Psycho-Pass 2 – 03
This episode was raised some interesting questions about how people manage their psycho-pass hue through the conversations of a number of different characters.
Our antagonist, Kirito Kamui, aims to free people from the obsession with psycho-pass hue, “I want to make this world clear, so clear it is invisible”, thus freeing people from this Sybil System’s constant monitoring. Kamui himself seems to be invisible to the scanners but we don’t yet know how he is doing that and what he does to change other people’s hues. Kamui is a rather fascinating character at the moment. He’s soft-spoken yet impassioned, prone to tears and dresses like a geography teacher, but he’s completely capable of gorging out a woman’s eye, psychological torture and outright murder.
It remains to be seen what he plans to do with Inspector Shisui’s eye and Dominator, but there must be some value in holding the very eyes of the Sybil System – Sybil acts through Inspectors after all. That whole scene really squicked me out though – anything to do with eyes tend to freak me out, but there is some amount of unbridled terror to be had at the idea of someone scooping out your eye and then having it look at you from across the room! Shisui then has the additional psychological trauma of having to watch her own crime coefficient rocket via her Dominator, due to the traumatic situation she’s in. Inspectors seem to be particularly clued into their own Psycho-Pass hue due to the very nature of their jobs, and Shisui knows that once Sybil has judged you an undesirable there is no going back.
But somehow Kamui does bring her back, but something seems to deaden within her as a result. The scene is dripping with rape imagery, Kamui invading Shisui’s personal space and then that finger in the mouth. The strangely detailed depiction made me wonder if perhaps Kamui wasn’t slipping her a drug – Shisui’s crime coefficient drops immediately afterwards and she becomes unnaturally placid. Although violent old dude who attacks Aoyanagi at the end of the episode, very clearly denounced the use of drugs in managing one’s hue, so I’m not entirely confident Kamui is using some sort of drug.
The question then raised is what happens when you no longer have to worry about your psycho-pass hue? When speaking with Gino, Inspector Aoyanagi likens her management of her hue to keeping a lid on a pot – she consciously dampens extreme emotions on both ends of the scale to maintain stability. It is strange to think that this is a society that views extreme joy as equally detrimental to mental health as extreme sadness – Sybil wants society to occupy the ideal middle ground. But living in that kind of placid state has to be boring and humans are naturally given to seeking a thrill – for Aoyanagi using her Dominator to deliver Sybil’s justice is that kind of thrill, so even if she is aware that it is dangerous to enjoy the act of killing it is something that eases the pressure on her pot of emotions and stops it from boiling over.
Inspectors have to be very conscious of their psycho-pass as due to the stresses they are exposed to it is all to easy to become a latent criminal – just look at what happened with Gino and Kogami. Aoyanagi reveals how she consciously manages her hue by deadening her emotions, Shisui really started to panic when confronted by her increasing crime co-efficient and Mika all but flees when confronted with Saiga Jouji who has a history of causing clouded hues due to his thought provoking conversations. As Saiga points out Akane is the only inspector that is out of the ordinary due to her lack of concern for her own psycho-pass.
During her conversation with Saiga, Akane questions why Kamui would ask humans the question “What Colour?” because scanners seem to be a more logical choice – but that is only really true for her. Most ordinary people are fairly obsessed with maintaining a clear psycho-pass hue because the consequences of clouded hues are pretty catastrophic – just look at Mika’s raid on that politician’s speech. People with clouded psycho-passes are not treated well by the Sybil System and anything that may cloud your hue is actively avoided. When asking society “what colour?” Kamui is questioning what colour they want to be – clear is the obvious answer since that means the easiest life within the Sybil system, and Kamui is offering a means to achieve that.
Akane has a naturally clear hue regardless of what she’s exposed to, so it may be difficult for her to really put herself in the mindset of those in constant fear of their psycho-pass. It is solely because Akane’s psycho-pass is so clear that her atypical opinions aren’t completely thrown out the window. Mika basically tells Akane she’s gone mental for suggesting someone broke into her apartment when the scanners say otherwise, but Akane’s clear hue forces her to back down (Mika continues to be a bitch in general). Likewise when Akane raises the issue of a person being invisible to Sybil with the Chief, it is only the clarity of Akane’s psycho-pass that forces Sybil to consider the question seriously. Although the phrasing of Sybil’s answer is telling “No such person can exist” – in other word such a person will not be recognised by the system; they will not be allowed to exist and most likely Sybil will try to get Kamui to join their collection of brains.
Other stuff that was interesting.
- Togame has the highest recorded crime co-efficient, which is somewhat surprising given how bland he’s been so far. Enforcers in general have been somewhat underused so far – Gino seems to be swinging between being Akane’s strongest supporter and trying to stop her from getting overly involved in the ghost case, Yayoi doesn’t really have much of a presence and the two new guys haven’t really been given much screentime yet. Hopefully they’ll get more of a chance to shine soon.
- Saiga turned himself into the authorities because he felt guilty about helping Kogami hunt down Makishima. His presence in the ED wearing a lab coat seems to suggest that Saiga will be joining Akane’s team in a more permanent role at some stage – wonder how Mika will react to that given she looked physically ill at the thought of talking to him in this episode!
- Gino’s room is an interesting mix of styles – the delicate tea-cups, framed collections of stamps & coins, pretty ornate rugs & wallpaper coupled with the pet dog, exercise equipment, whiskey and basement aesthetic, seem to suggest influences from his father and Kogami. I’m also somewhat surprised that Aoyanagi went to have a drink with him considering he’s now an Enforcer and also on a different team.
Over all a pretty interesting episode – things are certainly moving in a thought provoking direction. Looking forward to seeing what happens next time.