Cogito Ergo Proxy simulwatch [RS] (29/11 - 21/12)

Epsiode 17

The cold open for this episode is really cool. Suddenly seeing Raul on the run is quite shocking and mysterious. To then flash back just before the opening credits is really interesting. The credits interrupting our curiosity is quite frustrating. A lot like Rauls own feelings in Romdeau.

I like how the underground people the gang find are this mirror to Romdeau. The people in the cave can only live there but are also trapped and being sapped of life because of it. The exact realisation Raul comes to about Romdeau and its artificial home for humanity. It also begs the question do the people of Romdeau only get sick when they leave because of something to do with Romdeau rather than because the air outside is bad for you. We know Vincent came to Romdeau from outside but he still got ill when he left which logically he shouldn't have.

Also Dedalus is on the crazy train with Raul. Both having desperate conversations with themselves.

Episode 18

He's starting to crack might be the biggest understatement I've ever heard! Dedalus has completely lost his grasp on reality. Raul on the other hand can at least acknowledge hes not ok anymore!

A lot of plot this episode. Some answers but also a load more questions!

I liked the Rabbits breaking mechanism with the grappling hooks. And I liked the custodian of the memories, shame we couldn't get more of him.
Episodes 18 and 19

I haven't skipped the OP for a good number of episodes now. What a great song that fits the anime so well. Took a bit to get used to the chorus being in sync with Vince screaming and not snort about it but I got it.

Yeah, seeing Daedalus with mini Re-i was creepy as hell. This dude needs to get kebab'd stat.

Still loving this. Back to Romdo and back to the first proxy we came across. Love when stories do this.

So, was Raul really so petty as to bomb Mosk to high heaven just to spite Vince and what he thinks he stands for or was the nuke aimed somewhere else? Normally I wouldn't ask this and the natural assumption is Mosk of course, but they did remark that its destruction didn't exactly look recent 🤔

The stage is set for a cool finale with Raul in a renewed position of power and everyone assembling back in the dome. I hope it's a good one.

Vince's -ahem- dream was sad. It's always sad when Ergo is up to no good and tears start streaming down his face.

P.S. - Thank you for not giving us answers when we got back to Mosk after so many episodes of build up "want answers? Here, go fuckk yourself lol"
Alright so Raul wasn't nuking the boat with Vincent on it, he was using "rapture" to quite literally nuke the evidence of what was at Monad.
Not quite. Raul nuked Mosk because MCQ's broadcast said that's where the 'winner' was. As Raul says in this episode, "If there's a winner, there must be a loser" and he didn't want that to be him/Romdo.

Episode 18
This show has a knack for making the viewer think they're about to get answers, and then veering off before we have a clear picture of what's going on. We literally see the truth written on the walls, but in a language only Amnesia can understand, if even he did by that point. Amnesia writing it all down because he was losing his mind was rather sad to see, and it's implied that he might not have been in a fit state to restore Vincent's memories even if ????? hadn't killed him.
Not quite. Raul nuked Mosk because MCQ's broadcast said that's where the 'winner' was. As Raul says in this episode, "If there's a winner, there must be a loser" and he didn't want that to be him/Romdo.

Ah that makes some sense, although it feels like a long time has passed since then, Raul is definitely gambling on a small chance that Vincent is actually there still!
Episode 19

I'm not going to write loads here, especially as this episode is not exactly in my favourite type of episode with it's abstractedness, but I will pick out some key things that I interpreted out of it.

The dream world they were in kind of reminded me of a cross between something that Walt Disney would come up with x Bioshock and it's façade of happiness where people are pretending to smile not actually enjoying themselves.

A key point is that we learn that Androids really can dream, though in this case it's not about electric sheep. As always the antics of Pino were fun to watch throughout.

Whilst I kind of guessed it a while ago, it was basically confirmed that if two proxies meet they have to fight, it's an odd instinct to have, but very Highlander-esque.

Pino became the hero and saved her friends which was really nice to see. Pino at first seemed like she was not integral to things, but as the episodes go on she starts gaining importance, and it's fun to watch her progression across the entire story.
Catching back up again, folks. Sorry about my lack of punctuality!

Episode 16

"For some reason, I felt I could let myself smile."

For the sake of brevity, I'll restrict myself to just the one observation of this episode, and that's Re-l's unguarded squeal as she slips on the icy deck of the Centzon. It's... surprisingly cute, isn't it? 😅
I looked up Re-l's VA on MAL, and her list of voice-acting credits is puzzlingly short:

Episode 17

"They learn things they aren't supposed to know. They have feelings they aren't supposed to feel."

Some quickfire thoughts:

• We can see from the dates on Raul's Citizen ID card that he's 28 years old.

• Look at how Re-l strokes the top of Pino's head as they look at the map onboard the Centzon. She's opened up rather a lot after presumably getting some things out of her system in the previous episode with her willfully frivolous yelling at the wind.

• The map has what appears to say "Mt. Blanc" marked on a landmass that Re-l defines as the location of Mosk (Mosque?). The same text appears partially off-screen on an adjacent part of the map, though, so it seems likely to be just copied and pasted text rather than any kind of concrete hint at the landmass that this region once was.

• As our intrepid trio are leaving the cave where the creatures live, Re-l manages to work out from the paintings on the walls that these things are incubated as infants inside another creature rather than in a mechanical womb system like in Romdeau. It seems so unnatural to her.
Episode 19

Another barmy one. In the intro even Pino seems muted in colour compared to these 2 aggressively upbeat cartoon characters!

