Posted on 4 October 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ergo Proxy


Ergo Proxy is a science-fiction series with a healthy dose of mystery and action. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world, in which the regular earth has become uninhabitable. The only places where people can live is in certain air-tight domes. This story begins in one of these domes: Romdeau. It’s a highly controlled society, which believes that each citizen should get as less freedom as possible, in order to become the perfect citizen.

Ergo Proxy definitely is an incredibly unique series. This mostly lies in the way the plot is written. Especially the middle episodes really play games with your mind. Complex dialogues and monologues occur often, with awesome effects. Some episodes definitely are huge roller-coaster rides, almost without any slow moments. These kinds of episodes really were great to see, and I definitely recommend them. They were also very thought-provoking, dealing with issues as philosophy and psychology.

The show also has a cast of very interesting characters. Ranging from a tough, realistic woman to a small, “android” (or Autorave, as they call it in the anime) girl. The anime starts out full of mysteries and vague references. don’t expect to understand anything of the story for the first three episodes. Then, the pacing dies down a bit, and things can get a bit explained. After that point, things pick up again, and the series starts to become episodic, featuring a fight between two characters on every episode. The great thing is that these characters don’t fight the standard way. Each clash between characters is full of originality. Most of them prefer to use mind games, and we even have one character who kills his victims off by using a fully fledged game-show.

The mystery-part works very well in the early episodes. For almost every episode, new questions get introduced. Still, as the series progresses it makes the mistake to introduce more questions than it can take, resulting in a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the series. I’ve finished this series now, and almost half of the mysteries of this show still remain mysteries. The episodic nature of the second half of the show also takes its toll, especially on the later episodes. For some reason, these seem to have lost the extra touch that the first two thirds of the anime did have. The first half of this series definitely was the better half.

The graphics are also a feast for the eyes. The animations is so incredibly fluid, the character designs look very appealing, though not over the top, the CG has been very well integrated with the rest of the graphics and the background music also delivers.

Overall, Ergo Proxy has been incredibly fun to watch. It’s got its flaws, though the brilliant plotwriting definitely made up for it. If you’re looking for a series which will make you think, this is the one you should go for.

Posted on 3 October 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy

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Heh, this was one of the few times at which a Deus ex Machina actually felt good. Probably because of Pino’s role. When we saw her wandering through Romdeau, I kept thinking that something bad would happen to her, but she actually didn’t play a role in this final arc at all. The creators just gave her an excuse to spend a bit of time, that’s all! Then she met up with Kristeva and returned to the Usagi again, without anything happening, and picked up Real. This moved away from the overused endings in quite an original and appreciated way.

Anyway, the final episode did explain a few crucial parts, though there are a lot of details which remained unexplained. Why did Ergo kill Monad? What exactly was the missile Raul sent towards Moscow? What’s Real’s link with Monad? Who, exactly, is the creator? This also is a series that you need to watch twice if you actually want to understand it. I might do this, perhaps after all of the fall-releases have died down.

This is what I think happened to the world:
– When the world was threatened to be destroyed by the exploding tanks of methane hydrate, the Proxies were created.
– Humanity fled to outer space with space-ships, waiting for the gas to fade away.
– Each of the Proxies created a dome of its own. Proxy One created Romdeau, Monad created Moscow, etc. For some reason, this was vital for the Proxy Project to succeed.
– The Heartbeat of Commencement, I’m still not sure what exactly it was. It’s never really explained. It involves Romdeau being destroyed, Vincent fighting Ergo, Vincent and Monad-Real flying through the clouds, Vincent going back and Monad-Real becoming one with a sparkling light. It was supposed to have happened way sooner, but the Proxies betrayed the Creator.
– Proxies die when they get in contact with direct sunlight. That’s why they refused to start the Heartbeat of Commencement.
– Humanity, meanwhile, has been waiting for generations in their spaceships, in an orbit around the earth.

