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Ergo Proxy

Thousands of years after Earth's atmosphere was destroyed, adventure blooms in the strangest of places. The domed city of Romdo is supposed to be perfect, but Re-l Mayer, a young female inspector from the Civilian Intelligence Office, knows better. In this place where humans and robots coexist, she receives a strange message: something is awakening! (Source: Funimation)
User Count35572
Favorites Count867
Start Date25th Feb 2006
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank264
Rating Rank927
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideViolence, Profanity
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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Lousy dark animation, boring characters, meandering plot that goes nowhere (but doesn't fail to be pretentious). Overrated.

Ergo Proxy is one of those post-apocalyptic anime which you simply can't miss. It's about the restoration of humankind after certain events had gone berserk and the efforts to nullify the tragedy and the big problems that come with it. The series is similar to Texhnolyze but not better. Ergo Proxy manages to develop a very fine story that is both satisfying but can be very confusing and just a little hard to follow at times. But it just adds to its good qualities. The animation is top notch. The overall apocalyptic feel and the motion animation along with the art of the characters is impressive with only a few exceptions. The sound is great. Radiohead's Paranoid Android fits perfectly in the ambiance of the show and the opening 'Kiri' is now one of my favourites. Now for the rough part, its character development is a bit off and seems that a lot of improvisation could have been done (especially of main characters, Re-L and Vincent). The series though frustrating at certain points is very nicely directed and the screenplay is really note-taking (thanks to Dai Sato). Overall, I'd give it a 7.5/10

<strong>This review has minor spoilers. </strong> Ergo Proxy is one of those rare gems we get once every 5 years or so years. It starts of as a grimm anti-utopia that very much reminded me of Brave New World. We are introduced to a city where people spend most of their time shopping and living without much thought, where children are produced. We are meet one of the main characters, Re-l who is investigating the Cogito visus, that somehow makes androids gain souls. While investigating she sees a monster and due to boredom and passion for investigation she decides to get to the bottom of the case. While this seems like a perfect setup for a cyberpunk police mistery alongside the lines of Ghost in the Shell it takes a different turn. It stays a mistery, but not it a conventional way. The investigation leads her to Vincent, a naive young man who for some reason has an affection for her. She gets attacked by that moster I mentioned earlier and her determination and lust for answers grow. Vincent didn't seem related to the case so he is let go. Soon after he is attacked by one of the monsters and in the process wife and child of the chief of police get killed. This leads to the chief framing Vincent and he escapes the dome-city. The setup is here and a the real story starts. It's for a large part an episodic jurney where we pick up pieces of the larger picture and see the exploration of different themes. We will see a lot of episodes revolving around the meaning of life, reason d'etre as they call it here, questions about how would the world look without God, how do we know we are real and we are not a fake, what do we do if we have no exit, where do we find meaning and what do we do when it is lost. I would go deeper into the analasys, but that would require episode by episode and I'm sure you have better time to do than that. The main plot itself is thinck, presented in an excellent way that requires effort to deduce, it's foreshadowed and well paced. I won't say anything more since that would spoil the fun of finding the answers for you. The characters are very well developed. Vincent starts as whiny and scared, but as the time progresses he finds courage, finds meaning, finds a place for himself in the world. We get a lot of introspection into him, he will question if he is indeed a monster, if he only brings death to people around him, if he deserves to die. Re-l is as the show begins a smart bitch. She uses the affection others show to her to further her own goals, she doesn't look around herself and hardly notices the people around her. But, just like every other important character, she grows and changes and is a different person by the end. Pino is a cute android that doesn't develop much aside her relations with Re-l, she stays simple, keeps the mood even happy at times and binds the show. She is the example of simpleminded philosophy that somehow works without huge amount of thought and effort, she stays happy and positive, she has her meaning. This covers the main characters but one notable is Raul Creed. He is not the focus of the show, but is one of the most developed characters in anime in general. He starts off as a happy and honest man, but goes through a tragedy. He replaces his sorrow with his work, but work cannot keep you happy. He that tries to destroy and fight because it's the only thing he can do, even if it will have no effect and he knows it. But anger also leaves him empty. The only thing he wishes to see in the end is a certain person, he realises all except the people you love is nothingness. And now for the least important parts, the music and the animation. The music and the voice acting were amazing, the opening was a song by a band called Monoral, whose music is not particulary interesting outside this song. The ending was Paranoid Android by Radiohead, one of the best and most creative bands today. The background music was mostly classical or drum and bass techno, I can't express how well they fit the show. The animation was great, detailed, dark and unusual due to the choice of colors used (most were shades of gray). But there was a problem with Re-l's face, it looked awful at some points. All in all Ergo Proxy is an instant classic. It may not be for everyone, but for those who don't mind a chalange it will be hours of enjoyment.

