Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Feb 5, 2006 to Aug 12, 2006
Producers: Geneon Universal EntertainmentL, Manglobe, WOWOW, FUNimation EntertainmentL, Sakura Create
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.111 (scored by 51628 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction drama mystery psychological sci-fi
Mar 8, 2013
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 really 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 main idea of the story 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 use your head to understand who you are, what do you live for and how the real world looks like. This show impels you to think a lot about your life, and that makes it a natural gem in the sea of mindless kawaii that surrounds us here, in the world of today's anime.
Second, Ergo Proxy is a highly experimental show, as it presents a unique mix of genres: cyberpunk, sci-fi, action, mystery, drama, adventure and even a little bit of comedy, romance and slice of life. Consequently, it results in a very unorthodox narrative involving constant genre and topic switching that many viewers disliked as they felt trolled and confused while watching. Well, I do understand those complaints: it's indeed very unusual, confusing at times and probably not to everybody's liking. However, I personally like those experiments a lot: even if they aren't always performed ideally (e.g. we probably could do without that TV show episode), it's still a unique storytelling by Dai Sato, one of the best Japanese scriptwriters who also took part in writing scripts for Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Besides, I love how he and other people in his team weaved all these genres together without making any fillers. So, not only those twists and changes are very interesting and uncommon, but they also don't break the storyline - they actually form it, and that's amazing indeed.
And now, the main reason why this anime seems incomprehensible to so many people lies in its third peculiarity: it employs heavy symbolism, philosophic quotes and other intellectual stuff that makes the show a riddle at times. Yet it is in fact a very entertaining and well-thought-out riddle, full of numerous layers. Every episode, every scene and every frame, every name and citation is there for a reason and forms the message of the story, 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 honestly don't consider myself an intellectual and yet I understood almost everything from the 1st 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
The animation style of Ergo Proxy is easily recognizable: it's western, dark and with rather unusual character designs (especially those of autoraves). Perhaps, the omnipresent gloomy colors and the appearance of some characters may put you off at first. But soon you'll realize that the quality of art & animation is great (except for a certain inconsistency in anatomical drawing) and the style ideally fits the show.
The same is for music, which is a number of ambient tracks, a U2-esque opening theme 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. Besides, you don't often see bands like Radiohead on your anime music playlist =)
To sum up, the production values are impressive indeed. The style might be not to somebody's liking, but that's natural because tastes are obviously different. Also, this show doesn't have girls with bright hair and big... eyes - instead, it has a beautiful female lead who looks attractive without any fanservice, and that is precious and rare in the world of today's anime.
Well, EP is a story-driven show, so it doesn't present you cool superheroes (apart from Ergo Proxy himself): it has very realistic protagonists who attract quite a lot of sympathy without becoming addictive. While there may be people who don't like it, I really enjoy this approach since it provides a welcome change after watching dozens of cookie-cutter shounen characters yelling generic nonsense. Also, most characters get a great share of development (even the minor and episodic ones) and all of them perfectly execute their roles.
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 anime a masterpiece. But I will easily give it an excellent rating and with lots of pleasure take it to my personal top-10.
If you are looking for some light-hearted entertainment with J-pop, sugoi, ganbatte, tomodachi, squealing voices and bright haircolors, there is nothing wrong with that - just stay away from this anime since you will only waste your time. The same is if you look for action or character-driven series because neither action nor characters are the focal point of Ergo Proxy.
However, if you look for an interesting 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.
Apr 23, 2007
Why did I enjoy this series so much? First, this series is a real psychological mind boggling experience. I haven't see too many series that make me question what is going on or going to happen until the very end, yet Ergo Proxy did it. Even during the last episode, I was still asking myself the same question as I had been throughout the entire series, "what the hell is going on?!" This kind of experience kept me wanting more and left me trying to fill holes myself, which is exactly the kind of thing that I enjoy. Something that makes me think for myself and makes me WANT to figure out whats going on or say, "Hmm, I wonder what that meant..."
The setting of the story is another thing that made me enjoy this so much, a post apocalyptic world where everyone is being kept in the dark and left wondering whats just beyond their grasp. Theres not much that I can say about this plus for me, it's just something that I enjoy. If you enjoy stories set in this kind of environment, you'll like this aspect of Ergo Proxy.
Ergo Proxy makes use of a lot of different aspects of psychology and history, which is a good thing. I believe it was only the first fourteen episodes, but at the end of each respective episode there would be about two minutes when they would reflect back on things throughout what you had just seen. It was a very nice touch that I felt was something more series should do. It basically would tell you things that the author of the series/story used as a reference or what something that occurred in the episode was based on. I thoroughly enjoy history and psychology so this aspect of Ergo Proxy really appealed to me.
The character development didn't fall short of my expectations either. It was done quite nicely. I wish I could go into further detail about it, but apparently I'm not supposed to say anything to spoil the series and I'm not quite sure how to go about this aspect without doing just that.
The animation was extremely well done. The way some of the faces are drawn may look a little odd at first, but I didn't mind it at all. It matches the show quite well and really compliments everything around it. Everything that was done in this series, animation wise, was completely believable. Sure, there are somethings that you just know can't be true/made from something real, but it just feels true/real with everything else about the series combined.
Oh, don't let me forget Real Mayer. She's one sexy woman. Not sexy in the stereotypical way with an out of proportion body and an annoying voice. She is more real (pun intended), she's not overdeveloped, her voice isn't annoying, she doesn't have any super human powers, she isn't a amazing when it comes to combat, and her feelings/emotions are that of a real woman/girl. It just makes her character so much more believable and real, which is why I love her so.
Overall, Ergo Proxy is the complete package in terms of story, animation, sound, character development, THE characters, and the enjoyment of everything put together. If you don't enjoy this show, then you either aren't human, don't like anime or are too stupid to understand the story.
I hope you enjoyed my review, this is the first one I've ever written. If you like it, then please leave an comment letting me know so I'll be more encouraged to write more. See ya kiddies. read more
Feb 6, 2011
Story: The plot of Ergo Proxy got me hooked from the first ten minutes of the show - it was that good. By the time the first episode ended, it left me wanting for more. And so did the next episodes. The post-apocalyptic world in which the story takes place is - though certainly not what you'd call original - very well created, and the situations in which the characters find themselves are quite believable. Over the episodes, the viewer is presented, along with the plot, with issues concerning freedom, artificial inteligence, the supernatural and humanity itself. There are also many referances from famous works of art, books, myths and religions that help adressing these issues, and overall contribute to the high quality of the storytelling.
Well, all that is true up until about episode 13. After that, the whole thing just crumbles down and becomes something entirely different. The pace is halted, the development is next to none and we have about 10 episodes of NGE-style internal monologues, dreams, illusions, fillers and utter mindfuck. Which is not necessarily bad (I myself am a big fan of series like NGE and Higurashi, that to a great extent are based on pure confusion) but to a series like Ergo Proxy, that already has a solid and intriguing storyline, it really does more harm than it does good. I loved the mindfuck, nontheless, but if only they could keep it in there without completely stopping the plot from unfolding...
Art/Animation: This is where Ergo Proxy really shines. First of all, the characters are drawn in a more or less realistic way (without big eyes, extravagant hairstyles etc like in most animes) and are drawn really well - apart from some faraway scenes, which however aren't bad enough to spoil the art as a whole. The backgrounds look, if anything, even better than the characters. And the animation... well, to put it in simple words, it puts to shame most animes up to this day. You might however find it a little dark... but it's okay, because it suits the overall mood and story.
Sound: The OP is one of the best out there, the voice acting is really good and the background music always creates the apropriate atmosphere for whatever is happening on screen. Do you want more?
Characters: Another really strong point of the show. It's probably the first anime where almost every character seemed believable to me. There is also a fair amount of character development for most of the main characters. Especially the main duo (Re-L and Vincent) change a lot during the show, and in opposite directions. Pino's quest to find herself is also very interesting (but wyou might not even notice it, because it is overshadowed by her unbelievable amount of cuteness :) ). However, there could have been some more background information on most of the cast, because with the exeption of Vincent and a few others, all characters' pasts are more or less left untouched.
