Posted by psgels on 18 August 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy



I wonder what I’ve been watching just now…

There seems to be no wind, so the Usagi can’t fly. This means that Real, Vincent and Pino have to wait until the wind comes back. And well… that takes the entire episode… Meanwhile, we get to learn about the life on the Usagi, through Real’s perspective. It was an amusing episode. Okay, it was most definitely strange, but amusing as well.

Real makes good use of her diary in this episode, as half of the episode is told through the things she writes in her diary. She wakes up, while Vincent is still asleep. She brushes her teeth. Later, in the afternoon, Real goes outside with Pino in order to check out the surrounding area. She doesn’t find anything, though. It only confirms that they’ve landed in nowhere.

She also checks up the remaining supplies. Pino, meanwhile, is having fun doing absolutely nothing. In the meantime, Vincent has woken up by Pino, who has been playing with Real’s make-up. ^^; It’s 2000 more miles towards Moscow, which immediately explains why this journey of theirs is taking so long. Real realizes that they’re just wasting time. She has yet to understand any of the mysteries of the Proxies, and especially Vincent. Then the title of the episode appears, and it couldn’t have been more fitting: “busy doing nothing”.

Vincent wakes up, and bangs his head against the ceiling in his enthusiasm. Real is getting quite annoyed by this, as she writes, in big letters, “unacceptable” in her diary. Pino, meanwhile, is copying her, writing it. Still with make-up. Real spends most of her days, observing the actions of Vincent. This involves her, randomly pushing him off the Usagi. ^^; She’s also noticed that he’s left-handed. Later, we see her doing exercises, and get quite pissed when Vincent forgets to close the toilet-seat (since when was that a problem?).

Pino’s playing on her toy-flute, while Real scolds him about this. Later, we see Real play catch with Pino, in order to observe her actions. Pino is having quite some fun ding this. Later, Real attempts to cook. She makes a few sarcastic remarks, and lets the pan of hot water boil over, dropping the noodles she was supposed to cook on the ground and not being happy with the result. Later, she discovers a blemish on her cheek.

While Real prepares dinner, she notices another thing: Pino’s left handed. She confirms this by letting Pino perform certain tasks, and Pino always uses her left hands on this. Quite interesting, if you consider that autoraves originally are ambidextrous. When Pino ends up having to use both of her hands, though, the difference is very hard to spot. ^^;

We then turn to Real, who seems to be looking for something. Vincent helps her. In the end, it appears to be her pen which got lost. While she tries to reach it, she notices a very large and prominent hole in Vincent’s sock, and mentions it. Exercises again. Later, Real’s taking too long in washing her hair, wasting needless water. Vincent tries to say something about it, in vain. Pino, meanwhile, continues reading her book.

Next up. Dinner. Beans. Real then notices quite an annoying hair, Vincent forgot to shave off. This really annoys Real in some way. We then see Pino, playing a popular child’s game: two empty cans, put some strings through to them, step on top of the cans, hold the strings and walk! Later, it seems that Pino and Vincent have been sitting next to each other, staring into oblivion, saying nothing for three whole hours, looking quite happily. Real really doesn’t understand this.

Another dinner. This time, however, there aren’t a lot of beans present. Vincent tries to make it better to add salad dressing, of all things. In a sense, I do not want to know how such a thing tastes. Real, meanwhile admits that Vincents annoys her an awful lot. He’s just too carefree, and the situation they’re in doesn’t really make it better. Next up, exercises again, while Pino reads her book again, on top of Real.

That afternoon, Vincent still sits, staring into oblivion, for no reason at all. Real then notices Vincent’s drawer, and decides to take a small look. Suddenly, she discovers nine pair of brand new socks, stuffed away, and never used. ^^; Later, Real doesn’t like the fact that Vincent forgot to close the seat yet again. A firm kick in a nasty place is the punishment for this.

Later, the blemish doesn’t seem to go away. Real then discovers Vincent’s shaver. Later, Real sees both Pino and Vincent playing the child’s game mentioned earlier. She really doesn’t get it. ^^; Later, Vincent’s cleaning, and he discovers one of the noodles Real dropped earlier when she failed at cooking. Pino, meanwhile, still continues to play with Real’s make-up, and she also lets Vincent have a dose. Real then notices this, Vincent gets scared, bangs his head against the ceiling and messes up some of Real’s make-up tools. Real then leaves. Vincent heads out to apologize to Real, though Real hid herself in a fairly obvious place. Vincent, however, doesn’t see this, and runs into the wasteland, thinking Real went there. Still with make-up on.

The next dinner, Real confronts Vincent with the situation. Vincent really is carefree with the situation. He doesn’t seem to care whether there is wind or not. Real, however, has a good chance to dump her frustrations on him. She tries to force him to speak up when he has something to say, and stop getting indecisive. Though she fails.

Later, Real watches Pino putting on make-up again. Though this time, in mime-style, without the make-up. She’s quite talented in this. Especially when she starts performing some impressively accurate impressions of Real. ^^; Real however, begins to look more pitiful by the minute. The blemish still hasn’t disappeared either. Vincent, meanwhile, is cleaning. Real’s watching him.

The next day, Real awakens again. Then it seems that snow has fallen. She immediately goes back to bed, as she doesn’t want to wake up with such temperatures. Vincent and Pino, meanwhile, are having fun with the snow. Pino tries to get Real to play too, though Real gets stubborn. Then Vincent calls Pino, in order to show her the Aurora, a first see for Pino.

