I started watching Anime in my early childhood, I still remember watching Akira when I was about 2-3 years old (I had an older brother who watched anime as well). I became even more fascinated when watching Princess Mononoke (or Mononoke Hime) around 6 or 7 years old, this is a powerful tale about nature. The third anime that I had found very moving was Samurai Champloo, what I loved about this anime was the bonds between three completely different characters (two men and one girl) who were set out on a strange quest to help the girl, the ending (though technically not actually an ending) of this series was beautiful. Throughout middle school I kept watching anime, mostly meaningless anime that just had a bunch of catchy plot twists and this led me to stop watching anime once I had gotten to high school. In 11th grade I started watching again because I had gotten pretty bored with everything around me. It started with fairy tail, which had some pretty inspiring moments but was mostly just another stretched out plot with random twists to keep the show going (to make money). Next I started watching one called Beelzebub, it was an extremely humorous story about a high school delinquent who ended up having to take care of Satan’s child (Beelzebub), a human who was taking care of something that was supposed to destroy humanity. Unfortunately Beelzebub was canceled, and because of this the last 10-20 episodes (60 total) had to be improvised to bring an end to the series. Now having one of my favorite shows canceled, I very angrily decided to watch Clannad, a story about a high school delinquent who was in love, yes this seemed like a very dull and typical story for girls but it happened to have a beautiful philosophy behind it.
Finally, I got around to watching the anime that had changed everything, this was Ergo Proxy.
Now, I had dived into an anime that was literally a complete “mind-fuck” and had given me something to think about. To any typical fanboy, this story was slow-moving, dull, boring, and empty. To anyone who has a deep interest in philosophy, there are tons of meaningful allusions to reality and a proper dark atmosphere. In the very beginning there is this:
While I could just tell you everything about this anime, that would ruin the beauty of the art of the anime in itself. However I can pick out a few quotes that make you think a bit:
“In others’ eyes, I am part of the world. But when I look out at the world from my own vantage point, I am not in it. What I see is the world. As an observer, I am the point of view that creates the world. I can’t belong to the world. In principle, we can say that it’s the truth.”
” Even if I was someone, people couldn’t comprehend me. And even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to communicate it to those around them. I do not belong to the world. That is the world’s limit, the boundary between the world and the self.”
“Remember. You can feel it if you hold your hand against your chest. It belongs to no one. It’s our pulse, yours and mine. This is what brings us to the truth. It’s what proves that we are the very world itself. Follow your instincts. The answer is already there.”
^ These are just from one episode.
Some other simpler quotes that hold more obvious truth include:
“Everyone has at least one person they piss off”.
“One day I will shoot you with this bullet, can you still say that you love me?”
And then there is one that is fond of circles:
“Behold, there was destruction and there was calamity on the planet. The sky vanished and the sky became frozen. Nature halted the circle of life, which was essential for the recognition of man. These narrators of these words have long since exited the stage and the curtain of the “system” has visibly fallen. However, even in this devastated world, one still cannot escape from the existence of this circle.”
Now that is the reason for my obsession with Ergo Proxy. And it is why my banner and my gravatar are an image from this puzzle of a series.
P.S: I always watch anime in Japanese (or the original language) with English subtitles. I don’t trust corporate America’s translations and I still find much more emotion in the original voice acting.