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Ergo Proxy 16

Sorry about not reviewing EP 15 yet. That review is pending my translation of the gobs of dialogue floated onscreen, which I hope to do soonish. Work's been wailing on me.

The stark contrast between the utter reality of this episode versus last week's insanely surreal take was the first thing that hit me. Vincent and crew are stranded on an icy plain as they wait for the wind to pick up. Everyone on board deals with the mundanity of daily life their own way - Vince by shouting his frustration at the wind each morning, Pino by finding the fun in small things and Real by writing in her diary. Most of our POV is through Real, who goes through the motions of trying to fit into the ship by snapping at everyone, while at the same time seeming to be genuinely curious about the inner workings of everyone around her. In spite of how crabby she is, neither Pino nor Vincent seem to really mind. It's quite amazing how Vincent manages to stay so good-natured in light of how Real steps on him (literally, at one point). But the way they play off each other's characters is lovely to watch that way. Vincent genuinely is a nice young man who has learnt to live with his own demons, apologizing for everything, pretty much willing to see the good in everyone. His relationship with Pino also strongly presents itself in this episode - we see him become a real elder brother figure to her, and it's achingly sweet how he's willing to amuse her. Pino brings out the truth in everyone, and especially with Vince, she's managed to heal him from that desolate figure we had for the first half of the series. She's already begun to do the same for Real, and that's just as nice.

In fact, part of Real's observations includes time spent on watching Pino, and wondering how she has managed to cope with the Cogito Virus where Iggy was unable to. Real isn't sure if Pino is merely an imitation of life, or if she is a real little girl with a mind of her own. Above all else, Real can't help but realize that Pino is ultimately still an android, resulting in the show's first blatant paraphrasing of, "I wonder what androids dream?"

There is a great moment that accompanies that question, near the end, where Real herself starts taking to Pino as a replacement for Iggy. She approaches Pino in sleep mode, one of the few times Pino looks so much like a child-shaped doll, and remembering how badly she wanted to know what Iggy saw about himself before his death, curls up on the floor around Pino's feet.

Real is also seen dealing with the day-to-day realities of sharing her space with someone else, something she clearly has very little experience with (and how that gets to her). Maybe it's more accurate to say that she's dealing with the day-to-day realities of living with a guy, since it's horribly like that. Everything from putting the toilet seat down to living with his cooking to weird hair growths in annoying places that make her gibber like an idiot. At the ratio of Real staring at Vincent vs. Vincent staring at Real, we think we are due for her jumping him in his sleep.

So the cute part about all these things, of course, is how Vincent keeps apologizing for everything. In his weird Vincent way, he seems to enjoy being lectured on the holes in his socks. After which Real finds his drawer full of carefully saved, perfectly identical socks in sterling condition, and that's just funny for entirely the right reasons. I must say, being fed beans everyday, with a variant of beans in mountain dew, would drive me nuts too. Of course, if Real could actually make good on her attempts to cook, maybe they wouldn't be stuck with beans every single day on an icy plain.

There is another word for this kind of scenario. I think it's called, "married". But I could be wrong.

This was just such a great ep for characterization. I know I say this a lot about Ergo Proxy, but this really was such a great ep for it. Each of the characters get their moments, sometimes moments in droves. In the end, Vincent's patience pays off, Real begins to laugh again, and I think Pino finally has the real family she was missing from the start. Still a lot of poignance about that one subject -- amidst episode 15's high-end surrealism were scenes of the people left in Romdeau, and Raul is clearly still thinking of her. Theirs has been the most understated but also the most incredible story hidden between the lines.

The art was top notch, and the art has actually been of only the highest quality for a solid six episodes now. I think we're due for greatness to the end in that deparment, and I'm glad for it. It's nice to hear a range of voices for Vince and Real apart from the usual whingy, subservient and crabby. Real actually has a great voice, strained, world-weary, but still curious about things. When she laughs like a girl, we're suddenly reminded that she's not really as old as she makes herself sounds. Interesting new factoid about Real: she gets and hates zits. Vincent is often quite willing to run around on people's orders, so it's probably good for him he has Real, but his laughing voice is just as nice a layer to hear. His shouts to the wind are filled with an unusual amount of life in a series that otherwise has thrived on showing us death. Perhaps the most terrifying part about these scenes is the feeling that for all the calm and pleasantries we are shown now, there is bound to be an equal and terrible reaction in the next handful of episodes. We are already so near the end of the show, the tangible feeling of death is unstoppable.

Seven more episodes are left.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jbramx2
Jun. 27th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)
*cries* so sad, but true. Tragedy is sure to follow the Usagi's crew.

Still, it doesn't stop this episode from being a complete riot.

Mwaha ha ha, I still hold to my theory of why they call it the Usagi. XD And yes, Real will be the one to jump Vincent. *rubbing hands together evilly* Soon, very soon.

I'm actually trying to find a screenshot of Timothy's pictyre, but I remember the people on it had dark hair, Which doesn't fit with Timothy, Pino or Queen or anyone else in the Commune. Still, it passed by so quickly my eyes might've been playing tricks on me. (and the other person who pointed it out...)

Darn, I can't find it...I know I had it somewhere...Well, when I find it I'll show you and continue with my comment. It's 2 in the morning and I'm braindead. But yes! I love your reviews! I can't wait to read your review of episode 15! ^o^

vampyrichamster
Jun. 27th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the read! *looks at LJ icon* Is that from Witch Hunter Robin?

Just rewatched ep 5 to confirm Timothy's drawing. Also realized for the first time it was Pino who first found the Usagi. The drawing clearly has Timothy and Pino on the rabbit, not Real and Vince. Sorry.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )