My Bloody Valentine indeed - yesterday’s Psycho Pass was the intense beginning of the final act of our story. With 5 episodes left the stage has been set for a rather intense finale.
The episode began with the aftermath of last week’s violent showdown. Makishima is in custody, the riots have been quelled, but it’s not over. The MWPSB crew is contemplating what it all means. Did they win? What about all of these people who are experiencing the effects of the Psycho-Hazard? Where is Kagari? What will become of Makishima?
The crew wonders if Kagari made a run for it but start to find inconsistencies that say otherwise, with Kogami correctly (yet unknowingly) guessing that Kagari may have been shot with a decomposer. At this point however, they do not know his true fate.
The last question gets a quick answer. Ginoza is informed that the interrogation will not be handled by the MWPSB, but by the Ministry of Welfare. The Chief insists that this task is for them alone. This clearly confused Ginoza due to Makishima’s relations to his department and INFURIATES Kogami who wants nothing more than to straight up kill Makishima.
I speculated last week, based on the chief’s previous statements about asymptomatic criminals “disappearing” (and the revelation that she’s up to no good having killed Kagari and Choe after discovering Sybil), that she had some use for Makshima. I wasn’t far off in guessing his role in the Sybil system - the idea of these asymptomatic criminals being used to judge society (stemming from Choe’s comment that the “true nature” of the Sybil system would enrage the public). However, the reveal that the chief is a cyborg that is controlled by a rotation of criminals, including the previously “disappeared” Toma, I did NOT see coming.
That said, as expected, Makishima wasn’t interested in “being a cog in the machine” - he rejects the “offer” to join Sybil and quickly dispatches The Chief/Toma. He delivers the killing blow with the rather cold line “how does it feel? dying while having the omnipotence of god?”
Speaking with a friend before watching this, I guessed that Makishima was going to escape and take people down with him, just not like this. Makishima is interesting in that nothing really surprises him much. He was shocked for all of 2 seconds that Chief Kasei was Toma. He then quickly formulated his escape.
The episode closed with an after-credits scene of Kogami meditating in his room. After a quick hallucination that Makishima was beside him he received a call from him, tauntingly suggesting that his purpose was pointless based on Sybil’s real nature. Makishima, who typically toys with a person until bored, previously attempted to kill Kogami after making quick work of him. The implication was that he was done playing with him and grew bored, however, given that he didn’t succeed one is to assume he is interested in “playing” again, especially based on this call.
There you have it, the final act has begun and it’s only going to get worse from here on out.
Interesting point to note - not only does Sybil (asymptomatic criminal aggregate) judge society but also assigns roles. They essentially told Akane she was perfect for the role of Inspector. Considering the reveal of Sybil being a aggregate that judges people, did they have an ulterior motive in assigning her to this task? Her Psycho Pass can be suppressed as we saw in the brain scan episode. Do they want to acquire her as well, or did they slip up in putting her where she is? Knowing Urobuchi’s penchant for the tragic, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the end a majority of our cast dies and she does as well in the sense that she becomes the new Sybil.
Feel free to add your thoughts. Where do you think this will end?
EDIT: My friend Z. humorously referred to the “Dragonball Z Effect” (working with your nemesis to fight a new enemy) coined by Arin Hansen/Egoraptor. He feels like our heroes will work with Makishima to stop Sybil. While I think they both may try to accomplish this I HIGHLY doubt they’ll work together in any capacity. Between Ginoza’s strict regard for policy and Akane + Kogami’s intense hatred for Makishima I can’t see it happening.
Episode 16 aired yesterday, and as expected, shit hit the fan. A lot went down in this one so let’s start with one of the moment’s fans have been anticipating. We were brought back to the Episode 1 flash forward where Makishima and Kogami meet. To nobody’s surprise Kogami was bested easily and nearly killed if it weren’t for Akane. Akane is still struggling with the role she chose as she could not bring herself to kill Makishima. Take note this is the second time she was told to kill him (first by Makishima himself, and now by Kogami) and has failed to do so.
