Hmm, something tells me this miiiiight be bad.
|The shining beacon that keeps me going through this dull season is largely thanks to continuing series such as Psycho-Pass. Oh, how I missed watching and writing about Psycho-Pass. It’s back with a new OP, ED, and change of focus into the past instead of the present.|
We’ve all been itching to find out what happened to Akane after her earth-shattering encounter with Makishima. Instead of waiting just one week, we had to endure a hiatus period as well. I guess they figured “why not make them wait even more?” by suddenly doing a flashback episode in the middle of the series for a character we hardly even know. As much as I think a lot of the characters are woefully under-developed and in dire need of attention, I’d prefer them getting this huge cliffhanger resolved before suddenly breaking off in another direction. It doesn’t help much that Yayoi hardly plays a big role in the series. She doesn’t seem to be too different 3 years ago than she is now.
As much as I personally would prefer to find out about Akane right away to remedy my natural impatience, I will admit that this episode wasn’t just put there for no reason. The ending where Yayoi tries to shoot her friend but fails is a nice parallel scene to Akane failing to shoot Makishima. Unclouded as she is, she cannot stand to bear any burdens that will drag her down into latent criminal territory, so she balks at the idea of shooting someone just because they are doing something morally wrong.
We don’t actually know if Rina was a latent criminal or not, but Yayoi still makes the tough decision to shoot her idol because she was doing something that went against what she personally thought was right. This may be because Yayoi has a lot less to lose by killing someone since she has already been institutionalized due to her instability. What’s another few shades darker going to matter in the grand scheme of things? Compared to Enforcers, the cops of the police force are so desperate to remain sane that it is paralyzing them in important situations. These situations are very rare since Dominators work on almost all criminals, but it still shows the difference in willpower between the two.
Fabulous or not, she WILL shoot you.
If there’s one thing I gleaned from this episode about Yayoi, it’s that she’s a really strong person. She seems a lot more together than her other inmates that were doing a range of activities from high-fiving the wall with their forehead to drawing obsessively on the walls. She’s incredibly logical and usually very composed. Despite being locked up and treated like a ticking time bomb, she still doesn’t blindly listen to Rina and join her petty attempt to bring down Sibyl. Next to someone like Makishima, their anarchy movement seems pathetic. Their only plan seems to be “destroy stuff and play music.” Thank goodness Yayoi has a good head on her shoulders and knew that her friend was being ridiculous. After learning more about her, I can only hope they don’t shove her back into the shadows again for the rest of the series. That would be a huge waste.
Although this was largely a character-based episode (not just for Yayoi, but for Sasayama and pre-Enforcer Kougami) we still get a good dose of world-building and new facts about Sibyl. First of all, it seems that anyone with a criminal coefficient over 100 must be locked up and heavily monitored. Anyone under that number but close to 100 (from 80 upwards, if I had to guess) would probably just receive therapy. It’s funny that Kougami orders Sasayama to protect a girl with a criminal coefficient of 98, yet someone like Yayoi who is only a few points above that gets locked up. The most striking aspect of the numbering system is that a lot of the others with criminal coefficients around 110 or 120 seem to be severely disturbed compared to Yayoi, yet they are only a few points higher on the scale. If they’re this bad, how can this scale possibly shoot up to 400 for criminals like Rikako? Are they really that much more worse than a guy smashing his forehead until he bleeds? The more examples we see, the more confused I am about this scale. I know it’s just measuring the potential to commit a crime (and not actually insanity or anything like that), but I see little difference between the people in this place and the high security prison Kougami took Akane to. The latter was filled with criminals that had insanely high numbers.
Now, how did she get institutionalized in the first place? Was it from being a musician? I found it very hard to swallow that even artists were restricted by Sybil, and certain people were either authorized to create and share their art or not. It makes sense, since some artists get so passionate that they go a little insane in order to get a creative edge. Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear and actors who get too involved into their roles may end up channeling that character too much and have it leak into their normal personality. I recall reading about a study where actors would invoke feelings of depression as if they were playing the role of a sad character were put in a brain scan along with patients who had Major Depression. The results were nearly identical. Even just pretending to play the role of a depressed character will activate the same regions of the brain as someone who is genuinely sad or has Major Depression.
There’s also the issue of art affecting other people too deeply. The members of a screamo band who sing about wrist-cutting and suicide could be all perfectly clear, but anyone attending their concert may be at risk concerning their Hue cloudiness. Therefore if you aren’t authorized, you not only have to be a little shady about how you show your art to others, but not many people will be willing to support you if they’re afraid of becoming cloudy. Yayoi’s bandmate scoffs at Rina before even hearing her sing just because her band isn’t authorized. So it appears that not only psychology lectures are restricted, but art as well. It makes sense, but I really dislike the idea of having everything so restricted. While underground artists always exist if you want to find them, it takes a lot more effort to find them.
I guess this means they have a way of quantifying art in terms of exactly how it can make you feel. Actually, I wonder how exactly they go about deciding what is worth authorizing. I imagine they’d have to screen the artist and then run tests to see how some judges react to being exposed to the art. If their Hue gets cloudy, it is rejected. Or do they just look at the content itself and decide what MIGHT make affect people negatively? As we see the Sibyl System leak into even more areas in life, it seems like this obsession with mental health is becoming almost…unhealthy.
Bonus Screencaps:Show ▼
I’m still dying to know about Akane, but this was still a decent episode. Yayoi’s past was unexpected and interesting, especially since we got to see her interact with a younger Ginoza and Kougami. The biggest bonus is seeing Sasayama in action. Sure, we were told about how brash he was, but it’s a whole different story to witness it. He’s exactly like Kougami described, minus the yet-unseen ass-grabbing. While I’m mostly here for Sibyl, I wouldn’t mind this sort of attention being paid to characters like Akane, Kougami, Ginoza or even Masaoka. Yayoi is really an unexpected choice to focus on. Oh well, her story was pretty cool in the end, even if Rina made an absolutely abysmal villain. As if playing some j-rock will make everyone suddenly realize the Sibyl System is a bad thing and change the entire world. If it was that easy, this show would be 6 episodes instead of 22.
After Makishima, this guy should be cake…