The Nya-ightmare Before Christmas
|Halloween is over, so now it’s time to step out of my costume and get back to reality (which involves significantly more midterm tests and quizzes). Wouldn’t Halloween be a lot cheaper if we could just press a button and use Holo-Cosplay like in Psycho-Pass? If you squint, rub your tummy and stand on your head, then this is KIND OF a Halloween episode. Maybe I’m just desperate for the candy-grabbing festivities to be extended.|
There’s actually not a lot of Dominator usage this week, as this is pushed aside to show another facet of this high-tech society: the internet. While reality is micro-managed to the point where your every move is tracked and recorded, CommuFields on the internet seem to be a nice retreat from constant surveillance. Ginoza’s simple statement that escape is futile says everything. While the effects of having Big Brother watch you may be with the best of intentions, and may produce some positive results, it’s not exactly a situation that makes people feel at ease. This is not just a system that can track your location, but it can also track your mental state. The combination of these two things – to me – sounds frightening. It’s no wonder that people flock to the internet and risk meeting up with strangers in a club because it gives them the rare feeling of anonymity.
The great thing about cruising the net as an avatar or meeting up in costume is that you don’t feel like you’re being judged. Your actions cannot be traced back specifically to you, which can be very liberating. The amount of anonymity gained from using the internet is surprising. The police force has little reign over tracking down figures on the internet, yet they can look up almost anything else about a person if they know who they are. I guess the system needs an Achilles’ heel somehow. As a result, the murder can’t just be solved by pointing and shooting this time, especially since they have no idea who they’re looking for.
However, we (the lovely viewers!) get to see a bit about what the criminals behind this are actually up to. For one thing, Shinya was jaw-droppingly accurate in his hunch about flushing an entire body down the toilet (after some, erm, “re-sizing” shall we say?). People behind famous avatars are being killed off, leaving the puppet to be picked up by a new puppeteer. Mido is the one who wears the Talisman avatar at the club, and the one who strangles Spooky Boogie in her own home. How they managed to track her down when the police force can’t trace the user behind Talisman is a mystery. Anyways, according to the white-haired villain Shougo, Mido seems to be the one who plays the role of the new avatars he acquires. To be honest, I’m a bit confused why Talisman is voiced by someone different from Mido (sounds like Koyasu Takehito). I’m not sure what Shougo’s role in all of this is, but he seems to be the main villain and rival to Shinya. You know he’s a rebel because he’s explicitly shown reading 1984 in an anime about dystopian societies. You don’t get much more direct than that. Seeing as this is a slightly longer story arc than what we’ve been treated to usually, it’s probably a good idea to get acquainted with our villains at least a little bit. Are they stealing avatars for money? Fame? To screw with the police and taunt them? This isn’t really the kind of show I like theorizing about, so I won’t spin some crazy vision about what I think will happen next.
Getting internet popularity is serious business
In fact, let’s step away from the crime for a bit and look at Masaoka, because he has a really cool scene this week. That is, if you think a guy with a robotic limb painting a still life painting of flowers is cool. I do. It’s kind of nice that they don’t show these characters with high psycho-pass readings as complete psychos who spend all their time cackling and threatening to kill things. They’re all super nice, although not without their own flaws. They just play PSP and paint in their spare time. We have yet to see any horrible outbreaks to really prove why they’re marked with such a high criminal coefficient. Although Masaoka tells Tsunemori that Shinya is beyond redemption (using a Nietzsche quote, to boot), he hasn’t done anything too bad so far that we’ve explicitly seen him do.
His wariness about how deep handler-enforcer relationships go seems to be because of something bad that happened in the past. Perhaps he used to work very closely with Ginoza, and then one day something went awry and the two of them never got over it. Ginoza grew to never trust Enforcers and Masaoka refused to get personally close to any of his handlers. He’s giving Tsunemori advice about Shinya because he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to her. In the end, I doubt she’ll pay much heed to Masaoka’s advice…although I think she will find out about Shinya’s true nature soon enough, as Talisman suggested she do.
Bonus Private Chatroom: Show ▼
I really enjoyed this week’s episode. I would have been fine with one-shots, but getting a multi-episode (even if it’s just 2) arc is just as exciting. The introduction of the internet brought a whole new dimension to the show, with the cute avatars and switching between CommuFields and the real world. It was yet another really cool gadget of the future that got me excited out of how absolutely badass it was. I want to become a moeblob avatar and go into chatrooms for tea and sweets! I found it kind of amusing that Tsunemori was the only one who was a regular enough internet user to help with the crime investigation. Maybe Enforcers aren’t allowed on there, and the other guys are too uptight to be chatting up young people in chatrooms. I now have hope that spending so much time on the computer may one day be useful for solving a crime!
As the episodes roll on, I’m starting to get more attached to all the characters too. I actually really liked Spooky Boogie (although maybe it was just her name and how they say it in Japanese) before she was so unceremoniously strangled to death. Of course, the more permanent cast members are growing on me too. I originally was a bit iffy about Masaoka, but he seems to have a good reason for keeping everyone at arm’s length. It’s interesting how Ginoza doesn’t question Shinya at the crime scene, but last week he blew up at Masaoka for making the same kind of deduction. The last one even had more data to back it up. There’s a lot brewing beneath the surface as the team solves crime after crime, and I feel like we’ve only gotten a small taste of what each character is like. The world-building is excellent, but I’m still a little hungry for bones thrown my way about what these people are like.
Will they make cents of this mystery next week? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT!