Released by: Madman Entertainment.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (anamorphic)
With our two erstwhile leads actually now in Romdo they arrive to find a city in the process of melting down. Cogito infected autoreivs are everywhere and the machinery of the city itself has fallen apart as the citizens are totally dependant on the automatons to live. With them pretty much all infected and the clean up squad following its last orders and ruthlessly destroying any infected machine then you have chaos on the streets. It has devolved to the point that it is pretty much human versus autoreiv with neither side having a clear advantage. As a result the city is being steadily reduced to rubble while the fighting continues. Vincent/Ergo has taken off and is now roaming the city looking it seems for something that he struggles to find. Re-l is both trying to find him and understand what has caused all this chaos in the first place.
Her efforts lead her into the administrative tower where she finds that part of what has made the chaos worse is the ADW project. This was an attempt to genetically alter the existing population to allow traditional reproduction once again as a means of sustaining the human race. This is neccessary because the WombSys is no longer functional without a proxy sustaining it and indeed we discover that the cities as a whole have been the creation of the Proxies as they keep humanity alive on this shattered Earth. Sadly with the ADW project failing miserably Raul's mental state deteriorates further and he reverts to his original goal of simply destroying the system completely.
Of course Vincent/Ergo sees the havock wrought across Romdo and himself begins to despair as to the point of all his struggles. This leads him to the Regent's chamber where the final revealation of exactly what has been going on with the Proxies and Ergo/Vincent's place in it all is laid out. Naturally this means that Vincent/Ergo must wrestle with his own doubts made manifest but also Monad's plans for the future. Re-l helps him to understand exactly what the original malice the creator implanted is and why he needs to deal with it in some fashion - the time of the Proxies is at an end. The only question left is how they deal with that and what it means for the future of Romdo and humanity.
It is all in all a pretty satisfying end to the series. Pretty much all the questions posed by the series are answered and we know exactly what has been going on. Certainly you might need to spend a little time pulling the details together but it seems that the series has been remarkably fair in showing you everything you need.
One interesting extra florish with this volume is that we have the presence of an English DTS soundtrack for the first time in the series. It doesn't make up for the lack of a glossary or similar extra features but it does offer a nice high bitrate soundtrack that lets you appreciate the work put into the Egnlish dub. Fairly good use of the 5.1 soundstage is made - especially in the final episode's last moments where directionality is matched well with the onscreen action to immerse you in what is going on. This has been an excellent series underscored with an excellent soundtrack and dub in both languages. Given the demise of Geneon USA and ADV also now splitting up into sub companies we have seen the demise of the anime dubbing industry in the US to a large extent. Yes Funimation still exists but their focus has been on the more mainstream content. Obviously this has been a good strategy for the bottom line but I fear that the quirky interesting series that require a bit of viewer effort to appreciate are likely to be a rare breed from here on in, probably only getting sub-titled releases if at all.
As is usual the final for this series speculation and interpretation notes on this volume can be found here.