This leads to me to my next point: Makishima’s fate. It’s clear Kogami wants to kill him, and why, however, Ginoza ordered him to do NOTHING but bring him in alive. Consider that Ginoza is under strict orders from the Chief. In a previous episode the Chief told Ginoza that those who elude Sybil’s scans must be brought in and that eventually they “disappear.” Up until now it has been assumed that this means they’re disposed of so society will never know Sibyl failed. This might take a far more sinister explanation given the supposed “true nature” of Sybil. When Choe and Kagari (we’ll get to him in a minute) finally break into the core of Sybil, Choe is blown away by what he sees. ”We don’t even need to shut it off, revealing what it really is will cause riots!” he says. Kagari is shocked into near silence. Silence broken by the Chief who clearly wants NOBODY to know what it is. Given her orders to bring Makishima in for “interrogation” I’ve begun to wonder if he, and previous asymptomatic criminals, are used to maybe calibrate Sybil or perhaps worse: left to judge society. Regardless, something of this nature would upset people - that criminals are essentially playing a large part in their judgement. Either way, Makishima is now in the hands of our “heroes” which can only lead to bad things. My money is on him stirring up a lot of trouble internally and perhaps bring down a few of them for good.
Lastly there’s Kagari. A blog I’ve read called this one from the moment he split off with Akane and Kogami. Those two either usually go it alone or are with the entire group. The fact that he joined them was the red flag. Furthermore it been established via conversation in another episode that he cares about Kogami. To really drive it home the tell-tale signs were there in this episode, especially with Kogami saying “Don’t be reckless!” when Kagari headed to the basement. I wish we saw more of his character. He had a sad story, being a latent criminal since the age of 5 and never experiencing freedom. He met his end with dignity in that he made his hatred of Sybil known but also said that Choe has no right to do it either.
That’s it from me for now. Please feel free to add your thoughts as well - I’m curious about what others think.
Psycho Pass airs Thursdays in Japan - an hour later it’s online via FUNimation/Hulu. Seeing as some people that follow watch it and I got some interest in the posts I made previously I figure on Thursdays after I’ve watched / digested the current episode I’ll make a post with my thoughts on it and open it up for discussion here. Feel free to comment accordingly.
The helmets criminals use to hide their crime coefficient is the same one a criminal fighting Kogami is wearing in the episode one intro. It’s safe to assume the episode one intro takes place later in the story. This explains why Kogami’s dominator fails in that fight. Makishima is near by and thusly the attacker has a low coefficient masking him. It’s wild to see that connection all the way back in the first episode.
EDIT: I previously mentioned one of the walls / doors said Sibyl on it, but it was just a closeup of the gun. So where they actually are in this scene remains unknown other than “a really tall building.”
Psycho-Pass is a pseudo-cyberpunk flavored dystopian tv series airing in Japan. It follows a group of criminal investigators who maintain peace by stopping potential criminals known as “latent criminals”. In a Minority Report sort of set up, they pre-judge people based on a system called “Sybil” that assigns citizens “Crime Coefficients” or numbers that indicate how likely they are to commit a crime. The higher the coefficient the more dangerous you are. To keep investigators from becoming latent criminals themselves they employ what are known as “Enforcers”, or people with high crime coefficients to work as their watchdogs to do the dirty work. Both the Enforcers and Investigators are equipped with weapons known as “Dominators” that have different levels of attack (from stun to obliterate) depending on the target’s crime coefficient. Being a dystopian story with this kind of plot I’m sure you can take a wild guess at what sort of moral issues arise from their methods. That said there’s still a good amount of character progression and background that makes it interesting. Most disappointment I’ve heard stems from the main character, at first, serving as a vehicle for progressing the plot and nothing more. She is simply the audience’s voice it seems, but she starts to come into her own half way through.
Where can you watch it? Funimation has a deal with Fuji TV so they can air new episodes at least 1 hour after they’ve aired in Japan. This is interesting because fans in Japan and the US are able to watch the series as it airs. As of right now only 13 episodes of the planned 22 are out and you can catch all of them on Funimation’s site or on Hulu.
My first experience with Psycho-Pass was when I visited Japan early October. It began airing the week I was there so I saw this truck driving around Shinjuku quite a bit (excuse the poor quality photo):
I was curious so I looked it up when I got back stateside. After viewing the first episode I was interested but only mildly impressed. After a friend I showed it to decided to push through a few more episodes they urged me to continue watching as they said “once I hit episode 4 and 5 it was suddenly 4 hours later and I had watched all 12”.
I had a similar experience and I don’t regret it. If you dig cyberpunk flavored dystopian crime thriller that get really dark, this one is for you.