Psycho-Pass 2 – 02
So I wasn’t sure what to cover this season and was in the midst of writing a Weekly Reflections post when the Psycho-Pass section took on a life of its own……so I appear to be blogging Psycho-Pass 2. Normally I rule out sequels if I haven’t covered the 1st season, but I was travelling when S1 of P-P aired and think I would have covered it if I wasn’t so I’m exempting this from my own rules (yay arbitrary logic!)
I’ve seen a few people expressing annoyance that Psycho-Pass seems to be going over old ground as regards the Sybil system – the previous season showed us the flaws of the system rather well, and it feels like focusing on these flaws again is a bit redundant. However I don’t feel like this is the case. We the viewers and Akane in the show, are the only ones that really know the true nature of the Sybil system – everyone else in-show are pretty much in the dark and are operating under the assumption the system is absolute and flawless. The world of Psycho-Pass depends on people feeling that way – the only way Sybil can practice absolute authority is if the populace and those meting out Sybil’s justice believe that Sybil is perfect at all times.
The Makashima case shows that there are people who can’t be judged by Sybil, but I can’t imagine Sybil allowing knowledge of that case to be easily accessed – indeed I’d imagine the records are highly doctored to erase that fact. The only people who know about Makashima’s irregularity will be the survivors of Akane’s original team, and since they are considered latent criminals their testimony doesn’t hold any weight in this highly discriminatory world. Just look at Mika’s attitude to Gino in this episode – Gino is a former Inspector with a wealth of experience behind him, but Mika refuses to take anything he says onboard because he is now a mere Enforcer. Akane herself has shown she is unwilling to overthrow the Sybil system at present because society as it stands is completely unable to cope without it. Akane no longer relies on Sybil’s judgement when making decisions – she thinks for herself and makes calls based on her gut, but overall she works within the system and Sybil allows this because it deems Akane’s talent necessary. Akane was already pretty exceptional in that her hue doesn’t get clouded easily no matter what she comes up against.
In contrast to Akane’s brilliance the other inspectors in the show don’t come off as too great. They’re mere puppets for Sybil, relying on it completely when making judgements. They can’t even entertain the thought that someone has bypassed the scanners, because that would be tantamount to questioning the system they’ve placed absolute trust in. The majority of people in the world of Psycho-Pass aren’t physically capable of doubting Sybil; it goes entirely against their nature. Those who do express any doubts about Sybil quickly find their hue clouded and thus their opinion becomes irrelevant in society’s eyes. This is basically what happened to Gino in the first season – the Makishima case and working with exceptional personalities like Kogami & Akane meant he started to doubt the system and his hue took a nosedive as a result.
The danger of portraying the characters outside of Akane and her team as ineffectual and slaves to the system, is that Akane begins to look a bit too Mary Sue-ish. We already know that she’s intelligent, but there isn’t enough actual research and detective work going on yet to balance out the fact it seems like Akane just has access to the script at the moment. I think she needs someone to talk to and bounce off. Gino can’t fill that role because he just seems to hero-worship her at the moment and Gino has never quite been on the same intellectual level as Akane and Kogami anyway. The others in the team are sort of unknown elements at present – Togane could step into the hole left by Kogami, but he needs to show a bit more independent thought. Mika is definitely out because that girl is completely blinkered at the moment and determined to be as big a bitch as possible. I really hope she gets a wake-up call soon, because I don’t think I can take much more of her being bitchy and wilfully ignorant.
Now as for the actual episode we get a look at our antagonist for the first time – Kamui. He is an interesting fella in that he can not only make himself invisible to Sybil’s scanners, craft extremely complex holographic camouflage and doctor other people’s hues, but he really seems to care about those he comes into contact with, shedding tears for Kitazawa when he’s eliminated at the end of the episode. Kamui seems to value people on their individual merits – rather than how useful Sybil deems them. Kamui appears to want to challenge the authority of the system by allowing people more control over their Psycho-Pass hue, so individuals don’t become completely expendable once they breech a certain value – you can come back from a clouded hue.
I suppose this raises the question of criminal reform, which is a completely alien concept in Psycho-Pass’s world. Kamui also seems to be reaching out to Akane in particular, even going so far as to break into her home and graffiti her wall with “WC?” which seems to stand for “What Colour?” rather than ‘Water Closet’ (I don’t think Gino was dumb for firing that suggestion out there!). I don’t think Kamui is going to be quite as charismatic and fascinating to watch as Makishima, but he is interesting and I do want to know more about his personal philosophy and what he wants to achieve by challenging Sybil. Looking forward to next week.