a journey to the dome city Moscow in order to unravel the mystery of the Proxies.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Ergo Proxy: Centzon Hitchers and Undertaker
Characters & Voice Actors
Ergo Proxy is a highly experimental show, and just like all shows of that kind it always divides the viewers into two camps: while the ones enjoy its complex story and thought-provoking symbolism, the others fiercely criticize it for "pretentiousness" or simply scratch their heads in perplexity, wondering what this whole thing is supposed to mean.
As for me, I firmly believe this series is an amazing modern classic with no exaggeration about it, and with this review I'll try to explain you why. Since the anime has a site description you can always read, allow me to skip further introductions and get straight to business.
Obviously, the most contentious part of Ergo Proxy. The story and the method of storytelling this anime employs are highly unusual, and that is by far the main reason why quite a number of people dislike it. However, I think this story does not "pretend" to be clever - it is clever indeed. Moreover, it makes Ergo Proxy one of the most clever series I've ever watched.
First of all, the story at the core is a journey of self-discovery, hence the main idea is pretty simple yet great, at least as I comprehend it: you should find your own way instead of being somebody's follower or lower-rank copy ("proxy"); for that you should realize who you are, what you live for and how the real world looks. The anime tells a story of self-awakening that certainly makes you reflect on your own life, and that always counts as a great quality in my book.
Second, Ergo Proxy is a highly experimental show as it presents a unique mix of genres: cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic sci-fi, action, mystery, drama, psychological thriller, road movie and even a bit of comedy, romance and slice of life. Consequently, it results in a very unorthodox narrative with constant plot twists & genre switches that many viewers disliked as they felt trolled and confused while watching. Well, I do understand those complaints: it is indeed very unusual, confusing at times and probably not to everybody's liking. Besides, one may argue that the anime could've done better without a couple of less impressive episodes (e.g. the infamous quiz show episode), which would've also made the second half of the series more compact to provide better pacing and better build-up for the ending. Nevertheless, I like the story and those experiments a lot: even if they aren't always performed ideally, it's still an intriguing storytelling by Dai Sato, one of the best Japanese scriptwriters who also participated in writing scripts for Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. I simply can't help but marvel at how he and his team managed to weave all those genres and topics into one coherent plot without making a single filler. So, not only those swings & changes are very interesting and uncommon but they also don't break the storyline and don't exist there just for the hell of it - instead, they actually form the story, with each episode adding something brand new to the plot & character development, and that's amazing indeed.
However, the main reason why this anime seems unintelligible to so many people most probably lies in its third peculiarity which is the astounding number of symbols & allegories employed: literally every single name & situation is allegoric and requires your interpretation to get the whole story. Moreover, not only those allegories turn out relevant & contributing to the plot but also extremely diverse, referring to Greek & Aztec mythology, Descartes' philosophy and Shakespeare's plays among other things. No doubt, the high degree of symbolism is what makes the series quite a riddle at times; yet it is in fact a very entertaining and well-thought-out riddle where every element serves its purpose to convey the show's message, and I personally had lots of fun deciphering it.
With all those complex aspects the story never turns into pretentious nonsense or something really incomprehensible because it actually answers most questions, though often in roundabout and not obvious ways. That means it just demands a little more attention than in your average series, and if you pay it, you get it. Well, I don't consider myself an intellectual and yet I understood almost everything from the first viewing. There were a couple of moments I didn't grasp but it took me 3 minutes (!) to use google, click the first link and read an insightful explanation that satisfied me.
And even if you don't get something it's not a reason to dislike the show - it is actually a great motivation for you because this anime is highly rewatchable, and during every viewing there will be new discoveries that will enrich you.
ART & SOUND
Ergo Proxy's art style is easily recognizable for its omnipresent dark colors and realistic yet unusual character designs that give the series a westernized & very artistic look. The animation quality is great (except for a certain inconsistency in anatomical drawing), and the style fits like a glove although some viewers may need time to get used to its murky appearance.
The music is a number of ambient tracks by Ike Yoshihiro, a U2-esque opening theme by Monoral and an ending song by Radiohead. All the tracks are nicely composed to create the engrossing and mysterious atmosphere of the series, and even those who dislike the show agree that the soundtrack is simply amazing.