I would’ve preferred that this anime would have had one extra episode. It’s exactly enough to fill in the remaining gaps, and make things a bit clearer. Overall, the ending was pretty nice. Not perfect, though not the horrible mess that other anime manage to become in their final episode. I’ll probably have the review of Ergo Proxy up tomorrow, as it’s getting too late for that now. Overall, it was a very nice series. I’m glad I watched it, and I’m sad to see it go.

Posted on with categories: Ergo Proxy

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The first half of the finale has started, and it really was awesome. You really can classify this as the answer-episode, as lots of revelations are made. This is going to be a rather short entry, as I already have episode 23 on my computer, just waiting to be played.

So,
– Ergo Proxy/Vincent escapes his death by ripping his arm off.
– Ergo Proxy/Vincent created Romdeau.
– Each Proxy created its own dome.
– Fake Real thinks only about Vincent.
– Daedalus only wants Fake Real to think about him, and he gets pissed off by her actions.
– Pino isn’t captured like I thought. She just ran into Raul’s home, drew a couple of pictures and left. She’s still roaming in Romdeau.
– Raul attempted to shoot Daedalus, but something happens which makes him shoot himself instead.
– When Raul reaches his house, he sees Pino’s pictures. One of these pictures shows the two of them, happily holding balloons.
– Raul meets his end when he roams around Romdeau, trips and falls on a shard of glass.
– Ergo created Vincent in the hope of forgetting about his sufferings as a Proxy.
– Finally it becomes clear why Proxy One and Vincent are different beings: he controls both Vincent AND Ergo Proxy! He’s the true creator of Romdeau.

This was a great episode. The next episode also promises to be awesome: how to kill someone who always wins? Pino wanders further through Romdeau (what were the creators planning to do with her?). And Daedalus has to either accept that Fake Real is interested in Vincent, or he has to take physical actions. Something tells me it’s going to be the latter.

(on a side-note: Ergo Proxy always is a bitch when trying to take screenshots. They always turn out too dark -_-)

Posted on 22 September 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy


And we’re finally back in Romdeau, in which Ergo Proxy has three episodes in order to conclude its story. So far, strange things have happened, interesting things have happened, twisted things have happened, but these things haven’t been anything amazing yet. Let’s hope that the final two episodes will be able to deliver.

Anyway, we start the episode in the Usagi. It seems that Vincent left first, after he didn’t return after a while, Real went out in order to check up on him. That was Thirty thousand two hundred thirty three Usagis ago. Pino then gets sick of waiting and goes out on her own. It seems crisis struck ever since Raul launched the rocket, and more and more autoraves have been infected with Cogito. It seems that the citizens of Romdeau are fiercely battling against the infected autoraves. For some reason, the autoraves are now referred to as “entourages”.

Back to Real, she’s been wandering around in Romdeau, meeting different people At times, she saw glimpses of Vincent, though he was in Proxy-one-mode at that time. Even after the episode ended we still have no idea why this happened. Anyway, she first meets up with the Autorave Control Department, otherwise known as the department where Vincent started working at the beginning of the series. Next up she meets some kind of government official, who acts a little strange. He just sits behind an empty desk, thinking that it’s full of paperwork, a computer and a keyboard, and he actually moves like he would move if they were actually there. In any case, he mentions the ADW-project.

Next up, she meets with Daedalus. He’s been getting weirder ever since. Meanwhile, Pino is seen, running through the streets and we switch to Vincent. Not as Ergo Proxy, but as Proxy One, mentioned above. He finally arrives at Monad Proxy. He finds the things Donov has done to her horrible, even though he was the one who killed her. He then realizes she has a name tag: Proxy #13. And it indeed seems that every Proxy has its own number. Ergo is #1, Monad is #13. And now that I think of it, remember the late Kazkiz Proxy? He mentioned that each Proxy is some kind of emissary. Ever since that episode, I never saw any traces of those emissaries again. What’s up with them?

In any case, it also seems that every Proxy has a pendant, with its number engraved on it. That explains why last episode’s Proxy had one. Then, the fake Real runs into him. For some reason, she isn’t scared of him at all. Proxy One does show that he still knows Real, when he’s surprised when the girl has the same name as she does. The fake Real then suddenly claims that she also loved Monad Proxy. And she suddenly runs away. I think it was because she was about to lose confidence.

