Pulse of Awakening (Awakening)
Season 1, Episode 1
Ergo proxy ep 1.jpg
Air date 2006-02-25
Episode guide
Confession of a Fellow Citizen (Confession)

"Hajimari no Kodō" (はじまりの鼓動/awakening)

Overview[edit | edit source]

Murders are occurring across the city of Romdeau, and more AutoReivs are being found infected with the Cogito Virus. Re-L Mayer, an inspector from the Intelligence Bureau, is in charge of investigating these murders along with her AutoReiv partner, Iggy. While looking into these murders, Re-L comes into contact with a mysterious creature that is neither human nor AutoReiv.[1]

Plot[edit | edit source]

The creature breaks free.

In a research facility, several AutoReivs, under the watch of Daedalus Yumeno, experiment on a restless creature that begins to wake. With their sedatives no longer having an affect on the creature, despite their efforts to keep it asleep, it manages to break free. Its moves are strangely faster than the naked eye can see, and with a high-pitched scream, it cracks the glass separating it from the scientists. This causes a breach in the system, but before Daedalus can do anything, the AutoReivs lead him to safety.

At 21:32 in the evening,

The pulse of the awakening is near.

Vincent Law wakes up to his alarm clock and prepares for work. However, along the way, he inexplicably crashes with his vehicle as he attempts to brake, collapsing on the road. That is "when everything became clear". The scene shifts to daytime (possibly a flashback or memory) with seagulls crying in the distance as a mysterious, dark figure muses about a "malice implanted by the Creator" and resolves that he has "to punish them". A heartbeat in the background confirm the figure's next words on hearing "the pulse of the awakening".

It is now evening again. Fellow Citizens pass by announcements that encourage them to consume more. The scene shifts to Raul Creed, Chief of the Security Bureau, talking on the phone. When his AutoReiv Kristeva enters, he asks her what was so important that he had to cancel his schedule. She replies that it is a "Level Ultimate Intelligence" disclosure and that he has to hurry.

Vincent gets attacked and tries to defend himself.

Appearing slightly disgruntled, he follows her out.

In a dark alleyway, Vincent Law pursues an infected AutoReiv that is being chased by a large, armed machine. Once he has a clear shot, he shoots down the AutoReiv, but the large machine turns against him. He tries to defend himself, but the machine sweeps him off his feet, knocking him out.

Through a video call, Daedalus informs the Collective and Donov Mayer, the Regent of Romdeau, of the creature's breakout. Derrida, one of four AutoReivs making up the Collective, asks him to confirm this, and when Daedalus does, she tells him that his job is done and that Raul will handle the situation

The creature is free and dangerous.

from here on out. Before Daedalus can ask something, Mayer gestures that they hang up on him. Afterwards, Derrida wonders whether "little Re-L" will be visiting them that night.

In another dark alleyway, blood splatters a wall. A tall, slender figure braces against it, breathing heavily over the slumped body of her kill. A close-up shows it to be the creature from the lab, who leaves a large, blood-stained imprint of its hand upon the wall before departing.

The next morning, Iggy is driving Re-L Mayer to work. He asks her whether she visited the Regent last night and she says she didn't, not wanting to hear another one of her grandfather's lectures, while she browses through her book, examining her notes. Iggy mentions that the Security Bureau conducted spot-searches last night. He expresses his disbelief on them wanting the aid of their Intelligence Bureau in providing them with information on infected AutoReivs when they aren't telling them what's going on, adding that he does not care much for Raul.

Re-l is tired of Iggy's constant talk.

While Iggy goes on about the murders not possibly being done by an infected AutoReiv, Re-L stumbles upon a report on Vincent Law, recalling that she knows him. Irked at her Entourage's constant babble, she orders him to cut the Turing application from the language field, and tells him to take her to the FG Temporary Immigrant District's AutoReiv Disposal Facility. Enjoying the brief peace, Re-L reflects on how Romdeau is a paradise, built to sustain life despite the environmental destruction that now surrounds the planet, but is an incredibly boring paradise to live in.

