There is more than meets the eye!
Human society is complicated and is a complex monument made up by blocks of civilizations that comes, stacks and grows larger with each passing generation. It is huge, yes, but, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has a solid foundation its own. Rather, I would call it, the human society stands above a collection of thin strings. Strings with huge burden on their shoulders. Tear one of the strings and the society will start collapsing immediately like a house made of cards. And I am not making any of these up, trust me. A sudden meteor can wipe out the entire human civilization in a day, or, a huge solar EMP burst can disable our society beyond repair (that actually happened in 2012, but not in the direction towards Earth), or, a new type of bacteria or fungi may evolve that can wipe out the entire population within years like the rat plague of Britain (which almost succeeded with its job). This fine show of ours though, chose none of them, it chose one of the unique ways of ending the society that none of us could ever predict, and it’s not fiction either, it’s actually there, lies beneath all of us, a disastrous chain of reaction, waiting to be unleashed if the premise is intentionally set right.
And you’ll be god damn right when I say it’s the best, creepiest and most realistic premise I have ever seen.
Welcome to another review of mine where I will be discussing ‘Manglobe’ studio’s highly acclaimed and highly applauded 2006 anime, “Ergo Proxy”
One of the most complicated, sophisticated and cryptic anime ever made!
The World that we thought we knew!
Ergo proxy takes place in a dystopian society thousands of years into the future. Prior to the event, the methane hydride floor (aka natural gas layer) of earth was ignited and the ignition caused a series of chain reaction that caused catastrophic events starting from huge underground & above explosions and even warming the surface enough to melt the entire ocean bed into the atmosphere. The sky thus became dark with water vapor and toxic gases and sunlight was nowhere to be seen ever again, photosynthesis immediately stopped and the rest consecutive events caused extinction of all the living creatures including humans. But life finds its way. Humans before explosion took a counter measure, a project at hand that is supposed to preserve its kind. While it worked as it was expected, the counter measure didn’t waste time to change its course and go rogue. This eventually sets the premise of Ergo Proxy. After the catastrophe, the remaining humans now live in conserved domes that supply fresh air, water, food, and place to live and are assisted by androids called Autoreivs, free from the influence of the wretched molten toxic world that lies outside the dome…………………….
Or, they thought they did.
It all starts with a murder case!
Meet Re-L Mayer, a 19 years Intelligence Bureau Inspector, granddaughter of the Donov Mayer, ruler the dome where she resides, Romdeau. Romdeau is at first glance a peaceful city, but things soon gets out of hand as a new type of virus is discovered in the city that infects the Autoreivs. The Virus gives the Autoreivs a self-conscious and the ability to think for themselves. So these androids starts a doing a series of unauthorized works starting from breaking and entering to even murdering humans. So, Intelligence Bureau Inspector, Re-L was sent to investigate a murder that took place in an apartment. While investigating, she discovers something that sets a motion of events that eventually changes her world forever. The story is set in motion, right from this point. What happens from here, is up to the viewers to find out.
Vincent Vincent Vincent!
The show portrays about 6-7 prime characters which is extremely acceptable if I’m being honest and I actually like when a show succeeds it’s aspects with as much little characters as possible. I would say Ergo Proxy wins in term of characters. They included 6-7 prime characters but the main cast of this show has to be, Re-L Mayer, Vincent Law – an immigrant who was newly transferred from another unstable dome of Mosco, and an infected Autoreiv names Pino.
Re-L is a strong independent woman (hi feminists!) who has a curiosity that mostly leads her to danger, but the curiosity does reward her with answers. She is brave, she is willing to take risks that even when faced with death threats. She is willing to go far out and cross the continents only to find out the truth. She is the stronger character here and trust me that is a good thing.
Our second main character is, Vincent Law, he works at the Autoreiv disposal unite, one day he gets chased by a notable spoiler character whose name I won’t mention. This leads him to escape the dome and his actions drags the attention of our lead female protagonist Re-L Mayer. Vincent is shy, less talkative and innocent in nature at first glance. He is amnesiac and has no memory of his past. He therefore leaves Romdeau in order to find the truth. As the show progresses, it will slowly unravel things for you. And his revelations makes him a unique and one of the most important character after the first half of the show.
