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This is not just another anime series. The primary female, Re-L or Real Mayer, has a touch of reality you can't find in live-action actors. The story progresses at the right pace to keep intrigue and yet each episode has a character of its own. There are many levels in this show too, philosophical being the one they were aiming to pin down (existentialism abounds), but many allegorical and moral level as well, including the issue of self-aware AI-beings. None of these are nailed-in too hard, just presented subtly as they are embedded in the tantalizing story. Once seeing it once, you'll want to watch it again with a whole new understanding and appreciation.
The information provided is not a spoiler, it is the same information you can find on the back of the box, on the brief show description you can find all over the place. That part contained information I knew BEFORE I watched the show. Thanks. *DO NOT let other reviews calling it CONFUSING turn you away from this unique seductively dark and beautifully touching and sometimes sad show;as long as you watch with 100% of your attention; like at night-dark, no distractions, maybe laying down. I was obsessed with this show before i watched-still am! The plot is phenomenal as is the art, character design, music(One song by Radiohead-famous and popular US and UK band)and brilliant voice actors. It takes place in the future where there is a domed city/a utopia that keeps out anyone and an anything that does not meet the standards of the utopia/those who rule it. A "detective" Real Mayer has an encounter with a strange, unknown creature called Erogo Proxy. It escaped from a hidden facility where is was being experimented on, that is one of many dark secrets hidden beneath the sterile outer walls of utopia, which Real suddenly comes face to face with all because of the proxy that might have done something to her without her knowledge. In this society there are people and Autoreiv's which are very human-like androids that have many roles and relationships, Real's Autoreiv is Iggy, who is her partner, protector, and friend. Each time the plot unfolds you are pulled in another direction just as Real is in the show, this makes you feel like you're a part of it, like you can feel what Real is going through, the confusion she has every time she learns another horrifying secret, and the pain when she looses a friend or desperately doesn't know what to do/when no one believes her, when her life is at stake. At least find a picture online to appreciate the character design and artwork but I strongly advise you watch at least one episode! Enjoy!
So here we go again with another piece of Japanese animation (Anime')
that serves a purpose as a total mind-f**k experience. I just got done
watching the Japanese Anime' series "Ergo Proxy" yesterday and I'm up
right now, at 7:00 A.M. writing about it, and I'm still trying to wrap
my head around some things.
First of all, it goes without saying that this is a very intelligent Anime', produced by the studio Manglobe, and skillfully written by Dai Sato and a team of other writers, and directed by Shukuo Murase. When watching "Ergo Proxy," it helps for the viewer to abandon all known concepts of reality and straightforward storytelling to focus on a confusing (but intelligent, wow-oh-wow) storyline. (Can't think of many Anime' pieces that don't have some sort of absolute gosh-wow factor.)
With accompanying beginning and ending theme songs by Monoral ("Kiri") and Radiohead ("Paranoid Android"), respectively, and an out-there creepy sci-fi soundtrack by Yoshihiro Ike, "Ergo Proxy" is set some time in the distant future, when planet Earth has become so uninhabitable because of a worldwide ecological disaster that human beings are forced to live in massive domed cities. One of these domed cities is Romdo, where inspector Re-L Mayer is investigating murders committed by auto-reivs (robots built by humans to help with everyday tasks) infected by an out-of-control virus called the "Cogito Virus," which causes machines to become self-aware. Since machines aware of their own existence are seen as a threat capable of upsetting Romdo's delicate social balance and order, disposal units are given the tasks of destroying any and all infected auto-reivs.
In the course of her investigation, Re-L is attacked by a hideous, deformed humanoid monster in her apartment, after the creature had scrawled a cryptic message on her mirror. In searching for answers, she learns that the creature, called a "proxy," may have escaped from a government facility where it was being experimented on because it is believed that this being holds the key to the survival of mankind. Re-L later finds herself (along with her Entourage auto-reiv Iggy), by events too complicated to reveal here, linked to the mysterious Vincent Law and the Cogito-infected Companion auto-reiv Pino, and on a journey outside the city's walls into the wastelands of planet Earth.