At the facility, Vincent's Entourage, Dorothy, asks him whether he was sure that the PK30-type AutoReiv that escaped was infected. He apologises while he attempts to eat breakfast, spilling his milk in his clumsiness, while Dorothy patiently reminds him that he is supposed to meet the representative of the Intelligence Bureau to tell her what happened when she comes in. The camera refocuses on the bowl of alphabet cereal as letters float to the surface spelling out A-W-A-K-E-N-I-N-G. Dorothy also gives Vincent a new assignment regarding a potentially-infected Companion-type AutoReiv and a permit to enter the Citizens' Residential District. She assures him not to worry, and that if he does what she tells him to, he will become a Fellow Citizen.

Dorothy talking to Vincent.

That is when Re-L interrupts them. She tells Vincent that he shouldn't rely on his Entourage so much and that they will still be AutoReivs no matter what. In order to become a Fellow Citizen, Vincent will have to work more on his human relationships. He is surprised to see her, and she reflects that they met at a past interview, though needs Iggy's assistance to recall his name. But before they can say more, the head of the facility, Petro Seller, interrupts and greets Re-L as "His Excellency's grand-daughter", which prompts Iggy to remind him that he was not not to refer to Re-L like that.

Later on, in a morgue-type area for AutoReivs, Vincent shows Re-L the infected AutoReiv from last night. She comments on the bad shape it's in and Vincent says that it's due to their outdated equipment, leaving them

"Things that smell of Mosk are to be thrown away."

no choice but to dismantle AutoReivs to stop them from functioning. She demands whether that was a complaint, which he denies and quickly apologises for before showing her the hippocampus file. As Iggy examines it, Re-L reflects on the rumor surrounding the Cogito Virus. It's said to give AutoReivs self-awareness and they can no longer be controlled by humans, but it's an unnecessary thing in the city of Romdeau. She tells Vincent that his job is important to protect the people, and that is is the fastest way for an immigrant to become a Fellow Citizen. She also notices that he is still wearing "that thing" around his neck, a strange pendant, and says that things that smell of Mosk are to be thrown away. He stuffs it down his shirt and she warns him not to bring it to his hearing just as Iggy's analysis is completed. He tells Re-L that they are in luck, for part of the AutoReiv's autonomic neural file escaped infection and he has obtained a projected escape route. As Vincent is about to ask something, Re-L interrupts him, telling him that his duty here is done and that his Entourage,

"That is the face of an ideal Fellow Citizen."

who is waiting outside, is growing impatient.

After they leave, Iggy comments on how Vincent kept staring at Re-L. She feigns ignorance, but they overhear Seller telling Vincent that despite his lack of sleep, he has to make up for his mistake and examine the aforementioned infected AutoReiv. Re-L remarks on Vincent's face looking like the ideal Citizen's, the dull kind of face that Romdeau desires, but briefly wonders before they leave if she, being so aloof, is the one who's considered unnecessary.

Daedalus looks afar at Raul speaking on the phone again, who turns back to Kristeva once he is done, asking for a recap. Kristeva explains how they have expanded their searches to include more Temporary Immigrant Districts, armed AutoReivs patrolling both the mainland and the island but not having found anything yet. Raul thinks that the creature has moved beyond the residential areas and Kristeva agrees to make the necessary arrangements.

Re-L and Iggy go to an abandoned Immigration Bureau facility, where it is rumored that illegal immigrants reside. Iggy gets a message from the Security Bureau that they are to stay put, but Re-L starts to explore and shushes Iggy when he begins to protest at the sound of something. They run towards the source, armed, but all they find is a man in a shabby apartment with a companion-type AutoReiv, whom he calls Mary, saying she belongs to him, which Iggy confirms after a scan. Frustrated, Re-L leaves while Iggy stays behind to check the man's immigration permit.

