Psycho-Pass – 10

Psycho-Pass 009

Kougami and The Mystery of the Spooky Strip Search

I just finished exams! Yay! I just got back from some post-exam celebrations, and I figured now was a good a time as any to catch up on blogging. Psycho-Pass is usually a series that gets the ‘ol brain juices flowing, but I’m not finding a lot to talk about this week. Maybe I’m just burnt out from studying. Anyways, enjoy another mini post! At least…mini compared to some of the 2k word count posts I’ve written for this series. Teehee.

This week felt like a bit of a step down for Psycho-Pass, as it attempted to toss in an action scene that wasn’t exactly the most believable sequence of events. First of all, I’m not sure why both Akane and Kougami weren’t more suspicious about going to a completely abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. What even is that area? Did the city develop so quickly that it was easier to just build a new city than to try and revamp the old one? Anyways, Kougami explicitly says it’s a trap, but he still decides that splitting up and heading into a creepy, underground subway station all alone is a swell idea. The whole scenario chalks up to them both saying “THIS IS A BAD IDEA BUUUUUT….” and then just following through with it, crappy maps or not. The entire situation could have been avoided so easily! Yes, watching robotic dogs scamper around and chase Kougami while a cyborg hunts him down wearing night goggles is kind of neat. I just wish the circumstances surrounding it made a bit more sense. I know this is sci-fi and crazy things happen, but that doesn’t give anyone an excuse to act like an idiot. :/

Then there’s the whole thing about Kougami being far too smart for his own good. I can believe all of his deductions in this episode up to the point where he rummages around in a girl’s bra for an antenna. He makes some huge jumps in logic to assume she’s part of the key, and then to assume that something is in her bra wiring. Not every girl wears matching underwear either! I mean, I hardly ever – WOOPS TOO MUCH INFO. Anyways, Kougami’s game-breaking detective skills seem far too convenient a lot of the time, so I just seem him as being psychic as opposed to really smart.

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What I did like was Makishima turning on even his own partner in crime and tampering with the game. He isn’t interested in one-sided games where one person is killed and the other is the winner. He is interested in the actual struggle itself, and what it does to the minds and hearts of those involved. While Senguuji has the clear goal of reliving the thrill of the hunt, Makishima’s intentions are a bit more nebulous. He wants to see how people grow in the face of fear, but is that really all he wants? I wonder if he has some overarching plan to overhaul the Sibyl System or to do something other than toy with people he selects almost haphazardly. It seems like his motives are too simple for a show like Psycho-Pass. Not that I mind if he’s genuinely just in it for kicks, because that’s (for the most part) how Izaya was in Durarara!! and he turned out to be one of my favourite villains in anime.

The only downside to Makishima’s preference to be the puppeteer is that he’s constantly off-stage. I really like his character. We’ve seen him enough to get used to his presence, but not enough to really know him. I’m hoping at some point he will stop using middlemen and face Kougami directly. I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I’m hungry for more Makishima. I don’t want stupid mutts, I want a white-haired sadist!

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“Betcha 20 bucks I can throw him into a trash can from here.”

Anyways, this week was mostly just running around and performing surprise strip searches so I don’t have too much to say. As a side note, I must say that I really have a soft spot for Ginoza despite how horrible he is to everyone. Every time he lashes out angrily, it’s just a terrified attempt to protect himself. He strikes pre-emptively so that he won’t be the one who is hurt. Maybe he thinks being so stiff makes him look tough, but to me, it’s just more revealing of how pervasive his insecurities are. This is a man who has no self-esteem and is on pins and needles all the time. I’d say he needs a hug, but Masaoka just giving a casual TOSS TO THE SIDE like he was a basketball seemed to do the trick. Forget Kougami, Masaoka is the true badass here!

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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26 Responses to “Psycho-Pass – 10”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Congratulations on your exams!! Best of luck.

