Ergo Proxy is an anime that does a number of things right. First of all, it is an adult anime that treats it's viewer as an adult. There are no boob jokes or typical anime fair, it's a lot of philisophical and biblical things that make up a good portion of the show. The show does a good job of being intelligent, though sometimes this comes off as totally insane. The ending is a typical anime ending that leaves you scratching your head, but the ending comes to abruptly and comes right out of left field that it leaves you scratching your head even longer than usual. Think Big O quality of what the hell at the end.
I like to say that the story is told in three acts because the acts are all completely different. The first act is the one that many people will think to associate with the whole series, a cyberpunk-y kind of crime show. Then the second act rolls around and we get a lot of exploration and get to know the world even better. The third act is when the show---well, it doesn't degrade, I like anime that does crazy things at the end and I was sort of expecting it---but it just doesn't fit in with the rest of the series. I don't know how to react to the ending because it was just too different from the rest of the show. It just wasn't set up enough that we would be tromping through biblical/religious/philisophical ground for a whole three nonsensical episodes. The episodes before that are all internal conflicts and a lot of it makes no sense as well, but you think the end will be a very psychologically stressing one for the characters, but it turns out to be just psychological stress on the person watching and wondering what the hell is going on.
Ergo Proxy has good animation, it's landscapes look amazing. The characters are another story though. They look decent from up close but far away they look pretty crappy. Overall though the animation is pretty good. Characters do look a lot more gritty and realistic than other animes, but that's not enough to save the fact it just looks choppy at some points.
The Japanese voice actors do a good job and the music, well, there's barely enough to really complain about. It doesn't exactly need music though because there is enough dialogue to suffice. The opening theme is alright, though I've heard better before. The end theme just plain sucks. Otherwise, everything sounds good and the sound would have been a 10 if not for the end theme.
I had a hard time deciding the score on characters. I liked them all for whatever reason, but most were shallow. Lil Mayar who should have been the outstanding character of the series is just kind of bitchy and dull, Vincent isn't all that compelling, and Pino can come off as a decent character at points but at other points just doesn't come off as any good either. Raul, who actually was shaping up to be an awesome character, just turns out to be bland and Daedalus is probably the worst character of the series, I still have no idea what the hell he had to do with much of anything.
This anime is not something that you can go into as a fan of cyberpunk, because it's not cyberpunk. It's a weird mix of cyberpunk, steampunk, apocalyptic, and religous that works to a degree, but ends on a weaker note because of it's attempt at blowing our minds toward the end with it's religious turn. While it's last episode is enjoyable for those who do like to mull over the meaning and everything, it may be way to much for the average fan of anime. Hell, the whole series may be a bit too much. It caters to a certain sci-fi niche essentially and for whatever reason, I wish the world that was created (an exceptional world) could have been utilized much better than with this overly-complicated and scatterbrained plot that's only job seems to be to hurt the brain.
Not that I didn't enjoy it. It was a good anime, an anime for adults and thinking types. While some of it's philosophy came off as corny a lot of it was pretty good and there are a lot of things you can decipher from this anime if you really want to think into it. And that's probably part of the reason I don't understand bits of the plot, I don't feel like thinking.
Can I suggest this to everyone? Definitely not. But Ergo Proxy comes off with an 8 for me. Not one of my favorites, but can be an enjoyable ride for those with the right mindset to take it.
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