Enjoyment: Ergo Proxy is not the kind of show that is meant to be "enjoyed" with the traditional meaning of the word , but instead it is supposed to intrigue the viewer and make him think about the issues presented to him. Overall, I can say that I really enjoyed the first half, however the second one was a hit-or-miss that, at least to me, felt bad and unnecessary. After all the fast pace and intrigue of the first 13 episodes, the last 10 honestly felt like a chore to watch, because it just didn't fit with the rest of the series. The ending was actually well-written, but after the last few episodes before it I had lost almost all interest in it. If I could rate the two halves separatly, it would be 10/10 and 6/10 respectively. So, an 8/10 overall, and, despite my objections about the second half of the show, I would still recomend it to anyone as a very good anime.
Feb 7, 2007
[ Could contain minor spoilers. Sorry.. ]
Ergo Proxy. When I first saw that title, I was curious. I knew what a proxy was, on Internet and in real life. But I didn't know what Ergo was. So I got the series, mostly out of curiosity. I didn't expect much at first. The main female character, Re-L (Lil, Real, or any variant. Depends of fansub) has a freaky face with blue mascara, and wields a shotgun. I expect an all-out gun action series, with some mecha. But I was wrong! Ergo Proxy is a great series, definitely worth seeing, and has even made it to my favourites list. Beware, there are not much humour or laughs in this series. It's a deep, dark and philosophical series. But trust me, definitely worth seeing.
- [ Animation ] -
One thing that amazed me since the start of the series, till the very end is the quality of the animation. They combined modern and traditional to make a very good blend. The producers have been successful in creating a dark/moody atmosphere when needed. The light effects were amazing. They pointed out details wherever needed without flaw. The motion of the characters was very fluid, while maintaining the complexity of the backgrounds. If I may include a small spoiler here, the desolated lands pictured a bit later in the series are well made. You really get the feeling of sorrow and despair creeping in. However, although it may only be from my point of view, but in long-shots filmed from afar, you sometimes see the characters' features distort. Eg. an eye is above the other or toes seem strange. Can't expect much details from long-shots anyways but an eye above the other? Weird! Another dark point is that sometimes, the scenes are excessively...dark! You can't discern details easily. Apart from these, there are no major flaws in my opinion. Again, I should point out that the animators took some time to work on the scenes and have created beautiful and detailed backgrounds. Not overly detailed that you get the impression that you are in live-action, but just enough.. or just a bit not enough sometimes (dark scenes specially). Very little frame-reuse or even no frame-reuse if you ask me, just something nice to note.
- [ Sound ] -
As I said, I usually don't pay much attention to sound in animes. It's just there, nothing special. But here, it's different. The OP was great! The music suited my tastes entirely. Even the ED was very well made! The music really accompanied the moody and dark story. Just a side-tracking here, but I really like the way the ED credits is presented: A new, slanted type of presentation. Innovative if you ask me. The atmosphere sounds were well done, and did well in enhancing the moods and feelings of the Ergo Proxy. Not much in-series music available though. However, the OP and ED music don't seem to really fit in the quiet, dark and suspense-oriented Ergo Proxy. It's just too... lively. The music was great though!
- [ Story ] -
First, let me say it straight here itself: Ergo Proxy's story can be very very confusing and difficult to understand sometimes during some episodes, a bit Evangelion-like if you want i.e. Complex! But unlike Eva, most mysteries are eventually cleared, except for some. It's a series that you will want to go through once, get all the explanations, then go back and rewatch it just to appreciate the way the mysteries are introduced and pay particular attention to the minute details.
Another thing that adds confusion is that some episodes seem really out of place and do not seem to have any meaning at first. In fact, they are here to explain the details of Ergo Proxy in a non-intrusive and non-flagrant way. Be on the lookout for those and pay attention. They clear a lot of mysteries. Hint: Pay attention to the episode with the Quiz! :P Just like I said, some episodes seem out of place. Often, you are led on an episode with a very different story, only to find that one of the characters was dreaming or whatever like that. Sometimes, it's just too puzzling. You finish the episode and tell yourself "What the hell just happened?".
Now, on with the main story which is about Re-L Meyer, grand-daughter of Donov Meyer - the administrator/head counciller of Romdeau Dome city and Vincent Law, an ordinary employee of the Autorave Division. At some point of time before the scene, Earth's environment became very polluted as a result of a Methane Hydrate layer combustion. This may be considered spoiler but it doesn't really affect the plot to know it. Anyways, 85% of Earth's population was wiped out as a result. The survivors now live in Dome Cities such as Romdeau, since the air outside the domes is nearly unbreathable. Later, you are explained the significance of WombSys and Amrita Cells. I can't reveal what these 2 things do without going into spoilers. However, Anikimeiski provided an elaborate explanation of Ergo Proxy's plot-line. If you require help after watching it, refer to his explanations. Google it to find out about the site.. (If you do not mind major spoilers)
Re-L, working with her assistant Vincent Law, is investigating something known as Cogito (Cognito) Virus which allows Autoraves (robots that co-habit and help humans) to gain something with resembles emotion. So, they tend to become unpredictable and need to be eliminated. However, the real plot starts early as episode 2. During one of these investigations, Re-L is attacked by a monster (guess what it was! Pr... *spoilers*) which is very agile and quick. It leaves a hand print on the crime scene. Wanting to get more details, Re-L goes to her grand-father Donov Meyer to get answers but none is obtained. The story starts from here and quickly evolves into something unpredictable, after Vincent Law leaves the Romdeau for the Outside World. Excuse me if I introduced a number of spoilers, but it was required to make the scene clear.
The story is very well presented, with a good pace, neither too fast, nor too slow. The action scenes, however, are fast-paced just as expected. There are no major loopholes, except for some later in the series. Refer to Conclusion for more details. The story is holds the viewer in suspense, and after watching an episode, it's difficult to resist watching the next. Until the end, the series maintained the suspense and mystery, spoon-feeding answers along the way as required. Nothing more to say here, I guess. It's a good plot-line, which kinda reminds me of George Orwell's 1984. Here too we got a seemingly perfect society but with severe flaws.
- [ Characters ] -
The characters in Ergo Proxy is what amazed me most! Every one of them and their backgrounds are well explained, leaving no details unexplained. Often, the characters have whole episodes to explain their past and their current self. This is awesome! I can't complain about lack of details regarding characters. with Ergo Proxy. They are all well developed into the story, and fade out as required. The main characters stay till the end, of course! What do you expect? If all main characters faded out, then there won't be any Ergo Proxy! :P
The characters each have well-defined emotional traits, strengths and weaknesses. Just to take an example, Re-L is very selfish at the beginning, caring only for her little self and not having any remorse regarding anything. She neglects everybody, included her Autorave Iggy and Vincent Law. However, as the series progresses, you can slowly see her change and evolve. Similarly, she is a very good fighter and observer, but fails to express feelings and be emotive enough, unlike Vincent Law, who is excessively emotive and weakling-like at first. Again, he'll develop his strengths as the story progresses. Amazing! Every character has his or her own motivations for what he/she's doing, whether good or evil. Sometimes, their actions seem wild or illogical, but it gives us an explanation of what the characters are actually feeling, whether it's love, hatred, duty or utter want for destruction.
As with series or movies that include robots and mechas, there is an emotion issue, that is human feel emotions and robots cannot. Here, even robots can feel after being infected by Cogito, but are in a way denied the right to feel emotions. That's what I was saying in the beginning, the stuff about philosophy. The Cogito virus introduces a very nice turn in the story, pushing the character development even furthur. Ergo Proxy explores such things as loyalty, denial of love, seeking acceptance, betrayal, friendship, companionship, split personalities, the good and evil side of oneself and such. It's pretty elaborate sometimes!
- [ Value / Enjoyment ] -
I'll keep this part short. There is not really enjoyment in Ergo Proxy since it's kinda dark and moody. However, it definitely has a good value for me and definitely earns a rewatch to clear up some points. Not much action, but if you want a good sc-fi type of suspence, mixed with action and spicy twists and turns, go watch Ergo Proxy. I definitely enjoyed Ergo Proxy which successfully maintained the suspense and surprises till the end. You won't be skipping episodes often here. However, the story can be kinda slow sometimes, which kinda annoys you.