    We’re almost halfway through the whole anime. It’s a fact that’s hard to process. This was an interesting experiment in the series. The trap was set to test Kogami’s survival skills. You won’t know your true self until you’re on the edge. Besides, even though he knew it was a trap, he couldn’t ignore the possibility that somebody innocent could be involved.

    It was funny how he managed to find the antennae for the communicator. Inspect the girl’s clothes and he found it in her bra. What made him think of that? The kicker was the indication that her underwear weren’t matching. Nice.

    Makishima didn’t care about his previous pawns on the playing field and left them to die so it’s no surprise he’d turn on his current one. They’re only useful so long as they play their part and this whole ordeal from the first episode is nothing more than his social experiment. Senguuji is still mentally sick as ever. Bear traps, robotic attack dogs and now spiked ceiling traps. Damn it, man, you need to die. And die quickly.

    Masaoka was a hero putting Ginoza in his place. Sure Akane and Kogami made a mistake but that’s no reason to add insult to injury.

    On a side note: Since you have Pokémon White 2, doesn’t the entire underground system remind of the sewers in Castelia City? Strangely, that image popped into my head watching the surroundings. Another thing, it’s the same place Rikako got killed. Got to wonder if the whole place doesn’t extend under the entire city.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks! I hope I did well.

      Going in even when it’s a trap…I guess normal people call the cops to solve this kind of thing but when you ARE a cop you have to do it yourself. Sheesh. I’d have stayed at home.

      I don’t think Makishima really minds if his pawns die either. I think he expects Kougami to survive though, which is why he added the battery pack and antenna to the game. I wonder how much money they had to spend making GIANT BEAR TRAPS because I don’t think those are sold anywhere.

      Now that you mention it, I can see the sewers resembling Castelia City. Most sewers look really similar so it’s not too hard to see it either. If all the subway lines are abandoned, it should extend a pretty big distance under the city!

  2. Tofu says:

    I’m not an inspector myself but I wouldn’t say that walking into the trap was complete stupidity. Having both of them walk in IS complete stupidity because instead of having someone outside being able to call for help, you’re both trapped in Makishima’s game. I’m sure if it was any of us we wouldn’t go in if the please looks suspicious but remember that they are detectives and they have to risk their lives to save others.

    I do agree that the reasoning behind finding the antennae within the bra was not entirely logical. Like you said OC, not all girls wear matching underwear (though I don’t have proof but I do know there’s something called ‘individualism’). But the reasoning to suspect that the girl held of some importance towards clearing the game was smart. As smart as Makishima is, this is exactly something he would come up with instead of just having the girl being there as a burden.

    In all honesty, I’m really enjoying this detective show and yes, Gino is a dickhead. Oh god how I loath the guy… but considering we’re only half-way in, there’s still a lot of room for more character development and definitely more witty mysteries. 😀

    • Overcooled says:

      The weird thing is that they wanted Kougami to be separated, so they may not have kidnapped him in a situation where Akane was there. Wouldn’t she have the map if she went in Kougami too, so they’d know something was REALLY odd? Anyways, maybe the issue here isn’t that one went or that two went in, but that they didn’t at least give other people a head’s up. You know…if I’m not back by x time, start to worry kind of thing? I guess cops have to do dangerous stuff all the time, but it’s kind of sad when they fall into such a specific trap that they KNOW IS A TRAP.

      Haha, you don’t need evidence, it’s safe to assume some girls don’t go matchy-matchy all the time. Anyways, I can see how he realized she was the key. That much made sense. Then all of a sudden clothes were flying…

      In case it didn’t come across in my post I still love Psycho-Pass lol.

      • Highway says:

        I would think it’s safe to assume *most* women don’t match bra and panties, most (nearly all) of the time. I do understand the more stringent requirements of women’s clothing make things much more difficult (heck, been married for 17 1/2 years). But I think in this case, when whatsername was like “I got home, got in the bath, and then woke up with a bag over my head in this place” it’s pretty easy to figure out her clothes probably have something to do with it.

