Cyberpunk Review » New Cyberpunk Anime - Ergo Proxy

April 8, 2006

New Cyberpunk Anime - Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy screen capture


Budo (username ETM) found this wonderful new anime out of Japan called Ergo Proxy. Apparently it started broadcasting in Japan this February. Ergo Proxy is directed by Witch Hunter Robin director Shinichirô Watanabe, and is written by Dai Sato the same guy who wrote Samurai Champloo. By all accounts the production values are high and the story is multi-layered and complex. The anime goes for 25 episodes, and like many cyberpunk animes, chances are that a lot of the story and plot will remain unclear until near the end of the series.


Ergo Proxy screen capture


I’ve been surfing around to find out more about this, and have found some decent story write-ups and screen captures. The Cinnamon Ass Anime Blog Summerizes the setting and story as follows:


In the futuristic, post-apocalyptic Romdo City, humans co-exist with artificial androids and other robots known as “Autoreivs”, ranging from industrial models to more humanoid ones. An epidemic of a disease called Cogito has been sweeping through the Autoreivs, corrupting their programming to give them free will. Lil Meyer and her sidekick Autoreiv Iggy investigate Cogito infections, but Lil is attacked by a monstrous humanoid thing; she (rightly) suspects that the central intelligence bureau, newly headed up by Raul, is covering something up, and it seems she may be more involved than she realised as she is placed in danger in her own home; meanwhile, the seemingly innocuous Vincent Rowe, an Autoreiv technician, may know more about what’s going on than it first appears, and judging from the pre-airing info and the credits the Autoreiv child he repairs for an obnoxious aristocrat, Pino, is going to be important along the way.


Ergo Proxy screen capture


The Anime on my Mind Blog Describes Ergo Proxy as Follows:


The best way to describe Ergo Proxy is “CSI meets GitS meets Bladerunner” with only a hawt gothic girl replacing hawt military girl and androgynous android replacing ta-chi-ko-ma-kun. Ril is the hawt gothic girl, and she is a detective for the Citizen Security Bureau for Romundo, a city-state where androids live amongst men. Her partner is the android Iggy. The setup is pure Bladerunner… if Ril doesn’t start questioning her humanity by episode six, I’d be shocked.


Ergo Proxy screen capture


The Wakaranai Blog has some comments about how Ergo Proxy fits in to other cyberpunk animes and movies:


…In this regard, a lot of people, too many people, have commented on its “similarity” to GitS and/or the Matrix. I’m sorry people, but the Matrix didn’t invent dark clothing or knee-length jackets, and GitS didn’t invent computers. The show is heavily inspired by the cyberpunk genre itself, but has its own unique style and setting, and does not borrow concepts from other entries in the genre. The best way I can think of to describe the atmosphere, is dark, gritty and sexy, a mature combination that works surprisingly well in illustrating a caged society on the edge.

This style is awesomely achieved with engaging direction, from abstract angles to a practical, yet sleek, approach. I cite this as a major reason for my love for the first Matrix film, and this raises the bar to a similar level, making everything far more memorable than it could be. The animation lives up to my demands, despite not being anywhere near as flashy as Samurai Champloo’s was. I think there is a slight shift in focus of animation from fluidity and movement, to detail and artwork. The show doesn’t feel more static than it should be, but, fitting for the dour, shadowy atmosphere there is a slot of standing around looking reflective. I’ll make sure you understand that it wasn’t a problem at all, though, and the attention to detail and consistency more than makes up for it. I guess we have plenty of time to find flaws though.


Ergo Proxy screen capture


Ergo Proxy is being delivered in High Definition, which only contributes to it’s polished look. Apparently there is a DVD being produced on May 25th, but it appears to be only for the Japan market, so I doubt there will be English subtitles on it (my preferred language - others clearly have other needs). Budo says he’ll be providing a review as soon as he watches it (he’s downloading it now). I can’t wait to see it :).


Ergo Proxy screen capture


Many thanks to the Anime on my Mind blog and the “OK, AQ” blog for the screencaps. I haven’t seen it, so I had to take these and resize to fit my 650 pixel constraints.

