May 27, 2014
23 of 23 episodes seen
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Ergo proxy, for me, started off as a completely unknown story which I came across while randomly searching for interesting anime to watch. The anime remained on my PTW list for a while until someone mentioned how cool it was and they definitely would recommend watching it soon. So, of course, I had to check it out. My only thought when I began was, “the girl with the blue eyeshadow,” but after watching the first episode, I was very intrigued, especially with the entrance of two strange beings known as Proxies.
Like many anime, they throw you into the main story, introducing the main characters
like the female inspector, Re-l Mayer, who is the granddaughter of the Regent, and Vincent Law, an immigrant from another city who is trying to gain citizenship in the “paradise” city, Romdeau. The people of Romdeau may strike you as strange but only because they are made to become ideal citizens and function by the city’s schedule. The city exists within a dome, isolated from the outside world, a harsh world which was destroyed many years ago by a large scale chemical disaster. Within the city, a virus known as the cogito virus becomes an escalating problem. It is capable of infecting their personal robot assistants, Auto-Reivs, causing them to gain human-like traits and thought patterns. This becomes a problem as they begin rebelling against their masters, and in some cases, kill them. The being known as a Proxy, is shrouded in mystery as their exact purpose is kept hidden from society until one day, Re-l is attacked in her apartment by a masked Proxy. From then on, she develops a strange attraction and curiosity towards the Proxy and decides to investigate their reason for existence.
At the same time, the immigrant, Vincent Law, is accused of being involved with cogito virus after being attacked by another Proxy which has a strange attraction to him. He flees after being targeted by the Security Bureau of Romdeau and escapes from the dome and along with an infected child-like Auto-Reiv named Pino. Together, they discover that the outside world is not as desolate as they were led to believe… Anymore and this may just become spoilers.
This story may not be for those who prefer simple and straight forward shounen. It is not about the ‘power to protect’ or ‘loyalty to nakama’. As it is a seinen anime (though not mentioned on MAL), it is much more serious and complex. The series is extremely psychological to a point where the thoughts of the main characters begin affect their reality and it requires the viewer to be capable of certain level of understanding. Once you understand it though, the story is amazing to watch unfold.
The art can only be described as dark. Anything other than gray tones and deep, dark colours would detract from the story’s theme. The world itself, in the story, is somewhat dark so the anime’s art fits it perfectly. One note is that at some points, the facial features of the characters seem weirdly distorted. It make not affect the story but can but somewhat distracting.
The opening theme used for the entire series was "Kiri" by MONORAL. In my opinion, I would say that it was well suited to the story. It created a mood which I still can’t describe but nonetheless kept my interest in the anime. "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead was the ending. Both the instrumental and actual song was used to good effect also. The OSTs were neither corny nor overdramatic and helped set the mood for the anime’s events.
I have to say that the main characters, who all seem so different, actually mesh well once they begin to interact. Each of them is very relatable in terms of how they deal with various events in the anime. Their abilities and personalities are not unrealistic to a point where they are so strong, that no one can stop them. Also, their designs do not scream 'fanservice' since anything of the sort would just ruin the show.
First off, there’s Re-l Mayer, the strict, military-minded investigator. To her grandfather, as well as the Security Bureau, she is seen as a rebel. She goes out of her way to investigate anything she deems suspicious, even against advice of others. She considers Romdeau as a “boring paradise” until she is confronted by a Proxy. When she discovers the outside world, she becomes a bit obsessed with idea of people surviving outside the dome. At times, her vulnerability is evident but generally, she creates a wall between herself and those she interacts with. She comes off as a spoilt brat for most of the first part of series due to the fact that she is sort of royalty in Romdeau, with her grandfather being the Regent. After meeting and traveling with Vincent and Pino, her personality takes a turn for the better.
Vincent Law, the immigrant from another dome city, met with Re-l to get assistance on becoming a citizen of Romdeau. Their personalities clashed immediately. He, unlike Re-l, is caring and worries most of the time. This is due to the fact that he has amnesia and often finds himself in situations which he cannot explain. He is also infatuated by Re-l and seems kind of stalker like. Through his thoughtfulness, he is able to befriend others like Pino and eventually, Re-l. Most of his part in the show revolves around his journey to recover his memories.
Pino is a Companion-type Auto-Reiv designed to assist with household activities and was given to a rich family in Romdeau. After crossing paths with a Proxy who was in pursuit of Vincent, she became infected by the cogito virus. She developed an attraction to Vincent and followed him outside the city’s dome. Just like her appearance, her personality after being infected, is that of a child. Initially, she acts by mimicking others around her. Later on, she does learn to think for herself and becomes more of an individual. She provides support to Vincent on his journey to his home city. Her actions intrigued Re-l when they meet and she spent much of her time observing Pino. Pino is usually the one who would instigate comedic moment within the story, causing Vincent to become involved, and Re-l to be annoyed.
Other characters include Re-l’s personal “entourage,” the Auto-Reiv, Iggy, who takes care of her everyday needs but is also used to observe her actions when she goes on investigations. There is the young scientist, Daedalus Yumeno, who seems slightly obsessed with Re-l but is still her friend; Raul Creed, who is the appointed Director of Romdeau and the Regent, who is Re-l’s grandfather and the man controlling Romdeau from behind the scenes.
There are also the Proxies of which little is known. They are strong beings and are associated with spreading the cogito virus.
This series became one of my definite favourites after completing it. Every aspect of the show had me interested. I watched this anime out in two days despite having exams. Yes, I know I should have been studying but it was that good. If you enjoy shows that tax the brain, then this is for you.
Being one of my favourites, I give this a 8/10. I definitely recommend it as it has a bit of everything within the plot. It’s a great ride with a satisfying ending though by the end, you’ll be wishing there was a second season. Yes, there are many who would say that the anime’s creators were trying too hard to come up with something unique and are pretentious. Others might have dropped the series because of its complex plot. To those, all I can say is that they may not have the ability to recognize a great story and are just out there to criticize anything unknown to them. Hopefully, this review will get you interested so that you will go watch it and become a fan like I did. And if you liked my review, you can always stop by my profile and drop a comment to let me know. Thanks for taking the time to read this review.