Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ergo Proxy

Being a strong fan of dystopian anime, I found myself drawn to Ergo Proxy after having read about it on MyAnimeList. I saw that it fit the genres of mystery and psychological and as a result, I went into it with high hopes. Whether or not these hopes were met, you'll see later on.

The story is set on Earth, but not as we know it. The methane hydrate layer has exploded resulting in the environment being uninhabitable for the majority of humans. Consequently, humans are forced to live in domed cities, in order to survive. The story follows three main protagonists who live in one of these domed cities, Romdeau. Vincent Law, an immigrant into the city of Romdeau whose only aim is to be accepted as a model citizen, Re-L Mayar, an Information Bureau` Inspector who is granddaughter to the regent, and Pino, a companion type Autoreiv( basically a human-like robot whose only aim is to serve) who is infected by the cogito virus.

I found Ergo Proxy to be a completely unique anime, completely different from anything I had ever seen before. This is because unlike a lot of anime, it really made you think. Ergo Proxy was full of philosophical questions, like what is your raison d'etre( simply your reason to be)? This to me was extremely appealing as the anime challenges you, it's not an easy watch and if you want to watch something simple and light-hearted, this is certainly not the anime for you. Ergo Proxy contains 23 episodes so it has enough time to properly introduce, develop and end its story. However one of the major downsides to this anime was the pacing. It was extremely inconsistent. At the beginning we see the episodes move at a decent pace, events moving along nicely, however in the middle, we see a huge amount of time being spent for events that could easily dealt with in 5 or 6 episodes, but instead, the producers decide to add episodes which are essentially unnecessary. Now don't get me wrong, these episodes are eventually explained and linked together with the main story, but if they weren't there, the anime would still have made sense so the way I see it, these episodes should have been used to maybe extend the ending, which I saw as incredibly rushed. The final battle, per say, was only 2/3 episodes long and felt extremely rushed. At the moment it might seem that I may have an extremely negative viewpoint towards this anime, but I have to say that despite its failings in time management, the anime was still extremely enjoyable. The 'random' episodes were still entertaining and did progress the story if unnecessary. Also they were few in number and the other episodes I found to be top notch.

Another problem with this anime was again the inconsistent portrayal of the characters, more specifically the character of Daedalus. Daedalus is the head doctor in Romdeau and Re-L's personal friend and doctor. However as we see Re-L become more distant from Daedalus we see a drastic change in his character which left me confused. Consequently, I found this part of the plot to be very hard to follow, I mean compared to the main plot, the Vincent/Re-L/Pino journey, this was pretty poor and in my opinion, this was one of the most disappointing aspects of the whole anime. This being said Raul Creed, the head of the Security Bureau, is involved in the same section of plot as Daedalus and I found his progression as a character to be one of the best forms of characterisation I have seen in a long time. All their failings with the characterisation of Daedalus are all made better with the representation of Raul Creed. I found Raul to be my favourite character in Ergo Proxy because of how his progression as a character is portrayed. Towards the end of the anime he began to remind me of Light from Death Note and I found it to be simply amazing.

The art and animation in this anime I found to be hard to judge. I must say that the art and animation was very good, however the fact that the majority of the story is in dark, dreary condition left me disappointed as I found that the brilliant art and animation was essentially wasted because of the lack of bright conditions in which it could be shown off.

The sound effects in this anime I found to be good, nothing amazing but good. However I must say that they did a very good job with the opening as it perfectly fits the show, the lyrics 'Come and Save Me' come to mind.

Overall I found this, while flawed in story telling, to be an enjoyable watch and I would definitely recommend it to someone who is looking to watch a serious anime that really makes you think. In one word, this anime is CAPTIVATING. I've put out the ratings below, so make sure you take a look. Thank you for reading, please leave some feedback so I know if you liked it.

Story: 8/10

Art: 8/10

Characters: 8/10

Sound 7/10

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