This post has been filed under Upcoming Movies by SFAM.


April 8, 2006

ETM said:

Great writeup and research SFAM, love the screencaps. Yeah, I’ll try to put my thoughts into words when I see the first episode in a little bit, and help out with the hype. :)

ETM said:

Whoa… I need to see that again. They are definitely not taking the easy route with this show. The first episode is so tight, I missed a lot of the lines by looking at the pretty pictures, and vice-versa. But it definitely looks, sounds and feels pretty interesting.

SFAM said:

Awesome! I’m almost hoping Ergo Proxy is somewhat incoherent for the first third, similar to Texhnolyze. Complexity in narrative for cyberpunk stories is a good thing :)

(And um, yes, the Matrix sequel reviews are imminent :D )

ETM said:

Yeah, it feels like they’re throwing bits and pieces at us for later reference. Some moments are downright weird - like the creepy scene with statues. Now I understand why they’re releasing a DVD before the end of the season/series: you simply need to pause in some places.:D

As for the fansub: translation is not stellar, but it looks like it’s not off by too much. The video is 1280×720 pixels, and the extra resolution REALLY shows… the sound is downmixed to stereo, but it packs quite a punch - I can imagine what the original 5.1 mix is like. The music is rather unintrusive, and Paranoid Android fits right in as the main theme. More later, in the forum.

April 9, 2006

Hadakàar said:

A pretty and beautiful anime, something not so common in these days. I’ve seen the first episode in japanese, subbed in english.

Hexxenn said:

Holy crap, this show looks awesome.

June 27, 2006

Kaya said:

This show is the ultimate defenition for sexy in my mind. Dark, punk, goth, beautiful and badass and complex. The character design blows me away and it’s great to have a heroine who’s so offbeat-the the typical-run of the mill girl who struggles to be normal or popular or perfect. I hope the show doesn’t dissapoint because I’m dying to see it and hopefully own it as well. Thanks for the great pictures. I used a couple for a painting I’m working on.

June 29, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi Kaya, so far I’m up to like Episode 10 and love it. I’m guessing you’ll be pretty thrilled too.

July 1, 2006

Kaya said:

Thanks SFAM! Good now I don’t have to be anxious about it being good. Glad you’re enjoying it.

SFAM said:

Kaya, just to be clear, in terms of rating it, at this point I see it being either 8, 9 or 10 stars. I cannot imagine it dropping lower than 8 stars, regardless how the rest of the season goes.

August 10, 2006

Syzygy said:

I am up to 9, downloading further. I have to say it is an amazing anime. One of the best I have seen in some time, Stupid downloads are too slow… I need more! I have been re-watching every episode though, there is a ton of info that pops up for only a few frames, you really need to be on your toes.

August 12, 2006

Hugo said:

Let’s see, SBS aired Samurai Champloo in 2006, two years after it’s release in the States…

Hmm, I figure 2008 we’ll start seeing this in Australia. If at all :P. I hate living in a fledgling, 74% white, formerly British owned nation in the South Pacific :P. I’m taking the entire country upstream to the mid-Atlantic and parking us somewhere off the coast of Greenland…

August 17, 2006

Kenho said:

Hi, this seems like an awesome show. Is this aired in the us now? I have seen that there exist 4 dvds from this show at but unfortunately i cannot read japanese so i dont know if they contain subtitles. Do you guys know of a us date or more preferably for me a european release of this on DVD?

Many questions i know :-)

SFAM said:

Hi Kenho, right now, unless you live in Japan, right now you’ll either need to download the episodes from a file sharing service or buy a DVD on ebay from someone who has already done that.

I almost never download things unless I simply can’t get them (like La Jetee’) or unless my willpower is too weak to wait (like ergo proxy).

August 19, 2006

Net said:

I have no willpoer when it comes to any of this suff.
Erg Proxy has been such a perfect treat for me, outside of GITS.

August 21, 2006

Kenho said:

Thanks for the answers. My willpower and dl skills are quite weak as it seems :-D Tried alot of different filesharing services but no luck to get it downloaded. Just wanna check the first episode and then wait for the dvd’s. I have seen a bit of the first episode on google video but it had so bad quality i just got annoyed.