Back to Real and Daedalus. Real apologizes to him that she couldn’t do anything that she set out to do. Strangely enough, Daedalus has really convinced himself that the fake Real has become the real Real, and he sees the real real Real as a traitor. Daedalus then reveals that a mysterious thing called the Eumesis was destroyed. No idea what that might be, but Vincent seems to be behind it. Because of that, the “Aus Der Wickel”-project was started, the human restructuring project. It was bound to fail, and I didn’t really get this explanation. Anyway, the light Raul sent at episode 17 appears to be “Rapture”.

We then switch to Vincent, who plans to invades the city council room. For some reason, the statues refer to him as “The Creator” in a rather cryptic near-monologue. Could it be that Proxy One has created Romdeau in the first place? Anyway, some references to Descartes later, and Proxy One attempts to strangle Donov. Probably in order to get revenge on Monad. Meanwhile, we see Pino arrive at the house where she used to live, hearing someone play piano. Nothing is shown about her afterwards, but when you consider some events that happen at the end of this episode with Pino’s original master, before she got infected with Cogito, things shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.

Anyway, Real has also arrived in the same room, and she sees Vincent, attempting to kill Donov. She tries to shoot her, though she can’t save her grandfather. She’s also very hesitant to shoot him. Vincent then turns to her. Then, Raul comes from out of nowhere and shoots from yet another Proxy-killing pistol. While Vincent is slowly dying, Raul begins to laugh maniacally.

So they did turn him into the main antagonist after all. I wonder what they’re planning to do with the final two episodes. Without a doubt, some huge revelations are about to come. After all, this story has so many unanswered questions left that I won’t even bother to try and list them. But what about Vincent? Surely, the dying process can’t take two whole episodes, or can it? Will he really die, or will he be saved miraculously?

Posted on 12 September 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy


This episode’s Proxy has the ability to delude someone’s mind. You could describe it as bringing its victim in a dream-world. In this dream world, The Usagi has arrived in Romdeau, after which Real turned Vincent in and hid Pino away. Afterwards, she was taken in by Daedalus and his assistant: Swan, in order to become a perfect citizen again. Vincent, meanwhile, turned into Ergo Proxy and was locked up. Real, meanwhile, felt bad for betraying Vincent, so she created an alternative Vincent in her subconscious mind.

The Real Vincent gets to be this alternative Vincent, while the Proxy gets to be Swan. Over the course of the episode, Swan tries to make him believe that he needs to kill Real. She tries to make him believe certain lies about his subconsciousness. I’m not sure what her goal was in doing this. I think that, if this continued on for much longer, Vincent’s mind would break, or something, allowing her to defeat him.

Swan also shows Vincent a bit of his past. In this, Real and Daedalus are brother and sister, Vincent works as the Chief of the Civil Guard with Raul as his subordinate and Vincent and Real who are about to marry. Obviously, this isn’t how it really went. But I wonder if there’s some sort of truth in this. After all, Vincent remembered a few details on his own, before this sequence started (the cup falling and Real cutting her finger on it). Of course, this could also have been the Proxy, trying to play with Vincent’s mind, creating the events so that in both cases, Vincent would naturally act the same way, thus creating a deja vú.

In order to confuse Vincent, Swan creates an illusion, within an illusion. But it makes you wonder what’ll happen once they actually reach Romdeau. The Proxy also made a few mistakes. Pino suddenly looked fancy again. Vincent didn’t know about the new Real, so there also was no new Real in the illusion. For some reason, Swan also gave herself and Vincent the two pendants. Proxy is able to move so fast, why can’t he dodge bullets like that? And why didn’t Real look for Monad? Still, it was a very nice attempt at fooling him.

While an interesting watch, this episode wasn’t really anything special. It was just another Proxy, playing mind games with Vincent. I think the bad thing was that this Proxy didn’t really have well-defined rules. Proxies like in episode 14, 15 and 19 all had certain rules they had to follow, which made these episodes very enjoyable.