        • Overcooled says:

          AWWW, you’ve been with your wife that long? So cute. *ahem* Anyways, I suppose it’s actually more likely that women don’t wear matching underwear most of the time. It just takes more effort.

          Easy for Kougami, maybe, but she could have been the key in some other way other than physically having the antenna on her somewhere.

          • Highway says:

            That’s how long we’ve been married. Together is 25 years…

            • BlackBriar says:

              Congratulations!! I heard 25 years is a milestone but I can’t remember what they called it.

    • Namika says:

      Nooooo, Gino is just a tsundere!! He acts like an ass, but in reality he’s caring and loving ^^ he’s just overreacting sometimes, that’s all.

      • BlackBriar says:

        If Ginoza is being tsundere, then he’s being a little too strong for comfort. He needs to take it easy or he’ll raise his own Crime Coefficient. His family has already been labeled latent criminals just because of his father.

        • Namika says:

          Definitely. And here’s another flaw of psycho passes.

          • Overcooled says:

            Cause of insanity: too tsundere.
            That will be a first

            • Tofu says:

              I think later on he will actually become clouded? And that’s when they throw in more Gino development while throwing him into the Enforcer occupation 😀

  3. Highway says:

    I thought this was some of the payoff for the show treating everyone, especially the Enforcers, as human beings, not just hounds to be unleashed at the whim of their masters. If that had been the case, there wouldn’t be nearly the tension or the chase.

    I think the point of him deducing that was where the antenna was was that it *wasn’t* logical. Ginoza is the logical one. Kougami is the one who follows his hunches, who takes risks based on his gut feeling, like a way-more-capable Captain Kirk. I thought the chain of reasoning was solid, and if it took some leaps to get there, then he was the guy who could make the leaps. Remember also that he’s more likely to think like the ‘bad guy’.

    I’d be kind of surprised if Makishima has an actual ‘meta-goal’, rather than just observing people put into situations he crafts for his amusement.

    • Overcooled says:

      That’s true. Without realizing it, I’m really starting to care about Kougami and what happens to him. The last thing I want is him is having a ceiling of spikes fall down and crush him.

      Like a “follow your instincts” kinda guy? He’s definitely that type, but it still seems weird that instincts would lead him to realize where clue #2 would be. It’s not impossible, but highly unlikely. I guess his ability to think like a bad guy could make it easier.

      I really don’t know what to expect from him, but I get the feeling he has more plans than he actually reveals. We’ll see what happens!

      • Highway says:

        Well, like lvlln and I have discussed last week, I’m not really sure what point the show is trying to make about the Sibyl System. My feeling is that it’s trying to point out what the potential flaws with the system are, but not totally condemn it. And I think Makishima’s actions are consistent with that: He works on the margins, the edges, around the system to have his fun, and incidentally showing that the system isn’t foolproof and has drawbacks. But a guy like that would likely do exactly the same stuff in our system, or in any system. There’s nothing about Sibyl that specifically relates to Makishima, except it makes what he does a little harder, and makes him a more powerful adversary.

        • Overcooled says:

          It’s presented in a way where you can argue that it’s good or bad, which I kind of like. Although most of what they focus on are the flaws. I kind of like that it’s almost in a moral grey area, but I’m not sure exactly what their vision of how the Sibyl System should be interpreted is.

          I guess there is no need for him to bring down the system then. He’s doing a fine job working around it, after all. I really have no clue what he’s thinking half of the time, so I’m just trying to wrap my head around him.

    • Namika says:

      Yeah, I definitely agree with you on the brantenna thing 😀 there was some login, but mostly I would say that it was thanks to Kougami’s intuition. Even a finest string can make your intuition work and I guess that just was the thing. And thank god they didn’t make him blush and look funny when she undressed. THANK GOD we have a man in anime that doesn’t blush or try to *ahem* when he sees a naked woman.

