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Mostly thoughts that worm around after the first nine episodes.

Current EP Observations and Theories:

1. Proxies being the emotional personifications of their societies, it's interesting to see how each society (and each character) personifies itself. Vincent's inner demon is loneliness to the point of desolation. We haven't seen Moscow yet, but from the sounds of it, that place is all rubble. Vincent isn't just borderline schizophrenic, he's an outright dual personality. As a force of desolation, he brings death to everything around him. One of the ironies he's noted is that his only companion is a self-aware android who may in fact be saved only by her innocence. So there's a nice play on his character throughout the series, where we see him grounded by his love for Pino, and in a more disturbing way, Real. These kinds of characters are easy to overdo, I think. So far, Ergo Proxy has created a sympathetic character with Vincent, just about managing to hold that self-angst in check. I particularly like his desolation, perhaps for my own nefarious purposes, but, I do like him as a character. If his entire strength is his loneliness, then his character is also a study of dangerous isolation. Interestingly, his berserker mode makes use of protective feelings for the people he does care about.

2. The other three Proxies we've seen thus far also play on desolation in different degrees. This is appropriate to the world of Ergo Proxy, and takes advantage of that whole post-apocalyptic scenario. It is almost as if each society we meet is a personification of some human failure. The Proxy of the endlessly warring fortress, for example, kills her human kin for their pride, their drive to destroy the enemy even to eternity, eventually destroying herself. The Proxy of the Tower (drunk French vampire guy...) actually has an interesting duality with Romdeau City, in that his personification is also of intoxication with immortality. Romdeau City, as we've seen, is very much a city trying to maintain stasis. Each of Proxies represent a force of change. Vincent asks early on where the urge to assimilate himself in Romdeau City came from -- that plays into the very human urge to join the herd. Both the Proxy of the Tower and Vincent share this emotion. Interestingly, the Proxy of the warring fortress did not.

3. The apparent Proxy of Romdeau City was either fleeting or possessed an expired purpose. All the other Proxies either outlived or represented the death of their societies, and by being personifications, in a roundabout way, preserved the essence of their times. Vincent destroyed that Proxy rather easily, which to my mind indicates the real Proxy of Romdeau City lies elsewhere. There is only one other character from Romdeau City with any will to be a Proxy, and that would be Real. The name itself being an irony, I suspect her purpose is as an agent of change. It's still unclear exactly how Vincent draws power from her apart from the obvious emotional tie, and perhaps it's no deeper than that, but they represent an interesting relationship. If my suspicions are correct, and the Ergo Proxy needs to destroy all the other Proxies to initiate an armageddon-scale reboot of existence (this is my actual prediction of where events are heading to), then what sort of combination will be required with regards to Real's portion of the story?

4. Speaking of armageddon-scale reboots, I'm kind of hooked as to how EP will resolve all the Change-based elements of the plot. I'm just saying out here. The armageddon theory is based on my observations of how these stories usually resolve themselves, and I've said before, EP isn't so much a genre buster as it is a very fine exploration of its genre. I strongly suspect they'll pull out the personal development card on us. Vincent is too much of a conflict by himself not to. He's no superhero. I wonder what sort of world he'd rebuild, given the chance?

5. Still a chance Real remains a human character, and in that way a better observer of what the world could be. Vincent makes a better conscience than her, and he is the conscience of her, or they seem to complement each other that way. I like her because she's cold. Now, she's really dead. The preview sequences with Pino are heartwarming, and certainly a nice contrast out of all the angst, but I miss Real. Daedalus gave her Amrita cells a couple of episodes back. It's not farfetched to suppose she'll be back, one way or the other. Interesting question being how.

6. One of the points that just makes me laugh in this series is how various characters have commented thus far that Vincent starts off quite the ugly duckling. He did, actually. That squinty round-headed stuff bothered me at the start too. It'd be a coup to have a guy like that as the hero, and I'm sure all of us menkui types could probably learn something from the exercise too, but I'm glad they improved his face. All it took was for him to open his eyes (nice move -- making the character literally open his eyes that is), and get his hair all wind-tossed for weeks of endless death. He's looking good. Finally a complement to Real (who looks great completely ruffled).