Posted on 8 September 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy


I loved this episode! It was another wacky one, but seriously, I kept smiling over the entire episode. Heck, I’m even smiling as I type this. Pino was SO awesome during this episode. Not to mention the huge wave of symbolism. If you ever need to smile for one reason or another, watch this episode!

The case is like this: we have a Proxy, in yet another dome. This one has created his own world: Smile World. It’s a world in which everyone keeps smiling continuously. But now, Vincent is approaching. In a last desperate attempt, he contacts Pino, in order to find out his weakness. Instead, she opens up his eyes with her smile.

Pino starts out in the local garbage dump. Smile World is full of all sorts of fun attractions, though the unpopular ones get discarded. In the garbage dump, Pino meets up with two discarded cartoons: Hanapeko and Pure. They’re incredibly happy and carefree, even though they’ve been considered trash. An interesting note is that they’re actually auto-raves. They then begin to make a wish, in order to get out of trouble: meet the creator of the world: Will B. Good, aka, the Proxy.

Something very interesting is a poster, advertising a movie about the end of the world, in which Vincent in Ergo-Proxy-mode is destroying a huge number of buildings. What if these prophecies actually have some truth into them? What if Vincent is destined to destroy the world? In any case, every Proxy seems to know Vincent, and his reputation.

Then, a strange cricket appears. He’s very serious and goal-oriented, in contrast with the care-free Hanapeko and Pure. His name is Hopper, and he tries to get Pino to dump her new-found friends and take her to Will B. Good. This doesn’t really work. The foursome escapes from the garbage dump, which gets filled with water afterwards. Hopper gets annoyed by the carefreeness of Hanapeko and Pure, as they seem to have changed their goals yet again: go to Will B. Good and find out the reason they were created. Interesting questions, coming from them. I especially like the way their personality seems to clash with that of Hopper’s. He just can’t accept that there are people who live for the moment.

Hopper then begins to ask Pino about Vince’s weaknesses, which indeed reveals that she’s with some kind of Proxy. What happens afterwards is Pino, Hanapeko and Pure discovering the surface, and they get to see the amusement park of the Smile World. As they’ve got no tickets, they’re in trouble and some dogs with very large heads appear. Pino has great fun evading them in one of the attractions. While she does this, everyone begins to notice that she has an incredibly sincere and real smile. Something everyone in Smile World is lacking. She was SO cute at that moment.

Later, the foursome has been captured after all. Pino also mentions Raul for a moment while Hanapeko and Pure change their goals yet again: become real customers and have real smiles. They then get interrogated by the same guards as before. For some reason, the reason for the dogs to have such big heads is that they were wearing masks. In any case, the interrogators are so impressed by Pino’s smile that they forget their initial reasons.

Hopper then loses his patience and sends them directly to Will B. Good. Will reveals that it’s extremely difficult to give people a constant smile. That’s why he needs total control, in order to protect this perfect smile. It’s ironic that all these smiles are fake. Each citizen of Smile World is ignorant about everything happening outside of the surface. That’s why they can remain to be “happy”.

Will then starts asking Pino about Vincent’s weaknesses, and his treasure. He does this by putting up a fake smile. His creations recognize the fakeness of his smile, after having seen Pino, and they turn against him. Will then resorts to his last option: beg Pino to stop Vincent. If Vincent and him meet, they’ll have to fight. When they fight, Will will lose, and everyone in Smile World will die. Including the friends Pino made. Pino then wakes up, and she manages to convince Vincent to stay away from Will. Especially the way the episode ended was awesome.

It’s a happy end, isn’t it? On the other side, the citizens of Smile World still have all of their freedom taken away. They still know nothing. They still keep smiling forever, with a fake smile. Unless Will has learned something from Pino. It’s interesting to wonder what he’ll be doing afterwards. I don’t think we’ll ever get to see what happens with Smile World after this episode.

Also, the fact remains that Pino is an Autorave. Just what is the Cogito-virus anyway? Why has it been released? If I remember it correctly, it was released to stop the Proxies, but it backfired. Still, Pino showed how the Cogito-virus can work effectively. She got love and care from Vincent. Iggy got ignorance from Real. That’s why they ended up the way they did. But to think that Pino would be so life-like. She’s actually making her own decisions during this episode. She doesn’t copy from anyone, like she did in the earlier episodes.