First of all: ***This Anime is a Masterpiece***! This<em> posthumanistic "end time"-anime</em> is neither colourful nor funny. Ergo Proxy is no animation for short fun or to relax. It's **uncomfortable** and **mature**. One of my favourites!!! Definitly no kiddy-stuff...

When a show is touted as deep or intelligent, I often fear what makes a good story will be neglected. Maybe it’s no secret a show can be praised solely for its profundity while failing in storytelling. But hey, ‘intelligence’ is good armor for a show to have. Why bother with authentic storytelling when a show can show-off its psychology knowledge? But instead of ranting, let’s look at Ergo Proxy. The future, probably. Technology has advanced to where it’s created AutoReivs, androids who act as servants to people. But in the city of Romdo, a bug called the Cogito Virus is spreading through the AutoReivs. They gain a will of their own, often to destructive results. Detective Re-l Mayer is tasked with investigating the Cogito Virus, but is attacked by a monster called a Proxy. The Proxy had escaped from a research lab under Daedalus’ watch, and is strangely drawn to the immigrant Vincent Law. After another incident, Security Bureau Chief Raul Creed tries to capture Vincent and the Proxy. But the former, joined by the child-like AutoReiv Pino, escapes Romdo out to the wasteland world. And thus begins Re-l’s mission to discover what the Proxy is, Vincent’s journey in the wasteland, and the proverbial chess game between Daedalus and Raul. For Daedalus, it’s his reason for living at stake. He has strong feelings for Re-l, willing to use his authority to let her break rules when she needs to. Or assist her in killing the Proxy despite Raul’s mission to capture it. A smooth talker and an even smoother schemer, Daedalus is defined by his feelings for Re-l without much else to his person. He’s an empty man, whose reason for living touches on a crucial point for Romdo’s citizens. And that point ups the urgency for Raul to capture Vincent and the Proxy alive. Raul himself starts as the antagonist—antagonist, not villain—for all the characters. But as he learns more about the Proxy and Vincent, the more he questions why they must be captured alive. His character arc deals with authority, and how far someone will follow orders without question. Early scenes also make a connection between Raul and Pino, to hint at another side to him. Unfortunately, this connection and that other side aren’t explored until the final act. It’s too bad, because fully realized, the connection between Raul and Pino would round out the former. Pino is the classic tale of an innocent child learning about the real world, but tainted by unnerving implications from her ‘age’ and the Cogito Virus. From her lack of grasping death to adventurous curiosity, it’s unclear whether her actions are more from her programming or her ‘will.’ She’s supposed to be infected, but doesn’t show the destructive actions as other AutoReivs do. Then again, she’s a child at heart. And regardless of why she learns about the world, what matters is she does. Her empathy grows with her fondness toward Vincent, and her tact sharpens under Re-l’s demeanor. This is because Re-l ends up joining Vincent. She pursues him to bring him back to Romdo, but decides to join his journey after certain events, to learn more about the Proxy. Re-l herself is the picture of professional, maintaining her gun’s aim the way she maintains her eyeliner; perfectly. Because for how cold she can be on the job, she’s also a bit frivolous. She apparently spends every morning fixing her make-up, shows fear against the Proxy, and gets angry when things don’t go as planned. My goodness, it’s like she’s lived a sheltered life as the granddaughter of Romdo’s leader. Correction: she IS the sheltered granddaughter of Romdo’s leader. Re-l is often in over her head despite her demeanor, like she was mismatched to her job. This isn’t unbelievable though, as early on much of her work is done through her AutoReiv Iggy. But after certain events, her character arc becomes one of growing independence, and knowing when to relax in the company of others. Re-l might be hard to like—though Vincent would disagree—but at least she’s compelling to watch. As for Vincent, his journey is a quest of self-discovery. He’s an immigrant from the city of Mosque, but the threat from the Proxy and Raul forces him to escape. But, he realizes he has no memory of his time in Mosque. So he decides to travel there, hoping to find the answers to his memory. Vincent himself often thinks about who he is, almost to the point where it’s all that defines him (and because of his role in the story, can’t get away with it like Daedalus). Thankfully, it’s not. Vincent’s journey changes him bit by bit, going from a boy depressed by events and hesitant to face the truth, to a man who can smile despite