August 22, 2006

Ami said:

I love Ergo proxy more than any anime,
Real is my hero

August 23, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi Kenho, I know Emule has a lot of Ergo Proxy fans - have you given that one a try? And yeah, Ami, Real is definitely a terrific character.

August 27, 2006

Netsui said:

did you say “hawt cyber girl” 2 or three times?
no for reals-
this show has got me in knots since its ladden with various philosophical sub plot stories (greek mythos/alice in wonderland..ect, which is making it uber enjoyable! and I agree with ETM, watching it twice has big bonuses!!

September 3, 2006

Zeonic Freak said:

Hey, Wantanabe never directed Witch Hunter Robin, and didnt direct this anime, but he did the storyboard for episode 19.

Heres my source:

September 9, 2006

Lara said:

curious…anyone know of a place to direct download this show? i have the first 8, but my college blocks torrents and i’m desperate to find out what happens!

September 28, 2006

Meido* said:

I confess being more than a little obsessed with this series: it’s philosophical, touching, haunting, and gorgeous, although its artistic and technological edge dulled a little after the first episodes. I thought that I had outgrown anime in the last few years, but Ergo Proxy definitely proves that I was mistaken—it’s just that mature shows are rare treats. I really look forward to a complete review here on CR.

For those who are still looking for a nice source for this anime: the Ani-Kraze collective ( provides a BitTorrent package of the first 12 episodes, and two separate torrents for episodes 13 and 14; all high-res, well translated, in Matroska containers. Unfortunately, like almost every fansub group, they seem to struggle with episode 15…

October 18, 2006

Meido* said:

Finished watching it, twice, as its complex plot requires it. What a great, epic, sad and haunting series, but I suppose that diehard cyberpunk fans will be disappointed by the turn it takes, that of one more classical sci-fi tragedy under strong philosophical, psychanalytic and mythological influences. Retrospectively, I’d say it’s more like Neon Genesis Evangelion than GitS. So I put Ergo Proxy in my “top 5 anime ever made” list, but I wonder if it deserves a review here at CR.

(SFAM, have you finished it yet? What do you think?)

October 24, 2006

bastard maximus said:

long time no see such a good plot in anime, you could say ergo proxy is cyber punk but it also contains a lot more elements than the genre itself reqires . anyway enjoy it , it’ll blow your mind

November 11, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi Meido, I haven’t finished it yet, but this will be on my agenda for this week. I can’t wait for the rest and I’m jealous that you have finished it.

November 15, 2006

Temuthril said:

If anyone’s looking for direct downloads of Ergo Proxy, try this:

November 21, 2006

EP said:

Her name isn’t Lil, it’s Real. Her actual name is RE-L. And that guy’s last name is Rowe…it’s Law. And it’s Autorave, not Autoreiv…

EP said:

isn’t Rowe*

November 22, 2006

Kenho said:

Got some of it downloaded now and watched a couple of episodes! Great series!!
Actually i wanted to know if anyone bought the US release of the DVD yet? It should be out in stores now..

November 26, 2006

-Synapsis- said:

I finished watching it, and I need to see it again. Anyhow I’m going to post a discusion thread on the forum.

December 3, 2006

NekOtaku said:

I’ve watched up to about episode ten or so with my girlfriend.
It strikes me as quite cool, but the lack of backdrops gets to me, and I think the whole “turning into super human monster thing” scheme is getting a little old. But Ergo Proxy definitly seems to keep its cool!

January 15, 2007

researcher said:

I saw one of the ergo proxy DVDs it was in english 5.1 DTS, but where it was only a DVD it would only be in 480p

February 9, 2007

Timothy Perper said:

Yes, one of the top 5 or 10 anime ever made. The whole series is available on DVDs from various sites in Asia (but no hot links here). The ending is just about perfect.