Posted on 24 August 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy



Honestly… there aren’t few anime who would let their characters make a long journey to some distant place, only in order to discover that the key to solving their problem lies in the place it all began. But for some reason, Ergo Proxy is one of them. And actually, there’s nothing wrong with such a plot twist. It keeps the characters busy, in any case.

But now that I’m looking back, this twist had to come. After all, it was the only way to bring Real, Vincent and Pino back to Raul, Daedalus and Monad. After all, Monad did for a large part of the story but at the same time she was still in Romdeau.

In any case, the episode focuses around Real and Vincent realizing that they have to go back to Romdeau. Remember the rocket from the previous episode? Well, apparently, it hit Moscow. Now nothing’s left of it. While Real and Pino explore the ruins, Vincent seems to be bothered by a nasty headache. In there he has a strange dream. He’s in Proxy-form, somewhere in Moscow. He uses his pendant as a key, to go inside a door, in which an autorave is waiting for him. It seems to be the autorave he left in charge with his lost memories. Apparently, Proxy One let this autorave copy all of the memories he was planning to give to Monad.

The autorave then thinks that Proxy One came back to get his memories. Proxy one, however, kills the autorave and starts crying out of happiness. Vincent then wakes up, back in the Usagi. Real and Pino have returned as well. They then too, somehow find the same room. Vincent then uses his pendant again to open the door. In there, they find the dead autorave, nearly dead. He keeps repeating one sentence, after which he starts uttering the word “Romdeau”. Then, he finally shuts down.

Now, the question remains, when did Proxy One kill the autorave? Was it before he came to Romdeau, or was it in Vincent’s dream? The fact that Real and Pino noticed him sleeping suggests the former, though the fact that the autorave looked just recently destroyed suggests the latter.

Raul, meanwhile, is given his title back. He then pays a visit to Daedalus, who seems to have forgotten about Real, and selected a new one as if nothing happened. This does suggest that Real is replaceable, and it explains why Daedalus said that Real would never betray him. Whenever she does, he’d just create a new one. Still, what do the old Real and the new Real have to do with Monad Proxy? (interesting note: when Raul finds the ball of yarn, he grabs the ball, while the new Real holds the end of the string. Then, she comes running to him, this string is gone and she takes it like nothing happened. Maybe I’m just thinking too much.)

Oh, and Raul still has visions, and has sworn to kill Vincent. It must be convenient for him to know that Vincent’s coming back, isn’t it? Also, who was this person at the beginning of the episode, right next to the explosion? And more importantly, when did it happen? Overall, it was an interesting episode, though it wasn’t extraordinary in any way.

Posted on 20 August 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy



Finally, we have a normal episode of Ergo Proxy again. It’s mostly focused around Raul, while Real, Vincent and Pino meanwhile run into a very interesting city.

First Raul. As Director-General of the Citizen Security Bureau, he has a lot of privileges. And he’s one of the few who can get access to information not meant for normal citizens. Because of this, he’s able to tell the difference between truth and lies. Real was another example of this. Now he as well, has given up on Romdeau.

We also see him having a little discussion with Daedalus. Daedalus seems to blame Raul for Vincent escaping. After all, if Vincent hadn’t been chased out, he would just be leading a normal life. Raul gets angry about this, with a good reason. After all, it was Monad who caused this. Not Raul. Daedalus also isn’t getting worried about whether or not Real betrayed him. He reckons that as long as Real is alive, she won’t betray him, and he can be himself.

Right after Raul put down his trust in the city council, he’s labelled as traitor and his once faithful assistant Krysteva gets put in charge to hunt him down. Krysteva thinks that he’s planning to escape, so the heads for the same place we saw in episode 2, where Vincent landed. In the meantime, she orders to erase all of Raul’s data from the city-databank. This takes about ten minutes. Before that time, Raul can still use his privileges. When she arrives, however, he appears to be in a total different place: his house. In the end, his goal was to get his data erased (on a side-note: does anyone find it ironic that his ID ends with the numbers 666?).