- [ Conclusion ] -
Personally, I really liked Ergo proxy. You don't find many series with such depth and with enough elaboration and complexity to keep you glued. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are some dark points that are not solved, the biggest one being the statement made by Vincent Law in the last episode. Maybe there will be an Ergo Proxy 2 or a second season. Maybe an OAV at least. If not, then it would have a very cheap ending! But I hope there will indeed be a good and proper ending to this marvellous series. Go watch it. It's definitely worth it, if you like the genre. Thanks for reading! Was kinda long this time.. Gomen! And I rarely give perfect mark 10! :P Ergo proxy may earn it however. It deserves it, but I am too miserly to see 10 given! :P read more
Jan 12, 2007
Sounds generic, no? This opening line to the description of the anime is rather misleading. I strongly advise you to take a second look at this before dismissing it out of hand as unoriginal.
Ergo Proxy stands out from among other stereotypical anime shows because of its ability of *not* resorting to these oft used plotlines. What this anime focuses on is the development of a few main characters in a world erupting into chaos. While the viewpoint of the show does not originally show it, a great deal of Ergo Proxy is centered around a young man's self discovery and acceptance of who he is, learning to interact with others, and to remain true to himself.
This show reminded me most of all of the anime Evangelion. If you, the reader, have ever seen Eva, you may recall the rather deep scenes near the end, wherein the main character attempts to resolve numerous internal conflicts, ultimately resulting in a moment of revelation. Now, as far as I understand it, the director of Ergo Proxy did *not* have a nervous breakdown like the director of Eva, but the depth of the introspective episodes were very similar.
As for the anime itself, I enjoyed the radical variance in the story of each episode. While the settings of the story remain very similar - a city, a shanty-town, and a wasteland are the preeminent landscapes – the actions in the episodes defy prediction. Whereas in some animes’ episodes you seemingly have a cycle of events that repeat over and over again, Ergo Proxy remains unique every time.
On a slightly less approving note, I will say that some of the scenes were truly very, very random, and only upon serious retrospection will you note that they have anything to do with the core plot at all. No spoilers here, however.
Also, while in some episodes you will be given background history about the show in a natural, conversational manner, there are points where the show simply comes out and presents the information to you. The impact of this is that at those moments it seems less that you are watching a naturally unfolding story than that you are reading a fact sheet about the show.
Despite these few setbacks however, the anime still stands at a strong ‘9’ on my list. I enjoyed the viewing of the anime all the way to the end, which continues the suspense and unpredictability. The plot is written wonderfully here at the finish as well, leaving the future unresolved and unexplained, leaving it up to the viewer to imagine what happens.
I will invite everyone who enjoys a thrilling, action-pack, and very emotionally and psychologically deep story to watch “Ergo Proxy.”
Rating: 9/10 read more
May 15, 2011
Ergo Proxy stands out among other cyberpunk anime as this one is a truly original and is very unique as it takes on René Descartes’ very famous philosophical statement which is “cogito ergo sum” and views it on different perspectives. “Cogito ergo sum” means “I think, therefore I am” is basically the main theme of the anime. The whole world of Ergo Proxy itself is based on this theme while questioning and taunting the said philosophical statement. Everything was built along with those lines while the story revolves around the characters who were searching for self-actualization over the course of 23 episodes.
Ergo Proxy has a very fast pacing which could indeed get you hooked for about 10minutes into the show. It started off with Re-l Mayer investigating cases of “AutoReivs” (Android-like companions) being infected with a virus called “cogito.” This “cogito” virus is a dangerous virus for humans as this “AutoReivs” once infected with the virus comes to a realization that they too have a heart thus leading to human-like emotions which could in turn lead to trouble as they now tend to act on how they feel but not on how their masters command them to. After some investigations, while at home, Re-l saw a word written in blood that stated “awakening” and was approached by an entity called a “PROXY.” A lot of these intriguing scenarios will be shed light upon as the story progresses. Interesting right? See episode 2 as I’m sure you’ll instantly get hooked.
Ergo Proxy presents different but very realistic problems including politics, ways of life, beliefs, and the search for one’s true self. Treading along the anime, these issues will be faced with subtlety and precision without ever being dragging. Though its pacing is very fast, some might be surprised as at the middle of the anime, somewhere past around 13 episodes, it went to a complete halt as it now focused on the changes that are happening with the characters. We now see Pino’s journey for self-actualization, Vincent’s search for the truth, and Re-l’s changing feelings for the ones around her. These episodes are not entirely focused on the characters though; some contains bags of clues about the reality of Ergo Proxy while some are just placed there to add to the length or simply called fillers. Though these episodes might be fillers, you wouldn’t immediately recognize that they are, as these fillers have a knack of making your brain burst out leaving you thinking for hours about what really happened; but even if you’ve managed to solve what was the episode about, it wouldn’t change anything as these fillers were totally irrelevant to the main point of the story.
After some episodes that contain complete mindfuck which in turn made the story stagnant, Ergo Proxy now picks up on what it has left for the grand finale. If there was anything that I could really complain about Ergo Proxy, it would be the ending. For a total mind-breaking anime, I couldn’t ignore that some loose ends were still loose and some missing links were still missing. It actually felt like the anime was saying that it’s up to the viewers to figure out what happened about this or that; well for a total mindfuck anime, maybe it is really trying to do that. But still, it doesn’t hinder the thrilling rollercoaster ride I got from this anime.
What I absolutely find fascinating in Ergo Proxy is the gradual development of our three main characters. As I’ve said, Pino is in a journey of self-actualization and being infected by the cogito virus, this slowly transforms Pino from an emotionless companion-type AutoReiv to something that is more if not, realistically human. Vincent on the other hand, is in search for his true self as it was stated that he was brainwashed and is now on his way looking for answers. At first, I honestly thought that Vincent was a major wimpy guy, but he turned out to be one of the coolest male leading characters out there. As the story goes along, he gradually changes as the truth about him are unveiled. Lastly, Re-l is not your typical bad-ass girl who wields dual pistols and can shoot anyone with her eyes closed. No, she is your normal snobbish lady who gets scared, weak and is worth protecting; only thing is she’s really courageous or more like stubborn. After some realizations and some great revelations, you will notice her gradual change of heart regarding everyone around her. All of these traits make them look very real as humans which made me really admire Ergo Proxy as this is a hard one to pull off considering that the setting is in a post-apocalyptic world.
I believe that the production value of this anime is high as the animation was fluid and the backgrounds were simply amazing. From the desolated wastelands to the deserted cities, all were done with accuracy. Sometimes though, I think the lighting is somewhat of a bother as it tends to be too dark that you’ll have difficulty seeing what’s really happening. Character designs however were very human-like and if you’ve seen Witch Hunter Robin, it is very much the same. But there were also inconsistencies as sometimes, when looked from afar, the facial structure of the characters becomes distorted. Nevertheless, the animation was really good leaving you wanting for more.
Pino’s character design however was so adorable and lovely that no one could ever ignore her cuteness. Though this is not a comedy anime, sometimes you’ll find yourself smiling and even touched for the cute things she does. Often too that Pino’s character is matched with the dramatic scenes of this anime that you could even feel a small aching on your chest.
What made this successful was Pino’s seiyuu Akiko Yakima. She portrays her lines very well which fits the cute attitude of Pino. And I’m not saying that Pino has the only voice acting that was good, in fact all of the voices behind the characters were astounding. Not to mention that the opening and ending song were very good which weren’t J-pop but rather alternative English songs. The opening song (kiri) sets a thought-provoking environment while the ending song (PARANOID ANDROID) finishes what the opening has brought forth. The background music during scenes is good in setting the mood if it is meant to be thrilling or meant to be dramatic. And who could ignore the amazing use of background silence? Rarely could you see an anime that uses silence and be excellent with doing so.
Overall, Ergo Proxy is a very unique anime that could give you one hell of a ride all the way through. If it weren’t for the unneeded fillers and a much clearer explanation of things, then this would be something phenomenal. It is a true brain-twister that will leave you puzzled for hours just because of some certain events. If you’re into mentally challenging anime, then this is definitely for you. I certainly enjoyed it and much likely that you will too.
