published in Empire No.67, Sydney
A nightmarish maze in a future dystopia within which an innocent but prickly girl seeks the truth behind voluminous folds of government disinformation. Combining those key story elements, Ergo Proxy is the latest entry in the sub-genre of future-noir cyber-sci-fi anime. Volume 1 engineers a bleak fusion of Gothic allure in the form of young Re-l (pronounced 'Real'), and the realm of Romdo City, a super-clean utopia populated with 'caring androids' called AutoReivs. Aided by her own AutoReiv, Iggy, Re-l investigates cases of Cogito Virus in androids. Consequently she becomes embroiled in a far-reaching conspiracy involving the secret creation of a hyper-psychotic android known as a 'proxy'.
With its highly distinctive palette of muted tones, Ergo Proxy presents itself as a seriously moody work. While Volume 1 certainly scatters an array of potential keys as to the nature of the terrifying 'proxy' and Re-l's destined connection with it and Romdo City, one hopes the forthcoming volumes will move beyond the overtly coded detective scenario. Signs that the series may evolve into a deeper investigation of the collapse between 'real' and 'unreal' in the android psyche are promising. With tres moderne CGI, a Radiohead end-theme track and slick violent action.