After seeing this episode, I knew. I totally knew. This anime’s crazy!
Finally, the subs of Ergo Proxy return. I think that the reason for this was a combination of Shinsen’s laziness (they only seem to be actively working on project which are subbed by other people. That’s why they’ve been churning out so many blood+ episodes right after Your-Mom started subbing that series) and the fact that this episode was supposed to be near-impossible to see. After watching the episode, I totally can understand that.
The case is this: we have a Proxy, who likes to kill his victims by using a fully fledged quiz show, complete with autoraves as the audience and he even broadcasts his show. The goal of the quiz is to accumulate 1000000 points, within 30 minutes. If the contestant manages to do this, the host, aka the Proxy, dies. If this goal isn’t reached, the contestant dies. By doing this, the Proxy has already managed to kill 24 other Proxies. It isn’t surprising that he plans to make Vincent as his 25th victim.
The first round: a fixed set of questions about general knowledge. We really get thrown into the episode, without any information about this at all. That only makes the confusion better, with some great effects.
– Question one: Which Philosopher said “Man is a reed, the weakest of nature, but he is a thinking reed”? Honestly, I have no idea what a reed means, but apparently, Pascal was the one who said that. Vincent doesn’t know this either.
– Question two: Which ancient Greek mathematician formulated the theorem that determines the length f the sides of a right triangle. That’s a simple one, Pythagoras. Vincent, however, doesn’t know about this. Things like these make you start wondering about what kind of education Vincent followed in his youth.
– Question three: According to the English author Lytton, “the pen is mightier than” what? Another easy one, and Vincent indeed knows the answer: “Sword”.
– Question four: What is the phenomenon that describes the pitch of a sound becoming higher as the source approaches, and lower as it departs? Another physics question. I’m ashamed to admit that I couldn’t think of Doppler at that moment. Neither did Vincent.
– Question five: At how many degrees centigrade is water’s density the greatest? Of course it’s 4, though again, I couldn’t think of the answer. Vincent also had t wrong.
– Question six is a peculiar one…: Which question is this? The sixth, of course. :P
– Question seven: Who invited dynamite? The answer is Nobel, of course, though Vincent’s answer is quite funny: “Mr. Dynamite”.
– Question eight: In astronomy, the distance between which two celestial bodies is considered when defining an “astronomical unit”? Apparently, that’s the earth and the sun. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t know about it. Vincent also remains silent.
– Question nine is a brilliant one: What is the name of this song? Then the OP rolls.
It’s interesting. All of these questions are just basic knowledge, though this does show that time pressure can be powerful at times.
The introduction. It’s strange for a quiz-show to have one round first, and only after that round giving the explanation. Still, we already knew that this Proxy was rather eccentric. Apparently, the show is named Q-QQ-Q, and the Proxy introduces himself as MCQ. Then the explanation of the game follows, and I was startled a bit when I found out that MCQ would be dying as soon as the 1000000 points were reached. What follows was quite an amusing parody on a lot of different quiz-shows and then Vincent gets introduced to the audience. MCQ has a bit of a slow chat with the shy Vincent. Apparently, Vincent has accumulated 90000 points up till now. This means that, with probably 30000 per question answered correctly, Vincent does know the name of the OP. Quite interesting. ^^ Then, Real and Pino’s whereabouts are revealed. They seem to be in the supporters’ box, otherwise known as an unbreakable glass, soundproof tube. Both look quite pissed. ^^;
The second round: Who is this? We’re looking for a person. Every ten seconds, one hint is dropped. The more hints which are dropped, the less points you get.
– Hint one: He likes to wear black.
– Hint two: He’s got scary eyes.
– Hint three: He looks young. At this point, Vincent gives his first try: Real Mayer. She indeed likes to wear black, she looks young, and she certainly has scary eyes, especially in Vincent’s perspective. But she’s not a he, which means the answer is wrong, and I don’t think that Real liked it too much that Vincent saw her as someone with scary eyes. ^^;
– Hint four: He likes the cold.
– Hint five: He’s shy.
– Hint six: He thinks about Vincent a lot. This severely limits the possibilities. Vincent answers Pino, though that’s wrong again. She likes to dress in a bunny-suit, not black. Pino’s making some funny faces at that moment. ^^
– Hint seven: He’s quiet by nature.
– Hint eight: He’s tearful.
– Hint nine: He may be a two-timer.
– Hint ten: He always wins. This, indeed, has to be Ergo Proxy.
– Hint eleven: He’s naked beneath the blue sky. I’m suspecting that this is some kind of analogy.
– Hint twelve: A silhouette of Vincent, in Proxy-mode.
At the twelfth hint, Vincent also sees that the person is Ergo Proxy, and he answers. Very surprisingly, this episode suddenly turns from a strange filler to an episode dedicated to explain a few things about the background of this show. Vincent’s answer appears to be actually wrong. The right answer is Proxy One. This really is yet another one of Vincent’s aliases.
