01: Ergo Proxy



All personal emotions turned off, the review begins:

Ergo Proxy is a thriller science-fiction television show. Consisting of 23 episodes, it aired from 25 February 2006 – 12 August 2006 on Japanese networks, and i believe it just got picked up for the American market.
The show, decidedly Cyber-Punk, discusses many "big" themes we face everyday: the human soul, personality, love, fear of the unknown/strange, nonconformity and the relationships in humanity, and between man and machine.

The show starts off slowly, like all good thrillers:
In a post-apocalyptic world when all the survivors are "herded" forever inside advanced dome cities, a mysterious virus is running loose, causing the infected to commit acts of mayhem and murder. the catch is, this is not a human virus, this is a computer virus.

the Cogito virus (a play on Cognition) is infecting personal entourage androids with that most feared of computer illnesses, Sentience.

Further complicating the situation is government-sanctioned experiments to create "Proxies of God on Earth", advanced human clones which are thought to be the key to salvage humanity.

A proxy manages to escape, along with an infected android "child" named Pino, and traverse the earth to find answers for their existence.

the series' pace is at times heart-stopping, while at others it just barely moves on: A lot of issues are discussed on and off screen (meaning, in YOUR mind) and the series slows down accordingly to allow you to ponder these while still able to focus on the show.

In the words of the series creator:
"...(It) is meant to represent our own debate over whether we become who we are because of our environment, or because of things that are inherent in us. "


Trivia: (stolen because i don't want to write it twice, for the rest watch the series and be VERY attentive, or just google it.)
  • The following characters are all named after French Post-structuralist philosophers: Husserl, Kristeva, Derrida, Lacan, Berkeley, Deleuze and Guattari.
  • The character Pino and her name is thought to be a play-on of Pinocchio, there are also some similarities to her and the story of Pinocchio specifically the becoming a real person idea.
  • Episode 1 begins with a quotation from Michelangelo's reply to Giovan Battista Strozzi's epigram for the Night Stature in the Medici Chapel. The opening sequence from Episode 3 onwards features fragments of this quotation in Italian as part of the background graphics montage.

Caro m' è 'l sonno, e più l'esser di sasso,
Mentre che 'l danno e la vergogna dura:
Non veder, non sentir, m' è gran ventura;
Però non mi destar, deh! parla basso

Welcome is sleep, more welcome the sleep of stone.
Whilst crime and shame continue in the land;
My happy fortune, not to see or hear;
Waken me not - in mercy, whisper low.

—Michelangelo Buonarotti


The theme-song of the show is Kiri by Monoral, a band that sings in Japanese, English, French and Arabic.
the end-song is RadioHead's Paranoid Android.

End note:
10. of 10. if there was ever a show that deserved a full-rating, its this one.
any reviewer that gives less is clearly an idiot. or hasn't seen it.


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