Ergo Proxy Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     November 30, 2007
Release Date: December 03, 2007


Ergo Proxy Vol. #3
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
Vincent finds himself in an unfamiliar room where a mysterious individual who seems to know him quite well confronts him. While Vincent struggles against his inner demons, the delicate balance of control in Romdo begins a slow descent into chaos as Raul and Daedalus agree to work together and fix the growing threat. However, their intent is not entirely pure as each one of them has a deep and ugly ulterior motive.

Episodes Comprise
9 – Angel’s Share
10 – Cytotropism
11 – Anamunesisu
12 – Hideout

The Review!
Ergo Proxy takes a turn towards the strange, as Vincent is confronted with his true nature and Re-l returns to the wasteland in search of the truth about the Proxy; while back in Romdo, Raul and Daedalus attempt to use each other for their own benefit…

Audio:
Audio is presented in English and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English DTS 5.1 tracks. I listened to the Japanese track for this review, which like the rest of the show is of very high quality – sounds and dialogue are all places extremely well, with subtle sound effects used to help boost the atmosphere of the piece. Full use is made of the available channels, and it sounds very impressive. There were no obvious encoding problems.

Video:
Video is presented in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect, and again has been very well done to make the series and its setting as atmospheric as possible. There’s plenty of use made of dark colours, making Romdo feel as oppressive as possible, without there being any significant problems with colour banding on gradients. Ergo Proxy was made in high-definition and broadcast as such in Japan – the DVD release obviously can’t capture the full details of an HD original, but this transfer does a very good job of it and is a joy to look at.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review disc.

Menu:
Menus are a simple affair, consisting of the series logo on a background that looks a lot like an interference pattern, with some images from the series just about visible behind. Direct access is provided to the episodes along with a Play All option, while submenus are available for language selection and extras. That’s pretty much the ideal menu layout, and with no transition animations it’s all quick & easy to use.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Vincent awakes to find himself in a place he doesn't recognise - a tower, owned by a man calling himself Kazkis Hauer, and replete with all the luxuries of life. A far cry from Charos, where he last remembers being. Apparently, Hauer rescued him & Pino from the ruins of the base, and there were no other survivors. His reason for doing that? None, other than his claimed feeling that anyone brave or foolish enough to be in this part of the world is brave or foolish enough to be considered his friend. While Vincent seems happy to accept Hauer's hospitality, though, Pino's not - especially after she finds a hall full of the fighting machines they'd encountered around Charos. When Vincent tackles Hauer about his use of the machines, he finds he doesn't like the answers...

It had originally seemed to me that Vincent’s journey across the wasteland was a necessary interlude in his journey to reach Mosk. Now it seems that the journey itself is going to be the key to the story, and for Vincent it’s a real journey of discovery – or of rediscovery, as he learns about his past, and who he really is. All of that had been suppressed beneath his desire to become a fellow citizen back in Romdo, but now that’s no longer an option it’s all coming back to the surface, and is presented to the viewer in some decidedly surreal ways. The good side of this is that it gives the viewer something to get their teeth into – there’s definitely some great viewing to be had. The downside is that it destroys a lot of the atmosphere that had been built up around the wasteland in the previous volumes, as it’s gone from a place of death and nothing, to somewhere where Vincent seems to find a new oasis of life every episode. Yes, you could interpret a lot of what happens as being solely in his head, and not in the “real” world – but you can equally interpret it as revealing that the wasteland isn’t so dead after all, and that spoils the whole feel of the show a little. There’s a common thread in the type of life that Vicent keeps finding, though, that may be a pointer towards the future.

Vicent’s story isn’t the only side of this tale, though – back in Romdo, there’s the small matter of Re-l’s apparent death to deal with, which has had repercussions for both Daedelus and Raul. Daedelus has been stripped of his responsibilities and is being a good, quiet, and uninvolved citizen - with a discrete level of observation arranged by Raul to make sure he stays that way. The deaths of Re-l and the Proxy are causing Raul problems with the city’s leaders, and he's beginning to feel the pressure of his position - especially as there have been increasing problems with Romdo's power supplies that could threaten the city. He suspects sabotage - but why, and by whom? His investigations soon lead him to the source of the problems, and the realisation that Re-l is still alive - and planning to leave the city, in search of Vincent.

Re-l’s reappearance probably shouldn’t surprise anyone – there aren’t many series that will write out a lead character after just 2 volumes – and the way that it’s done points out the problems and conspiracies that are beginning to threaten Romdo’s existence. There’s a growing sense that Re-l and Daedelus believe that the Proxy – and by connection, Vincent – are the key to securing humanity’s future, but as yet it’s difficult to see how that’s going to play out. I could also be barking up the wrong tree – but the possibility is definitely intriguing.

In summary:
This volume of Ergo Proxy didn’t grab me quite as much as the previous volumes did, but there’s not much in it and this release is still rarely short of completely engrossing. The series is also starting to explain itself – there are gaps in the story, but they’re being filled in and the nature of the world than Re-l and Vincent find themselves in is slowly becoming clearer. Personally, I can’t wait to see more, and this is one series that is easy for me to recommend.

Features
Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Language DTS 5.1,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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