ERGO APROXY

[ BACK ]


The domed city of Romdo is supposed to be perfect, but a young female inspector from the Civilian Intelligence Office, knows better.


Ergo Proxy is a Japanese cyberpunk anime television series, produced by Manglobe, directed by Shuko Murase and written by Dai Sato. The series ran for 23 episodes from February to August 2006 on the Wowow satellite network. It is set in a post-apocalyptic utopian future where humans and AutoReiv androids coexist peacefully until a virus gives the androids self-awareness, causing them to commit a series of murders. Inspector Re-L Mayer is assigned to investigate, discovering a more complicated plot behind it that involves a humanoid species known as "Proxy" who are the subject of secret government experiments. The series, which is heavily influenced by philosophy and Gnosticism, features a combination of 2D digital cel animation, 3D computer modeling, and digital special effects.



I won't lie, Re-l's character design is the first thing that drew me in. And no, not because of the Evanescence comparison, ugh. The way they did the blue around the eyes of the main character, Re-l Mayer, is eyegrabbing for sure, and a pretty unique treatment for the animation style. The animation style over all is a sort of low-lit, back alley, corner of the bar vibe throughout. It is best viewed in the dark, as a result. It is also a slow burn, even for sort of leftfield anime work. As a result, I don't think a lot of people who should love it actually do, because they didn't give it the time it requires to really sink its teeth into you.



The concept of humans and robots living together is not a new topic, by any means. Humans are endlessly fascinated by the concept, however, so there's no lack of interest in just about any treatment given to it. Ergo Proxy handles it nicely. A bit reminiscent but also entirely unique and fresh. I don't wanna spoil it for anyone, so I'll leave it at that. It's familiar enough subject matter with a nice new and forward thinking - potentially more realistic - take on the concept.



The concept of class and race as both gifts and detriments, depending on which side of the fence you stand and when you stand there, are also huge subjects the series deals with. The idea of personal value, perceived or real, exercised as imagined by ones self and the spiritual influence on all of that is woven through the whole series, as well. The action scenes are not really plentiful compared to a lot of so-called "cyberpunk" themed anime, but the grit and the struggle and the stress are tangible, as is the wonder and awe that a future world and its technological advamancents and growth in knowledge provide.



The sound effects, sound design, soundtrack, and score are also worth taking a moment to remark on. Just incredibly brilliant in its absolutely integral piece to the overall puzzle that is Ergo Proxy without taking a front seat and, in fact, in a lot of instances - so subtle that you wouldn't know it was there until it was taken out of the equation. Spectacular.



If I remember correctly, I stumbled on Ergo Proxy accidentally at a video rental store. I don't think video rental stores are even a thing anymore. It's kind of odd to imagine there was still one around 10 or 12 years ago, but then again... 10 or 12 years is actually kind of a while when it comes to technology and consumerism. I ended up buying, and still own, the DVD boxset from a used book store. If you have either video rental stores or used book stores in your area, support them at all costs. Anyhow, Ergo Proxy is still one of my most watched moving picture things ever.