I love how meta and seemingly 4th wall breaking this is only to be a dream Pino is being interacting with. The whole Walt Disney type guy creating fake happiness is very on the nose but hes not in it for profit, it is simply all he can do for his citizens. Hes remarkably weak and scared at the end too, for a Proxy at least, and justvdoesnt want to die or see his creations destroyed. I'm glad Vincent listend to Pino and now she gets to be a folk hero!

Inspector Pooch taking off the giant dog head to only have the same head but normal sized underneath was hilarious!
Episode 19
Attack of the Ergo Proxy. "Armageddon, coming soon!"

The different design and animation styles mashed together here make for an eye-catching episode. Al and Pull don't just look like Disney characters, they move like them too, displaying an elastic disregard for anatomy in order to convey emotion. It's a style we almost never see Japanese animators attempt, so it's impressive to see them pull off something outside their wheelhouse. This also highlights the relatively realistic animation of the main cast, which is quite different from what we normally see in TV anime. Will B Good's animation is so solid that I suspect it's been loosely rotoscoped in places, again giving a different mood to his scenes. That moment when his arms stretch out of the screen towards Pino is pure nightmare fuel.
Episode 20
I'd forgotten about this episode, so all its twists and turns were new to me again (having a rubbish memory is occasionally useful). It pulls off its mind games well, and while it was clear that Swan's twinkling necklace signified something, it took me a while to realise what.
Episode 20

What a trippy episode. Layers upon layers of lies and deceit. Fancy man Vince was very dapper. And angry sad Pino was heartbreaking. It was a fascinating study of someone losing their mind and the way the story progressed and developed while being narrated by Vincent was very well done. I'd forgotten all about this episode and it was very tense.
Episode 20

Oh no, another abstract episode! 🤣

Is this a premonition or future prediction of what is to come? We see a lot of stuff and then we're back on the old usagi again, so what we see is what has not yet come to pass?

There is some interesting ideas here though, it seems that Vincent was acting a lot like Raul was in his fantasies, and that would make him a worthy partner to Re-i, at least in regards to employment positions. After all Vincent has always wanted to be a model citizen.

If people dare to hide Pino away in the dark I will come after them myself!

We learn a bit more about the necessity for the proxy and the survival of the city. My best guess: They use the Proxy as a big old battery.

Re-i not exactly subtle. "Can I have that necklace?". Why? Not like you've really shown an interest in it before now.
and while it was clear that Swan's twinkling necklace signified something, it took me a while to realise what.

I caught the twinkling but not what it meant specifically, any info on this would be welcome, it seems like it's a trigger for something, is it what she uses to trigger the swap between Vincent and Re-i?
Ah perhaps I was looking for more meaning where there wasn't any. In the end her necklace was the same key as the one Vincent had all this time.

It will be interesting to see if this is how things will go down when they back to Romdeau, I can't see them controlling the Proxy like that, a simple loss of power (which Daedalus already showed he could do) would kill the trap off, and then old Ergo Proxy would be free.
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Episode 21
You turn your back on Romdo for five minutes and the place goes to hell. The plan to modify fellow citizens so they could survive without a proxy didn't go too well, it seems, and cogito is running rampant. Not even Autoreiv Disposal Hitler can keep the city from tearing itself apart.

We get some long-sought answers and hints at others, but as with so many episodes of this series it's the atmosphere that I enjoy most. Seeing Romdo in this state shows what a fragile, hollow shell it always was.
Episode 21

Well now, the dystopia that is Romdeau finally shows its true colours. The place has become shambolic and people are losing their minds!

Little Re-l sure grew up fast! And it seems like the original she cant help but pry and investigate Vincent which really ties into the whole raison d'etre angle of the show. All these people were bred and given a specific role to play and if it's no longer needed or cant be done they just lose their minds. I think that's why the autoreiv disposal team are seemingly the only sane ones left. Their jobs have become more important than ever.

And someone better keep little Pino safe!
Episode 21

I'm glad we've left the abstract episodes behind for now, two episodes left to go to wrap things up.

After getting tired of counting rabbits on the rabbit Pino is off to investigate. What I liked about this was that it very quickly told us two things, one is that a fairly long period of time has passed since Vincent and Re-i left the ship, and two, we get to see what Romdeau has become through Pino's POV.

The Hitler moustache may be out of fashion in our world, but in this one it's very much alive and kicking. The gun they used appeared to do far more damage than it should do give it's size, what on earth were they firing?! :eek:

There is a fair bit to take in here, the autoreivs appear to be central to the running of things, and the whole thing is falling apart without them about to run operations. Daedalus is a few sandwiches short of a picnic at this stage, but then again, so is Raul clearly at the end.

I hope Pino survives whatever happens, at least last we saw of her she was off to see about playing a piano.

So Vincent is Proxy 1, but this doesn't look like the same Vincent we had before, nor the same Ergo Proxy we saw before, this is like a strange mix of Vincent and Ergo Proxy but it's neither of them at the same time. If Proxy 1 is the creator of things, then it's certainly true the Proxy is close to being a god, in the literal sense of the word.

The cliff hanger here is real, having shot Proxy 1 will that finish him off? Raul Creed is kind of mad but I suppose he had a plan of sorts here, and maybe engineered the situation so that Re-i would be the one to finish Proxy 1 off.
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