  4. Narcogen says:

    I didn’t really have a problem with the bra sequence, and I think people may be over-interpreting the mis-matching bra and panties being a “clue”.

    The first clue was the radio itself. Kougami interprets this– and the fact that they haven’t been killed yet, and aren’t presented with overwhelming force, but rather a fox-hunting simulation– to mean that this isn’t merely an execution, but a game, a competition, and one in which he has at least been given some chance for survival, as represented by the radio.

    Of the two missing pieces, one, the battery, was taped to one of the hounds. (Whether they both had batteries, I’m not certain– but the point was that part of Kougami’s solution for survival was to demonstrate physical prowess in defeating one of the beasts.

    Kougami then wonders why Akane’s friend is part of the game at all. Just as Kougami was lured into the train by a simulation of Akane’s voice, and Akane was lured to the station by a faked message from her friend, there was no reason for this person to actually be part of the game, unless there was a reason.

    Makashima, I think, wants to see the society shaped by Sibyl go to town on itself. He wants to see it eat itself. He’s taking its outliers and pitting them against each other publicly. In Kougami’s case, he’s a latent criminal that society says it is OK to keep around (and treat rather poorly) in order to use both his skills and his tendencies to do its dirty work, catching and executing other criminals. Episode #1 showed that both the system as a whole, and Kougami as an individual, are much more focused on eliminating criminals than on saving or protecting victims. It would likely confirm Makashima’s perception of the system’s hypocrisy if, by discarding the job of protecting the innocent victim in order to dispatch a criminal (or just save himself) Kougami also discarded the crucial element necessary for his survival: the antenna.

    Once Kougami figures out what the girl’s role in the game is– that she’s there to slow him down, get in his way, and tempt him to get rid of her to focus on eliminating the criminal– he concludes that this is a trap designed to make him the instrument of his own defeat. Since he knows his salvation is the last missing radio part, and suspects that leaving the girl behind would be the choice that spells his doom, the conclusion is clear: the girl has the antenna. But where?

    She’s not wearing much, and it must be hidden on her somewhere. She doesn’t know where because she’s been unconscious. The final clue, the one that seems to bother everyone, is almost inconsequential– that her underwear doesn’t match, although both are pretty flamboyant. I think Kougami thinks this was either done on purpose in order to have provided him with an immediate visual clue, but a subtle one he’d be expected to miss, or because the bra was prepared in advance with the antenna hidden in it, and swapped with the one the girl was wearing when she was abducted, hence the mismatch.

    I actually thought the whole sequence was both plausible and clever.

    • Overcooled says:

      The whole series of logic up to “Well, I need her for something” makes sense to me. The way the game is set up clearly indicates that this isn’t a brutal, one-sided killing but more of a game where the strongest will survive right from the beginning. There is only a glimmer of hope because they want to test him, not because they’re being merciful. In other words, he has to do something very specific if he wants to please Makishima (and live, of course). Looking at things from that angle, I can see how he came to the conclusion that keeping the chick alive would be beneficial. That was clever.

      The bra thing seems a bit more unlikely to me. If I didn’t see it specifically on her, I would have given up after the strip search. Knowing she’s the key to solving the game might not even mean the antenna is on her – it could just mean they wouldn’t shoot his brains out immediately as long as she’s with him, allowing him to find the antenna somewhere else. But hey, I guess he checked there in the end and found it so Kougami is a hell of a lot more sharp than me. It’s a good thing the girl didn’t waste too much time being modest!

    • Highway says:

      Addressing the point about possible poor treatment of latent criminals: What kind of treatment would be better? This is a question I’ve been thinking about throughout the show. And like the conclusion I’ve come to with Shin Sekai Yori, it’s not the best of all possible worlds, but it’s the world they’ve got, and I think it’s actually not bad for what it is. The world of Psycho Pass is a LOT better than the world of SSY, but the comparison stands.