Just to get pretenses out of the way, "Ergo Proxy" is a visually astounding Anime', mixing two-dimensional cell animation with computer-generated imagery and special effects. The plot-line is even more astounding, with a number of deep philosophical undertones meant to question the role memory plays in developing individual identity. There are plenty of moments when you sit back and say, "What the f**k?" - just as characters often find themselves questioning who they are in long, drawn-out soliloquies (like those in any play you can think of written by Shakespeare).
I've been watching the "Ergo Proxy" series for almost a year now and I still find it to be uniquely entertaining stuff. The series at first appears to be another typical Anime' with humans and androids living together and an inevitable conflict arising from their tensions of coexistence, but then a curve ball (more like, curve balls) comes at you fast from left field, catapulting you somewhere you didn't expect to be. Tensions can rise between the viewer and the confusing storytelling narrative, with a number of episodes that seem sporadic and out-of-place (such as the characters appearing as contestants on a life-or-death game show, or Vincent Law experiencing a bunch of random flashbacks in one of the most confusing episodes of the series). But upon closer inspection (more like, deep meditation) of those "questionable" episodes, I've found that they serve a purpose just as the main storyline does, perhaps, sometimes, even more a greater purpose than the general episodes.
All of this adds up to a "What the f**k" mind-blowing experience and what some may call a rather cheap and confusing ending. But what "Ergo Proxy" has going for it is a deep and intelligent narrative, properly fleshed out because of Dai Sato and his legion of skilled and thoughtful screenwriters.
This series is wonderful. Though I cannot explain the storyline, for it is very intricate and I do not completely understand it myself, I can recommend it. If my word is not enough, consider that it is done by the same team which did "Cowboy Bebop", "Wolf's Rain", and "Samurai Champloo" - all wonderful shows. The characters are quite developed and it contains a rich plot. I do warn that if you are not a fan of having to think about something you watch, this is not the show for you; it can be very confusing at times and requires a deal of brain power to understand. If you do not take the time to attempt to understand it, by the first few episodes you will be lost, just a few more before you'll want to give up on the series. But, if you are one who enjoys thought-provoking works, I'm sure you would enjoy this.
The series starts off with cyberpunk dystopian overtones and fades into dark fantasy as episodes go by. It is really character driven, so the emphasis is on the main protagonists' personal evolution as the world around them changes, the two main points being finding one's self and madness as a reaction to those changes. Unfortunately, the plot somewhat suffers from that; it gets really confusing in the last few episodes and requires multiple views to really understand what's going on. On the other hand, that leaves quite a bit to the imagination of the viewer, so it's kind of an open story with many statements and less interpretation. Some interesting subplot stories aren't developed, which is a shame because the ideas are really interesting. It also sometimes feels like the writers have thrown in allegories and spiritual or philosophical imagery just for the sake of it, without really expanding or incorporating them into the main storyline. In spite of that it's still one of the better anime shows out there, and has the feel of a graphic and futuristic essay on the self and the relationship of the self with the world.
A while back, as I was scouring through the Internet, I came across
some beautiful artwork from some anime series I had not come across
before. Upon further research I found this series to be none other than
Ergo Proxy . Intrigued, I went out and found the full series, purely
out of interest in the art, and the desire for something new to watch.
Starting off, the series is somewhat confusing. You are given very little background on any of the characters or the strange world they inhabit. All you find out is that the story begins in the Utopian city of Romdo (also seen as Romadeu in some adaptations). You are quickly introduced to one of the main characters, Re-l (also seen as Real) Mayer, an investigator with the city's Intelligence Bureau, along with her AutoReiv Iggy. AutoReivs are androids created to aid, serve and protect the humans of Romdo. However, Romdo faces the issue of the Cogito Virus (a reference to René Descartes statement "Congito, ergo sum" which translates to "I think, therefore I am"), which causes these AutoReivs to become self-aware. Some of them, in their desire to find their raison d'être, or reason to be, attack the human inhabitants of Romdo. Re-l is in charge of investigating these AutoReivs. Not too long after meeting Re-l and Iggy, we are introduced to Vincent Law, an immigrant that recently arrived from the city of Mosko (also seen as Mosque) who is working for the AutoReiv Control Division, hoping to be made into a full citizen. His duty is to find and dispose of AutoReivs infected with Cogito. The peace and order of Romdo is soon disturbed shortly after Re-l is attacked by a mysterious humanoid creature during one of her investigations. Another one of these creatures attacks her in her home, and the other joins it. Re-l later learns these creatures are called Proxy and her curiosity soon begins to drive her to discover more about the mysterious Proxy. She will soon find that there is a connection between her, Vincent Law and the two Proxy that attacked her home which will lead her on a long and difficult journey for the truth, whatever it may be.