Daedalus, meanwhile, calls himself calm. One of his autoraves also refers to him as the prince of Romdeau. We also see Daedalus talking to a picture of Real, pretending it’s the real thing. And what happened to Monad? Raul, meanwhile is in his apartment, playing piano. The ending of the episode was quite confusing, and I didn’t manage to really understand this at all. For some reason, a hug rocket gets fired. Raul, meanwhile, has visions of Vincent. He reckons that Vincent was the cause for everything (it was quite shocking to see Pino in normal clothes. I nearly forgot that she used to belong to a rich family). Vincent, Real and Pino, meanwhile have almost arrived at Moscow, when they see the same rocket head for their destination. I suppose that that thing is going to blow up the city, though I’m not sure.

Next, Real, Vincent and Pino. They’ve made another pitstop, and they’re making quite some progress. One day, they managed to travel 140 miles, which makes a journey of 2000 miles take about two weeks. Shorter than I expected. In any case, when Vincent and Real decide to leave again, it seems that Pino is gone. She seems to have wandered off somewhere. Vincent also tells Real that if he ever stopped being himself, that he wants her to kill him with her own hands.

Searching for Pino takes a while, in the end, the two of them find a cave, and head in. It consists of some long tunnels. At one point, they find a number of dead bodies, belonging to misshapen humans. When they walk deeper in the cave, they hear sounds coming from a piano. Pino seems to be playing it. She’s accompanied by a live version of these creatures found earlier. It’s quite shy, and doesn’t look healthy.

After a bit of investigation, the main nest of these creatures is found. All they do is walk around, and sitting miserably. Real then discovers that there’s a small amount of poisonous gas inside the caves, so she decides to head out, before the problem becomes worse. Pino is also taken along, against her will. Apparently, the road is very long, as she becomes bored fast, and Vincent has to carry her. She’s very much like a little girl at this point.

Then, they pass the dead bodies of these creatures again. It then seems that the creature Pino was with has followed them, and now collapsed. Then Real realizes what’s going on. When the environment of the Earth changed, they were just normal humans, who dug the tunnels in order to protect themselves. The tunnels, however, then began filling with poisonous gas. This turned their bodies to their disfigured current state. In the meantime, however, it also made them dependant of the poison, up to the point that they won’t be able to live in a normal atmosphere.

Real meanwhile discovers some primitive wall drawings, and a rather cute scene occurs. The creature who collapsed stands up again, and gets carried away by his mother. Pino says goodbye to him. The wall drawings show a family with a pregnant mother, father and child, and Real realizes something again. We never know what it was, though.

Overall, I’m not sure what will happen to Raul afterwards. Will he be caught, or does he manage to escape? And I really need to rewatch the first two episodes at one time. Is it me, or did Pino use to be Raul’s autorave? In any case, the music was great again. It was a very nice episode. Nothing special, but I really enjoyed watching it. Every single time, Real, Vincent and Pino run into something unique in their journey to Moscow.

Posted 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.

Posted on 17 August 2006 with categories: Ergo Proxy



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.

Shoutbox

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  • Vincent
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Watched Letters from Iwo Jima again. Ken Watanabe is a great actor.
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:32 AM)
    Note that it’s not just regular AIDS, which is definitely treatable if caught early, it’s some dtug resistant SUPERAIDS that the character in question got from a blood transfusion soon after being born
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:29 AM)
    It’s not that the disease being AIDS is really all that important. You could even replace with anything, even Sudden Moe Death Syndrome from Clannad and the emotional impact would still be as blunt and forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    I did however feel that some of the dialogue and acting could have done with some very very slight tweaking in parts/some segments.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:53 AM)
    Okay even though I don’t watch western tv shows all that much I finally properly spent whole day going through black mirror. For the larger part this is creative, unpredictable, well thought out/written, varied, I like the technological end of it, the stories manage to fit into the short film runtime without ever feeling like they needed more time and its clear that Charlie Brooker has a lot to say with this and is very intelligent man, some of it does ring fairly true.

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