Just to summarize things:
Ergo Proxy = MINDFUCK read more
Jul 4, 2008
-There is one thing I need to point out about my scoring. The enjoyment of a show is weighed heavily by me. If I can't enjoy a show then what's the point of watching it?
Now without further ado.
The actual story and plot of the show isn’t bad other then being a bit confusing. It jumps into the plot right away for the first few episodes. The story progresses rapidly at first before coming to almost a complete stop. For about 7 or 8 of the episodes between 10-20, I felt like nothing happened nothing really changed and that the story and plot crawled by very slowly and in some cases made no progress at all. And then at the end when I expected things to pick up and everything to come together like in the movie Fight Club or Donnie Darko. It just didn’t happen. I felt like the ending was throwing answers at me that didn’t add up, like a puzzle where the last 5 pieces don’t fit at all.
In a general wholesome look the plot makes sense. But on a detailed level I felt the story was just pulling ideas out of a hat and tried to make things work that really didn’t. The idea was good but it was executed poorly and fell short of its intention.
This is where the show really shines. The visuals in this show are easily some of the best I have ever seen. Many of the visual angles used were unique, fresh, and quite artistic without taking away importance or detail from the scene. The animation was very fluid and realistic. The colors and lightning were also done well. Scenes in bright places were done quite well almost in a blinding way. While the darker scenes did a great job representing the destruction and despair throughout the rest of the world. The art/animation is the best thing about this show. Although there was a lot of dark scenes, so be prepared.
Well I’m not much of a Radiohead fan so the ending theme didn’t do anything for me, I skipped it every time. The opening theme didn’t do much at first but it wore on me and near the end I actually started to enjoy it. Although the OP didn’t fit real well, it was to “active” to really relate with the show. As for background music I can’t really think of any of them specifically which I guess means it wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either and did a good job of blending into the scenes. The sound effects were good at doing what they were supposed to, adding to the scenes and the detail of the world. The voice actors did fairly well I felt like for the most part the voices fit each character fairly well. I didn’t watch the English dub so I can’t say too much about that.
One of my biggest problems with Ergo Proxy which also greatly lowered the enjoyment as well as overall score was with the characters. I simply did not care about them. The two main characters Vincent and Re-l didn’t do anything for me. I wouldn’t care if they died, or if they fell in love, or if they disappeared never to be seen again. Maybe I might have liked them more if they turned into slugs or something. Re-l’s bright blue eye shadow/mascara whatever it is bothered the heck out of me the ENTIRE series as well. All I wanted to do was wash it away. Also there were a few instances where the producers wanted the viewer to care or get emotional over different things between the characters, all it made me do was yawn.
The one and ONLY character I liked was Pino. Pino was used many times as comic relief and did a decent job of it too. When she dressed up in her costume, it was very cute as well. Although even then, there were times when Pino just didn’t evoke any emotion from me except boredom.
On an objective level the characters were well developed. You get a good understanding of their story. You even occasionally get a good analysis of their psyche and mental stability. They were fleshed out and felt like completed beings. Some of the supporting characters were well done as well. Although some of them were much more unstable than you originally think and act in ways you wouldn’t have expected.
To be honest, I did not enjoy this show at all. I frequently thought about dropping it but I told myself to get through it. I was hoping that everything would click in the end and I’d end up loving it, but that didn’t happen.
To put it simply there were a few times that I’d be watching and suddenly start nodding off in the middle of the episode. The next day when I tried to watch the following episode I couldn’t remember what happened and had to re-watch the previous episode a second time. None of the episodes really grabbed me and held my attention like it could have.
My sleeping problem seemed to occur more frequently during some of the middle episodes, 10-20. Some will disagree with this, but I felt many of these episodes were pointless filler episodes. Yes some of them did give a little bit of back-story or history of the world but none of it really had any major impacts on the series as a whole. They could have been reduced to 2 or 3 episodes that could have presented the same information in a better way. Some of those episodes also felt extremely out of place. Many times an episode would start off in a completely different totally unrelated location from anything else in previous episodes. And at the end of the episode you are left scratching your head asking what the hell had just happened. Many times I felt I had wasted 24 minutes of my life which could have been spent on an episode of a different show.
From some of the other reviews and from the score, I had some decent expectations for this show. I went in knowing that it will require some philosophical reasoning which is fine with me. But nearly everything about the show seemed to fall completely short of what I anticipated. Even after seeing the “surprises” near the end, I was left feeling uninterested, a “So what” expression hanging around me.
Because it is highly regarded by some people I can’t completely say you should stay away from this anime. If you understand that this will be a confusing trip and don’t mind experiences resembling the last two eps of Neon Genesis then it won’t hurt to give this show a try. But if you are like me, and by about eps 8 don’t care about the characters or about the story, just stop before things get really ugly.
In my opinion if you don’t see this show you aren’t missing out either. Although I do think if I re-watched it, I might respect it a little more. But the first time through was miserable enough and I couldn’t watch it again. So if you do plan to watch this you probably should re-watch it to fully enjoy the show. If you cant imagine yourself re-watching it then you should stop where you are and move onto a different show. read more
Nov 9, 2008
I guess the genre I'd put Ergo under would be scifi psychological thriller (oops, that's more like three genres, isn't it? -.-;). It's definitely a treat for those who want a break from the mainstream, with outstanding original story and character development that seems to be rarely seen in most popular series. Ergo certainly takes the normal robot-living-beside-human-turned-crisis to a whole new level and turns it on its head with a unique plot full of more than enough plot twists.
However, it is the plot that should make you wary of what you're getting yourself into when you decide to sit down with this series; it certainly is a lot to grasp, and more often than not you find your head swimming not only with questions at the end of an episode, but also with a general "WTF?!" kind of feeling. To be honest, I was still feeling something to that effect even after the series concluded. Many episodes have a fragmented, lost tone to them, which fits the mood of the series but still gets tiring towards the end--and in the end, while most answers are given, there are still more than enough left for you yourself to discern.
The story and the characters of the series are amazing, though, and make up for the at times wayward plot. Taking much-done ideas--in this case, robots with a conscious, a post-apocalyptic world, a disillusioned, totalitarian civilization--and making them bad ass and fantastically fresh is no ordinary feat. Yet, the creators of Ergo Proxy seemed to have done it with ease. The story, revolving around the human psyche, the sin of god-like creatures, and purpose of life itself, delves deep and keeps you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know and learn more the further into the series you get. The characters themselves all have their own charm about them, and only add to the story with the intense character development that hits each and every one of the characters seriously introduced. It would take a whole other review to go into the topic of and praise the characters and character development used in Ergo.
And of course, the art and music in this series are just as good as everything else--wouldn't want to distract from the already overwhelming plot, right? ;) Anyways, the fight scenes between the Proxies are amazing, as well as Vincent's transformations themselves, along with the battle scenes. While not for the extremely weak of heart, they are certainly not anything like Elfen Lied are something, so no worries. The opening and ending themes of the series are also noteworthy, and two of my favorites out of all the other anime opening and endings out there--the music used is haunting, yet befitting. And I could sing along because they're in English. :)
Another thing worthy of mention is the extensive Greek philosophy references, among other philosophical references, used throughout the series. I didn't feel all to guilty about devoted hours to watching this series, because I got some edumacation out of it too.
All-in-all, I give Ergo Proxy two thumbs WAAAY up. Definitely on my favorite anime list now if it's not at the top, and I can't BELIEVE I hadn't watched it sooner...
:D read more
Feb 12, 2010
So, to start it off, the story. Right away, you are thrown into a utopian society with highly advanced technology. Autoreives, the machines manufactured by humans, run pretty much everything. They look and act like humans but are devoid of any emotion. The Cogito virus gives them something like a soul, and they find emotions. Autoreives infected with this virus often try to find out why they were created or why they serve their masters, but these emotions are not to be allowed and they are destroyed. The people in this society are driven to become model citizens, that serve the city and its people perfectly. If you ask me, they all act like robots themselves. I'd go deeper into that, but I don't want this to be too much of a philosophical discussion. This is just one of many philosophical questions posed here.
Re-l Mayer is our heroine, and right away she seems a bit different, with her strange eyeshadow. She is the granddaughter of the administrator, kind of like the head of a council in the city, and also an investigator. She is investigating the Cogito virus and comes across some sort of monster, and her journey to find the truth begins.
