The domed city of Romdo is supposed to be perfect, but Re-l Mayer, a young female inspector from the Civilian Intelligence Office, knows better. In this place where humans and robots coexist, she receives a strange message: something is awakening. When it premiered in 2006, the broadcast series Ergo Proxy
attracted a lot of attention because Radiohead let the filmmakers use "Paranoid Android" as the closing theme. Tough-talking intelligence agent Re-l lives in the domed city of Romdo, a pseudo-utopia where humans and androids coexist under an all-pervasive regime administered by her grandfather. When monsters called Proxies begin attacking people and robots ("autoreives") develop a sense of self due to the Cogito virus, Re-l launches her own investigation. Along the way, she meets immigrant Vincent Law, who travels with the cognizant cyborg Pino. Violating the laws of the city, she follows Vincent and Pino outside the dome and discovers that the rulers of Romdo have lied: human colonies still exist in the scarred landscape. Re-l also learns that Proxies are godlike beings of unknown origin and enormous power, and that Vincent is the exceptionally powerful Ergo Proxy. The series borrows heavily from Appleseed
, Neon Genesis Evangelion
, and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C.
, but the perpetually fussy Re-l lacks Major Kusanagi's fascination. The filmmakers snarl the already convoluted plot in a tangle of flashbacks and alternate visions that recall the confusing structure of Gasaraki
. The narration jumps the track entirely in episodes 14, 15, and 19, three pointless fantasies that waste time that should have been used to clarify the story. Ergo Proxy
will appeal to viewers who favor violent action over coherent storytelling and credible characters. The extras include three behind-the-scenes featurettes, plus Japanese trailers and commercials. (Rated 16 and older: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, profanity) --Charles Solomon
(1. Awakening (Pulse of Awakening), 2. Confession (Confession of a Fellow Citizen), 3. Mazecity (Leap into the Void), 4. Futu-risk (Signs of Future, Hades of Future), 5. Tasogare (Recall), 6. Domecoming (Return Home), 7. Re-L124C41+, 8. Shining Sign (Light Beam), 9. Angel's Share (Shards of Brilliance), 10. Cytotropism (Existence), 11. Anamensis (In the White Darkness), 12. Hideout (When You're Smiling), 13. Wrong Way Home (Conceptual Blind Spot), 14. Ophelia (Someone Like You), 15. Who Wants to Be in Jeopardy (Nightmare Quiz Show), 16. Busy Doing Nothing (Dead Calm), 17. Terra Incognita (Never Ending Battle), 18. Life After God (Sign of the End), 19. Eternal Smile (The Girl with a Smile), 20. Goodbye Vincent (Sacred Eye of the Void), 21. Shampoo Planet (Place at the End of Time), 22. Bilbul (Bind), 23. Deus Ex Machina (Proxy))