I could have posted on introducing myself, blah blah blah, but this is an anime blog and I have to talk about anime. Because the anime I'm most emotional and feverish about is Ergo Proxy, I'd rather talk about it on this first post.

To be honest, when I started watching this anime I was absolutely convinced that it was going to be the best anime of 2006. The animation was simply neat; the character designs unique and beautiful, not to mention a hot heroine in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world is just always ftw in my books. After watching the first episode of the show by virtue of an advanced screening, I was head-over-heels in fanboying for this show: I was totally besotted.

The second episode detracted a little of the love and admiration I had for this series: it *was* only the second episode and there were Speed Grapher moments already. (In case you didn't know, Speed Grapher was a hyped anime that fell flat because its animation and character design was fugly.) Still, I watched on and enjoyed the portentous mood it brought to anime, and everyone always enjoys archetypical actions. The second episode was realistic in the sense that a baby was murdered along with adults. It is most definitely a no-no in most anime series, but it just showed me the show's grit. All was good.

Episodes three and four got back to business. With a thrilling storyline, and once-more normal animation I enjoyed how the main characters acted – as of then, there were still no definite villains. Even now, there still aren't.

Episode five and six were weak episodes. Banking on viewer-response than on content, the creators of Ergo Proxy managed to kill two unimportant characters, and save for the fact that it was the trigger for Vince's journey to his hometown, Mosk, it wasn't really much, both animation-wise and plot-wise.

That's two strikes already. I'm pretty harsh to this series because given the all-star crew it had to make it, the crew could only make those? The producing company was Manglobe, responsible for Samurai Champloo and Rozen Maiden: Traumend. The director was Shukou Murase, of Witch Hunter Robin lore, and the scriptwriter was Dai Sato, also among the scriptwriters of Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex. I couldn't see why the animation had to be so ugly despite these people.

But here it comes: episode eight, but more particularly, nine. The viewers discover that Ergo Proxy is Vincent Law by virtue of some transformations that occurred. That's strike three – you DO not do a henshin/sentai transformation in a serious, futuristic, realistic, post-apocalyptic potboiler anime. In fact, henshin is for most mecha anime only. One may argue that mecha anime are also SF anime, but this is supposedly true SF anime: one that portrays the problems of the future ala Zamyatin or ala Orwell. Not ala Power Rangers or Chikyuu Sentai Faibuman! Or Voltes Five at that.

To add to the situation, they have purported or implied that Real will be the heroine of the series. With the many shots of many different sites having her tote a shotgun, fanboys like me assumed her to be the main character, and the one featured in most episodes, just like Motoko was. Instead, her airtime gets taken by Vincent Law, seemingly a shy guy, with eyes almost always closed when in the city, and with a past. We then know that he's Ergo Proxy in the 9th episode and a whole lot of questions are answered with that. Just like 'poof'.

No deeper meaning, no theories on science, just pure, unadulterated henshin scenes and transformations, WITHOUT Real at that, who I've been waiting for since the seventh episode. One could argue that there are still many questions to be answered. I agree, there are. But to answer a major one with an absurd plot twist? With a high-budget? Can't they think of anything more than pulling a rabbit out of their asses?

I simply try laughing things off. Henshin will look funny especially if played to the OP of Voltes Five. If people don't agree with me, so be it. But one has to admit that although good, it probably isn't the best anime of the year, or even near the best.

(Real must come out. It isn't fun having to watch an adventure between a monster and a rabbit. At least PLEASE show some girls. Or just Real.)

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