Vincent Law works on autoreives and is an acquaintance of Re-l's that seems to have a bit of a crush on our heroine. He is an immigrant and is working toward citizenship in this utopian society. But he keeps popping up where the trouble is, like it's following him around. Re-l and eventually he himself begin to wonder why all of this trouble seems to spring up around him.
In the first few episodes, a large part of the story, the character introductions, and just an overwhelming amount of information is just dropped on you. It's very fast paced and very little of the literally hundreds of questions you have are answered. After that, bits and pieces of what's going on are revealed and the pace of the show slows down. I can understand why some people might give up on this, because it gets pretty confusing and most of the time you will just be wondering what is going on. But, most of the questions are eventually answered, and I don't think there are any major parts they leave out. Well, maybe one in the last episode, but I think they meant to leave that open. For someone watching it for the first time, I'd like to say that there is a weird kind of game-show episode in the middle. Pay attention!!!! Answers to a lot of questions will be here. Other than that, there are a lot of places that don't really seem important, but they are. It may take a second watch to pick up on some of those though.
I'll go ahead and say a bit about the characters next, since I already introduced Re-l and Vincent. The other main character in the story is Pino, and autoreiv infected with the Cogito virus, so she is a lot like a real little girl. I can't say too much about any of the characters though cause I think I'd probably give away too much, and may start to rant about philosophy again. I will say that all of the major characters show significant development throughout the series. And it is done very well.
The art is excellent. The animation is very smooth, from simple scenes to action scenes and everything in between. The art is gorgeous. The character designs are a bit different, but fitting with the show, and are also done very well. The backgrounds are rich in detail and are just beautiful. Everything is really top notch here.
Sound is good. The opening and endings are good, I liked the songs in both. There wasn't much music in the show, but the sounds were done pretty well.
I guess that would bring me to the enjoyment factor. It's really hard to rate. For most of the series I was plainly frustrated with how little information was revealed for how many questions the show posed. Even so, I couldn't stop watching it. Even after one episode of just asking "what the hell is going on?" I just wanted to watch the next one. It just kind of draws you in. I think this is mostly due to the excellent characters, but you also want to know more about what is going on in this world. As I said at the beginning, it was frustrating but at the same time it was a masterpiece that can really only be seen for what it is once you have finished it. While I was watching the show, I probably would've given a 5 or 6 for enjoyment because of the frustration, but I'd end up giving it an 8 or 9 in the end. After all, it kept me wanting for more.
To conclude, everything about this show was really pretty incredible. The characters especially shine. There is a great amount of philosophy there and it really makes you think about a great many things. It is difficult to rate. As frustrated as I was through the show, after I finished it, I looked back and was simply amazed by the sheer mass of the show. I'm giving it a 9, but I may watch the show again and upgrade it to a 10. Even now, I'm not sure it doesn't deserve a 10, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as some shows, so I don't think I can give it a perfect score. So, it's a 9.
PS I have to apologize since this review may be a bit confusing itself. I was trying really hard to put the show into words with out giving away too much of the show or ending up on a huge rant on philosophy. And I like huge rants on philosophy. Hopefully I was able to stay on track fairly well. read more
Feb 9, 2009
Many already said about its cyberpunk elements and such.
I will say that in regards of Science Fiction, plot development, execution and characterization, this anime is a True Masterpiece!
The very concept of why it all happened in the planet is a true concern some scientists have, about the methane hydrate layer and the possible consequences if it went volatile. Many power and fuel industries have already shown interest in extrating and using it to produce energy, as the tihng is really powerful...but one of its characteristics is its volaticity, and if by mistake a chain reaction was iniitated and the existing layer went into combustion...the life on the planet would be decimated. Take a look about what exist about the matter. It is intersting.
Well, thus it is based on solid science extrapolation. Then the story goes with really intellingent plot developments without loosing to pure psychological drama, as there is enough action woven in the series to satisfy any action lover without loosing the story to those action-oriented, boring plots.
It is intelligent and every episode lays another hit as to what is really happening...and in the end you finally discover everything, being presented to a really surprising truth, and a turn of events that is both pleasing and really surprising.
The nature of the Proxys is really explained, so the story is not left without a closure...but at the same time it ends in a cliffhanger, actually yelling that a sequel may be produced one day, though if that does not happen, the end is closure enough to the present story, leaving the rest for the imagination of the ones watching the series.
The whole concept was magistrally layered and the whole truth is only fully disclosed in the last episode, making the series grip you until the last minute, until the last, thrilling image, where in the last panel we have the realization that the end was possibly far from happening to that story.
About art, needless to say, it is beautiful and well done, imparting an air of dreamlike reality to the characters, which is true given the truth behind the planet and everything happening there.
Fantastic Science Fiction, artfully executed!
I just hope they really go for a sequel on this, as we surelly know after the last image we see that things were not resolved with the truth revealed, but it was just beginning, especially remembering what Vincent saw when he first left Rondeau...
Remember...there was a child there...son of an exiled...and that implied something crucial to the whole story and that was not there without a reason...
Masterpiece from beginning to the end read more
Feb 8, 2008
Manga, Anime: Ergo Proxy does have a two-volume spinoff illustrated by Yumiko Harao, the final volume of which was released on February 19th, 2007. What it's about, I'm not sure, as there's not a lot of information about it. It has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Ergo Proxy is a 23-episode series that was created by Studio Manglobe (also famous for their work on Samurai Champloo) and directed by Shukuo Murase (famous for his work on Witch Hunter Robin). It ran on Japanese TV from February 26th to August 12th, 2006. Ergo Proxy has been licensed Stateside by Geneon (now defunct), and its sixth and final volume was released Stateside on September 25th, 2007.
Story: This is going to be a doozie.
Ergo Proxy kicks off in the domed city of Romdeau (possibly Engrish for London?), a city-state whose citizens are under a system of complete micromanagement, focusing on Re-L (or Lil, or Real, it depends on who you talk to, really) Mayar, an inspector for the government, and her Autoreiv (more or less robot) partner, Iggy. Re-L is tasked with investigating murder cases that have to do with the Autoreiv virus Cogito (which more or less makes them self-aware and has varying effects), which leads her to recent immigrant Vincent Law, and Pino, a companion-type Autoreiv. At about the same time, she is attacked by an unknown, monstrous, humanoid-like creature called a Proxy, after she finds the word "Awakening" written in red on her bathroom wall. All of this combines to draw her further into the case and further into the mysteries of Romdeau and the outside world.
...Honestly, it's hard to write a review for this show. I finished it at the end of last month, and I've been holding off on reviewing it, mainly because I've been struggling to find the right things to say about it.
The story started out good. The characters were intriguing and tolerable (except in the case of Re-L, who was something of a bitch, but still, you could stand her), and Pino was the cutest damn thing I've ever seen, and you wanted to see what was up with them. There were mysteries and they were intriguing, and you kept watching to find out what the hell was going on, and things were revealed that only begat more mysteries that were intriguing that you wanted to know more about. And it was all good and well.
Then, after the halfway point, Ergo Proxy began to fall apart.
Before this point, the writers decided to have many episodes take place in peoples' heads, so that you couldn't tell whether the entire episode had actually happened or not, or whether or not it actually had any bearing on what was going on. I thought this was just a phase, but that turned out to not be the case. You really couldn't tell what was going on during these episodes -- I had a friend who was, shall we say, not sober watching this with me, and even he couldn't figure out what the hell was going on (up till then, he had been able to do it). It really frustrated me, because this felt like a waste of the show's amazing potential.
Meanwhile, the show did what I always fear might happen in this situation, and pulled a Rozen Maiden, refusing to address any of the mysteries it had spent so much time building up, and kept on building up more and more mysteries.
And the story was depressing enough already, but then it took turns into just plain creepy, and that didn't help its case at all.
By the end of it all, it rivaled Rozen Maiden for the things it left untouched, and Nishi no Yoki Majo: Astraea Testament for the way it rather clumsily concluded things.
Overall, the second half of the show left a really bitter taste in my mouth. And it hurts to say that, because this show had SO much potential, and came so highly recommended to me by people on here who I really respect, and mainly for the story, too.
