Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ergo Proxy: Ep7: RE-L124C41+

"There's a world outside this city. There are people outside the city. I know that now. And there is no escape from what you know."
-Re-l Mayer, RE-L124C41-

We return to the world of mystery and philosophical musing within Ergo Proxy and one beautiful Re-l Mayer sans make-up for the first time in the series. She nearly channels the simple beauty of Robin Sena, from director Shuko Murase's earlier classic Witch Hunter Robin (2002).

Re-l's return to Romdo in Episode 6, Domecoming, witnessed her recovery in a medical care unit within the city whilst outside Romdo Vincent Law, Pino and company moved further away from the walls of the city.

Re-l's discoveries outside the city inform her concerns about Romdo and the fabrications by her own grandfather concerning the righteousness of Romdo.

Within the medical facility Re-l discovers the test tube or cloning center where citizens of Romdo are born, nurtured, developed to become citizens of the population controlled Romdo. There is indeed an Aryan element in play that harkens back to the philosophies of Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich within Romdo's walls.

It was an anime weekend as we journey further into the darkness of Ergo Proxy, Ep7, RE-L124C41+ (re-l124c41+). The next two episodes divide their time between Re-l and Vincent. Episode 7 centers on Re-l.

It is clear by the seventh episode's title that Re-l too was one of these very test subjects and recorded by an associative tag or numbering schematic.

Re-l challenges the realities of Romdo in a confrontation with Chief Daedalus Yumeno. She asks probing questions regarding the potential viability of human life outside the walls of Romdo and why Romdo is even still required. These are indeed the kind of questions that can be costly. She also realizes Daedalus and the powers that be of Romdo know much more about the Proxy than they would allude. A Proxy hand imprint in the facility flashes back to the opening episodes of the series and offers her more evidence of a greater conspiracy.

Daedalus regrets letting Re-l leave Romdo. She declares, "It's too late now. Once you know the truth there's no escaping it ever again."

Re-l reminds Daedalus of a promise he made to her. She must confront her grandfather, Donov Mayer.

She stands before the Council also called the Collective or the Administration Bureau. Re-l stands before her debilitated, eldery grandfather, also the Regent. Donov speaks, by proxy, through four stone statue Entourages as they are known. They are named for philosophers Berkely, Derrida, Husserl and Lacan. She stands before them and disgustedly informs them she knows there are "real living people - a whole world" outside Romdo, clearly a well guarded secret to those inside. Angry she raises her voice. "Why do you hide what's out there? What are you so afraid of out there!?" Disgustedly under her breath, she answers herself, "You won't answer. Will you?" Re-l stands in many respects as the curious voice of the viewer.

Later Re-l determines Iggy, her Entourage AutoReiv, was sent back to Daedalus for "readjustment due to inaccurate judgment valuations." Though Daedalus informs Re-l that Iggy is no longer connected and thus her grandfather cannot watch her any longer.

Daedalus finally reveals the Monad Proxy to Re-l kept in isolation and within the walks of Romdo in suspended animation and "plundered" from Mosk, home of Vincent Law. It was already in Romdo before he was assigned. Daedalus insists it is not human. It is also not a monster. Daedalus believes it more like a God that holds the key to survival on a devastated world.

The Proxy contains a cell, the Amrita cell, that allows immortality which is why the creature is so highly sought.

Re-l admits the more she discovers the terrible answers to the questions she holds the more she seems drawn to the mystery surrounding Romdo. Re-l, a product of Romdo, is indeed being drawn deeper into the darkness.

Within the lab two AutoReivs attack Re-l and Iggy, but both fend off the attack. The units were infected with the Cogito Virus. The brief sequence is perhaps one of the most thrilling moments of Episode 7 which is primarily focused on Re-l's discoveries and internal struggles with what is going on.

There are only brief departures in the episode to Law who is making his journey home to his birthplace. All of the passengers die on the journey except for Law and Pino and Pino is merely an AutoReiv. I'm digging The Rabbit, Law's transportation. It has a nice bit of thruster technology that we'd love to learn more about. "What is this thing inside of me?," asks Law. We'll discover more in Episode 8, Shining Sign.

In the final minutes Re-l and Iggy are attacked once again by several AutoReivs in yet another thrilling moment of hand to hand combat with Re-l's trusty shotgun-like weaponry. Daedalus notes in the carnage that the AutoReivs are being weaponized. Re-l is no longer unclear regarding the Security Bureau and Raul Creed's motives which appear interested in removing her from the equation.

Re-l's skill for acquiring answers is a tribute to her rapier, criminal justice-like mind. She is quite effective. She knows the Security Bureau wants the Proxy. She understands Law is the key to the Proxies clearly aware there are others.

MAJOR SPOILER (but if you are reading these entries you best have watched the series along with me at the very least). The last moment sees the episode end on a real stunner that would make the best of serialized television proud. A reactivated AutoReiv attacks Re-l from behind but everyone reacts too late. Re-l is literally gutted as blood splashes to the floor leaving us to wonder has she been killed?

A computer screen appears briefly, and you'll have to pause to read it. It reads Death Certificate for Re-l Mayer, age 19, due to hemorrhaging after one hour. A final image sees the name RE-L on the computer screen with a faint A superimposed in the background against the hyphen. REAL. It's not often we see a major character killed by the seventh episode of a twenty-six episode season (or in this case twenty-three), but there it is.  Given all Re-l must go through, particularly following events in Episode 6, Domecoming, the girl just can't cut a break and this one may be life-altering. She heals in RE-L124C41+ just in time to die. Re-l is no longer in the episode's final shocking moments.

As many questions surface throughout Ergo Proxy and as much as the writers feed us small bits of information, I highly suspect this is a series where things will take on greater meaning and/or perhaps make much more sense on repeat viewings. We continue to digest as best we can on first viewing, but much of the data provided would serve us better on a second viewing following complete ultimate enlightenment.

RE-L124C41+ (re-l124c41+): B


El Vox said...

The art in this looks great, but I don't know if I'd have the patience for it. I think I watched part of an episode on YT and it seemed fairly slow building. I may try it again later.

SFF said...

I would say some of the animation is exceptional and at times just okay.

But I think it's an original and would have to agree with you to use caution - it is a slow burner.