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Psycho-Pass 2 – 09-11 [End]

December 19, 2014

So I caught up on the last three episodes of Psycho-Pass 2 this week, and all I really have to say is – what a massive disappointment this sequel season ended up being!  Fingers crossed Urobuchi can somehow save the series with the movie, because Tow Ubukata really took a shit on the franchise.

This post will likely be much shorter than my usual end of series posts because I have literally no enthusiasm left for Psycho-Pass.

What particularly pisses me off about this sequel is how it disregards a lot of the groundwork the first season laid.  Sybil shouldn’t be this cartoonish villain imbroiled in conspiracy upon conspiracy.  Sybil is cool logic taken to the extreme, there is no way it would give Misako Togane so much free reign – her ego should not have been able to influence the collective decisions of the Sybil hivemind.  Sybil also shouldn’t have allowed her psychotic son to continue corrupting talented Inspectors – as an Enforcer and latent criminal Sakuya has restricted freedom so it isn’t like they could really use him in any meaningful way.  If Sybil was operating like the logical monstrosity it is, once Sakuya’s psycho-pass turned black he should have been disposed off as a failed experiment.

PSYCHO-PASS 2 - 09-01I mean what real purpose did Sakuya really serve in this season apart from being massively OTT in his evilness?  The fella murdered puppies as child, bludgeoned Akane’s grandmother to death and had an unhealthy fixation with his mother – all he really brought to the story was an unnecessary level of violence.  Sure you could argue that Sakuya needed to be there to drag Mika into uncovering the truth about Sybil, but there were other ways to do that, and Kasei as Sybil’s mouthpiece would have been plenty intimidating without Sakuya’s exaggerated grandstanding.

This season also completely forgot how Dominators work, something I’ve mentioned before, but worth mentioning again since these last few episodes saw them being used extensively.  Between Kamui & his lackies indiscriminately opening fire on innocent civilians and somehow managing to paralyse the lot of them, and Sakuya somehow not exploding when taking a shot in his arm – there was just no consistent rules for the Dominator throughout this season.

PSYCHO-PASS 2 - 10These guns are Sybil’s eyes, so I can kind of understand why Kamui thought that he would attempt to overload Sybil with his beam-spamming – the Dominators are used so rarely that Sybil doesn’t really have the processing power to keep up with sustained snap judgements.  But it still doesn’t excuse the fact that the Dominators just shouldn’t operate this way.  A train full of civilians doesn’t spontaneously turn into a train of latent criminals just because someone pulls a weapon, it takes a while for a normal person’s psycho-pass to be so completely clouded that they trigger a response from a Dominator.  Dominators were just over-used in general this season, and it seems to mainly be because they cause people to explode.  There was too much pointless gore overall this season (less said about those grotesque human/animal statues in episode 9 the better.

[HorribleSubs] PSYCHO-PASS 2 - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.57_[2014.12.19_23.07.08]

On a slightly more positive note, I did like the idea that Kamui wanted Sybil to re-evaluate its stance to allow for a collective psycho-pass to be acknowledged (even if I still think his status as a person made up of 185 distinct personalities is stupid).  In doing so Kamui has opened the way for Sybil itself to be judged, and the hive-mind didn’t hesitate to eliminate the outliers in its collective who coloured its hue.  By maintaining a neutral colour Sybil will continue to pursue the purely logical stance it should have maintained all along.

However I didn’t think the extra step in attempting to apply a collective psycho-pass to society as a whole was unnecessary…..and indeed think that is pretty damn dumb.  There is a world of difference between existences like Kamui and Sybil who are collective individuals working towards a single goal, and society which is made up of a multitude of distinct individuals all working towards their own personal goals within a general overall framework.  In applying a psycho-pass to such a wide range of individuals you are just inviting disaster – as Kasei highlights when she says judgements will become massacres in order to maintain a constant psycho-pass.  Hopefully the film doesn’t explore this route, that would be horrible.

All in all I can’t say the finale of Psycho-Pass’s second season impressed me – there was just too much dumb going on, which has been an alarming feature of the entire sequel since episode 4’s clusterfuck.  Rarely have I been so disappointed by a show I was genuinely hyped for – it is such a shame this sequel was handled by a new team who obviously didn’t pay enough attention to the original series.  I can only hope that the film with the original writing team on board removes this sour taste Psycho-Pass 2 has left me with.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2014 12:29 am

    Unfortunately I have to agree – I think the second season started off quite promisingly, but really fell to pieces after the first few episodes and never managed to recover. I’m annoyed that it completely failed to flesh out the characters from the first season who badly needed more screen time and that, as you point out, it also disregarded the bulk of the solid groundwork from the original series. At best I’d say season two was below average… and I expect a lot of people would still say that I was being overly generous.

    • December 20, 2014 12:45 am

      I was trying so hard to be positive for a long time, but ultimately the disastrous writing just ruined the series. In a way I’m sort of glad they left the existing characters alone given what this writing staff did to their new characters!

  2. December 20, 2014 10:49 pm

    Kirito Kamui may have been a crappy character to most people, but I maintain that him basically being Kirito from Sword Art Online except he actually died for his sins rather than lived to be a man-whoring douchebag is goddamn hilarious.

    • December 21, 2014 12:52 am

      Oh you. I wish that Kamui had of gotten some meaningful character development as an antagonist – he had no real agency in the show the way Makishima did.

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