Ergo Proxy: The Conclusion
A couple of nights ago I completed watching Ergo Proxy so my feelings are still achingly fresh. I started this series with high hopes based off positive reviews and a number of recommendations that were given. Initially, the reviews seemed to be correct and I felt I had made a good choice in choosing to watch the show. If you have read my earlier posting when I started watching the show, you could see that I was enjoying it. The heavy philosophical tone was a compelling reason for me but as the series progressed it got lost with unnecessary episodes that even after further thought really showed no purpose. Why this show that was not based off a manga had fillers I could not understand; because that’s what they were; fillers. It was as if the writer of the show completely forgot himself what the series was about and thought “Hey, let’s throw in this game show type episode with shadowy figures hovering around giving off an ominous vibe.” Yes, there was an episode that was a game show in which Vincent Law had to answer a certain amount of questions correctly or he would die. The episode would have been better if the questions weren’t so ridiculous and focused more on questions regarding PROXIES to at least help the watcher enjoy it a bit more.
Now I know it may seem that I am fuming over the show and I was a bit perturbed. The last two episodes came off rushed and left so many plot holes and not in a good way. It left plot holes as in it felt as if the writer did not know what else to do and had to end it in a hurry. But let’s talk about what I did appreciate about the show. Vincent Law. Pino. But we’ll focus on Vincent Law. He is the main protagonist and my goodness, he was the best thing from the series outside of Pino.
Initially, Vincent Law’s character is introduced with his eyes closed. His eyes are closed and he carries himself in a servile manner as he is an immigrant from Mosque and wants to become a good citizen of Romdeau. When he gives up on trying to be a good citizen in the domed city of Romdeau, his eyes open and we get a glimpse into the man named Vincent Law.
Looks like two different people, doesn’t it? This is when you get the first glimpse that all is not as it seems with Vincent Law. Vincent Law is what makes Ergo Proxy as interesting as was the point, of course. There is this metamorphosis with his character that is not often seen in anime. The concept of Vincent Law as two different people or entities (however, you want to view it) is the driving force behind the series. That they showed it not just with his behaviors but gave a stark visual was magnificent. I was left wanting with Vincent Law as although you find out who he is which is easily figured out in the first couple of episodes without being told; the last episode throws a curve-ball about everything that was previously introduced regarding him. Speaking on the last episode, it was the last two episodes of this series that I felt tainted this show for me. I could tolerate the random episodes that contributed nothing to the series but I was hoping for a fitting conclusion.
The series which had so many philosophical tenets derailed. I understood what it was trying to discuss but it fell flat. Tormented gods created by a tormented Creator to create tormented humans. Then there is an angel? An angel that was created in the lab by a man obsessed with Re-L Mayer but was really another PROXY, Monad who was supposedly killed by Ergo Proxy in one of the first episodes. What??? The tormented gods being the PROXIES who we are only introduced to a few, their purposes little explained outside of being killed by Ergo Proxy; God of Death.
Re-L Mayer, a completely unlikable character in the beginning but grows into her humanity. Regarding Re-L’s humanity, the humans of the domed cities which is where humans live because they cannot survive outside of them due to humans destroying the Earth; the humans are modified humans. They are not reproduced by sexual means but by artificial wombs. Did Ergo Proxy discuss this in-depth? Nope. They touched on it in a roundabout way in one of the last episodes in which Vincent Law, Re-L Mayer, and Pino encounter creatures who live in a cave teeming with toxic fumes. The humanoid creatures have adapted to survive in this toxic environment so they cannot breathe clean air without dying and must forever live in the cave. There are paintings on the wall showing the creatures who are technically humans but have evolved; pregnant. Then Vincent Law sees one of the actual creatures is pregnant; he acknowledges it silently and Pino is happy that one of the child creatures has found its “father”. Vincent tries to explain that it is not a “father” to Pino to no avail. However, this is another gaping hole in the series, the watcher is initially told that humans are unable to reproduce sexually so is it safe to assume that this was to show that was not true? More frustration.
Pino; a likable character from the beginning who literally grows into her humanity. She is an auto-reiv afflicted with the Cogito virus that makes auto-reivs self-aware. This was another interesting aspect of the series that was left in the dust and ignored. Why weren’t we told more about the Cogito virus? Why waste episodes with unnecessary fluff when you had a perfectly good concept to explore?
Did I like the series? Yes. Was I disappointed? Yes. So much potential wasted.