Psycho-Pass – 19

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When in doubt, seek the wisdom of hipsters.

Long before even watching the episode, I knew a little bit about Hyper Oats and was really wondering how this was going to be even marginally relevant to Psycho-Pass. In an anime about human brains being extracted to judge all of humanity in a giant computer system, you don’t expect anyone to even breathe a word about farms. So I spent the entire episode waiting to see how this would tie into oats, which may not have been the best way to enjoy the episode.

You have to admit that a field of wheat is a big change from what we’re used to seeing in Psycho-Pass. Considering that anything outside of Sibyl has scarcely been mentioned until now, it feels like it was pulled out of thin air. Suddenly: OATS! Not exactly the location for a finale that you’d expect, now, is it? Don’t get me wrong – it’s a fairly decent plan that could indirectly destroy Sibyl. However it is very…indirect. Would immigration and skyrocketing Psycho-Pass numbers cause the system to fall out of use, or for them to simply imprison more civilians and get even stricter? This isn’t a little scheme where each domino knocks down the next. A plan of this scale isn’t simply a cause-and-effect sort of thing. Anything could happen.

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It’s queer how tiny and unimportant the city looks from here

What’s even more odd is that Kougami is absolutely certain that Makishima will do this. It’s a plausible plan, but yet again it feels like a bit of a stretch of Kougami’s detective abilities. At this point, I’m just going to run with it. This isn’t a giant plothole to ruin the story, and Kougami has always had almost psychic-level deduction skills. I’m willing to hit the override button and just go with the flow. Besides, going from the bustling city to the abandoned crops may provide an interesting contrast. All the most important things are entrusted to machines – both our minds through Sibyl and our food supply through drones. However, it makes it sound like there are absolutely no humans around the crops to protect them despite the fact that it’s so essential to our survival.

The message I get from this is that technological advances will be the death of us.  Genetically modified foods are handy because you can make crops resistant to diseases, pesticides, frost and all manner of things. However, once you find the ideal genome for a certain plant, you can either clone them or breed them so much that they all essentially have the same DNA. That means if one plant manages to catch some sort of disease it just so happens to not be resistant to, then the entire crop is vulnerable and can die. That’s why variable populations are so important – because if everyone if different then hopefully at least 2 individuals can withstand any one thing that wipes out the rest of the population.

Or, Makishima could just slip by the drones and set fire to all the crops. WHO KNOWS?!

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While I’m still hooked on the story and looking forward to the finale, this episode in particular was a bit of a chore to sit through. This is the second week we’ve been forced to watch a montage of talking heads. It’s not like they’re covering the most riveting subjects either. It’s mostly characters just plainly telling us what they’re going to do next. We don’t have to infer a lot, because each character kindly tells us exactly what they’re thinking and feeling. It takes a while for some of them to get to the point with all this literary quoting too.

Another reason I wasn’t so keen on all the chatter was that Kougami’s explanation of Makishima rubbed me the wrong way. Kougami described him like we, the viewers, should suddenly feel sorry for him. I don’t understand why at this point they’d try and make Makishima seem like a misguided outcast who is secretly just lonely. It’s as if they tried to say “he brutally killed a bunch of people for his own amusement but it’s okay! He was just lonely!” He hardly comes off as a victim. If he was lonely in the past, then he’s since gotten over that and just become a determined psychopath. Don’t try to convince me that someone like that is a good guy.

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CRAWWWLLLINNNGGG IN MYYY SKIINNNNN

Other than Hyper Oats and the very last scene, the rest of the talking scenes aren’t very exciting. I’m pretty sure a lot of us could see Ginoza’s downward spiral coming a mile away, so it wasn’t shocking at all to see his Hue become cloudy. It was so obvious that it could have simply been inferred by showing Ginoza acting more nervous and snapping more. They didn’t need to give us a scene with him talking to a therapist. It’s quite clear that he is desperate to save Kougami and be a noble detective despite how impossible a task it is for him. He’s doing it for himself and his team, because he really does care about them and how they perceive him.

Things start to pick up where Akane is concerned. I loved seeing her expression change to one of steely determination after Kougami left. It’s funny how the one conversation I really liked was cut so short. I was zoning out for most of Akane’s mini therapy session with Shion until she finally questioned what Sibyl was measuring. If it’s not measuring her heart, what is it measuring? She keeps it all together even after being devastated by losing Kougami and being ordered to shoot him on sight, while being strictly ordered not to kill Makishima. Akane herself doesn’t get why her Hue is clear when she feels so depressed.

It seems like Akane is asymptomatic, but I still strongly believe that’s not the case. I think the Hue represents resilience. Those with cloudy hues will get upset and let whatever made them upset change who they are. They cannot bounce back after a nasty situation. Akane has a clear hue simply because she has the strength to recover from bad situations. She may cry, get mad, and feel absolutely worthless….but at the end of the day, she would never let her feelings change her. Much like Saki in Shinsekai Yori, Akane has strength.

In the end, Akane picks up a Dominator and is (supposedly) told the secret about Sibyl. However, the Chief wants a new pawn, so will she really tell her the truth? I don’t see the point of telling Akane the truth at this point, so I admit that I’m a little baffled. They won’t really tell her that Sibyl is secretly a bunch of brains and wires now…will they?

