And now for something completely different...
Sun, 20 May 2007
by: Australian Ninja
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Women dressed all in black - who know how to handle guns - are so sexy. Not that I've met any, but I'm sure they are out there in society, having secret monthly meetings in bingo halls and gun clubs with their delicious cheese sandwich luncheons. But when these dangerous gun-toting female vigilantes get busted,
I for one will be there to stand up. Because hey - free sandwiches.
Ergo Proxy is another fine Anime that left me perplexed and bewildered as to what doings were a transpiring. "Why did they kill that guy, wasn't he with them? He wasn't with them? Then it's a good thing they killed him."
So I watched Ergo Proxy Volume One / V1 a second time. The first time I didn't get it. But then I did kind of fall asleep while watching it [from extra tiredness, not boredom] the first time around. Fortunately the second viewing in my urban domicile was worthwhile and led to vastly superior comprehension of the story. Don't you hate it when people talk fancy to disguise their lack of anything real to say?
Well so do I, so I better stop doing it myself before I complain about others. Go back and read that sentence again about 'urban domicile' and you will get how I feel when watching so called 'Intelligent' adult Anime. I guess I made the mistake of lumping Ergo Proxy in with those bastard Animes that - like the Matrix sequels - are enjoyable but too damn intelligent for their own good and inject all sorts of half-baked philosophy in just to appear fancy.
As usual, I was as wrong as the idea of meat-pie pizza.
So this Ergo Proxy is a nasty monster thing. It's all demony, likes to drool and make with the killing. You with me so far? Good. It escapes, makes with the stereotypical killing spree and disappears. The show is obviously named after this particular beasty.
|"Son, go fetch Momma's boomstick" |
"Ergo" is taken from the famous Latin expression "Cogito Ergo Sum" / "I think, therefore I am" as stated by French Philosopher René Descartes.
"Proxy" means the "authority to act on behalf of someone else"
Enter Re-l Mayer.
An inspector for the Citizen Intelligence Bureau, and grand-daughter of the Dome City Regent. She encounters the Proxy / Monster while investigating a virus that affects the humanoid robots living in society. While investigating a particular apartment building, Re-l encounters the Proxy then it vanishes. She attempts to investigate the monster's origin and current whereabouts, soon after a conspiracy is made evident. Re-l's discovers her android personal assist Iggy had his memory wiped clean of the encounter with the monster.
Re-l's superiors recommend she undergoes psychiatric evaluation; lending credibility to the idea that the encounter was all in her head. With her self-confidence further eroded and any believability about the events of the day before destroyed she is removed from her duties and kept under a watchful eye by the conspirators, who include her own grandfather - the Regent of the city.
While she has some doubts as to her own memories, they don't last long. Re-l confronts the Regent and his council of cronies. They don't deny her accusations about a conspiracy. They don't even acknowledge her pleas for reason or supply any kind of answer. So damning is the councils non-answer it becomes self-evident that they are the ones behind the cover-up.
The sense of paranoia in this show and always not knowing who you can trust - combined with mature themes and relatable interesting characters - make this one Anime I can't wait to see more of.
At times while watching I was reminded of the game world of Dues Ex, or even that other X, the X-Files. Maybe it was the heavy shading and liberal use of the colour black throughout the show. Maybe it was the integration of humanoid robots at all levels of society. Maybe it was the patriarchal law enforcement / government / big brother types always looking over your shoulder and influencing you in subtle ways. Whatever it was, it's rare I can enjoy a mature Anime storyline that doesn't resort to gratuitous sex and violence, which are fine in the right context [such as in Golgo 13: The Professional] - but generally speaking are heavily abused in "mature" Animes.
As I said earlier, I fell asleep the first time I watched it, thus muddying my impressions of the show. Then with a clear head I really appreciated the relaxed pacing, the deliberate confusion and misinterpretation possible with certain key scenes. The background music really sets the mood too. At times suitably sharp enough to keep you on the edge of your seat in suspenseful moments. While at other times soft and relaxing enough to lull you into a false sense of security.
|Ahh, to be young moody and emo in a bleak futuristic society. How good the kids have it these days |
The first four episodes on Volume One of Ergo Proxy serve as an adequate introduction to the series. Just enough story and character development to whet your appetite, with a hint at the delicious events yet to unfold.
I guess there's not much else to say. The animation is exceptional; dark and moody, music is expertly integrated into the whole production seamlessly, and the characters are all likeable and interesting. The series kicks off at a leisurely pace taking the time to get to know the characters, but mostly focuses on Re-l. All up a highly enjoyable Anime that shows great promise and now I'm off to ruin the story by looking up an episode guide on the net.
by: Australian Ninja
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More articles by Australian Ninja
Fantastic show that makes for compelling viewing. I want more!