Review of Ergo Proxy (2006)

Moving picture, 9 hours

Robots maintain the sealed arcology, but they’re getting reprogrammed by the “Cogito” virus, broadening their abilities and endangering the foundations of their tightly controlled society.

Low-concept, brainy SF epic. Ultimately quite close to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1982) in its ideas, but with more of a pop-philosophical twist. Far more intelligent and credible treatment of the concept of robots than is typical in cinematic SF. Also decent, albeit highly abstract, as environmental SF. Excellent character designs, good acting, very gratifying sense of seriousness coexisting easily with a couple of “gag” episodes (very different arcologies, episodes 15 and 19). The biggest problem is the limited animation budget, and corresponding sense of sluggishness. There is also a fair amount of empty intellectual posturing, naming things after philosophers etc.

moving picture Japanese production animation fiction series