February 10, 2007 said:

cette anime est grandiose jadore ^^^

bonne continuation a toute

February 21, 2007

Sol Invictus said:

Oh yeah, the show isn’t “CSI” at all. The first episode introduces Real as having a job as an investigator in the Security Bureau, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes with any comparisons to CSI. The rest of the episodes explore Real’s humanity and purpose and that of the other characters in the series.

The series examines Baroque-era philosophy (Descartes, Rosseau, etc) and subjects like the continuity paradox. Likewise, the fashions worn by the characters reflect the series’ nature.

February 22, 2007

Merigui said:

I finished watching Ergo Proxy and i liked it very much.
While in the beginning i felt it had a cyberpunk feel i thought it progressed to another type of layer, leaving cp behind and moving towards other genres.
The ending was wow.
While being pointed in other communities i didn´t see it here, so here it goes a little bit of trivia to all, the amazing resemblance between Real and Evanescence´s singer Amy Lee, pictures comparing one another being easily found on the interwub.

February 23, 2007

SFAM said:

Hi Merigui, you’re right, they do look alike!

February 26, 2007

cony said:

me encanta esta serie es lo mejor q e visto…ya q es lo mejor



cony said:

ERGO PROXY…es un simple nombre q esconde tantos misterios tras una mente clara y enamorada…es lo mejor la recomiendo a atodos akerllos q realmente le gusta el anime de calidad…



April 12, 2007


Ey a prota se parece mucho a Amy Lee la cantan de Evanescence no creen?

May 26, 2007

Viscupelo said:

I started watching this due to reading up on it here, and I gotta say, so far it’s been really enjoyable. I’m pretty picky about my anime choices, but this stuff is right up my alley, and its been a while since an anime series has been so much fun to watch.

June 5, 2007

randomrob said:

this is on my amazon recommends… along w/true grit and fullmetal alchemist… lol

may have to give it a look. art style looks nice.

June 7, 2007

anonymous said:

this series was amazing
two thumbs way up, i most definitely recommend the series to anyone
i don’t think there will be another season though :(

June 13, 2007

The_Nomad said:

First of all, i need to thank you SFAM for this cyberpunk project!

My wallet is crying in a dark corner after I grabbed all its money, and my emule is overloading ^^

so much information for the CP fan…

Ergo proxy is awesome and towards the end it gets weirder and weirder. I thinks its episode 14 “anamnesis” the most hypnotic anime episode ever :P

And as a Spanish citizen myself… its depressing all the Spanish comments you receive without the minimum effort to speak in your language, the language of the host… while comments from all around the world are translated

try a little bit harder!

well thx for all SFAM

July 1, 2007

♥Chantell said:

i luv ergo proxy!!!!!!!!! :P lol

July 10, 2007

gothiclady said:

this is so cool i like the drawings of this anime

i hope i can see it

July 11, 2007

project_2501 said:

For UK fans like me with no DVD release for a while, you can watch (but not download) the whole series on tv links. I finished watching it a while ago and it blew me away. There are a couple of episodes later in the series that are really, really weird (the quiz show episode, the theme park episode and the bookshop episode). Luckily they are still a joy to watch because they add background info and also because of the sheer quality of the animation. The characters are uncliched and complex. I found myself really rooting for Vincent as the series progressed. Does anyone if the people behind this series have made anything else? On the subject of another series - unfortunately unlikely. I doubt they’d want to reopen the story after such a great ending.

July 18, 2007

rodrigo said:

this anime is best of cyberpunk

August 5, 2007



August 14, 2007

Sarah said:

I absolutely love this show!
I haven’t missed an episode and I never will.
It’s my favourite Anime at the moment.
I love Pino! =D I used to have a toy that looked like her lol she’s gorgeous!

Sez xoxox

August 28, 2007

Klaw said:

Interesting explanation of the series and the ending:

September 7, 2007

Razbaque Dirge said:

Shinichirô Watanabe directed Cowboy Bebop ‘n Samurai Champloo… whom Shuko Murase was a storyboard artist on Cowboy Bebop ‘n a key animator on Samurai Champloo… Watanabe has nothin’ to do with either WHR or Ergo Proxy… other than bein’ a branch of Murase’s work-tree. These two are Murase’s dealy.
[/fixed that for ya’] 8)

October 9, 2007

Gothic Kyo said:

I am Gothic Kyo
I from in Argentina
I love to the beautyful Lil Meyer
I think what this serie is the best xD



Hola Me llamo Gothic Kyo
Soy de Argentina y creo q Ergo Proxy es la mejor
serie que he visto xD..
Lil Meyer te Amo &#9829 xD


November 6, 2007

Ganache said:

This is definitely my favorite anime series, followed by NGE.