      I would guess that the overwhelming majority of the people subject to the Sibyl System are generally happy with their lives, are getting treatment for any mental problems they have, and really don’t bump into it much. If you asked them, they’d complain, of course, because that’s what people do. They complain about where they are, how it’s not where they wish they were. But overall, people work to make themselves happier. We don’t really see those people in a crime drama, because they’re boring, and uninteresting, and just doing what they do.

      And then there are the latent criminals. We’ve talked in weeks past how the Sibyl System is not broken. It’s right: these people are those who would be dangerous in society. Some of them are really around the bend (the people in the jail that we saw). Some of them are not that far gone. And in exchange for that higher level of general freedom restriction, they have other freedoms to exercise the demons they have. I’ve tried to compare these folks to current day analogues before. Is Kagari better or worse off having a life where he is successful, enjoys free time to do things he wants, enjoy the hobbies he wants, but has to stay inside the building when not accompanied by someone in authority? Or would he be better off in our society where someone like him would presumably commit a crime at an early age, and start a life in and out of prison, until he did enough, or something bad enough, to be imprisoned forever? A lifetime of freedom with boundaries, or a short period of more freedom followed by the remainder of a lifetime of no freedom?

      I don’t see where at least the Enforcers are treated poorly *for what they are*, and we assume that the system is correct in assessing what they are. The edges of society are always a tough case.

      • Overcooled says:

        Latent criminals actually have pretty good rights. I’d prefer being confined to a building and do almost anything I want than being locked in a prison room without the opportunity to even wander the hallways. And I’d take Sibyl over the crazy society in SSY which doesn’t even have fancy tech to measure things, they just get a “bad feeling” about rebellious kids and then they disappear. Plus, they don’t even get a second chance at a cool job like an Enforcer if they’re only slightly misbehaving. It’s all or nothing.

        The only real downside to the Sibyl separation of the latent criminals is that people will discriminate against latent criminals, but that isn’t a law – it’s just something humans do. The part of the system that separates them into this latent criminal region (less than the ones in prison) actually isn’t that bad. The only issue is that we don’t know how accurate this assessment of criminal latency is, so maybe someone like Kagari would have never committed a crime in his lifetime. Then that means some freedom is being taken away.

        I imagine most cases are actually happy endings. If there’s a therapy system in place then a lot of people must be getting help. I can think of a TON of useful ways to use the Sibyl System to give people constructive therapy and prescribe the correct medication to help them. Anyways, I agree those stories are too “boring” to put in a crime show. Stories with happy endings are no fun!

  5. Namika says:

    getting back into watching ongoings feels so nice ^_^
    Though I wouldn’t expected that instead of K I would be drolling over another anime this season. So glad that I watched this!!

    That cyborg dude kinda irritates me. -_- I hope he’ll die soon, though I don’t think that will be happening. um… also…
    Kogami fanclub anyone? 😀

    • Overcooled says:

      Welcome baaack lol.

      Funny how K had so much hype and then it didn’t turn out to live up to all the expectations. I was going to put K as my number one pick to blog, but almost everyone else had their name put for it on Metanorn so I gave up! I’m glad things worked out this way, heh.

      Senguuji looks crrreeeeepyyy, but I like that he goes around hunting the old fashioned way (as old-fashioned as robodogs are). Pretty creative, I’d say. I’m in the Kougami fanclub for sure bu…but I think I like Makishima’s squinty-eyed cohort the most in terms of looks. Something about him is just…I dunno..ahh.

      • Namika says:

        Yeah, good for you. Not that K’s bad, but it’s just…. it misses something important. Psycho-pass is so much better and darker :3 with no feminine boys. For some reason that started to irritate me a a lot.

        Yeeeees~! when I first saw him I was like “dude, what’s with the eyes?”. Though I have to admit, i was pleasantly surprised by how he reacted to Makishima’s real plan. He didn’t chicken out and faced Kougami like a man. A twisted, crazy man.

        Well, everyone has their own tastes 😀 I’m sticking woth Kougami though, inn this episode he completely won me over <3

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