Who says bookworms suck at fighting?
|You’re probably tensing in anticipation for my excuse for being late. You know it’s coming! You probably don’t care either! But that doesn’t stop me from trying to explain myself. I don’t want you guys to think I’m just plain lazy, after all. For one thing, my birthday celebration ate up two entire days. As I tried to catch up with work in the subsequent days I must have gotten a little too ambitious, so I fainted during one of my labs. That knocked me out for another 2 days (literally and figuratively). But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I have returned to tackle my favourite series of the season. I didn’t hit my head hard enough to stop blogging, so it seems.|
I’m a bit blown away by how fast things have escalated in just 2 episodes. This new arc has almost put Sibyl offline in a mere 40 minutes of calculated planning and feverish rioting. In retrospect, it’s probably better they cooled down with that Yayoi episode after Akane’s first showdown with Makishima, because things have moved on to a whole different playing field of craziness. I’m mostly enjoying what’s going on now, although I do find a lot of it requires some conscious efforts to not question loopholes or some very strange occurrences.
The introduction of the helmets is the start of a huge, huge change. Kougami says just as much himself. This isn’t another crime for them to solve and then move away from, but the beginning of a movement that has already begun to permanently change the worldviews of a large group of civilians. Losing trust in Sibyl is very dangerous when it is the main system keeping everyone safe and sound. Trusting Sibyl with everything was never a bad decision because it always worked out, and humans still had a good amount of choice input for things like whether or not to pull the Dominator trigger and such. Moral issues aside – Sibyl got the job done so there was never much reason to complain. These helmets have started to erode that trust by breaking the system.
…and today’s weather will be sunny with some light showers of MOLOTOV COCKTAILS
Right now, most of the hatred seems to be at the men wearing the helmets, but I can easily see this turning into a hatred towards Sibyl later on. For now, all they can do is whack them with baseball bats. As exciting as these riots were to watch, I can’t help but think that the extent of the damage was unrealistic. Not because humans are “better than that” but because the police should still be able to suppress them. Just because Sibyl can’t label them as criminals doesn’t mean the police won’t realize that a dude with a helmet on beating up a chick is a bad guy. It’s kind of obvious who they should be stopping even without a Dominator spitting numbers at them.
Okay, so maybe you could argue Sibyl drastically changed everyone’s mindset so that they can’t even move their big toe without approval from Sibyl. But how could that happen when Sibyl hasn’t even been around for that long? Masaoka actually remembers a time without Sibyl – meaning it’s barely been around for more than a generation. You’re telling me they found a new toy and completely eliminated guns, but you can still buy older laptop and cellphone models when new ones come out? It’s really weird that they think Sibyl not functioning equates to being totally powerless. I know Urobuchi Gen is trying to say that this society relies too strongly on Sibyl to judge what constitutes as a crime and then what actions are acceptable to take in response to one, but this just makes everyone look dumb. Even if guns are too violent, I’m surprised they had practically no other weapons at their disposal except a handful of grenades.
It’s baffling that the police sucks so much at soothing the angry mobs before they get out of hand, I’m willing to undergo a certain level of suspension of belief to enjoy the show. Psycho-Pass falls within that acceptable threshold for me just because it is so deeply compelling. You tend to stop complaining when you get to watch the entire city turned upside down and an exponential increase in screentime dedicated to faces getting smashed in with blunt objects. At least, I do.
The way Makishima is exploiting Sibyl is just so deliciously evil, as if he cant help but rub salt in the wound as well. The idea really starts getting drilled in when the first helmet-wearer goes all hammer-time on this poor girl in the middle of a busy street. Not only does everyone not know how to react, but a drone actually ignores the murderer and suggest that she should go to therapy. If this isn’t victim-blaming, I don’t know what is.
As a side note, this scene was particularly interesting to me because it’s a bit of a textbook case of the bystander effect, which all psych profs drill into your head in first year classes. I think the idea was to say these people really don’t know how to deal with criminals that aren’t tagged by Sibyl. No one reacted because they figured if something was really wrong, they would have a high criminal coefficient, so the anomaly totally froze them in their tracks. However, I would go as far as to say such a thing happening in our society could also happen.
Take the classic case of Kitty Genovese – a woman who stabbed to death in New York while her neighbours ignored her pleas for help. Apparently, some people even peeked out their window, but did nothing. This is the bystander effect – when people fail to react to a crisis because there are other people present. The larger the crowd, the less likely it is that someone will help you. People fail to help this poor girl in Psycho-Pass because of several reasons.