She stops by the staircase, looking around. Her surroundings look far too calm. From above,

The creature descends from above.

the creature the Security Bureau is after descends upon Re-L. She lashes out with her gun, but the creature slaps it away, causing Re-L to almost stumble, but not before correcting her balance and firing at it as it leaps out the window. Stunned, she wonders what the creature was, but turns around upon hearing a noise again. It is Mary, the AutoReiv, who has fallen down on her knees and clasped her hands together, staring up at the sky and praying. Distracted by this display and wondering whether she is infected, Re-L doesn't notice the large, armed machine that looms behind her until the last moment. She whirls around and fires at it with her shotgun, sending it reeling back into a wall. Over a communication link, Iggy asks what happened, and Re-L confirms that she killed her target. That's when Mary gets up and leaps into the gap between the staircase, trying to escape, and Re-L shouts out a warning to Iggy, who is on a lower floor. Mary breaks her ankle upon reaching the ground, but stumbles away. Iggy stares down, wondering what happened, and Re-L orders him to contact the Disposal Facility and to have them go after her. Re-L goes back to the window to investigate and finds a large crater left by the creature's hand.

Vincent examines the infected AutoReiv he was sent to investigate, but finds no sign of an infection. The AutoReiv, called Pino looks like a small girl, more human-like than the other AutoReivs, with proper facial features. The woman standing

Vincent notices the baby carriage.

beside the window claims that to be impossible on the grounds that Pino was acting strangely yesterday. Vincent begins to explain that the tests are highly reliable when he notices a baby carriage in the corner. The woman notices this and says proudly that the Welfare and Human Affairs Department gave her and her husband the child they've always wanted and points out that an AutoReiv that would serve as a housekeeper would be more beneficial to the child's development. Vincent agrees that citizens are encouraged to consume and dispose of products more, but reminds her that for him to take the AutoReiv back when it isn't infected would be against regulations. She finds it incredulous that a lowly immigrant is not listening to the request of a Citizen and starts to mention that her husband is the Chief of the Security Bureau, but is unable to finish her threat when Pino is reactivated. Pino calls her "Mother" and recalls that she was taught not to speak ill of immigrants, and reminds her that she has not completed the housework today and that it would made "Father" unhappy while Vincent packs up in the background.

Raul and Kristeva arrive before the Collective and the Regent. Lacan notes how it is unfortunate that this situation arose right after he took office as Chief. Derrida calls him fortunate instead, since the Proxy has awakened,

Kristeva and Raul before the Regent and the Collective.

calling the creature by name for the first time. Kristeva reports that they have been searching all the residential areas continuously since last night, but they have found nothing yet. Derrida says that the Proxy must have moved to the immigrant districts on the city's perimeter, and Raul agrees there is nothing to suggest otherwise. Lacan notes how the immigrants living there are masterless and wonders if someone amongst them is helping. Berkely denies that; they don't even know that the Proxy exists. Raul asks whether capturing the Proxy is their only option, and Kristeva confirms that forty-one citizens have lost their lives so far. She also reminds them of the numerous infected AutoReivs throughout the years, noting how there is always an increase in victims during those times. This might lead to panic and unrest, even with controlled information. In light of this, Raul asks permission to kill the Proxy to prevent such a thing happening, and this request is enough to make Donov Mayer pause and the Collective to draw back with a gasp. They remind him that he has to capture it and not take preemptive action, and Husserl assures him that he doesn't have to worry about the loss of a few citizens and Berekely agrees that they can increase production if they run low. His mission is to bring the Proxy back, but Raul asks to know what this Proxy even is.

Iggy finds Re-L and reports that he's found four dead bodies, believing the Security Bureau to have attempted to cover it up. Re-L says she's discovered that the killer is not a Cogito-infected AutoReiv, but as she is about to touch a hand imprint of the Proxy in the ground, Iggy orders her, through the Security Bureau, not to. Cautious, she says she knows, but there were never any orders not to look around, and Iggy says that's true, already back to normal. Re-L suggests they leave before Raul arrives and that she'd get in trouble with her grandfather if she persisted. Iggy is puzzled, having no memory of the sudden intervention, but follows her back home.

