What it’s about: The show is set in a futuristic utopian (read: dystopian) city, Romdeau. Humans and robots coexist, with the issues of basic subsistence and social order maintained through a system of central management. In the middle of this is Lil Meyer, a young and ambitious investigator from the Citizen Information Board, and a new immigrant worker named Vincent Law. But *something* is on the loose, a mystery that the authorities seem willing to do anything to contain and that will embroil both protagonists into a crisis that threatens to destroy the stagnant safety of Romdeau City.
Why you should watch it: The series is serious, sober, and philosophical, with a richness of symbolism and thematic development that’s rare to find in any work, let alone an anime. It’s a mystery show that doesn’t spoon-feed its audience, trusting you to be intelligent and observant enough to keep up. The sound design and animation are fantastic: the muted palette and brooding soundtrack combine to create a suitably oppressive, claustrophobic atmosphere to match the storyline. The two protagonists are pretty well-developed, maturing steadily over the course of the show.
Caveats: Whenever a series has an explicit philosophical bent, there are always those who are going to see pretentiousness. Ergo Proxy doesn’t help itself in this regard by being fairly meandering, all too happy to spend multiple episodes on things that don’t really move the plot forward. The show can get pretty depressing with a palette primarily composed of browns and greys and its general dystopian feel, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
Themes: Living in a dying world. Gnosticism – flawed creators and flawed creations. What it means to be human.