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Ergo Proxy- The Complete Series DVD Review

Ergo Proxy- The Complete Series DVD

“Ergo Proxy” is an intriguing letdown.

In the 23 episode sci-fi anime series “Ergo Proxy,” the story takes place in the domed Romdeau City where humans and androids (AKA AutoReivs) live in a “paradise.” The series revolves around Re-L (an emo, bad-ass Citizen Intelligence Bureau detective) and his AutoReiv partner Iggy investigating AutoReivs that have been infected with a Cogito virus which leads them to an even greater mystery involving humanoid monsters known as the Proxy. Without getting into too much spoiler territory, viewers can expect to see other plotlines involving an immigrant (Vincent) and an infected AutoReiv (Pino) on the run from Proxy and authorities, Raul (the director of Security Bureau), the outside world, an artificial birthing system, other domes, Kazkis (the Asura dome supervisor), Vincent’s connections to the Proxy, romance between Re-L and Vincent, a revolution against the AutoReivs, and the crucial secrets of the Proxy.

Visually, anime series don’t get much better than “Ergo Proxy.” It’s a unique, dark, atmospheric looking series that boasts unique environments, color schemes, and original character designs (especially for the creepy looking androids). Alas, I wish I could gloat about the scripts the same way…

To say the episodes are oddly written is an understatement. The concept of the “Blade Runner” and “Armitage” inspired sci-fi noir tale of “Ergo Proxy” is more interesting on paper than in the execution. Yes, the direction is flashy, the themes are deep, and the story is unsettling and attention grabbing, but the series is let down by clumsy exposition and dull characters that should be much stronger. For all of the show’s complexities, it’s rather unfortunate that there aren’t any characters to care about because this could have easily been a top tier anime series.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? The series looks great, but I’m a bit puzzled as to why there isn’t a Blu-ray release yet. The series would look superb in hi-def.

Audio Tracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English 5.1 DTS, and a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 track. How do they sound? The English dub (on both 5.1 tracks) is rather good. The English cast fits the characters and there is no overacting or miscasts here. As for the Japanese track, not only is it excellent, but it’s in 5.1! In other words, these tracks are a win for all!

Extras:
* Trailers for “Serial Experiments Lain,” “Fractale,” “Armitage 3,” “Oblivion Island: Haruka And The Magic Mirror,” “Dragon Age,” “Disgaea,” “Tales Of Vesperia,” “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” “El Cazador de la Bruja,” and Funimation.com.
* 3 promo trailers and 3 commercials for “Ergo Proxy.”
* 2 textless opening songs.
* “Featurette 1: Key Words Of Ergo Proxy”- A Japanese featurette that talks about some aspects of the universe of Ergo Proxy. Unfortunately, the white English subtitles often blend in with the Japanese titles and the picture which makes it hard to read at times.
* Featurette 2: Behind The Scenes”- A basic behind-the-scenes featurette featuring interviews, a tour of the Manglobe studio, a look at the animation process, etc.
* “Featurette 3: English Staff Interview”- 32 minutes of interviews with the English voice director and the English script writer.

Overall Thoughts: “Ergo Proxy” is a frustrating anime series in that there is much to admire and nitpick. With all of that said, it’s hard to criticize an anime series that cleverly uses Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” in the end credits.

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June 14, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review |

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