Back with Vincent, he apologies to the woman as he is leaving, but she shuts the door in his face. He leaves, but picks up his ringing cellphone, surprised to hear Dorothy on the other end. He leaves immediately, and Pino glances at him from the window while she plays the piano.

Back at the destroyed laboratory, Daedalus is explaining to Raul how the Proxy's superhuman

Daedalus, Raul and Kristeva examine the destroyed laboratory.

abilities exclude it being an AutoReiv. Raul asks what the purpose behind conducting top-secret research is, and Daedalus expresses surprise that the Regent didn't tell him. But he admits that he doesn't know either, his assignment only being to watch over the Proxy as it slept. Daedalus thinks that obtaining that sort of power would have significant implications. Kristeva receives a call and informs Raul that Re-L was in Temporary Immigrant District D. Raul repeats the name and Daedalus seems to recognize the name.

Iggy drops Re-L off at home, and she reminds him to organize all the case files. He drives off and she enters, removing her jacket and belt and sitting down for a moment to collect her thoughts. She muses over her grandfather requesting to see her, the Security Bureau trying to cover up their tracks, and wonders what that thing that fled was. Exhausted, she gets up and begins to disrobe.

While Iggy is driving, he notices an AutoReiv Disposal Facility-issues scooter pass by him, but doesn't give it much thought. But he spots that Re-L forgot her notebook in the back seat and turns back to drop it off.

Re-l finds the ghostly message.

In the meantime, Vincent parks outside of Re-L's house and begins searching around in alleyways, stumbling upon Mary in bad condition, slumped in a corner.

Just as Re-L prepares to get into the shower, she notices something in the mirror. She turns around and is shocked to see the word "awakening" written out in the mirror's fog. Then, without warning, a large creature bursts through her ceiling, forcing her against the wall. It is easily twice her size, dwarfing her, but unlike the Proxy, this creature is entirely different, wearing a strangely-shaped white mask. It examines her while she stares back in shock, and it traces the outline of her lips with its thumb, harshly.

The masked being is seen for the first time.

Tears well up in its eyes, spilling, almost as if they are reflecting her own.

However, the Proxy reappears, descending from the sky like it did when attacking Re-L earlier that day. The masked creature senses this and lashes back. After a brief scuffle, the masked creature launches the Proxy out through the window, where they face off outside. The masked creature snarls. The Proxy, appearing to be in pain or distress, flinches. The masked creature charges the Proxy while Re-L crumples to the floor in shock before fainting.

Episode Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The Pulse of Awakening starts the series. It is metaphorically represented by the opening scene of a heart rate and brain activity monitor coming to life as Monad awakens. It is then commented on by Proxy One, who is standing in an entrance way with the Proxy symbol over the doorway.
  • Proxy One rails against the progenitors - the space-faring humans who were signalling they were now returning with the Pulse of Awakening. This marks the beginning/genesis/call to action to manipulate (to the point of insanity in the case of Daedalus and Raul Creed) many of the characters in Ergy Proxy. Proxy One had run out of time to get his revenge on the progenitors by destroying everything they left on Earth.
  • Vincent's first appearance in the series shows his monotonous drudgery of a personal daily routine (inferring he is more robot than human), and then taking his motorcycle to work along a dark deserted road. As he is driving along, a stoplight suddenly changes to red and he crashes while attempting to stop. The metaphor here is that his lonely, unexceptional life as Vincent Law is about to come to a screeching halt - the crash throwing him from the familiar.
  • When interviewing Vincent, Re-L notices Vincent's proxy pendant and makes a comment that Vincent should not keep "anything smelling of Mosk". The pendant is actually Monad's - given to Ergo Proxy when her mind was destroyed taking away Ergo's memory. Re-L's statement will be referenced later in the series by Proxy One, masquerading as Dr. Swan in a hallucination initiated by Proxy One to turn Vincent against Re-L, Swan brings out Ergo Proxy's pendant, given to Proxy One/Swan when Ergo Proxy gave up Romdeau to Proxy One and went to Mosk, and says angrily, "How cruel. I never took it off, this charm of yours. I hate men who stink of another woman. I'm sure she feels the same way. [both referring to Re-L].
  • The earliest clues of Vincent's dual personality comes as Iggy is driving away from Re-L's house and notices Vincent heading in the direction he was leaving. A place where Ergo Proxy will soon appear.
  • Raul's wife's face is never seen - she is only shown silhouetted. Likely implying she is more like a cold hearted robot than the AutoReivs. And that Pino's real relationship (as shown later) with her parents was more with Raul than the wife.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • The following poem by Michelangelo is featured at the start of the episode (see Trivia section for more detail):

