Anime Review: Ergo Proxy

ergo proxyGenre: Cyberpunk/Suspense

Studio: Manglobe

Distributor: FUNimation

No of episodes: 23

Suggested Age: 17+

My Rating: 9/10

Summary: In the dystopian city of Romdo, humans and androids called Autoreivs coexist.  But when an investigator named Re-L Mayer and her Autoreiv partner Iggy investigate murders connected to androids infected to the “Cogito virus”, a program that causes androids to become self-aware, they discover a conspiracy between a being known only as the Proxy.  COuld this completely destroy Romdo’s order?

Review: Have I mentioned already how much I love dystopias? Because I do.  They’re an excellent way to explore concepts that make us human.

The art and animation are excellent. The story has a feel that invokes Blade Runner, which is one of my all-time favorite movies.  It also brings to mind Isaac Asimov’s trilogy of novels involving a human detective named Elijah Baley and his android partner, R. Daneel Olivaw (Caves of Steel, The Robots of Dawn, and The Naked Sun) Romdo is a gritty city that is perfect for all inside its dome, but those outside live in slums.

Re-L is a great heroine. She’s a dead ringer for Amy Lee, the lead singer for goth rock band Evanesence. She has a no-nonsense personality and is fearless and inquisitive. She doesn’t care that the evidence she is uncovering about the Cogito Virus is jeopardizing her status, she just wants justice.

Iggy is a dedicated partner. in Romdo, everyone, both humans and Autoreivs alike, is created to fulfill a predetermined purpose. No one is born anymore, instead they’re grown in artificial wombs, much like in Brave New World. When the case threatens their partnership, he is unable to function.

Vincent is an enigma.  Although he was not created in Romdo, he is still subject to their methods of assimilation.  He’s a great exploration of a classic theme: should we stand out or conform?

Pino is a child-like Autoreiv who originally stood in for a child. But when its “mother” actually does conceive, Pino is no longer necessary. She is completely dependent on others, and desires humanity. And of course, her name is a derivative of Pinocchio.  She is a pure show-stealer, and I enjoyed her every moment.

The pacing is slow enough to understand, but not to the point of boredom. The 23 episodes just flew by. While the story is complex, it’s not entirely void of understanding. I highly recommend it.

Sub/Dub: I was only able to watch the sub.

Music/Score: The music gives the story an eerie feel. I especially like the droning chorus of “kyrie eleison” and the opening theme. Radiohead fans will obviously recognize the closing theme, “Paranoid Android” from their Kid A CD.

Violence: 8/10 the murders are very graphic.

Language: 2/10

Nudity: 1/10

Sexuality: 0/10

Religion: There is a character named Daedelus, (yes, like the Greek mythological figure who made his own wings) who SPOILER! creates an angelic clone of Re-L and claims godhood.

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  1. #1 by Cameron Lee Irby on February 14, 2013 - 3:11 am

    This was one of the most complex anime I have ever watched. And that is a good thing!

    • #2 by rocklobsterjwt on February 17, 2013 - 7:57 pm

      I already sent you this on your facebook, but I’m posting it here as well. I highly recommend you check out Isaac Asimov’s Lije Baley trilogy: The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and the Robots of Dawn. Very good stuff.

  2. #3 by Donna Maxwell on March 20, 2013 - 12:24 am

    One quibble- The opening theme is “Kiri” by Monoral ( “Kyrie eleison” is by Mr. Mister). I especially love that song because it’s haunted quality fit so well with the anime, while so many other anime themes can be so grating. 🙂

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