Ergo Proxy: anime review

Title: Ergo Proxy
Genre: sci-fi, cyberpunk, supernatural, action
Released date: 25 February 2006 – 12 August 2006
Episode: 23
Director: Shuko Murase
Animated by: Studio Manglobe
Comment: Ergo Proxy takes place in the futuristic world destroyed by the ecological disaster. In the domed city of Romdo, Re-l is investigating a murder when she encounters a Proxy, a mysterious deadly monster, and Vincent Law, an immigrant with no memory of his own past. After the incident, her utopia was shattered and she sets out to explore the world out side the dome and learn the truth about Proxy and her own destiny.

There are 23 episodes; approximately half of them tell what really happen, the rest tell what happen in the minds of the characters including their conflicts, their desires, their secret identities and their mental developments using abstract images and surreal situations. What I’m trying to say is that half of what you see in the anime isn’t real. It is full of strange twists, turns, illusions and sometimes deceptions. This feature of Ergo Proxy can be very interesting to many viewers especially those who are familiar with cyberpunk or hard sci-fi anime but it can also proves to be really painful and exhaustive for many others. What’s more, unlike other science fictions which usually raise one main idea, Ergo Proxy tries to lay its hands on multiple popular themes in one single show. These themes include the existence of God, human cloning, utopia or artificial intelligence. For me, I find the anime quite hard to follow at times but I certainly have great admiration for the anime’s creators for their bold and reckless effort to experiment all these strange ways of storytelling and expressing their ideas.

In this anime, everyone tries to find who they are or tries to solve their conflicts. Vincent tries to understand the mysterious monster within him and tries to find the place he belongs. Re-l struggles to explore to world she never knew existed and the reason behind her feeling towards Vincent. Pino who is an infected AutoRiev gains her soul and feeling and little by little she gets closer to becoming real human girl. Iggy follows Re-l trying to hold on to his only “reason of living”. Even other minor characters such as Daedalus, Raul, Cristeva or Donov Mayer display intriguing complexities and development. The sound and animation of Ergo Proxy are amazing, outdoing most of the series I’ve watched recently. The characters and the background are full of details and the movements are fluid. The mixture of CGI and 2D animation is just perfect.

I’m giving this anime an A rating because of its brilliant characterization, groundbreaking story telling, thought provoking and innovative ideas, magnificent animation and its lack of any major flaws but that does not necessarily means that Ergo Proxy will always be entertaining or is made for everyone. It requires certain level of concentration and patience to really take in all that the anime offers.
Rating: A

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