The broadcast series Ergo Proxy (2006) attracted considerable attention because Radiohead let them use "Paranoid Android" as the closing theme. Detective Re-l lives in the domed city of Romdo, a pseudo-utopia where humans ... more »and robots exist under a Big Brother-esque government. When a powerful monster begins attacking the citizens of Romdo, Re-l discovers the word "awaken" scrawled on her mirror; she's attacked by the monster but somehow survives. As she investigates these events, she discovers the inevitable government conspiracy. Ergo Proxy borrows heavily from Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. and Boogiepop Phantom, but the icy Re-l lacks Major Kusanagi's fascination. Director Shukuo Murase employs a monochromatic palette so dark it's difficult to see what's going on. He tries to distract the viewer from the extremely limited animation with camera moves and dialogue, but the hokey, oblique story feels recycled and uninteresting. (Rated 16 and older: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery) --Charles Solomon« less
""Ergo Proxy" is one of the most beautiful anime ever made. It's also very complex, filled with allusions mysterious and even more mysterious, obscure, opaque, a story about the search for self and meaning in a bleak post-apocalyptic world of domed cities, androids ("autoraves"), warfare, and death. The heroine, Real Mayar (also Re-l Mayer), is stunningly beautiful as she undertakes to unravel the mysteries of a killer freak as she befriends an oddly lonely immigrant named Vincent Law.
But, a warning: if you want cartoons that spell out all the details a la "Hamtaro" or "Cinderella", you will be bored witless and irritated by "Ergo Proxy." The premise is that the *viewer* also participates in Ergo Proxy's search for self and meaning. It is distinctly intellectual, in the sense of thoughtful: the viewer is *expected* to ponder over meaning, especially the meanings of identity and memory. Entire scenes exist solely to create analogies between what Real and Vincent do and the viewer's consensus (although false) beliefs about reality. "Ergo Proxy" operates in the interstices of such realities, in sepia, gray, and icy blue images of radical incompleteness.
Visually, Ergo Proxy has only rarely been equaled in animation. It has a hard-to-describe kind of lyrical bleakness offset by Real's beauty - which is just one of the contradictions that suffuse the story. If you want everything telegraphed by the middle of episode 1, watch something else. But for a depiction of what used to be called "existential" search, "Ergo Proxy" is superb - vivid, gorgeous, lots of action scenes, all in a world that we recognize as our own. "
An Approximately Perfect Sci-fi.
M. T. Walker | florida | 10/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been watching the fan-subs of this series since it aired in Japan Spring 06, and haven't been disappointed with it in the least.
Here's why: The setting is like a cross of Ridley Scott's film and the movie Dark City. if you liked either of those films, you'll enjoy this. Music is top-notch; even features a Radiohead closing song. Animation is consistently great. Some scenes come off scetchy, but maintain an edgy style. Lots of visual metaphor literary references give you something to chew on. A really unique heroine, with depth and some intense internal struggles.
there're more reasons I'm sure you could find if you gave the first few episodes a chance.
Be warned, though, if you don't care for a lot of exposition, then Ergo Proxy might come off as dull at times. Also, some of the literary elements might cause some confusion with some viewers. It's handy to write the stuff down and refer to it later online. It's worth learning that stuff anyway. :D
bottomline: As far as cyberpunk animes go Ghost in the Shell's finally met its match."
L. J Lewis | Collierville, TN United States | 02/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ergo Proxy is a very interesting start to a new science fiction anime. I ended up enjoying these first four episodes a lot more than I thought I would, but I find it hard to give this a complete recommendation. Series like this that try to be all philosphical and deep, and with a title like Ergo Proxy how could it try to be anything else, have a tendency to fail spectacularly in the end because their storylines end up being crushed under the wait of philosophical mumbo-jumbo that the creators clearly have only a superficial understanding of. This story takes place far in the future. Earth is all but uninhabitable thanks to ecological disaster. Domed cities exsist where people, the chosen few called Citizens, can live in a comsumers paradise. In one such domed city, Romdo, humanity lives in comfort with help from AutoReivs, robots that serve as companions, walking PDAs, and 24-hour spying devices for the central government. The city currently has two problems. A terrible monster called a Proxy has escaped the government's confinement and is rampaging through the city. The second is that AutoReivs are being infected with the cogito virus, a rogue program that makes the machines self-aware and unruly. Inspector Re-l Mayer, a rather gothy looking policewoman and granddaughter of the city's overlord whose use of eye-shadow makes Tammy Faye Baker's comestic use look moderate in comparision, is investigating an incident where infected AutoReivs have killed civilians. At the crime scene, she runs into the Proxy. When her superiors try to make her think she hallucinated the incident, Re-l starts putting the pieces together between the Proxy and a man named Vincent Law. Besides an interesting plot-line, Ergo Proxy has a very striking dark look to it. It does make some of the scenes hard to see, like the first couple minutes of the first episode, but over-all its very attractive. It's all complimented by an atmospheric soundtrack."
One of the best anime for 2006
M. Randall | Allen Park, MI | 11/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a 23 year old anime fan (been a fan since i was around 13) there is very few titles out there that catch my attention anymore. Most lack substance and story. Music is sometimes an issue, as well as animation. Very rarely can a show or movie pull off all of these categories. I'm happy to report that Ergo Proxy delivers them all. The animation is crisp and full of life.. an occasional 3d CGI scene is used (what shows don't now a days?). The music is also outstanding. Very minimal and ambient at times, often with an eerie edge to it. Other times its fast paced and techno-ish. The story is the true winner here.. exploring areas of man and machine not yet done in anime. The lead character, a woman, is interesting to watch and her character design is pretty unique. I would sum this show up best as a cross between Witch Hunter Robin and Ghost in the Shell. Thats not too surprising though considering Ergo Proxy has the same director that Witch Hunter Robin did.
Check this one out, thats all i can say."
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 07/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Romdo was a domed city, a place where humans and robots lived together, in peace and love. A utopia of the future, with complete government control and happiness for all. Yeah, right. Mix Blade Runner, Ghost In The Shell and Witch Hunter Robin into a big bowl and you have Ergo Proxy. It seems that robots are going nuts, even praying, and Re-I Mayer of the Intelligence Bureau wants to know what's going on. Is it a virus, a man made plot or is God really doing something to the robots? Why do all the robots try to flee the city using the same pathway? And why are humans being murdered? Is everything linked or is there something else going on in the background? Four interesting episodes and some lame extras in the form of boring previews. That's the only problem with the disc. Not much in the way of anything extra. Is Geneon getting cheap on us? But the story, artwork and character design is enough of a reason to at least check out the first DVD. On the other hand, if the second disc only has three episodes and no extras I might think twice before buying it. "