The voice-acting is also very well-done as the voices perfectly fit the characters, and the seiyus did a very good job at conveying emotions.
To sum up, the production values are impressive indeed, and the style is memorable & totally appropriate for the show.
Well, Ergo Proxy is a story-driven series which normally means it's not the characters that are important but the roles they play in the story; nevertheless, they do have significant merits of their own. Unlike many other shows that endow each character with one or two exaggerated features (extreme cuteness, extreme coolness etc.) at the cost of everything else, Ergo Proxy successfully avoids that common pattern by presenting a trio of very well-balanced protagonists in Re-l Mayer, Vincent Law and Pino:
- Re-l is a very analytical, no-nonsense person who is confident & decisive most of the time... and yet she isn't some perfect woman but a perfectly normal girl. She isn't invincible; she has an emotional side although she doesn't show it too often because the circumstances demand her concentration & prudence; and she is also very attractive but not oversexualized which is indeed an extreme rarity for this medium;
- Vincent lost his memories and a huge part of his identity with them, so he feels an obvious lack of confidence... and yet he knows how to repair things, how to hold a weapon and shoot, and his angst & identity crisis don't turn him into a useless coward like it often happens in anime (although he does act shy at the beginning);
- as for Pino, she's an autoreiv that accompanies Re-l & Vincent, providing some nice examples of man & machine interaction as well as some lightheartedness to compensate for the grim & serious setting. And mind you, she never gets sickeningly moe because she acts like a normal girl of her age and not some typical loli you often see in anime.
Also, the show has one more protagonist i.e. Ergo Proxy, but the identity & role of that guy is a huge spoiler so I can't tell you anything about him - you'll have to learn it yourself.
Overall, I would say that the right balance in characterization is what makes the protagonists very realistic, and while there may be people who don't like it I really enjoy this approach. What I enjoy even more, however, is the excellent development they receive, especially Vincent who goes through a dangerous & often bewildering journey of self-discovery and changes completely in the process. The supporting cast receive their share of development as well, with Raul Creed, Daedalus, Hoody and Iggy being the most outstanding examples.
So, even if you don't find the characters that interesting at first, just give them some time and see it for yourself.
Perhaps, some parts of the plot could be done better and the character drawings could be more accurate. Also, I'm not a fan of either U2 or Radiohead (though those bands are grand). Therefore, I can't rank this show a masterpiece. But I will easily give it an excellent rating and with lots of pleasure take it to my personal top-10.
My final advice for possible newcomers is simple: if you look for some lighthearted entertainment with J-pop, sugoi, ganbatte, tomodachi, squealing voices and bright haircolors, stay away from this anime as you will only waste your time. The same is if you look for an action-driven series because action is not the focal point of Ergo Proxy.
However, if you look for a compelling story, if you are not afraid of a certain intellectual challenge, if you are open-minded and able to keep attention for 23 episodes, I highly encourage you to watch this show. Of course, I can't guarantee you will like it as much as I do, but I'm pretty sure you at least won't regret it. read more
Ergo Proxy, it's a darker show that makes you think. Don't fall asleep for a second watching this show or you'll miss something important. Every little detail matters in some way. You know what... I LOVE THIS SHOW! I will do my best to keep my fanboy attitude towards this show aside to make for a more professional review.
Ergo Proxy takes place in a post apocalyptic setting where mankind must live inside domed cities. They are all assisted in their everyday lives by AuroReivs which are autonomous robots. In the city of Romdo there is a virus infecting the AutoReivs that cause them to become aware of their own existence. It is called the Cogito Virus. Re-l Mayer is the lead investigator of the infected AutoReivs. During her investigation she encounters a monster called a Proxy. Also in Romdo, a man named Vincent Law is running about and is suspected of having a connection with the Proxy. Re-l and Vincent then though a series of events begin to travel in in the outside world searching for answers.
Sound confusing? Good you should be confused, but it is also a great setup for a story. Right off the bat you are introduced to a new world, and in that world you see problems that need to be solved. The plot starts off right from the get go which I like. It grabs your attention; however, sometimes the pacing can get slowed down, but the amount of things you are learning about the world makes it seem like the writers aren't just writing filler even though that's exactly what it is. This story is a work of art. Ergo Proxy is the example of how to setup a world and maximize the potential that is in said world. It was also depressing as hell at sometimes and made me want to sit in my room and be sad. Now I mentioned confusing at the beginning, and it's true the story can be confusing, but I never felt lost during the show which is good and there was a reason for me not being lost...
Our main Protagonists are Re-l Mayer, a police detective/inspector and Vincent Law, an immigrant/nobody. Oh and Pino who is an AutoReiv infected with the Cogito Virus. The characters are what make this show's story less of a nightmare to understand. They ask all the questions that you want to ask. Personally I think that Re-l is by far the best character in the whole show. Her world has be turned upside-down and she has to tag along to find answers with Vincent. Vincent to be honest has a crap life, he can't remember who he is and was run out of Romdo. He is searching for who he is. The chemistry between these two is what really makes them stand out as characters. They aren't all buddy buddy like many shows. Re-l didn't trust Vincent at all at the beginning and Vincent wanted to just be around Re-l. Pino is hard to talk about without spoiling some plot but her purpose to me is making the viewer ask "What does it mean to truly be alive?"
The art is good. Nothing that just blows you out of the water but it does a very good job at bringing you into the atmosphere of the show. I loved the character designs in this show too. Their aren't very many action scenes in the show but when their are they are done very well. I have no complaints about the animation.
OHHH MY GOD THAT OPENING!!!! "Kiri" by Monoral is absolutly PERFECT for this shows opening! I've bought that song and no joke I listen to it every single day it is that good! I loved it. I'm also a fan of Radiohead so I liked the ending. The music during the show I actually didn't notice at all.... that's kinda bad but I also never remember the show being silent so that's good. The dub for this show is outstanding. I have no idea how Megan Hollingshead doesn't have more lead roles. She did an outstanding job as Re-l. Liam O'Brien also deserve high praise as well for his job as Vincent. At the beginning I actually thought he was Sam Riegel, but then Vincent got mad an I thought "Yep that's Liam." His angry voice is very good as is his regular voice. I actually thought that Pino was voiced by a child, but nope it was Rachel Hirschfeld... yea never heard of her but DAMN is she good! I mean seriously GIVE HER MORE ROLES!!! This dub is one of the best I have ever heard, on par with that of Death Note.
If you've seen my reviews you know what I do here. Does Ergo Proxy seal the deal at the end? Or does it leave massive plot holes? Nope. It ends perfectly in my opinion, I was very satisfied with the ending because it left the viewer with an idea of what the characters will do after the series, but it also makes sure to wrap everything up nicely. It ends well which is what I like to see anime do.
Ergo Proxy as of December 27, 2013, is the greatest anime that I have ever watched. If you have not seen Ergo Proxy, you have to see this anime. It truly is a masterpiece, a modern classic. Ergo Proxy is a show that can not be missed no matter what your preferred genre of anime is. Ergo Proxy is one of a kind. I give it a 100% recommendation. Ergo Proxy is a work of art. read more
Very similar themes about facing reality and not running away from your tribulations. They each deal heavily with self-discovery and finding one's purpose in life and accepting life for what it is. Plenty of symbolism in both; the plots are not straightforward at all and actually require the viewer to pay attention to fully appreciate the series. Neither series is for those who want the plot spoon fed to them. The viewer must piece together subtle plot points to fully understand it all.
They're both extremely different from how they first appear. Eva looks like a generic mecha and Ergo looks like a generic cyberpunk but once you go underneath the surface you discover something entirely different. They both can be quite dark; the stories may not make sense at first and require much attention to detail and can be interpreted in various ways.
The pacing of the stories are also very similar.
Gendo and Proxy One are nearly identical in their goals and motives. Proxy One is basically a father figure to Vince who is used just as Shinji was used by Gendo. Shinji is a proxy for Gendo in a way. Vince has a revelation at the end similar to Shinji's "Congratulations".
Also, technobabble abound in them both; while not entirely necessary at times it can enhance the experience in a way. However many people focus on the technobable too much and therefore have a narrow-minded opinion of the series and can't look past it to fully appreciate them as a whole.
Both are in essence intellectual series, exploring the main character's existential conflicts in interesting ways and generally providing an entertaining experience.
Both have a post apocalyptic feel, And the struggle for humanity to survive given the circumstances. In Neon Genesis their are 'Angels' which force humanity to fight, Whereas in Ergo Proxy their are "Proxies' which are very mysterious much like that of the Angels.
Overall both of them are very mind bending as a series, you also see the protagonists go through psychological fights regarding their past,present and future.
A definate must see.
Both stories occur in some post-apocalyptic future where mysterious events occur due to their actions. Both also have mind-bending mysteries.
Same post-apocalyptic concept, just everything is in a much smaller scale in terms of setup, characters, and story. Both series stress on character emotions and questions of morals, focusing more on the psychological developments rather than action, yet it is all laid out in a very advanced science fiction background. You also have the god-like rulers who debate amongst each other in monotone voices without significant physical features.
The stories are paced the same, really the key difference is that the focus is not on children and many of the similar extreme questions and psychological challenges are presented in a much subdued and more subtle manner.
Closer to ending, more similarities. Existential and psychologic background , nonoptimistic vision of future and a whole mass of symbols and refferences that gives spectator many ways of interpetation.
Both are intellegent stories of post-apocalyptic worlds. They both have complex plots and share a psychological thriller appeal.
Both animes are very psychological and philosophical.
They also make many references to religion, God, and other important people and events. Both occur in a post-apocalyptic future. Both will let you think about what's going on. They also explore very good each character.
Both are futuristic psychological thrillers in which the watcher delves into the mindset of the main character and those around him. They both also tackle issues such as morality and God. Both are a good watch and take time to fully appreciate.
Like many of the other reviews have already stated here, they both take place near end of the world situations and have phycological ideas. They make the characters question their meanings in life
Shows that have main characters turning into monsters (synchronizing with the monsters in NGE) that they can only partially take control of. Furthermore, both shows heavily focus on dimentia due to unstable minds of the protagonists.
similar themes and even look and style of the animation.
Ergo Proxy is a high budget show that develops way too slowly, but it's heavy on philosophical concepts of existence - similar to Lain's discussion of it. Ergo Proxy has some action but the background story and concept exploration take too long - it's 22 eps.
Lain and Ergo Proxy are insistent in their constant interrogations. They are both intelligent series that demand more than one viewing, Lain is considerably more risqué in that it twists narrative conventions to the point they no longer apply while Ergo Proxy channels its intellectuality via the plot itself, even if it lags a bit at the end.
Many questions about life. Many things that you can explain with words...but sometimes you can't just explain in a normal way. Life or death? Good or evil? What is the meaning about the most small things in the excistence.
If you like weird stuff...you will love Ergo Proxy.
Ergo Proxy and Lain are both what I would describe and Dark and Psychological Anime. If you enjoyed the ambiance of Lain, you are sure to enjoy Ergo Proxy
The theme and characters are related to each other somehow..especially Ergo Proxy and Lain. Plus some scenes and speechs feel the same too..
And of course they are sure for the ones who adore 'psychological' things..
Both deal with machines developing sentience, humanity's evolution, and have similar art styles. I high recommend both if you are looking for a thinking anime, as they both illustrate many philosophical and sociological concepts that are hard to define.
Both have a unique visual style but end up being excessively drawn-out and pretentious.
Philosophical doctrines are used in both,too.
Both have dark atmosphere.
Both have gloomy colors in them.
both are seinen with striking visuals and deep social metaphors. The characters in both are haunting and entirely human. I found it very easy to connect with their decisions and actions, and never felt the story was being pushed somewhere it shouldn't.
both series end with somewhat startling epiphanies. If you don't find your self at least puzzling over the series as a whole and fitting pieces together from every episode, I'd be suprised. I've rewatched SE:L many many times and I always get something new out of it
Both are thought-provoking and mind-bending, though Ergo Proxy to lesser extent than Lain.
Opening Theme"Kiri" by MONORAL (eps 3-23)
Ending Theme"Paranoid Android" by Radiohead
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