the odds and can deal with the wind being taken out of his sails (metaphorically, and...literally). Unfortunately, his progress cracks in the final act, when it moves at near breakneck speed to advance the story. The story itself moves brisk and quick during the first and final acts, but it’s the middle act that can be a problem. The better part of the show’s middle act is punishingly slow, doing nearly nothing to advance the story. People expecting a quick trip to the final act should exercise patience, and take time to admire the setting and characters along the way. Because unlike some shows where a five minute event takes five episodes to unfold, Ergo Proxy moves along a time span of weeks and maybe months. It’s a long journey, but it always has something to show for it. Sometimes it peeks into a future for Romdo, like the abandoned city occupied by a single man whose circumstances mirror Vincent’s. Or the closed-off amusement park that subscribes to ignorance and bliss before its eventual downfall. At other times, it’s a character study to test the bonds between Re-l, Vincent, and Pino. From trusting each other with food and water supplies, to saving each other from new and familiar faces, to placing their fates in each other’s hands (literally and metaphorically). Going further, one episode strongly hints to the answer of Vincent’s memory, while another episode explores consciousness where there normally isn’t consciousness. It also looks into some of the minor characters. There’s one person whose sense of want and duty blur together as he feels emotions he’s never felt, while a military unit fights against destructive AutoReivs. Oops, I stayed on the road of storytelling but it went into a jungle of existential and societal metaphors anyway. Whether stated or implied, the show is filled with the kind of intelligence I described earlier, but doesn’t hinge itself on profundity thanks to its compelling characters. They’re rounded enough to make the psychology a part of them instead of the other way around. The show is a story first, a display—display, not show-off—of psychology second, and that’s the way it should be. Save for the awful episode 15 that says nothing new, the show is great about being meaningful without crossing the line into nonsense. But to give episode 15 credit, it displays the show’s perfectly fitting morbid sense of humor. It’s hard not to gawk at someone who’s literally making a game gravely serious despite his cheerfulness. Another episode shows two people who joke about their own uselessness. And another person threatens Re-l to no effect, as the camera goes back and forth between his increasingly scared face and her unmoving scowl. The camera work is otherwise unremarkable, standard, except when it decides to throw in Re-l fanservice when it’s not needed. Because a glance of her naked body covered by two towels as she’s stretchered away, doesn’t have the weight of a slow look at her body that mirrors Vincent’s attraction to her when they’re close together. But hey, at least the visuals have the decency to give Re-l unassuming white underwear instead of an accentuating black. The visuals themselves give the world a bleak look, from the unnaturally spotless Romdo, to the crack-lined, rust-littered structures of the wasteland world. Special mention goes to the character designs, particularly the AutoReivs. Save for Pino, every AutoReiv is identified by mask-like faces where glowing red eyes are the only hint of any expression. Most close-ups of the AutoReivs don’t reveal anything, but it adds tension in guessing whether they’re destructive or not. But when they ARE destructive, there’s sometimes a firefight following close behind, like when a military group goes against them. Yes, I’m surprised the show has action scenes too. They move fluidly but without crazy choreography, which would look ridiculous in this fairly grounded show anyway. Except for the Proxy. The Proxy’s fights move with supernatural grace, but aren’t louder than the normal action scenes. Because even in the action scenes, most of the music tracks are atmospheric ambiance instead of distinct pieces; the only noticeable track being the operatic ‘Fellow Citizens.’ The overall score works where it’s used, setting the mood but never distracting from the dialog. And there’s a lot of it. Nearly every moment of the show is charged with talking or thinking, and it demands a certain amount of attention. Which brings me to another point. Ergo Proxy isn’t an easy show to watch. There’s action, but people who watch it for the action can quickly get bored. The first and final acts are fast, but the middle act will drive away the impatient even faster. It’s held together by compelling characters, but ‘compelling’ isn’t ‘likable.’ It does most things right, but demands patience. So while the destination is far away, the journey is always here.

