Ergo Proxy Episode 16: Dead Calm (Busy Doing Nothing)

Meep meep! Thanks for stopping by Anime Rants. It’s time for Ergo Proxy episode 16!


Episode Synopsis

This installment of Ergo Proxy could be called a filler. The winds have stopped so the Centzon ship cannot move. Re-L, Vincent, and Pino are stranded for several days in one place. Nothing much happens other than Re-L slowly learns to loosen up a bit toward the end. That’s after being bitchy all the rest of the episode though. The winds then pick up again and the journey continues.

Although this is quite filler-like, the episode was somewhat interesting to me. I was able to get a feel for what the characters’ lives are like on their journey on a ship. There were also some funny moments and it was nice to see Re-L learning to adapt. The discussion section will contain a few insights into the characters’ development.

(Vincent and Pino get bored and apply makeup)

Discussion

Re-L Observations

I have a lot of patience for unusual and assertive female characters, but Re-L’s petulance in this episode was difficult to handle even for me. However, I can understand (but not excuse) most of her unpleasantness because I know she was spoiled and isolated growing up. Additionally, she grew up at an accelerated pace compared to humans. Re-L may have the body and brain of a twenty-year-old, but she has the life experiences of a child. She’s just now beginning to practice getting along with others for the first time.

In this episode, a lot of little things ticked Re-L off related to hygiene and lifestyle differences compared to Vincent. For example, Re-L is angered by Vincent’s continued use of a sock with a hole in it, especially since he has new socks in his drawer. She also was nearly driven mad by a single hair on Vincent’s chin that he missed during shaving. These are just cases of Re-L being immature and expecting others to be as organized and circumspect as her. Also, I’m sure it’s been made worse by the frustration of not being able to do anything, and the irritability that comes from not eating enough.

(Bitchy Re-L)

It was actually rather sad watching Re-L’s behavior and hearing her thoughts as she wrote them down. She’s just incredibly uptight. People can’t be happy like that. Re-L thinks of everything in analytical terms and objective purpose. She thinks of Vincent and Pino primarily as observation subjects rather than companions. The way Pino and Vincent play together is incomprehensible to her. She probably has no idea how to be goofy like a normal person. Additionally, Re-L can’t just sit back and relax, or enjoy the moment. To me, all of this is really sad. There’s nothing wrong with having a goal-oriented, detail-minding personality, but one can never be happy if they take it as far as Re-L.

Although it was a long time coming, the small change in Re-L by the end of the episode was such a relief. She decided to try not to overthink things so much. After deciding this and yelling out her frustration into the the empty wastes, Re-L felt better. She also got to enjoy the aurora lights. In that moment, she was able to smile and relax. It was beautiful. I also thought it was interesting when Re-L fell asleep next to Pino. She said she dreamed about Iggy and rested well for the first time in several days. I can only think this was due to the feeling of having someone beside her. That shows some refreshing humanity in Re-L. Let’s hope the positive change continues.

(Re-L smiling up at the Aurora)

Personality Differences/MBTI

Beyond cases of Re-L being childish and inexperienced, some of the difficulty is also due to natural personality differences between Re-L and the others. In terms of the MBTI, Re-L is INTJ, Vincent is INFP, and Pino is ENFP. As you can see, Vincent and Pino have quite similar types, but Re-L is distinctly different. INFPs and ENFPs are usually easy-going and warm people, but if you upset their values or emotions, you’re in for some danger. INTJs are almost the opposite. They are assertive and yet often aloof. They might not understand emotional reasoning with their stiff sense of logic.

(Re-L trying to understand the concept of relaxation)

There are many other differences between the types, but the main one that matters for this episode of Ergo Proxy is the difference in the last letter. For Re-L, it’s J for judging. For Vincent and Pino, it’s P for perceiving. A perceiver like Vincent lives more in the moment than thinking about the future. A plan or goal isn’t always needed. A judger like Re-L, on the other hand, is driven by goals and will only feel comfortable with a game-plan. INTJs in particular need important personal causes to work toward, or they feel directionless.

This central personality conflict comes up in Ergo Proxy when Re-L asks Vincent over dinner if he has thought of a solution yet. Vincent isn’t remotely concerned, because you can’t out-think the natural elements. The only thing to do is wait for wind. Re-L also points out that Vincent’s whole journey is lacking in any kind of plan. Vincent says it will probably all become clear once they get to Mosk. At one point, Re-L snaps at Vincent, saying, “Don’t you have any sense of purpose?!” This kind of disagreement could happen to anyone due to differing personalities. INFPs and INTJs aren’t exactly the most compatible types.

That wraps everything up for today. Thanks so much for reading! See you next time. 🙂

(Sleepy Re-L)

Other Posts in This Series

Episode 01

Episode 02

Episode 03

Episode 04

Episode 05

Episode 06

Episode 07

Episode 08

Episode 09

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14

Episode 15

One comment

  1. Great post! This is one of my favorite episodes of the series. I loved watching how each of the characters dealt with cabin fever. I live pretty far North and I know just how it feels to get stuck in one place (like getting snowed in) and start to feel a little squirly.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s