Caro mi è il sonno, e più l’esser di sasso
mentre che il danno e la vergogna dura;
non veder, non sentir m’è gran ventura;
però non mi destar; deh, parla basso.

Precious is my sleep, more so my being stone
so long as ruin and dishonor prevail;
to see nothing, to feel nothing, is a gift;
So do not wake me; I beg you, speak softly

  • "That is when everything became perfectly clear. Everything about the malice implanted by the Creator. We cannot resist that which is. We simply... we simply have to punish them. Can you hear the pulse... of the awakening?"
  • "Romdeau City... this place is undoubtedly our final paradise. Today is just another day here. Nothing changes for the better in this cradle, which was built admist the environmental destruction that now surrounds our planet. A boring paradise."
  • "They say AutoReivs that have been infected with the Cogito Virus achieve self-awareness, and can no longer be controlled by humans. In this city of Romdeau, where all the systems are designed in order that we may live, even the prayers of an infected AutoReiv who's prepared to die, are unnecessary."
  • "Look over there. That is the face of an ideal Fellow Citizen. The face of a person this city desires. A dull face. But perhaps it's me, the one who looks down on them, who has now become unnecessary."

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The opening poem was originally spoken in the person of Night, one of Michelangelo's sculptures in the Medici Chapel. It was written by Michelangelo in response to another poem composed by Giovan Battista Strozzi, which had urged the reader to awaken the statue. The verse on "ruin and dishonor" (also alternatively translated as "evil and shame") refers to the Siege of Florence (1529–1530). A paraphrased version of the poem is repeated in episode 22 by the Collective.
  • The four statues in the Regent's audience chamber are actually the four Michelangelo sculptures in the Medici Chapel, namely: Night, Day, Dawn, and Dusk. They represent the entourages known as the Collective.
  • The precise time Vincent has set his alarm clock, 21:32, may be a reference to a passage from the Bible, specifically Luke 21:32, which states: "Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled," which alludes to future events to take place at Romdeau. [2]

Voice Actors[edit | edit source]

Japanese Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Rie Saito as Re-l Mayer
  • Akiko Yajima as Pino
  • Koji Yusa as Vincent Law
  • Hikaru Hanada as Raul Creed
  • Houko Kuwashima as Kristeva
  • Kiyomitsu Mizuuchi as Iggy
  • Sanae Kobayashi as Daedalus Yumeno
  • Kiyomi Yazawa as Deleuze
  • Kanako Tateno as Guattari
  • Hirohiko Kakegawa as AR Disposal Unit Chief
  • Hirofumi Nojima as Researcher
  • Hidekatsu Shibata as Husserl
  • Yu Shimaka as Berkeley
  • Yoko Somi as Derrida
  • Atsuko Tanaka as Lacan

English Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Karen Thompson as Re-l Mayer
  • Rachel Hirschfeld as Pino
  • Liam O'Brien as Vincent Law
  • Patrick Seitz as Raul Creed
  • Kirsten Potter as Kristeva
  • Travis Willingham as Iggy
  • Yuri Lowenthal as Daedalus Yumeno
  • Erika Weinstein as Deleuze
  • Naomi Richards as Guattari
  • Doug Stone as AR Disposal Unit Chief
  • Kyle Hebert as Researcher
  • Michael McConnohie as Husserl
  • Doug Stone as Berkeley
  • Melodee M. Spevack as Derrida
  • Barbara Goodson as Lacan

References[edit | edit source]

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