Round three: Mosaic Quiz. A distorted image is shown, and Vincent has to guess what it is. It seems like some sort of life cells, bearing a suspicious resemblance to the ones we saw in episode seven. Before we get to see the answer, MCQ gives a moment to the sponsors of the show, which appears to be the eye-catch. We never get to know the real answer afterwards, as we switch to Raoul. Apparently, he’s picked up the Proxy’s signal, and now knows exactly where Vincent is at that moment. This brings him back in the story. On the background, we hear Announcer-chan giving an explanation about something, though I don’t get it at all. The “Awakening” seems to have set a plan in motion, in order to attempt to preserve and transmit important data in the event the creator of something dies. In the land this takes place, there isn’t a need for a system to combat the planet’s environment, suggesting that there is some kind of place which isn’t poisoned and polluted like the rest of the world. For some reason, it seems that that’s the cause that the original bodies of some civilizations predecessors couldn’t be replicated so a new generation had to be constructed. Don’t ask me what kind of sense that’s supposed to make… In any case, this new generation was produced in a hurry, though they had nearly the same strength as the originals. In the end they weren’t strong enough for the project’s objectives, however. Still, despite these products being incomplete, he still embraced them. In return, these creations destroyed the world, so the creator failed to save the world that was.
Round four: Triple Chance. It’s the same as Round Three, but now Real and Pino have to guess as well. Real was quite funny when she got the chance to talk to Vincent again. What follows is a small history of the world, starting from the very beginning. Nothing new. Then, the distorted picture gets shown. It’s an unknown picture. Real doesn’t even bother playing along, and Pino pwns everyone once more by drawing a direct replica of the distorted picture. ^^ Vincent also has no idea.
And from this point, things really get interesting. The picture appeared to be a trump card, which was meant as a way for humans to escape the apparently fast-approaching Judgement Day. Apparently, at some point, humanity had gained the technology to migrate away from earth. It was created in a great hurry. The question remains: why was this technology never used? Or are we currently living in a world, abandoned by the humans who went to outer space? A world in which Humans have learned to survive after the Judgement Day? Quite an original setting for a sci-fi series, isn’t it?
Commercials: before the final round stars, a few commercials follow, and the stage for the final round is built up. The Proxy really stays in his role of host, even when the commercials have begun. Real and Pino are asked to leave, and it seems that commercials in the world of Ergo Proxy are exactly the opposite of what they are today: short.
The Final Round: More questions. A list of questions is asked, each correct one worth 30000 points. Vincent has to accumulate 910000 points, in order to win. Especially the first questions are very interesting, as they actually explain some valuable things about the world’s background yet again.
– Question one: What was the most important form of energy in the twenty-first century, formed by the compression of underground methane gas? Quite an impossible question for someone who isn’t into chemistry. The answer is methane hydrate.
– Question two: So, regarding that methane hydrate, a string of explosions in the reserves wiped out what percentage of the earth? It’s quite sudden, but it somehow does explain the current state of the world. At the twenty-first century, methane hydrate was the most important form of energy. This suggests that the substance is quite easily flammable, and that there were a huge amount of tanks, storing it. I’m suspecting that at one point, something went wrong, and one of these storage tanks exploded, causing a chain reaction in which a huge number of other storage tanks to explode as well. This wiped out 85% of the world population (the correct answer), turned the land into a wasteland and put the sky full of poisonous air. Still, there must’ve been a lot of methane hydrate in order to cause such a huge explosion.
– Question three: If you make an acronym out of the name f the plan to save humanity, you come up with double what? Another introduction for the next question. It appears to be Double P as the name of the plan to save humanity from these explosions. Vincent actually gets the answer, by trying things out.
– Question four is where the fun really starts: What is the biggest obstacle to the restoration of the human race? Proxy. Quite interesting. Especially when you compare it with the next question.
– Question five: How many Proxies were released as a result of the Double P, or Proxy Project? The PP was the plan to save humanity, though on the other hand, Proxies also are the biggest obstacle to the restoration of the human race. This definitely means that 300 Proxies (the right answer) were released, in order to stop the explosions, but this plan backfired horrifyingly. This, however, also means that Proxies were made by men. It also means that they were prepared. After all, you can’t just make them as if it’s nothing.
– Question six: What is the heartbeat of commencement? For some reason, it’s the end of the Proxy Project.
– Question seven: Cark Gustav Jung, a famous author on the subjects such as psychology and alchemy, revered which monarch? King of the Dead. I don’t know where this one fits in.
– Question eight: What was mankind’s other plan, which involved the creation of the Cogito virus? Boomerang Project. It’s got the same name as the rocket in the Triple Chance. Why are these two related? In fact, why was the Cogito virus released in the first place? In any case, it’s another plan of the humans which backfired.
Then, the questions stop informing about the background of the world, and show how Vincent keeps getting the answers right. This indeed shows that Vincent is special, even among the 300 other Proxies. There’s no way he’d be able to catch up this much in the final round, when twenty-four other Proxies have died before him. It seems that Ergo really wants to survive, no matter what. We’ve seen this before, though at that time, Vincent’s ability to survive was only compared to humans. Only now, it’s also being compared to the Proxies. I think the reason he’s special is because he’s Proxy One. This gives some clues that he was the first Proxy to be ever created/appear.
What follows is a small note about the Mistake Quiz. In which the audience has to find one mistake in the show. The previous show apparently showed some Koi Nobori, or huge fish flags, at which two scales missing. I have no idea where that came from, but ah well. I wonder if we’ll ever learn this week’s Mistake.
Then, MCQ says a final goodbye, in an interesting speech. Quite touching and original. Overall, I think this was a great episode. Not the best that Ergo Proxy has showed us, but it was definitely entertaining. I’m really loving these original methods the Proxies have for killing each other. Another thing I loved about the past two episodes was that you just get thrown into the scene, without knowing anything. And then at one point, you realize what’s going on.