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Ergo Proxy - volume two
voice cast: Liam O'Brien, Megan Hollingshead, Travis Willingham, and Rachel Hirschchild

director: Shuko Murase

100 minutes (12) 2006
widescreen ratio 16:9
MVM DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Alasdair Stuart
The second volume of this unique series sees the focus alter on a pretty seismic level. Vincent has survived his encounter with the Proxy and is now back outside the city for reasons that aren't immediately apparent. As Rei-I searches for him and Vincent, along with Pino, the infected Auto-Reiv from the first volume gets closer to the truth; the wheels of the huge conspiracy behind the series start moving faster and faster.

This is not standard, sit back and enjoy the speed lines, anime. Ergo Proxy's plot not only gets more complicated here but also more ambitious as main characters disappear for entire episodes, new cast members are introduced and the world is forcibly expanded. Hoody and the Commune members that Vincent falls in with are just as vibrant and interesting a group of individuals as the Romdo cast from the last volume and in many ways more affecting. These are people who live without the benefits of Romdo society and as this volume shows, they often don't live that way for long.

However, the primary change here is in the focus on characters. Where the first volume could, fairly, be described as 'She's an aristocratic cop in the last city on Earth. He's her slightly bitchy AI partner, they fight crime!' this volume is quite definitively a Vincent story. He and Pino make a surprisingly poignant duo, the embittered human and the possibly enlightened, possibly insane Auto-Reiv and the end result is a series that is equal parts Harlan Ellison's A Boy And His Dog, and George Miller's Mad Max.

With typically impressive animation and some interesting plot turns, this ramps the tension, the plot and the action up from the first volume. Ergo Proxy is a series that's going somewhere, a confident, engrossing piece of storytelling. Do yourself a favour, and strap in for the ride.

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