Review of Ergo Proxy
Dystopic animes (Japanese animations) have become increasingly present and popular in the last few years, and Shukō Murase's latest endevour “Ergo Proxy” strives to stand out in this convoluted genre. The storyline of Ergo Proxy is a somewhat complex one; we follow the ventures Re-l, an investigator to a domed utopia which exists as a last safe-haven to humanity. Technology is beginning to run rampant in this city and the emergence of mysterious beings known as 'proxys' is provoking a major shift in the world. Re-l searches for the meaning behind the proxy's existence and the mystery surrounding the immigrant Vincent.
The story is engaging at first and the director goes to great lengths to attempt to explain the confusion of the current situation. But while initially intriguing, things begin to gradually fall down the further in we dig. Essentially, Ergo Proxy is a case of a show trying to be too thought-provoking. The writers clearly wanted to stimulate some kind of reflection on the series' themes, but instead of picking one or two solid ideas to explore they instead choose about six. As the series moves along what began as a journey to find truth turns into a multi-directional plot of confusion. Ultimately what we are left with is an ending that raises more questions than it answers and leaves a sour impression.
An aspect of the series that stands out is the above average quality of the audio and visual. The monochromatic palette comes off as smooth and sleek and imparts a gothic style to the show while the music itself imparts emotion and ambience into the often bleak environments. Many of the character designs are hit-and-miss with characters frequently looking too similar to distinguish, while the designs of the proxy's stand-out as being particularly detailed.
Overall Ergo Proxy tackles more concepts than it can withstand. The series had a good foundation with the audio and visual elements lending finesse, but it eventually falls into itself on the finish line of the show with the weight of its aspirations.