I just received my shipment of DVD’s yesterday..time for an EP bonanza. :x3

February 29, 2008

Adventure Seeking Killey! said:

Damn I SUUUUUPEr Excited!
Shit man!

April 4, 2008

Stondmonkey said:

yeah..I finished watching the whole series in 2 days, lol and the weirdest episode ever was the gameshow one I wont say what its about because it would be a spoiler but…what the hell man? I mean it explained so many things and yet leaves you to wonder…WHAT THE HELL MAN? I saw it and I thought maybe I missed an episode that would explain how this came about but its just plain strange.

April 28, 2008

Tammy said:

I agree, a beautiful, complex anime! I’m pretty new to anime so I kept the Wiki up so I could read about the mythologies and their use and reference to Japanese culture and the first episode in particular found myself hitting the pause button to look on the Wiki to catch up. I absolutely love the challenge! So far, just on Episode 6. It’s definatley one to go slow and savour…
“Life is easier when you lighten your load”.

May 7, 2008

Mr. No 1 said:

A friend of mine gave me a loan of the serie after convincing him of buying it =P

Quite good, taking in consideration that the copy was a doubtful boxset from Malaysia with crap subtitles.

I love the way you see normal day-by-day situations mixed with complicated/philosofical themes.

Pino is my hero LOL

June 17, 2008

Christhy15 said:

this is like the best anime ever!The BEST!Ifound it hard when i realized that i would hardly find something near to this, and that any anime i would watch afterwars would be shaded by Ergo Proxy.Sad…

June 26, 2008

Joe said:

Ive bee a fan of animation since childhood and have made a career out of it as an animator, being trained in the classical western sense and style “Disney” and having a dislike for the big cute eye style seen in also a lot of west and east schools of thought is a natural by product of this. I found Ergo proxy to be both beautifully understated and wonderfully scripted with characters who bring out emotional responses prominent in all good stories with out using horror and gore like a hammer but rather like a artist surgeon uses Horror to scare you off smoking (I know this is not the first anime to do this) It is just beautifully done in script design characterization plot and humor I love it and would put it at the top of my list with Last Exile, Akira , Hellsing, Hunter D.

Joe said:

Did mention how much I love Ergo Proxy enough times

December 2, 2008

Cameron said:


Do the characters in Ergo Proxy speak in Japanese or English?

Cameron said:

December 4, 2008

Immortal_Peregrin said:

I really enjoyed this series, the animation was mind blowing, the plot involved and interesting, not to mention fantastic character design. I was a little disappointed with the turn the show decided to take at the end, and found myself most involved by the first 3 episodes. And the episode with the game show? Where did that come from? It really caught me off guard and seemed unnecessary. But for the most part definitely one of the best animes in awhile.

December 5, 2008

Fenryx said:

OK, I am curious enough about this to look for it on Amazon and maybe you tube. Come to think of it I need to put Rennaisance on there as well.

February 28, 2009

Drowninginthedarkness said:

This is one of the best shows out there. My favorite…

May 24, 2009

Flash Freddy said:

Thanks again for another point in the right direction.

I watched loads of new (to me) sci-fi because of this site.


June 10, 2009

APX said:

This anime it’s one of the best I had seen together with Lain

Fenryx said:

Just out of curiosity is this out on DVD yet? Has it been posted to you tube? I have netflix so I can rent easily enough.

July 5, 2009

Louie Louie said:

If you haven’t found it yet you can watch it on (can I post a link?)

July 7, 2009

Stormtrooper of Death said:

Louie Louie, you can post a link, but do not forget, if it is an illegal link, this complete website can be in danger. So, please, post legal links, not illegals.

