Released by: Madman Entertainment.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (anamorphic)
While Re-l prepares to venture outside the dome to return Vincent to Romdeau we find that Vincent and Pino are caught in the machinations of Hoody. It seems our erstwhile community leader has been leading them along with promises he knows he can't fulfill and he forcibly enlists Vincent's aid to maintain his position. Vincent complies with this feeling obligated for the help Hoody has given him. Quinn isn't particularly convinced and agitates for finding the Rabbit and leaving the surrounds of Romdeau. Re-l's arrival complicates matters especially given she knows that Romdeau's official response isn't far behind her.
This culminates in an ill Re-l being returned to Romdeau and the commune citizens making a break away from the dome. Something that Romdeau is very keen to prevent. But the further they get away from the dome the harsher the environment becomes and the travellers begin to dwindle in number. Even as that occurs outside the dome Raul becomes increasingly obsessed with punishing Vincent whom he holds responsible for the death of his wife & child. It doesn't help that he is also being punished for his failiure to contain both the rogue Proxy and Vincent in his role as Security Chief.
Here Ergo Proxy establishes what is likely to be the format of a large chunk of the show - the travels of Vincent and Pino across the wasteland discovering more the of the mystery of exactly what a Proxy is and why humanity has become so dependant on artificial support. So the bulk of these episodes is setting up that journey, that isn't to say we don't get some decent revelations along the way. Re-l's discoveries once back in Romdeau provide solid hints as to what is going on while the outside travels inform us more about Pino and Vincent's outlooks on life.
While we get a good crips 16:9 transfer and a lovely 5.1 soundtrack in either language this volume is quite bereft of extra features. I can't complain too much as the series itself provides solid content to chew on and we had a bumper crop last volume. Yet we don't even get a glossary this time and there are terms that would be useful to explain. The whole rabbit reference with the Japanese association of the rabbit with the moon for instance or what Tasogare means ('Twilight' by the way). These are details that make interpreting the symbology of Ergo Proxy easier for non-Japanese audiences. Perhaps we will get them again on future volumes.
Still this is a firm continuation of an intrieguing series that shows every sign of knowing what it is doing. If you want clever dystopian science fiction then Ergo Proxy fits the bill nicely. Now the long wait begins for volume three's arrival. In some ways I miss the days of getting complete series... but then the anticipation is half the fun of a series like this. I've put the next entry in my analysis of the series online here.