Science fiction and confusion often go hand in hand, but Ergo Proxy is close to reaching the kinds of befuddling heights scaled only by behemoths like Mamoru Oshii. The dialogue, the action and even the damn visuals are so frustratingly cryptic and symbolic that only vaguely am I able to follow what is going on here – not that this is a bad thing, though certainly the viewer should be in the right (preferably coffee induced) frame of mind to get the most out of Ergo Proxy; just don’t expect answers, only more questions.
My real concern (no pun intended) is that this series severely lacks in compelling human qualities; the similarly bleak cyberpunk thriller Texhnolyze was hardly easy to follow, but at least it introduced us to a cast of interesting, dramatic human characters. Ergo Proxy has Real and that’s it- her predictable resurrection from murder is a godsend in that she is the only character in this show that I can empathise with, the rest are emotionless shells; proxies for Dai Sato’s high brow musings.
The truly great aspect of Ergo Proxy is its dark dystopian vision and pondering philosophy; I can see myself enjoying it much more once a few of the big questions have been answered and I’m able to just sit back and let the atmosphere wash over me. I love that this series has vastly decaying landscapes, a sophisticated and mature theme with proper adult characters and a really unique animation style that takes on bizarre, exciting feats of physical action when Proxies clash heads.