August 19, 2009

Marc McKenzie said:

ERGO PROXY is one hell of a great series, and definitely not for those who want everything spoon-fed to them (and the opening theme by Monoral is one of the best I’ve heard).

It is out on DVD–a box set, actually–thanks to Funimation, who released it due to Geneon’s implosion (thanks, pirates…no-good #*@*ers…), and it’s been posted to sites to download.

I understand the complaints, but for some to say that it’s “pretentious” goes too far. Look, for years all we’ve heard are complaints about how, when it comes to animaion and live action films/TV shows, there’s nothing out there that’s good, that takes chances, that actually raises the bar. And yet, here is an animated series that does just that. No cute, foul-mouthed kids, no saccharine nonsense–and yet, that’s STILL not enough. The gripes continue.

Bottom line–watch this series. It’s as good as some of the best live-action SF out there, and I’m including films like THE MATRIX and TV shows such as Ron Moore’s revamp of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

Plus, Re-al is hot.

February 7, 2010

whitexgodess said:

I bought this just based off of the cover art.
Call it a risk.
But the art promises the epic-ness of the show.
It’s absolutely beautiful. :)

February 28, 2010

Alex said:

Hmm, it doesn’t flow as the sort of storytelling I like does. I get the sense the writers were infected with ideas of open-ended storytelling and they got tangled up with the drifting nature of the vaguely coherent story and lost me.

Hmm. I get the feeling in the post Ergo production meeting they’ve sumarised as follows: ‘We’ve pushed to see just how far we can take scattered story-telling with no incluing at all…

Ergo fails in the same way that Paprika did- you just don’t know ‘What is what’ and couldn’t be stuffed trying to figure it out.

Yeah, okay I didn’t watch to the end (even though it was a visually stunning work) because the drift was too fierce for me… I got the feeling the writers wanted to convey a mess of dreams rather than a story.

Hmm, Scrapped Princesss managed to pull off a reveal in the third quarter of the series that changed it to a harder edged sci-fi that worked but every episode of ergo that I’ve watched just lost me in never ending drift.
Peter Chung’s Aeon Flux deliberately left plot lines open ended –so you could interpret as you will– but ergo proxy just failed in its attempt to ‘harness the vague’ as it didn’t provide plot hooks to keep me coming back.


Ergo Proxy is actually awesome, i recommend it as a must watch anime, your review was very good too.

March 13, 2010

w said:

the last 5 seconds with ergo’s words with the background scene…was enough for me to say the 23 episodes was a good ride!

the landscape kinda reminded me of some scenes from the korean anime wonderful days (sky blue) but ergo’s story was much deeper.

its kinda like lain, where a second time watch would help understand it better… in fact the very first scene makes much much more sense the second time, and realize that a lot of details have been placed in the series that cannot be seen with just one watch.

the themes touch a variety of classic philoposhical themes including concept of self, alter ego, concious vs unconcious, ethics etc…

i like the metaphore for the word “god” used in many ways throughout the anime… the last scene just gave me chills of joy

April 15, 2011

Anon said:

Underrated gem.

July 7, 2011

Chr1s said:

I watched the whole thing back-to-back. I couldn’t put it down. The truth is that whilst I love cyberpunk, I hate anime. I’m sorry, it just isn’t for me… yet anime constututes so much of the cyberpunk material out there - I have to watch it anyway.

But Ergo Proxy has changed my mind about anime. It didn’t fall into the traps that have irritated me with other anime. The art design, the plot, the voice acting - it was all utterly immaculate. I loved how they actually made you think about the storyline, it doesn’t hand everything to you on a platter but it explains enough that you don’t come out at the end thinking “WTF did I just watch”.

I know I am probably going to be burned as a heretic for saying this, but this was the best anime I have ever seen (and despite my dislike, I have seen a fair number). In my opinion this beats GitS, Appleseed, Aeonflux etc hands-down. Certainly those anime are more important as far as influence on cyberpunk goes - and I respect your opinions if you have another favourite. For me though, Ergo is simply the best.

Oh, and Re-L is a babe. ;-)

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