As the story unfolds, many new characters are introduced, such as Pino, a Cogito infected AutoReiv, who then takes on innocence and curiosity of a young child (and is also thought to be loosely based on Pinocchio). She is probably one of the more beloved characters of this series, with her constant positive outlook and adorable appearance (she spends a nice portion of the series a pink bunny snowsuit). The series also makes references to several famous philosophers and historical figures, as well as having a deep meaning behind these names for the characters. The stone AutoReivs that help rule Romdo are all named after famous philosophers and one psychoanalyst: Lacan, Husserl, Derrida and Berkeley. Then there is the character Daedalus Yumeno, who is a reference to the tale of Daedalus and Icarus. The series has many other references to various people, places and ideas from history. The series attempts to address many issues concerning society, our desire for answers and the truth as well our own raison d'être.
I, personally, thoroughly enjoyed this series. It took the typical dysfunctional utopia idea and shed a new light on it, showing a new perspective on what it means to be human, on religion, and one's sense of self. It had its fair share of action, but also causes you to think about various issues. Some episodes heavily focused on battles, others on various ideologies and philosophies. I enjoyed all the characters and their unique personalities, especially Pino. She made some of the heavy scenes tolerable, acting as a bit of comic relief, but also made the deaths of a few of the characters all the more saddening. Re-l bothered me at first, seemingly a cold-hearted, self-centred woman set only on finding the truth, as the series carried on, a more humane side of her either emerged or developed. Vincent was a character easily to identify with for those who try to fit in but never quite seem to be able to find a way to. It had a great choice of music as well as literary and artistic references in it, such as the stone AutoReivs that were mention earlier being based off Michelangelo's Night and Day and Twilight and Dawn statues. The series flowed very well too, considering it didn't always travel in a linear storyline, but rather played with the notion that reality is not always what a person perceives it to be. However, not everyone enjoys this sort of plot line, since at times it can be a bit confusing, jumping around and not entirely clear about everything. Some things are later explained, however there are many thing in the series that are left up to the viewer to discern on their own. There is also a rather dark tone to the series, with a majority of the characters dying during the series, as well as some rather graphic and bloody action sequences. The effects of these on how you enjoy the series are all a matter of preference. However, I encourage everyone to at least give the series a try, for it provides a great deal of food for thought.
a rare case of an anime that successfully blends a series of genre
clichés with its own originality and spirit, has very interesting
writing quality (including rather good dialogues and surprising plot
turns - that do not steer the series away from its focus), shifts very
quickly from action to introspection and interpersonal relation - and
doing so relies both on content, cinematographic quality, onirism.
the series is not completely accomplished: the last episodes somewhat feel not fully coherent and the dialogue writing seems to be slightly worse, making understanding appear harder of how it really is. but these are minor faults.
somebody has compared these last episodes with the last eps from evangelion, but this can become misleading: here there's no quirkiness-as-fan-service, no futile conceptual aggressivity towards the audience. what takes place here is an attempt (sometimes a bit too "innocent") to provide the watchers with a series of starting points for personal thinking.
i'm tempted to say that this TV series is on par with oshii and kon best works in the animation movies, clearly better than what i saw (not much) from gits sac, and incredibly better than the average anime production.
the story and the psychological and philosophical exploration seems not finished, and the "ending" feels not completely satisfactory. thus, dear manglobe, we would appreciate another series; thanks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I saw the first episode of this show, I knew it would be good. How
could it not be, with manglobe directing? Anyone who has seen Cowboy
Bebop or Samurai Champloo know the kind of quality that they produce
while pushing the boundaries of what an anime can be.
First, I have never seen an anime that has made me think more. This may sound horrible, but I am considering going into an entirely different field in university due to some of the ideas that this anime brings forward.
