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*Vroom Vroom* "Ergo Proxy Vol. 5" Cuts Down Some Plot Trees

When we last left our crew of wanderers, they had just begun the trip back to Mosk, Vincent’s home town, to try to find some answers. And as Volume 5 of Ergo Proxy starts up, the answers begin to fly fast and furious. We meet some new characters, find out some important details about Vincent, Re-L and Pino (henceforth: “our intrepid heroes”), and incinerate a city or two along the way.

Episode 17, “Terra Incognita,” introduces a whole new set of characters. (Well, they’re new to me; I’m still missing those earlier episodes.) The chief new guy is Raoul, the security chief of Romdo, Re-L’s home city and the largest city left on Earth. Raoul has gotten some pretty heady ideas and he intends to do something about them, mainly by activating one of the city’s many leftovers from ages past. I’ll let you all find out what it is, but suffice it to say, it’s a doozy. We also hook up with Dadelus and Swan, two scientists who have a very close connection with Vincent. Meanwhile out intrepid heroes are slowly making their way to Mosk while losing Pino along the way for a bit and finding a mutated sub-race of humans still living in the world outside the domes. Well, kind of living anyway.

Once they find Mosk, it’s on to episode 18, “Life After God.” Unfortunately for them, it’s also Life After Mosk, as there’s nothing much left of the city but some craters and a few burned out ruins. They also find what happened to the humans who weren’t able to make it inside the domes. It isn’t pretty. There’s also some more revelations about the situation in Romdo: Dadelus and Swan have been up to some very nasty things in Re-L’s absence from the city, and Raoul is finding out what it means to not believe what you’re told

The next two episodes, “Eternal Smile” and “Goodbye Vincent,” are so closely linked that I’m really loath to reveal much about either one. I really don’t want to ruin the surprise, because it’s a delicious one, but I will say that “Eternal Smile” is one of the best episodes of the series so far, and its premise—Pino lost in a demented version of Disneyland, complete with Walt Disney look-a-like—is flawlessly executed.

I’d like to tell you that the DVD itself lives up to the high standard that Geneon set with the other discs I got from them, but I don’t have the full DVD package.

I am hoping at some point to get the complete series, as it is a fascinating, hard sci-fi show: no giant robots tearing up city blocks or declarations of undying love as attack moves. It’s a very well executed look at a possible future for humanity if and when the planet starts to not be able to support life as we know it anymore. Strongly recommended for anyone who likes their anime with a side of brains.

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