Ergo Proxy is a highly experimental show, and just like all shows of that kind it always divides the viewers into two camps: while the ones enjoy its complex story and thought-provoking symbolism, the others fiercely criticize it for "pretentiousness" or simply scratch their heads in perplexity, wondering what this whole thing is supposed to mean.  As for me, I firmly believe this series is an amazing modern classic with no exaggeration about it, and with this review I'll try to explain you why. Since the anime has a site description you can always read, allow me to skip further introductions and get straight to business. **STORY** Obviously the most contentious part of Ergo Proxy. The story and the method of storytelling this anime employs are highly unusual, and that is by far the main reason why quite a number of people dislike it. However, I think this story does not "pretend" to be clever - it is clever indeed. Moreover, it makes Ergo Proxy one of the most clever series I've ever watched. First of all, the story at the core is a journey of self-discovery, hence the main idea is pretty simple yet great, at least as I comprehend it: you should find your own way instead of being somebody's follower or lower-rank copy ("proxy"); for that you should realize who you are, what you live for and how the real world looks. The anime tells a story of self-awakening that certainly makes you reflect on your own life, and that always counts as a great quality in my book. Second, Ergo Proxy is a highly experimental show as it presents a unique mix of genres: cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic sci-fi, action, mystery, drama, psychological mindf\*ck, road movie and even a bit of comedy, romance and slice of life. Consequently, it results in a very unorthodox narrative full of plot twists &amp; genre switches that many viewers disliked as they felt trolled and confused while watching. Well, I do understand those complaints: it is indeed very unusual, confusing at times and probably not to everybody's liking. Besides, one may argue that the anime goes a little too far with experiments in episodes 15 and 19 which makes them too different from the rest in their style. Perhaps, the show could've done better without those two, as it would've also made the 2nd half of the series more compact to provide better pacing and better build-up for the ending.  Aside from that fairly tolerable issue, the plot is very well-written &amp; coherent despite its complexity, and the credit for that goes to Dai Sato - the author of the original story and one of the best Japanese scriptwriters who also participated in writing scripts for Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. In fact, it still makes me wonder how he and his team managed to weave all those genres and events into one logical plot without making a single filler. So, not only those swings &amp; changes are very interesting and uncommon but they also don't disrupt the storyline and don't exist there just for the sake of it - instead, they actually form the story, with each episode adding something brand new to the plot and character development, and that's amazing indeed. However, the main reason why this anime seems unintelligible to so many people most probably lies in its third peculiarity which is the astounding number of symbols &amp; allegories employed: literally every single name &amp; situation is allegoric and requires your interpretation to get the whole story. Moreover, not only those allegories turn out relevant &amp; contributing to the plot but also extremely diverse, referring to Greek &amp; Aztec mythology, Descartes' philosophy and Shakespeare's plays among other things. No doubt, the high degree of symbolism is what makes the series quite a riddle at times; yet it is in fact a very entertaining and well-thought-out riddle where every element serves its purpose to convey the show's message, and I personally had lots of fun deciphering it. With all those complex aspects the story never turns into pretentious nonsense or something really incomprehensible because it actually answers most questions, though often in roundabout and not obvious ways. That means it just demands a little more attention than in your average series, and if you pay it, you get it. Well, I don't consider myself an intellectual and yet I understood almost everything from the first viewing. There were a couple of moments I didn't grasp but it took me three 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. **ANIMATION &amp; SOUND** Ergo Proxy's art style is easily recognizable for its omnipresent dark colors and realistic yet unusual character designs that give the series a westernized &amp; very artistic look. The animation quality is great except for a certain inconsistency in anatomical drawing, and the style fits like a glove although some viewers may need time to get used to its murky appearance. The music is a number of ambient tracks by Ike Yoshihiro, a U2-esque opening theme by Monoral and an ending song by Radiohead. All the tracks are nicely composed to create the engrossing and mysterious atmosphere of the series, and even those who dislike the show agree that the soundtrack is simply amazing. The voice-acting is also very well-done as the voices perfectly fit the characters, and the seiyus did a very good job at conveying emotions.  To sum up, the production values are impressive indeed, and the style is memorable &amp; totally appropriate for the show. **CHARACTERS** Well, Ergo Proxy is an anime about self-discovery, hence its primary focus lies on the characters and their development. The main difference from other shows of this kind is that the story doesn't emerge from characters' actions &amp; choices - rather, the characters are put into an already crafted plot full of twists &amp; symbols mirroring their inner conflicts, and they receive development while going through this labyrinthine plot &amp; unraveling its mystery step by step. As a result, you get a story-driven series with strong emphasis on the characters, which looks paradoxical on paper yet works surprisingly well in reality, being one of the most original aspects of the show.  The other interesting aspect is how the characters don't feel overblown in any way. Unlike many other series that endow each character with one or two exaggerated features (extreme cuteness, extreme coolness etc.), often at the cost of everything else, Ergo Proxy successfully avoids that common pattern by presenting a trio of very well-balanced protagonists in Re-l Mayer, Vincent Law and Pino: - Re-l is a confident, no-nonsense investigator with great analytical and shooting skills which, however, don't exceed the capabilities of a trained person and thus don't make her an invincible action hero or an omniscient genius. At first, she acts rather cold towards others (Vincent in particular) because she's a bit spoiled by her social position and because the circumstances demand her to be on guard all the time. However, as the show goes on Re-l changes quite a bit, and it becomes evident that she's a perfectly normal girl with normal human emotions. Also, she's very attractive but not oversexualized which is indeed an extreme rarity for this medium; - Vincent lost his memories and a huge part of his identity with them, so he feels an obvious lack of confidence... and yet he knows how to repair things, how to hold a weapon and shoot, and despite acting very shy at the beginning he embarks on a dangerous &amp; often bewildering journey of self-discovery and gradually develops into a completely different person by the end of the series. So, he ain't some useless angsty teenager typical for anime - rather, he is a very kind and helpful guy who wants to learn the truth about himself, and his angst never feels overblown to the point where it gets annoying; - as for Pino, she's an autoreiv that accompanies Re-l &amp; Vincent, providing some nice examples of man &amp; machine interaction as well as some lightheartedness to compensate for the grim &amp; serious setting. She is an awesome &amp; very lovable character who at the same time never gets sickeningly moe because she acts like a normal girl of her age and not some typical loli you often see in anime. Also, the show has one more protagonist i.e. Ergo Proxy, but the identity &amp; role of that guy is a huge spoiler so I can't tell you anything about him - you'll have to learn it yourself. Overall, I would say that the right balance in characterization and the natural step-by-step development is what makes the protagonists very realistic, and while there may be people who don't like it because they find the characters "boring" (or not extreme enough in comparison to other series) I really enjoy this approach. What I enjoy no less is that the supporting cast receive a great share of development as well, with Raul Creed, Daedalus, Hoody and Iggy being the most outstanding examples.  So, in general the characterization is great, and even if you don't find the cast that interesting at first, just give them some time and see it for yourself. **OVERALL** Perhaps, some parts of the plot could be done better and the character drawings could be more accurate. Also, I'm not a fan of either U2 or Radiohead (though those bands are grand). Therefore, I can't rank this show a masterpiece. But I will easily give it an excellent rating and with lots of pleasure take it to my personal top-10. My final advice for possible newcomers is simple: if you look for some lighthearted entertainment with J-pop, sugoi, ganbatte, tomodachi, squealing voices and bright haircolors, stay away from this anime as you will only waste your time. The same is if you look for an action-driven series because action is not the focal point of Ergo Proxy. However, if you look for a compelling story, if you are not afraid of a certain intellectual challenge, if you are open-minded and able to keep attention for 23 episodes, I highly encourage you to watch this show. Of course, I can't guarantee you will like it as much as I do, but I'm pretty sure you at least won't regret it.