Looking at my favorite episodes for this series is really telling, as of the eight that I really liked in this series, seven of them came before the halfway point (about episode fourteen or fifteen), and only one came from after that.
However, it does win some points back for its use of obscure references to literature and mythology and several other things. And for Pino, who is the cutest damn thing ever, without being annoying.
Art: The art for this series is absofuckinglutely beautiful. The animation is amazingly smooth, and the 2D merges beautifully with the 3D, to the point where it's difficult to differentiate between the two. The character designs are absolutely amazingly and beautifully done, especially (and for the record, I maintain that Re-L's design is based off of Amy Lee of Evanesence). There's overwhelmingly darker, bleaker tones used here, but it works really well with the story.
Also, props for them getting the style right in a later episode, which is more or less a parody of Disney, and closely mimicks Disney's animation techniques.
No problems here.
Music: I honestly didn't notice the background music for this series. I'm currently in the process of finding the two OSTs, so I may update this later.
However, I'm really happy with the OP and ED. The OP was done by a Japanese rock group, sung in all English, and really good English, too. The ED is Radiohead's "Paranoid Android". If you don't know this song, you are a failure to the human race and need to go and find it and listen to it. NOW.
Seiyuu: Sanae Kobayashi (Eleanor Campbell in Victorian Romance Emma and Lucy/Nyuu in Elfen Lied) has a role in this, which was really nice. Otherwise, no other voices that I recognize, and good acting, all around.
Length: I honestly think that Ergo Proxy could've done to cut out maybe four or five episodes. Perhaps some of the mind-fucks that didn't really serve to do anything besides screw with your head. Either that, or rework those episodes so that they at least take care of some of the mysteries.
Any longer and I probably would've dropped it.
Overall: An amazing story that starts out good, but falls apart by the time the end comes around, whose length probably could've been toyed with, but, to its credit, has beautiful animation, solid seiyuu and a good OP/ED.
Overall: 41/50; 82% (B ) read more
Dec 24, 2007
The first couple of episodes have a "Ghost in the Shell" feel to them, where only the setting is explained and not much is given away, forcing you to figure it out yourself. This show does a terrible job in it's explanations as it force feeds the viewer with so much jargon and it's only the illegal fansub version that will help it all make sense, with their notes.
Beyond this problem there is a brilliant story that focuses on three main characters: Vincent (an immigrant with a hazy past and something special about him), Re-l (a detective in search of the truth) and Pino (an infected auto-rave). It isn't long before these three superb characters are thrown into a journey of self discovery and the stuff they discover is interesting and does a great job in revealing the link between Vincent and the title of this show "Ergo Proxy". In the midst of all this there are some spectacular action sequences however this occurs so rare that the show tends to get boring.
The production quality of the anime is way above average with animation so great you wouldn't want to blink. The artistry is amazing having a mix of 2D animation, 3D modeling and CG that go so well together. The action sequences are what show the full effect of the amazing animation where so much detail is put into every frame and what makes it even better is the slow motion effect. The only issue can be crowds, as the character models tend to degrade in quality when dealing with a lot of people.
The music is basically a compilation of alternative music that goes well with the eerie, moody atmosphere. For people who are fans of bands like Linkin Park will definitely like the opening and ending theme that will get you involuntarily humming the tune.
Overall this was a great show which had so much potential but with the lack of action, the superb animation does feel a bit wasted, plus there's all the winding talk. The 1st half of the show was done well but it did go downhill a bit in the 2nd half, where times when it's hard to tell if something is real or some kind of dream. There were also some incredibly stupid and weird episodes that attempts to be original but fails miserably. The show ends with some very confusing three episodes, which require a lot of thought to make any sense. So this anime is really just for people smart enough to understand its very obscure story and doesn't expect much from the action department.
^_^ read more
Jun 20, 2009
Story; 10. The overarching plot of Ergo Proxy is surprisingly thin. A very great portion of the series, in fact, develops this plot in little to no way; it's pretty much outlined at the beginning, thrown aside, and only touched back upon at the series very end. Much like your typical slice of life series, it survives only off of the character interactions and episodic adventures more often than not, drawn out conversations, monologues, and soliloquies. When I previously mentioned a heavy dosage of spoken word in Ergo Proxy, I may not have properly elaborated as to the extent of it; It would be no great exaggeration to say that at least 3/4 of the series is spent in conversation, possibly a bit more. However, the dialogue is rich in a way I won't bother to explain, but it all manages to flow and intertwine in a way that almost just keeps you watching. Each episode somehow ends with a renewed anticipation to see the next until it's suddenly over. Also, sparing as many spoilers as possible, this series undoubtedly has one of the most well executed and satisfyingly cool ending sequences I have ever seen. I didn't see it coming at all, not how they did it anyways, and I was rather pleased with it when all was said and done.
Art; 8. Not much to say here. I personally loved the dark, muddy color pallet; the domed city and it's barren outskirts were made ten times more believably by this. There were too frequently, however, poorly/quickly drawn characters, usually Re-L, I noticed. Just sloppy, but the art that was handled well was excellent, especially the designs for the proxies. The art played a huge role in making the journey in this series seem believable, and in a good way at times, drawn out. I can't really explain it, but it was definitely a good thing.
Sound; 8. The opening theme and closing theme both are stellar songs; I've known of them prior to viewing this, however they both fit perfectly with the shows atmosphere and content, and were nice additions to the soundtrack undoubtedly. The shows tracks themselves, were few and far between. The ones that were included, however, fit very well; numerous battle themes and eerie sound clips were some of the best I've ever heard; but, like I said, I rarely heard them. It's a shame to see them create a soundtrack that I would happily give a ten...if they only used it as much as they should have.
Character; 10. This cast really grew on me, and from characters I didn't really care about to ones I even hated, each character was developed as in depth as possible; I've only ever seen one show with characters I was more in touch with than this, and that is a huge compliment. I have had many series ruined for me by characters I couldn't stand, and Ergo Proxy was the great, positive opposite. Each character is fleshed out at whatever point, and this is usually done through interactions with other characters, story and otherwise. This was another high point in characterization, a seemingly small step that really took the series miles in terms of it's overall impact; episodic characters. You know the crew they tossed into a single episode arc and killed at it's end of "show x," never fleshing them out past names and expecting you to care when they died? But, you didn't, and who the hell would? We only knew their names. Ergo Proxy even gave the proper amount of depth to it's episodic cast members, so there was always a clincher even for those many stand alone arcs. This alone, while working with everything else, allowed them to cover pretty much every issue and thought process humanly possible, which in turn allowed the series to reach a philosophical high ground no other show has achieved without becoming an annoying mess. Stellar job here.
Enjoyment/Overall; 9. In it's own way, Ergo Proxy succeeds where it should fail; Slow, slow pacing, and pointlessness, that feeling of nothing happening. Instead that is the beauty of it. Because half the time, nothing at all really is happening. In fact there was an entire episode devoted to Re-L's observance of all the nothing she was experiencing. And that was one of my favorite episodes. All in all, Ergo Proxy is a very bizarre bird, a specific show that a select group of fans will enjoy monumentally. But my advice is to give this a try, and see it through; even if you can't really dig the molasses-paced plot, the ending twist is so next and well executed that you'll be glad you watched just that. read more
Sep 6, 2009
Story (10) - The storyline is captivating from the very start of this anime, it does really draw you in and make you wonder how and why everything is the way it is. That alone is a very broad description, I wish not to spoil it for any or hopeful watchers.
Art (10) - The artwork regarding all of the different techniques used for this is a feat IMO, an absolute work of brillance to get all these different styles to fit into one anime, resulting in the beautiful breathtaking alustriousness that is Ergo Proxy.
Character (10) - Impressive. And that's being modest. Not spoiling anything, each character serves a purpose and it's made clear before the ending to clear up any confusion the watcher may have during the episodes. The dynamic ways the main characters play off each other are simply perfect, like a match made by fate.
Enjoyment (10) - Not having watched much anime cartoons as of yet, besides that of the faire on Adult Swim, I would have to say this is the best of the best to what I've experienced so far.