The third character is the infected Autoreiv, Pino, who resembles an innocent jolly kid, but being an autoreiv she does come with solutions which is least expected sometimes. Besides, she was fun to watch, she was the necessary distraction of the show which the viewers require to keep up with the pace.
The rest characters are I won’t say cookie cutters but, they might be the one of many origins of cookie cutters. There is the corrupted leader that hides truth from our main protagonist, there is this guy who the show tries to portray as villain but is actually good inside, and here is the guy who looks really gentle and kind but eventually turns out to be a psychopath; you get the point.
The world is cruel, it doesn’t have to be ugly.
The anime is dark! Like really, I am not exaggerating a bit, since sunlight cannot penetrate the atmosphere, the show is so dark to the point that I had to increase brightness of my cell to watch it properly. This show is old and is from 2006 so there is barely anything I can complain about the artwork, I would say if not best, it was a good looking anime. To my utter surprise it did manage to portray Re-L Mayer so good to some extent that I had to give credit here. She really looked beautiful at times. The show does feature bright environments like Testing Chambers, Medical Wings and those chambers looks absolutely perfect in the sense that they are supposed to be bright. It did deteriorate images within the course of even 1 frames and looked really ugly at times, but considering how good the the entire show is, this is just nothing when considered in total.
Do you hear the call of the creators, the call of the ….. ?
The show features only 1 opening and 1 ending which is just plain sad, for a show with this potential and crypts, it at least deserves 2 openings. But what they gave us, is not bad. The opening is titled ‘Kiri’ performed by Monoral which is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous trust me! I already have this song on my phone and it deserves to be there. The ending song is titles “Paranoid Android” and is performed by Radiohead, while this song was really good, it was not better than the opening. The opening still wins.
The sound department of Ergo Proxy was great, like there are the ost’s that are so great that it consumes you in the show. I never felt a single tone out of place. If I had to rate this show only on the basis of how good the sound is, it would easily be a ten out of ten trust me.
This is the will, of Ergo Proxy.
The show is FRIGGIN CRYPTIC, it is trust me! They intentionally did it, and it was their will from the very beginning. It is so cryptic to the point that if you expect a final revelation at the last episode, you won’t get it as it doesn’t give you one, literally! The only way for you to understand this show has to be through rewatches and even that would not reveal all of what this show wants to say. I still discover things about this show that I didn’t know of. There is no way any of you will get what Ergo Proxy had planned or what is its story was. And I don’t know if this was a con or something, but after watching the show in my first through, I was left with a feeling of despair and confusion. As I rushed through it again on the very night, it started to open up to me, it started to open up stories that I didn’t know, it started to reveal lores that hid behind every cryptic dialogue that I thought was babbling on my first run. This show is (Mushishi x 10 complex) worth rewatching at least 2 times. Ergo Proxy has to be the most sophisticated ‘Show’ I have ever watched, screw Fringe, screw Inception, this is the real deal here, and this is what you make when you plan on doing a heavy psychological and cryptic anime!
And now, hold on to your chest, slowly, and listen,
to “The Pulse of the Awakening!”
Ergo Proxy while starts with a blast slowly runs into the chaos which requires tremendous patience to understand, otherwise, you will be left with a feeling of confusion and dissatisfaction. But, when you finally get what the creators wanted you to get, you will, just like me will feel that this show is, one of the best & a masterpiece of all time. With a fantastic story, gothic and dark post-apocalyptic world visuals, and with great sound design presentation, ERGO PROXY earns a solid
With a recommendation to buy it on dub as the dub is extremely good. It deserves a space on your shelf. And if that is not possible because of all the Amazon charges, definitely stream this show. Ergo Proxy can be officially streamed on Funimations webite and since it is old its pretty cheap there around 20$ only, so go there, definitely check this anime out if you have patience and if you are fan of post-apocalyptic sci fi cyberpunk psychological anime. For alternate anime recommendation, I suggest you Serial Experiment Lain for being one of the best cyberpunk and psychological anime ever. With this, I conclude my review for today, thank you all for your patience. See you guys on my next review. Peace.