   This can be considered an anime that appears in 10 years.It's amazing how much can be achieved with the right idea and the right team to bring it to life. At first I was a bit sceptic due to the visuals that didn't seem like anything that I've seen in an anime beofre,but shortly after I started to actually like them... a lot. The audio is excellent,the OST matching the moment perfectly and the ED/OP being amazing. Even though the story started quite slow,like in Steins;Gate,by the time you've reached the second half you won't be able to do anything else until you've reached the final conclusion and revelation. Ergo Proxy is without a doubt a series that isn't meant for anybody.You actually need to pay attention to the plot and to have some intuition,that if you don't want to rewatch it a second time.

Ergo Proxy is a pretty decent anime, but I have to say, I expected more from something that receives such high praise from so many.  Good Points: The characters are well written for the most part (I thought Raul and the Regent could have been expanded on some.) The story has a good 'pull' to it. (never gives you too much information, but always just enough to keep from being frustrating). The setting is dark and grey, but intriguing. Meh points: The animation is sometimes too dark and you can't see what's happening The pop philosophy, presented as profound. (Descartes is classic but overdone, raison d'etre is just french for reason for being; i.e. purpose, etc.) The experimental storytelling style doesn't work 100% of the time. Bad Points: None. The lighting issue is just a 'meh' point for me. Overall an interesting, enjoyable anime.

One of my favourties animes; I know about anime one day, randomly, and it was one of the best decisions I have made.

Solid and amazeing. fast pace and deep story. in a nutshell, i love it

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