7. Those action scenes still blow me away. EP is not an action show, but they make good use of the fights they work with. Also, the fights are fast and effective, with minimal posing and maximum malice. It's fun to watch, and most of the fights have been at close quarters too, which is doubly nice.

8. WHR and EP seem to be great shows for one-hit wonders in terms of music. In the way that Bana's Shell was great, Monoral's kiri is also a great mood setter. On the other hand, what other samples I've found of Monoral's music is pretty lacklustre. Actually, it could be said they remind of Hyde's solo rock, with better vocals. Kind of makes sense to have them under his recording company that way. kiri reminds me a lot of Creed though. A chorus of, "Come and save me!"s aren't the subtlest things to say, based on the show itself.

9. We have yet to see Pino's father, though she appears to be concerned about him from time to time. It hit me as I was watching earlier episodes again that he might be Raul. Among my observations:

a. In Episode 2, His first and most significant show of emotion throughout this series was when Pino's mother and the baby were thrown down the escalator. At that point, he was very much in shock.
b. He would've seen that Pino was infected with the Cogito virus during this time. It remains to be seen if he ordered her death because of it.
c. In Episode 3, the piano he was playing closely resembled Pino's. Furthermore, the darkened room he was in also resembled where Pino was looking out the window during the day.
d. In Episode 6, when Pino tells Quinn she reminds her of her Papa, I wonder if she didn't mean in stoicism and emotional control.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
Well, your theories
So feeding the hamsters is how you comment here. Okay.
Your hypotheses are just great. Compared to mine, well, mine's just a flight-of-fancy. I did, however, think that I may have made some incisive comment on the flaws of Ergo Proxy.

You can check out my blog at http://animeotaku.wordpress.com

It also seems I congealed the rift between the viewers who side with me and who don't (lol) ... anyway, I hope I see you there, too ... I certainly have a different opinion from you, but I do hope you understand mine. Haha ... :D

-Michael (physics223)
May. 10th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
Re: Well, your theories
Ah, yes, sorry about that. The hamsters are pretty hungry that way. :)
Went over to your blog too!
May. 23rd, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
Interesting theory, linking the proxies with their home cities. The Monad Proxy (that Ergo killed) was not native to Romdeau, though? Daedalus said they retrieved it when they invaded Mosque.

So the question is, do the Proxies all come from Mosque, and were sent out to the different cities to destroy them, and Romdeau survived by preemptively striking Mosque before the Proxy destined for them got activated, and the counsellors want to study the Monad Proxy not just to tap her (?) powers, but also to make sure they could defend against other Proxies.
May. 24th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Monad, yep, that's a theory refuted by later eps. :)

It's interesting to think about why Romdeau originally wanted Monad Proxy. Certainly, it's plausible they wanted to study it for weapons-development. But Daedalus seems to suggest Monad Proxy may also have uses for literally enhancing their own longevity. I've come to wonder if the citizens of Romdeau have either developed shortened lifespans after generations of genetic modifications (the peculiar lack of elderly people inside Romdeau, apart from the Regent) or very poor immune systems as a result. Maybe even both.

The immunity issue comes up because Real's death certificate, as released by Daedalus, includes a statement saying she suffered from pneumonia. Also, the history of people leaving the dome only to die from an unknown illness does suggest a higher susceptibility to getting sick in general. There is, like aging, a strange lack of sickness within the dome. There is also, of course, the entire focus on Amrita cells and their "immortality" factor.
May. 25th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
Also, as Hoody told Vincent, people from the Dome has an 80% mortality rate from the disease (pneumonia, presumably). The lack of aging seems similar to the plot of the film version of Aeon Flux. We already know that humans are bred in tubes, there was an environmental disaster, and some people refered to the soldiers Vincent and Pino met as clone soldiers. So perhaps humans are infertile in this series?

Haven't seen episodes 10 and 11 - they haven't been subbed yet - so I'm avoiding reading your review of it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )