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Author Topic: Ergo Proxy: Sci-Noir Hallucinogenic Seizure  (Read 10338 times)
Randolf
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« on: August 20, 2010, 10:33:16 PM »

***SPOILER WARNING***
This thread most definitely contains spoilers regarding Ergo Proxy-- although, granted, these may be too confusing to actually spoil anything. Regardless, if you haven't watched the whole show, turn back now.



Let's talk about Ergo Proxy.

I just got through watching this show today. I have to say, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and in ways I did not expect. The comparison to Big O, upon closer examination, is actually better founded than I had at first supposed.

I already know half the planet found this show boring and confusing as hell-- and I don't care. Sense is overrated. I also know many people disliked the characters; personally, the characters were my favorite part, and probably the only reason I was able to finish watching the series enjoyably.

So let's get started picking it apart.

- At no point is the full nature of a Proxy explained in detail, but we do get a few basic facts. A Proxy is basically immortal (unless killed with Daedalus's anti-whatever shells, I forget the actual name). It's cells were being used to fuel the human cloning system that allowed Romdeau and the other domes to enjoy a well-controlled and sustainable population. And, as shown in the last few episodes, Proxies were ultimately responsible for the existence of the human cities, including Mosk and Romdeau.

- I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, the four talking statues surrounding the regent even represent. All I know is I'm hearing Schwarzwald's English VA yammering about TRUTH, and it sounds exactly the same. Other than that, mainly very sodding creepy.

- I wish they'd done more with the AutoReiv's prayer stance following full Cogito infection. Actually, I wish they'd made the Cogito virus and AutoReivs more important on the whole. I know Proxies and their purpose were the meat of the show, but somehow the AutoReivs hit me as more interesting.

As for parallels between Ergo Proxy and Big O, there are many-- but several are merely cosmetic. Having watched the English dub, we can recognize the VAs of both Schwarzwald and Gordon-- as characters talking about Truth and Memories, respectively. Which was trippy enough, but the characters also live in domes, drive black old-style cars and live alongside androids. And enjoy soliloquy to a fault. All the show needed was a giant robot and some cool jazz sax.

Actually, Roger and Re-l might go well together. Mindwarp crossover fanfic time!

Anyway, any of you with thoughts or feelings, love it, hate it, post away.
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EyeOfPain
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 02:33:20 PM »

I had completely forgotten about the AutoReivs and the Cogito virus. If I recall, it made them fully self-aware, didn't it?

I do remember hearing some explanation regarding the statues. It was either psychological (id, ego and superego), or much more likely, literary. I think it was either a commentary track interview with the English cast/crew.
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Sharpshooter005
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 12:48:54 AM »

I only saw a couple of episodes, and already posted my opinions of them elsewhere..I'll go copypaste that in at some point.

So placeholder post:

Re-L wore some kind of victorian mourning dress and killed robots with a shotgun, and the episode with the idyllic '50s town ruled by servant droids that had gone fuzzy and homicidal from the apocalypse reminded me of the mr. handy's from fallout 2. Oh also the "game show" episode which from what I can tell is the closest it ever gets to explaining the backstory of the setting was pretty zany.

...Actually wait no that may have just been the gist of my other post about this series. Oh well.
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R. Daniel 01
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 02:31:42 AM »

This show was way too caught up in itself to really be enjoyable. Have you watched episodes with good notations? The show has oodles of pointless references packed into nearly every episode. Also, what sharp said.

I tried to like it. I watched all but the last few episodes. Yet in the end it didn't give me anything.

Don't know if any of you guys caught it, but the male protagonist's autoreiv at the beginning was named Dorothy. And she was a red-head.

Also there's a Hitler lookalike who runs around the city towards the end, commanding a small death squad that hunts autoreivs. That was pretty lolz.
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Randolf
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 02:45:09 AM »

By about the third episode, I gave up trying to force the bloody plot to make sense; I just went with it. Really, if you stop watching it for logical storytelling and just watch it for the moody, disjointed trip that it is, it's a lot more fun.

Yes, I did notice Dorothy, along with a wide variety of other aspects in common with Big O-- which I may list in detail soon.

Speaking of Big O, I have to confess I'm starting to like Ergo Proxy better-- at least Ergo didn't make an effort to solve its mystery; it just let it flap in your face, which was much more satisfying than some lame random imagery which canceled out the value of everything that came before it.

As for the "Game Show" episode, that was #15: Who Wants to be in Jeopardy. And yes, that was seriously f'd up. That and Eternal Smile. W00t Dystopian Walt Disney World.

Anti-Autoreiv commander Scrapheap Hitler's soldiers have guns that can take out whole buildings in one shot. You do not mess with Scrapheap Hitler.

I don't know if I need to apologize for liking this show as much as I do, as I readily admit I'm one of very few people who ever did. But I do like it, oddly enough. Anyone care to try and figure out how that could be? Seriously.
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R. Daniel 01
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 11:56:58 PM »

Yeah you're right. I probably took it too seriously. The high-quality animation fooled me.

Heh. I um... actually I liked Big O's ending. It doesn't really confuse me. Just a lot of visual metaphors. Roger's trippin' balls, you see.

Quote
Anyone care to try and figure out how that could be? Seriously.

Cuz you're loose and don't take everything too seriously. Seriously.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 12:00:59 AM by R. Daniel 01 » Logged

Randolf
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 06:10:31 AM »

If you can understand Big O's ending and not understand Ergo Proxy... well, I'm having the opposite problem, so I don't know what to think. If I thought it would help, perhaps we should try explaining these things to each other.

And yes, in all seriousness I am fairly loose about things I enjoy. I'm not looking for much beyond atmosphere and character interactions-- and maybe some good action scenes-- so I tend to like things that almost no one else does.

Still working on the Big O/Ergo Proxy comparison list. Just a brief point: I carefully studied the brief shots of EP's Dorothy, and upon closer inspection, her "hair" is black. The red-haired autoreiv seen later on in the first episode is called Mary.

EDIT: Okay, got most of the list finished. Here's what I've got:

PARALLELS BETWEEN ERGO PROXY AND BIG O

Dorothy:
- In both shows, there is a female android character who wears black and speaks in monotone. However, it should be noted that EP's Dorothy is a minor character and is not relevant to the main players for the most part.

Comparison of Cities:
- Romdeau, Mosk and other cities are covered in domes.
- Both Paradigm and Romdeau have government towers in the center of the main dome.
- Residents inside Romdeau are separated into distinct classes of poor and rich (Big O: inside/outside the domes, EP: immigrant/fellow citizen).
- People living entirely outside the city live in abject poverty, although Ergo Proxy covers this subject with more detail than Big O.

While there is no direct Big O equivalent of the Cogito virus, but there are some instances in Big O of androids going mad and causing harm. However, androids in Big O are generally considered citizens of themselves, whereas Ergo Proxy treats them as private property.

Re-l and Roger Smith:
- Wear black.
- Have a hard time getting out of bed.
- Drive old-fashioned cars (okay, so Re-l doesn't actually drive; but it's an old car).
- Have an android companion of the opposite sex.
- Use soliloquoy in virtually every episode, frequently commenting on "This city...".
- Are often subject to shocking revelations about the nature of the world, and cope with amazing alacrity.
- Frequently break rules or edicts set down by the authorities to get at the facts of the matter.

A side-note to former PCF goers: at some point, a PCF artist produced some drawings for a gender-reversed version of Big O (namely Roxanne Smith). Apparently, both Roxanne and Re-l sleep in their underwear, which is almost identical.
EDIT: Scratch that. The underwear is nothing alike.


Post-Apocalypse:
- Much like Paradigm, Romdeau is surrounded on all sides by virtually uninhabitable wastelands produced by some long-forgotten disaster. However, unlike Paradigm, the leadership and citizens of Romdeau are well aware that other people do live in other similar cities and even in the wastes themselves, although they have a low opinion of these people.
- The apocalyptic destruction is man-made.
- A considerable harvest of working technology can still be found in the wastelands if one is determined enough to look.

Memories:
- At least one early episode of Ergo Proxy deals intently with the effects of the loss of memory. Much of the latter end of the series also focuses on this. However, while it is implied that Vincent removed his memories of his own free will, he is the only character whose memory is otherwise at fault.
- When discussing lost memories, much attention is focused on the leadership of Romdeau (the equivalent of the Paradigm Corporation), who apparently know more than anyone.

Miscellaneous:
- The English voice actors for Schwarzwald and Gordon Rosewater both appear. At least once in the script, both characters in Ergo Proxy use the word "Truth" and "Memory", respectively, using identical inflection as their characters on Big O. This may simply be force of habit on the part of the actors, but it does produce an eerie effect to those who have seen Big O.

If you can think of some more, speak right up.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 10:33:02 PM by Randolf » Logged
Sharpshooter005
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 02:39:47 AM »

I remember thinking that at some point in the series they'd end up revealing "mosk" as the remains of moscow, with the name being like in the first star trek movie where the voyager probe becomes v-ger due to the writing on it deteriorating. For some reason I remember being real sure of this theory.

Then I got to the game-show episode and realized "Yeah this..is not the kind of show where they'd go the route of explaining the what-have-yous of the apocalypse" (Except then they ended up..kind of doing precisely that kind of plot dump near the end. The deal with the survivors in some kind of spaceborne cryo-stasis or whatever)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 02:41:23 AM by Sharpshooter005 » Logged
EyeOfPain
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 02:40:43 PM »

I always thought of it more like "Mosque," the Islamic place of worship. The way every one in Romdo referred to the refugees seemed almost like opposing religions to me. I guess "Moscow" would work too, if you looked at it like the Cold War. Actually, that does work better.
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R. Daniel 01
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 11:05:39 PM »

I guess "Moscow" would work too, if you looked at it like the Cold War. Actually, that does work better.

It's also just so chic to give props or reference to Russia and their sci-fi/intelligentsia. Ergo Proxy always seemed way concerned with that chic ambience.

Which is why Randolf liked it so much, I recall.
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