Overall (10) - If you are into the darker more serious types of anime cartoons, even when the child-ish type of character isn't annoying this is for you. Perfection in all aspects. Yes even, Q-Q-Q.... be it odd, was still something that made the series all the more richer. This series left me wondering if anything as good, "see above ratings" was available, and I am sure there is. It also left me wanting more of Re-L, Vincent Law & Pino.
Apr 4, 2009
--- Story - 8/10 ---
The story starts out rather strong in episode one, though one of the main characters is sidelined till the end and so much attention is paid to the autoraves (androids) that it seems at first glance like an action-against-androids anime, a la Ghost in the Shell. Just wanna tell you, it's not. The ubiquitousness of the autoraves just serves to show you how dependent the people are on the technology they don't really understand in Romdeau.
While the plot keeps a lot from you, it does give you a lot of information. The pacing of the first dozen or so episodes loads information on you, then quickly jumps into the action. Then there are 5-ish slow episodes, in which nothing happens except fleshing out the world and characters. This is where the character development happens, and a lot of people think it's boring. Even though I don't like slice-of-life anime, and these episodes vaguely resembles that, I didn't find it boring. Vince, Re-l and Pino are dynamic characters who carry the show. I have to say, though, there were two episodes that it was really a chore to sit through (15 and 19). Then in the last few episodes, the plot quickly wraps itself up, and gives you vague hints as to what happens at the end.
For lack of clarity as to what happened in the last episode (I found out some things happened that I didn't even notice while browsing forums), and the sporadic pacing, I took two points off the story section. I found the end very satisfying and true to the feel of the rest of the anime though, and the mystery of the Proxies are very sufficiently explained.
--- Art - 10/10 ---
I found the art and character designs to be a huge strong point for Ergo Proxy. With Re-l's trademark eyeshadow and weird horn things that she puts in her hair, and Vince's strange red jumpsuit very weird at first, but attractive and visually interesting nonetheless. You get used to it. The backgrounds and futuristic machinery and gadgetry are well-designed and animated, and the action scenes are quick but are directed so that it flows easily. The backgrounds are painted gorgeously, and there are very few moments in the anime where I actually think, "Wow, Vincent doesn't look good from this angle" or so on. There is a part where a character is pushing aside some moss, and the painted graphic suddenly turns to just a green glob, then back into painted again. It's pretty weird.
For the opening, they do a weird newspaper-lettering over grainy, sporadically shaky projector-esque noir-y visuals. I can't say that it really appealed to me, but it didn't dispel me, either. The ending is similarly artsy and experimental. It works with the setting, but again, didn't really take to it.
All that said, the art is consistently excellent, and whenever a far shot would be taken of Romdeau or other scenery, it was striking.
--- Sound - 10/10 ---
The sound effects are crisp, the voice acting is good enough that I didn't notice anything about it (a high recommendation, really), and the opening theme song is so catchy that I would watch it through the entire time. The second song is from Radiohead, and if you've even dabbled in alternative rock, you've heard some of their stuff. It was a pretty old song for me, and while I liked it, I usually skipped it.
--- Character - 9/10 ---
Re-l is a sort of typical stoic, arrogant character, but she often shows little cracks in her facade. She seems to be very mature, as when I found out from a profile in episode 7 that she's 19, I was pretty shocked. I thought her in her late twenties.
Vince is a sheepish guy who's really quick to say sorry, but at weird times he comes across as being kind of crazy. In a yakuza way.
Pino is the token cute loli character who provides comic relief and the "oh, how cute" part of the show. It's not overbearing, so the dark, oppressive feel is maintained, but she pushes Vince around to get stuff done, which is adorable.
All in all, nothing groundbreaking, but solid characters.
--- Enjoyment - 10/10 ---
I really liked this anime. It was practically a recipe for what I like in anime: kickass female heroine set in a sci-fi dystopia, with psychological wtf moments as well as the occasional heartwarming. It had a hint of romance, just enough so that the shipping fangirl in me was satisfied. There was a lot of action, a lot of world-exploring, a lot of mysterious moments, and it starts and ends with a bang. I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the sci-fi, psychological, and surreal genres, and for people looking for something that emulates other anime but still manages to be unique. read more
Sep 1, 2010
I used to think, until the last few episodes, that they named dropped just for the sake of it but that's not true. What you need to understand is this: The series is humanity and its struggle metamorphosised. Probably the most important mention here is that of C.G. Jung. Keep in mind the following quote from him: "When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate." Just think of that in relation to the journey of Vincent. The characters even realize (well not really they, obviously) in the last episodes that the journey is one they can only complete alone because you aren't going anywhere except inside yourself. This exactly the ''journey to the underworld", which is just the repressed content, it's the unconcious. This is where you'll meet the shadow and "come out the other side" (give Tool - 46 & 2 a listen!) changed as a self-aware being.
The whole last 3-4 episodes are full of questions relevant to humanity as ever, whether it be the nature of reality, existence or the meaning of it all. You even have the glorious questioning of the status quo, parallels to past revolutions and the pointless struggle (of Real, in the last episode; but of humans in general) against the unchangeable path before her (them) - you always see it, whether it's in some anime where the main protagonist, usually ignorant of his "potential", tries to fight the big bad villain before he's ready just to be tossed aside and laughed at; or in real life where you have few people trying to fight against corruption, greed and cruelty, only to be found dead or intimidated into submission. It's the meaningless struggle I see people near me go through, they want to believe they can make a difference, they give it their all in spite of the simple fact that your efforts are useless. And what makes the series great isn't just the fact that it raises such issues (as well as many others) but that it manages to portray them so beautifully, so naturally... that's where you can see the gem shine because it has been polished and made into a gorgeous jewel.
Like Dostoevsky said, "Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him." Likewise, nothing is easier than to say "I don't like this because I don't relate to the characters or don't like their makeup, and wah wah wah" and nothing harder than to try and understand it because that would require you to *gasp* read a book or something similarly dreadful. It would require you to acquire knowledge, to assimilate, analyze and synthesis it. It requires you to go outside of your comfort zone. And I'm sure it's much more easy to go watch some slice-of-life anime and go "kawaiiiiiiiii" than go the extra mile for this one.
This is the same thing as people reading mythology and thinking all the gods were just some sex and violence-crazy incestuous wackos when they don't even know the 101 of symbology. This is the blind man looking for the light; good luck pal, good luck! You'll get there one day, in another life, maybe as a cat.
These are by no means all the references present in the series, it's just the tip of it, the cherry on top. The series is still worth a view just for the splendid artwork but if you are the type of person that hears but doesn't listen then don't expect to get much more out of it.
If nothing else then at the very least you'll have your general culture level raised a notch by the explanations at the end of (almost) each episode.
Over and out. read more
Jan 2, 2013
Initially Ergo Proxy did have a story, and the symbolism and philosophical elements were incorporated well. The main focus at the start was the story, not to appear overly ‘deep’ or ‘smart’. The first 13 or so episode set up a magnificent train tracks to a wonderful land filled with searching for one’s self, the consequences of over use in technology, politics among other amazing plot devices and with that incorporating some deep and meaningful message in the end. Of course the driver of said train decided to go in the opposite direction and de-rail the train into pretentious-ravine. The world it set for itself was filled with promise and potential, the characters were all introduced meticulously and we were beginning to see the fruits of the hard work beginning to flower. By the second half of the anime the foundation set was all for naught, the flower withered.
The problem with the second half of the anime is the fact that it’s focus changes from the story, into more of a philosophical take. However the execution of this was atrocious and the purpose for some of the episodes are more than questionable. The fast pacing from the start also changes in the second half; it turns more episodic, at the start of each episode they are at a new setting without any explanation prior and in each episode they mire on for the whole 24 minutes on one topic. Some episodes could have achieved their goal in possibly half that time, however the temptation to insert some internal monologue about how ‘deep’ it is was too great. Internal monologues are a great way of finding out how the character thinks, feels and develops over time, it’s an amazing tool, however to use it effectively you need context as to why they are saying this. Ergo Proxy at best contained enough context for about 3 lines of the random spouting. Beyond that it was just random spouting to create this façade of profound intelligence. Other episodes were plain out not needed, the fact that nothing was achieved in the said episode, no context was given as to why they are there, what they are doing, how they got there. It was more of a psychedelic trip than anything else. Everything in the second half lacked a purpose and direction, which in turn caused the zenith of the anime to be and absolute rushed train-wreck.
Each episode has you questioning, and the following episodes tries it’s best to answer these questions, however by doing they raise more and more questions. Towards the end they try and answer all these into a 4 episode arc, in which caused for some extreme rushed pacing and overall messy execution. They do try to answer the ‘more important’ questions, in which if you disregard small minute detail it makes sense to a degree. However if you don’t, you find yourself asking, how is he there, what has he been doing this whole time, how was he created, where did she come from and finally you come to the conclusion that this ending is starting to make less and less sense.
Ergo Proxy and its lack of context for the plot progression are also found in the character development. While the characters may develop, it is done on a basis where you don’t know why they have developed in that fashion, because the scene as a whole doesn’t make sense. An example would be Vincent slowly learns the truth about himself, as the extreme convenience of a random ‘druggist’ living out in the wasteland puts him into an illusion to learn about the ‘truth’. In which the illusion was accepted whole heartedly as perfectly legitimate way of progressing a character. Just the one is many ways they attempt to develop a character with no context. The personality of each and every character (the main ones) is the best thing the anime has. Re-l Mayer doesn’t fall under any archetype at first it may seem she is just your typical pistol wielding ‘bad-ass’ girl, however later on when she delves from her comfort zone you realise that she is capable of feeling fear, pain and anxiety. After several changes she gradually has a change of heart of everyone surrounding her. Vincent Law at first may seem like your general wimpy male protagonist with absolutely no worth besides to complain all anime and for you to manifest an intense hatred. However later on you see he is a much more complex character, and new side to him is exposed. Pino portrays what Ergo Proxy should have been, her development from an emotionless Auto Reiv into a more sentient being shows that you can portray messages while showing us plot and character development. She acts as a bridge between Auto Reivs and humans, showing that neither are all that different. The realism that is portrayed in the characters is impressive; however the aforementioned unjustified development due to the abysmal plot really dents the characters’ depth.
The art for the most part is beautiful; the gray-blue colour scheme really portrays the dark ambience a post-apocalyptic world should entail. The fluidity of animation was great, the backgrounds were quite spectacular as well. The only let down is towards the end of series it seems as though they were slowly running out of budget, faces were slightly distorted from time to time, and use of flashing lights to represent extremely fast movements in actions scenes were disappointing.
The music really does fit the atmosphere set by the anime, both opening and ending are both a treat to watch and hear. This series really understands the use of silence, it’s used to great effect to emphasise the mood of the scene.
Ergo Proxy is a great series that was crushed under its own greed, had it been more focused on the story like the first half it may have been quite the anime. It took the philosophical and psychological aspect too far and twisted way out of proportion. The suspense and thrill were all left behind in the first few episodes, and the rest is all stagnant and lifeless. Do I recommend it? Maybe, do you enjoy your anime with potential and promise turning into an overly pretentious show in front of your very eyes, after experiencing what it could've been? read more
Oct 25, 2010
Story - 10
I figured I'd start with the most important topic, the story. I found this story quite hard to follow, and no doubt in my mind, you will too.
With filling in almost every gap in the story line (I found a few parts unexplained, but they weren't important to the plot), the plot is laid out to you slowly. Not slow to where it is boring, but the kind of slow where you will be confused on the situations going on, until they finally reveal it... And sometimes reveal it several, several, episodes later.
This is a constant thing through out the series. Down to the very last minutes of the series you will still be asking "What is going on here?!?"
The plot line I have found very unique, not to say there isn't another like it, but this one is most likely the best. To sum it up, to me, I find the plot basically to be a "Self Identity Adventure", a theme that sounds boring, but Ergo Proxy pulls it off well.
Art - 10
The art is fantastic, so much detail and effort is put into the environments. They did a wonderful job with that. Characters themselves are drawn really well also. No complaints over any of it. This anime also takes it one step further and adds in 3D animation, which they pull off and use quite efficiently. My only complaint, is that I found the series dark. I had to mess with brightness settings on the screen to be able to see it. Most likely my monitor, so take this as a heads up that you may have to adjust your settings.
Sound - 9
All the sounds were great, none of those "Generic" sounds were used in the series. Great quality sound effects.
The music is amazing. I did find the ending theme a little "Eh" it me. It did not phase me much. Perhaps its just me.
The soundtrack is really good, I found it, for the most part, enjoyable.
For voice acting, I watched the "Dubs". The voice acting in the dubs were great. No issues with them. Then again, I rarely have issues with voice actors. Everyone fits the character perfectly, and the voices used in the Autoraivs were really well made. I was impressed.
Characters - 10
The characters in the series are really thought out well. The background history on all the characters are phenomenal. They too, tie in the with the story, and will leave you asking questions. Every characters back history is covered with no questions left.
The characters known as "Autoraivs" in the series are human like androids. With the voice acting and overall quality of how they delivered them out was excellent. Every character in the series was very believable. The overall performance from the characters are some of the best character designs I have seen.
I really enjoyed this series. It's one that made me wanna watch it a second time, several days after finishing it the first time.
This anime made its way to my favorite anime list in a blink of an eye.
If you are into "Cyber punk", Dark plots, or Mystery and suspense. Watch this. Even if you aren't into them, watch this. You WON'T regret it. read more
Apr 18, 2009
It's quite ambitious as an "abstract" anime, and for the most part pulls it off thanks to well developed and likeable characters.
The premise is superficially simple, the remnants of humanity live in domed cities where their entire lives are orchestrated, carefully regulated, controlled, scrutinized, and more or less worthless. They are a remnant of those who fled the planet after a massive disaster rendered it mostly uninhabitable and live on in a wretched purgatory of an existence where they aren't even considered alive. They are tended to by humanoid robots called Autoraves, who have slowly begun to grow self-aware and unpredictable by a mysterious Cogito virus. Less known, and more central to the show are mysterious deities, Proxies, that serve as guardians, shadow gods of each dome city--and like all gods are both a creator and construct of humanity, the two being unable to live without each other.
The anime focuses on three odd characters--each a representative of the life remaining on the earth. This is set both to a backdrop similar of the Epic of Gilgamesh/the Great Flood where wanderers search a devastated world, frozen in time, on an ark (or in this case a beat up wind skiff), finding domes where reality has been twisted by the hand of the godlike proxies into strange perversions of pop psychology.
There are three main characters, something which makes the anime move smoothly along. Re-L Mayer, privileged daughter of an administrator of her dome, Romdo, who encounters a Proxy face to face and awakens from the dream of the other dome dwellers to follow a strange immigrant Vincent Law who was implicated in a recent string of murders and seeks to escape this artificial world. She is conflicted by the stark nature of the life outside and the comfort yet stagnation within.
Vincent Law is goofy, innocent, calculating. He is the slovenly foil to Re-L's fastiduousness, often driving her insane as she is both frustrated and fascinated by him. He is the motivating force for her running away from Romdo and travel the wastelands and witness the last moments of humanity. His outward singlemindedness hides something far darker and more evil inside...
Pino is an Autorave that became infected with the Cogito virus. Instead of becoming unpredictable and homicidal, she slowly assumes the personality and mannerisms of a child--becoming increasingly human, despite her outside perspective.
The fate of humanity, the purpose of the Autoraves and Proxies is told in an episodic fashion as the three travel the domes. The experiences range from corporeal--mindless destruction bestowed upon man by gods, to absurd: a dream world clearly meant to parody Disney's vision, to a Millionaire style game show, to literally a mirror world.
Over time the Proxies have grown tired, warped, lonely--lost in their own purpose and created their own worlds, many of which are a hell for the humans that remain. A sleeping, disturbed world awating for the return of the "creators:" humans who set all of this in motion who are awating for the Earth to live again, unaware or uncaring of the farce they left behind.
All of this is witnessed by the three travelers, who have their own take on events, each becoming more and more human in their own way...
The anime remains fresh by not dwelling on any theme or story arc for too long, has a scant few characters that it develops and presents quite well and actually makes us care about them, and only falls short in its lofty ambitions to embrace too many psychological and religious themes--but this is offset by the fact that ultimately it refuses to take itself too seriously.
And, hey, it has Paranoid Android as the ED. read more
Jul 14, 2008