The dystopian world that this story is acted out in is incredibly realized, worth recognizing the same amount as Orwell's 1984, Huxley's Brave New World, or Burgess' Clockwork Orange. Ergo Proxy meets all the requirements for a classic dystopian story: a character separate from the mechanizations of world in which the destructive tendencies of our own are amplified into a horror. It is arguable whether Re-l is the main character, but there have been others like her.
Stylisticly, your enjoyment of this series will probably depend on whether or not you give up on something when you can't understand it. Personally, I love being confused with the possibility of understanding down the road, and the "click" moments in this show are loud and clear - only after a haze of questioning for a long time before.
All the characters in this show, large and small, play a purpose and their depth and realism create an excellent atmosphere for serious exploration.
Although I was apprehensive that this show would degrade into an action/romance like BLOOD+, this show does not pull any punches in its metaphysical exploration and there is no question that this show deserves all the applause it gets.
This anime is one of the best series that I have watched within the
past couple of years. The style, artwork, animation, and plot line are
all absolutely breathtaking.
Ergo Proxy is the story of a Utopian society, a futuristic self-contained city where humanity seemingly thrives in perfect harmony. In the midst of this setting, a mysterious immigrant struggles in a murky journey of self-realization. In the process the viewer is led to wonder about the value of human life, the possible existence of the soul, the capabilities of artificial life, and the propensity of humanity for self-destruction.
The style of art utilized in Ergo Proxy is a seamless fusion of CG and hand drawn cells. Everything within the framework of the anime from the grand panoramas to the facial expression of the characters shows a painstaking attention to detail that, quite frankly, is sadly lacking in many other anime.
Ergo Proxy is a little slow to pick up the pace and reveal its major plot points. The first two or three episodes seem to be introductory periods where all of the major players are introduced and the viewer is acclimated to the city and the systems in place within it. However, once this is dispensed with, the true brilliance of Ergo Proxy's plot begins to shine
All in all Ergo Proxy is a wonderful viewing experience for a true anime enthusiast. However, if you are not one prone to bouts of deep thought, don't waste your time. If you are one of the many people who are merely looking for a formulaic action/adventure superhuman anime series, do yourself a favor and go watch Dragon Ball Z. Leave this high-class anime to people who can ruminate on deeper content and come away with something worth keeping.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This anime is philosophical. The underlined theme of this anime is "cogito ergo sum" I think, therefore I am. It takes place in the future where the planet has been ruined and mankind has taken to domes to live in. The dome we start in is Romdo. You follow Re-l Mayar and Vincent Law. Re-l is the granddaughter of the leader of Romdo dome, Donov Mayer. Vincent Law is an immigrant trying to gain citizenship to the dome. He is original from Mosko dome. Just after Vincent comes to Romdo, the secret of the dome escapes a proxy. Re-l and her entourage Iggy investigate the path of the proxy. As Re-l returns home, she prepares a shower and before entering she sees written on the mirror "Awakening" and then is attacked by a proxy. But before anything could happen to her another proxy shows up. And the two proxies fight and vanish. Later Vincent is accused of the attack and begins to flee the dome and ends up getting chased by a proxy. In the process a young robot named Pino is infected with the cogito virus, which gives independent thought to the robots. Vincent flees the scene and decides on leaving the dome. On his way out he bumps into Pino, the infected robot, who shows him the way out of the dome. Re-l trying to find Vincent to question him, tracks him down to the domes ends where Vincent and Pino fled to. Here Vincent is confronted by the military of the dome and with Pino's help flees the dome, while Re-l is kept inside. When Vincent comes to in the outside he decides that he will try to recall his past by making a journey to his home dome, Mosko and to recall his past he has seemed to forget. Is he a proxy? Re-l, who wants to question Vincent, also sets off on a journey, to find Vincent law and answer her questions on who he is, why the proxy wanted him, and what is a proxy? The two travel their own ways for a bit, Vincent learns of what his truly is, a proxy, ergo proxy. The story picks up when the two characters are reunited and make their way to Mosko to find the answers they both seek. It's overall good with plenty of re-watchablity capabilities.
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