Doing some Home Improvement on her face
The first is that everyone in the crowd looks at each other to decide how to react. They will not decide it is a crisis until other people also start to react in a way that says something is off. If no one screams, everyone will just shuffle anxiously and wait to see who panics first. If one person screams, then everyone else will likely start wailing even if they can’t see what’s happening. As Akane says, people don’t believe (or want to) that they’ll ever witness a horrible crime, so they are shocked when it actually happens.
Secondly, even if they do get far enough to realize something is off, the thought “I don’t have to help because surely someone else will” often freezes people in the spot. This diffusion of responsibility can be overcome if the victim points at a specific person and asks for help. So, if you’re ever being attacked, you need to point at a specific person and tell them exactly how to help you. Why be specific? Because the third reason for people falling prey to the bystander effect is even once they realize something is wrong and that they should do something, they often have no idea what to do. How do you stop a psycho clubbing a girl with a hammer? Just running in might get you killed. Calling the cops won’t really help either since she’ll be dead in just a few, well-placed swings.
The only difference I see from this scene in Psycho-Pass to real life is that no one looked scared. At least some people should have looked at least mildly alarmed and started to back up or something, because this crime isn’t at all ambiguous. It’s not like deliberating over whether a man slouched in the subway is asleep or dead, because this guy is obviously going to town on this chick’s face and SHE DON’T LIKE IT. Otherwise, this actually doesn’t say a lot about how Sibyl has changed society to me since despite the lack of ambiguity, it is fairly consistent with crimes that elicit the bystander effect shown in case studies and psychology articles. Of course, not all situations end up with everyone becoming statues and diffusing the responsibility. This is just a thing that can happen, despite how everyone assumes they would be able to act competently in an emergency. I like to imagine that I’d help someone in danger, but….would I actually? Would I be too scared to do anything? It’s hard to say.
Although no one reacts to the first public murder, the civilians are quick to take on vigilante roles when things become undeniably bad. I loved when the honour students suddenly went batshit on their captors and got this crazy glint in their eyes. Once everyone gets over their initial fear of making choices about what crimes are punishable or not, they take it to the extreme end and start killing everyone they think is a possible helmet-wearer. They have no discretion at all. It’s likely a lot of their actions are just following the mob mentality of wanting to join in, but at least someone had the initial thought that being a civilian hammer of justice was the right thing to do. The riots were a ton of fun to watch, and they were focused on so much that even I was thrown for a loop when Kougami mentioned that it was just a decoy.
I’m really impressed with how amazing Kougami and Akane have been at working together lately. Kagari tags along with them, and he isn’t even close to being able to keep up with their deductions. This is no longer a monologue from Kougami as Akane asks questions with big doe eyes – but a conversation as the two bounce ideas off each other and develop theories. They understand each other on an emotional level as well, and Kougami placates Akane when she shakily picks up a Dominator for the first time after “the incident.” Akane is more than just a good detective now. She is also an ideal partner for Kougami.
I’m not sure many people would agree with you there…
Now I want to move away from the police force to the two very villains Kougami and Akane have spent all their time analyzing. Makishima really gets more and more interesting with every single episode. I like that he sees himself as just an ordinary guy who likes literature, art, and watching murders. The usual. He seems like the kind of guy who is a hopeless dreamer, and wants the world to fit his ideal vision. That’s normally not a bad thing, but he’s trying to achieve his desire in such a brutal way that you just know it’s not right. His desire for a world where people judge themselves isn’t so bad. I mean, that’s what we have now, after all. However, that’s like buying someone a cake and then running over their dog 16 times. It’s a nice thought but just look what you did to achieve it!
Now, as much as I like Makishima and his love for books, his reference to Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the works of Philip K. Dicks among other authors was about as direct as possible. He literally says “you should read this book.” I thought seeing Makishima reading 1984 was about as blunt as things could get, but this just took the cake. It almost made me laugh, it was so ridiculous! The other visual cues and quick references were fine but this was just blasting through the 4th wall in a bad way.
Next week should prove to be another exciting episode. Although I find the lack of things like GUNS to be a bit hard to swallow among other things, I do find this arc to be extremely engaging. I really like it! The new OP and ED animations just make me that much more happier. It’s been a while and this post got really long really fast, so I’ll be curious to see what everyone else thinks about the past 2 episodes. What do you think of the society’s reaction to these crazy helmets? Things sure escalated quickly.
tl;dr Dominators suck