This review is an old review transferred from another site I posted it in. I have tweaked it a little to fit more in the context of this site. So if you think you have seen this review before, it's possible, though unlikely since it didn't get that many views.
Anime Review: Ergo Proxy
Recently, after watching dozen of animes with plotlines and scenes so silly that my mental state became questionable, I took a leave of absence from anime and focused on reality. Well, movies actually, but they are as close to reality as I dare to go. It did not help. Sure, I watched some surprisingly good films such as In Bruges and Get Smart, but there was one film that kicked me in the balls with its stupidity so hard that it forced me back to the world of anime, where everything seemed to make a lot more sense than the film did. Namely The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Sure I had heard that it was bad and I was even expecting it to be bad. But not this bad, not this stupid. So I returned back to where I belong, with my mental state already beyond the thin red line, and shortly, face to face with my doom, Ergo Proxy.
Ergo Proxy tells the story of a world in ruin. The only city that has managed to prosper in this world is an utopian city called Romdeau. In this city, robotic comrades are created to serve humans. Whether they are simple servants, mechanical partners or replacements for dead family members, they all have a reason for existence. Then a virus called Cogito virus starts to infect these robots, giving them free will and emotions. While some start to question their reason to live, some of the infected robots don't really prefer being slaves and start murdering their owners.
Investigating these murders falls to a female detective called RE-L (or as some translators have put it, Real) and her robotic partner Iggy. Amidst of their investigation, they stumble on to a more sinister conspiracy and a creature called Proxy. Real becomes obsessed to find the truth about this monster and discovers that their world is not so perfect as they have been led to believe. Big surprise there.
Enter Vincent Law, an immigrant from an outside city called Mosque. He works his ass off as a robot mechanic to become a respectable citizen equal to all the others. Suddenly the abovementioned Proxy starts to chase him for no apparent reason. The police puts a warrant on him and in his despair he chooses to leave the city (with a lot of emo-whining). Real is after him and desperately wants to solve why the Proxy is after him and what the Proxy actually is.
Vincent also meets an infected robot called Pino, who chooses to follow him. This little robot steal the show really, when she learns to have emotions and becomes something more than a mindless robot. As her name would hint, she is actually Pinocchio in this storyline and goes through the same development - from a puppet to a human. Seeing her change throughout the anime is very interesting to watch, especially if you are familiar with Pinocchio's tale.
So far, the anime has been kickass. Mysterious storyline, intriguing characters, plausible futuristic setting. Just perfect. I couldn't stop watching it. Then we reach the halfway and everything changes. Sigh, need to take my medicine.
The logical curve takes a sudden nosedive and crash lands into the sea of insanity. Here are some of the most awesome plot twists of the latter episodes.
Yeah, the storyline does eventually return to the main plot again, but they forgot to take the logic with them. One minute they are sailing the wastelands, then the next they are back in Romdeau and nothing makes sense anymore. Vincent's mind is in Real's body, alongside her own mind. Reality changes and now they are married. Then puff, it was a dream. Okay. Next episode, again we are suddenly in Romdeau again, with Real killing robots and trying to find Vincent. The good doctor Daedalus has made another Real and Ergo Proxy is on a rampage. Okay this is probably another dream. After all, that's what we have been getting a lot lately. But oh no, this is the real thing. Nothing makes sense anymore and I'm just staring the screen with a blank mind. Then came the whities and took me away.
I still don't understand the latter half of the anime. Proxies are gods or something? Vincent erased his mind, but I have no idea why. What was Proxy 1 actually? These are but few of the questions I had when it ended. The latter half is such a mess that even if I managed to find the answer to those questions, I still would be confused. It's like watching Sixth Sense or Number 23, while heavily dosed on drugs (or alternatively, just watching Neon Genesis Evangelion).
As I stated in my previous Dennou Coil review, I love science fiction when it has nothing to do with Mechas or robot maids. I love Ergo Proxy as well. Sure it's not perfect and it drove me insane, but it's like a new puppy. Sure it shits all over the place and rips apart your precious comics, but you still love it. In Ergo Proxy, the amount of references to other works is so huge that you would have to be a walking dictionary to get the most of it. It would probably help understanding the ending as well. Just don't think too hard or else you will end up like me, playing hopscotch with a straitjacket.