Later, Real wakes up again. She heads outside, and then sees Vincent, yelling at the top of his lungs, throwing various curses at the wind, in the hope of making it return. Real still doesn’t know what he’s doing. Later, Vincent continues with pathetic attempts to make the Usagi move. They’ll never work, of course, but he definitely has fun in the process.

To save energy, the crew switches to candles. We later see Vincent shaving. In the mirror, he sees Real speaking the words “come on”, over and over. Vincent doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but in fact, she’s getting extremely frustrated about that hair that he keeps missing to shave off. That’s just one of the few things annoying the hell out of Real. She’s really at the point of breaking.

We then turn to the next day. (Wait a minute… doesn’t the wind sound when they show a shot outside?) Real lies in her bed again. Pino sits, doing nothing, and staring in front of herself. This time, without an expression at all, surprisingly. Real sees this, and falls in a deep sleep. Real wakes up when Vincent and Pino are cooking some food. She keeps looking more pitiful by the minute.

That evening, Real grabs her chance, by pulling out that annoying hair when Vincent attempts to change candles near her. Quite a suggestive scene, wasn’t it? Later, Real sees the aurora for herself. This actually is what brings her some motivation, to stop seeing things so serious. Vincent, meanwhile, trips while going off the Usagi, and Real almost does the same.

Vincent, meanwhile gets hit by one of Pino’s dangerous snowballs. Real keeps staring to the aurora, and suddenly starts actually screaming at the top of her lungs, throwing the same curses Vincent did. It’s indeed something to at such a moment. It feels good. Pino, meanwhile, keeps throwing snowballs at Vincent, and Vincent gives her the same treatment. When Vincent keeps staring at Real, Pino has had it, and hits him with an extra large snowball. ^^; While chasing Pino, Vincent trips and Real actually laughs! Indeed a healthy thing to do in such a situation.

Then the wind starts blowing, and they can move out. For some reason, Real hadn’t closed her diary, so when the wind comes, all of the pages blow away along with it. The episode ends with the Usagi taking off, and a shot of the cans, used for the child’s game. Apparently, they were left behind.

I can imagine that the creators really had a fun time creating this episode. It really takes quite some creativity to make all of these every-day events happen. They most probably had a lot of fun, thinking of the things for Pino to do, for Vincent to mess up, and for Real to get annoyed at. The result is this quite peculiar episode.

Real’s realistic attitude really isn’t meant for situations like this. When you’re in such a hopeless situation, and you’re used to luxury, and like to see everything objective, you’re going to notice all of the small details which go wrong. At one moment, these details become way too many, and you get more frustrated. Real’s diary indeed was a good. symbol for this. Real wrote all the details she could find in it. Eventually, it became just a way of her to write down her frustrations. You could really see that in that unshaven hair of Vincent. At one time, she drew “BEARD” in huge letters into it. The pages, flying away at the end of the episode are a symbol of Real, letting go of these frustrations. I’m not sure what the symbol of the cans, left behind at the end of the episode are supposed to be, though.

Overall, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to figure out my opinion about this episode. At one side, it’s pointless. At another side, Real opened up. At yet another side, it may have been too much. At yet another side, it did feel complete. Still, one thing I do know about this episode: it was quite funny. Not just Pino, but both Real and Vincent were funny as well in their daily antics.

3 Responses

  1. CO says:

    Dis wus da best episode in da entire series( Pino Rocks)

  2. headachebaby says:

    This episode was the best…it’s hilarious. I can feel Real’s frustration as they were stuck and going nowhere. Pino was especially cute in this episode, especially all of her imitations of Real…haha, the blemish part was superb!!! Vincent was just too carefree and adorable in his little careless ways. I’ve seen this anime months and months ago and episode 16 is the one remember the most about ^_^. Even thinking about this episode still cracks me up. thanks for the awesome blog!

  3. papercranes says:

    Hahaha it was nice to see a bit of change in pace in Ergo Proxy. My mind was sort of in a state of massive chaotic overload of information and confusion from that last episode and especially the one before that. I have always enjoyed reading your commentary and blog :D
    As for the cans left behind, I think that the cans symbolized Real’s burdens. As it showed in the episode, the game is played by attaching the cans to the bottoms of one’s shoes, pulled by the strings. In a way, those cans were bringing Real down (she was to put all her focus and attention onto those ‘cans’). Well, this is just a speculation though.
    I always enjoy symbolism within works of art.

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:29 PM)
    @Kaiser Someone who actually still likes Nicholas Cage outside of his internet memes? To me he’s one of those actors who at this point, I can’t visualize playing a role outside of himself. Similar to how I can’t see any of Steve Carrell’s movies without seeing Michael Scott.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:19 PM)
    @Bam Yup, asking for money online is flawed in almost every way from the donor’s point of view, a lot of my former art history degree friends have taken to Patreon in a last ditch effort to float their poor career choice.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:46 PM)
    With synecdoche it has the benefit of Hoffman’s performance and to get it you just have to “Feel it”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:45 PM)
    Adaptation is one of those films with Nicholas Cage where you really wish he’d do more of, I wasn’t expecting that to go so off the rails near the end.
    Being John Malkovich, I dug the crazily creative premise.
    Anomalisa felt so human that the characters are puppets you can easily forget that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:42 PM)
    @Bam: I really want to use Urotsukidouji as my reasoning for why more messed up stuff should be adapted, namely kara no shoujo but the industry will just never be that hardcore anymore.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.

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