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After watching Sasami-san all I can think of is Akane (Same seiyuu as Kagami) going fuuunyaaa~

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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16 Responses to “Psycho-Pass – 19”

  1. Liza says:

    I really want to know what the Chief is up to. Will Akane really get the truth of what Sybil actually is? And if she does, would that change anything about her? I can’t picture Akane really acting out because of finding the truth. Will she be shocked? Yes. But other than that…I can’t picture her doing anything else. Although who knows? There could be a plot twist that changes everything coming up too.

    • Overcooled says:

      The next episode is out at the time of me responding, but I haven’t seen it yet :B Anyways, I see Akane as being extremely stable, so it will be hard to change her set ideals about the world just by talking to her. I can’t picture her doing much either, aside from maybe looking for Kou or Makishima if she’s given a lead. However, they’re talking about Sibyl right now so that’s unlikely.

  2. Highway says:

    Yeah, we’ll see what happens with telling Akane what’s going on, whether she’ll find out the real truth, or the ‘pravda’. ;)

    I actually thought that Akane’s talking to Shion in this episode may have been the most powerful performance I’ve ever heard HanaKana do. That which you mentioned – What is a person’s heart? – was very well done. Akane’s not an emotional character, and HanaKana’s not a particularly emotional actor, but the match right there was perfect, along with the animation – the fearful shrug when she asks if Shion would like to check her psychopass, the pull away. All the subtlety that last week’s animation left out, they put in this week.

    I thought it was interesting that the sensei was so frank about his possible demise since he’s now participated in a conspiracy to murder. That was something that seemed a bit much, if he’s ok with it, and if he holds no further anxiety about it, then why affect his psycho-pass. But I think that guy has been kind of borderline for a while, and that’s why he lives out in nowhereland.

    The food shortage plan is stupid and farfetched. It just is. Maybe over the course of 5 years, that would happen. But in the 5 days that they’re talking about Makishima needing to do something in? Nope.

    • Gecko says:

      I agree, Akane and Shion’s talking together was well done and powerful. Especially because we didn’t see much of Akane’s face as she said some of that stuff.

    • Overcooled says:

      Hmm, I never actually thought about her acting, but in retrospect she did a stellar job. I’m not sure if it’s her best, but I like how she managed to sound like she was sad, yet still trying desperately to mask her sadness. What I thought would be a dull conversation took quite the turn when they started talking about the heart.

      I guess the latent criminal coefficient calculation is so accurate that no matter the mindset (guilty or at peace with it), it can tell if someone’s a potential or actual criminal. However, it’s so sketchy with things like making victims seem like criminals that this is really a random explanation I’m throwing up into the air.

      That’s true…he needs 5 days to set his plan in motion…but then what does he do while he waits for the actual affects leading to Sibyl’s demise to come about? Bunk with Kougami in his safe house? Live in a bush?

  3. 5oClockTea says:

    Another viewer on another board noted how PP Japan is like the Hyper Oats. Uniform and conforming, their unique artists and thinkers suppressed, successful on the surface, but should one outside influence it can’t handle come up, it all blows up quickly.

    Although going after the food source is sure fire way to get any society rioting. Everyone is just 3 square meals away from a revolution after all.

    And as for immigration making hues cloudy. Of course an outside view of this freak society will make the people within doubt. Maybe Makashima of 10 years ago was just a lonely psychopath, helping other psychopaths murder for fun, until Choe showed up, told him about other countries, and got him interested in Sibyl. Which leads to all this.

    I hope Akane won’t become a brain within the system to save social stability. It will be Madoka all over again, and I don’t think I can handle another sad ending for the lead girl.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ah, I can the similarities between the two. And that uniformity is their downfall.

      Makishima could have been a lot more destructive in his early years, but I have trouble picturing him that way. He enjoys murder, but he always had a greater purpose behind everything he does. I’m actually curious how he met Choe and how they bonded…

      If Akane becomes a brain, I won’t be happy. Not just because I like her, but because it sounds like a bad way to end the series.

  4. Gecko says:

    I have to say, the hyper oats idea was not well thought-out for Urobuchi. Looks like he had run out of ideas at this point. I mean, refugees coming into the country when there’s no food? No, they’d leave! No one enters a country with no food supply. At least, I don’t think so… And plus, setting fire to one crop isn’t enough. You have to destroy the entire food supply, including what’s already in people’s houses. While the idea about hyper oats is plausible and a good warning to us, the implications that sensei and Kougami were making don’t work. I wonder if maybe this isn’t the right thing, and that Makishima has something else going on, and Kougami isn’t going to know about it at all and mess up big time. That’s the only thing I can think of where this flop idea would work.
    As for Akane, my thought would be that they want Kougami dead and out of the question, but Akane would save him. So they’re going to put her in Sibyl and Makishima once they get him (or he’ll die, either way, whatever), and stop her from doing anything to help Kougami. They must be about to tell her what’s up with Sibyl at this point, or something similar about either Makishima or her Hue being off. I get the feeling this is the real reveal of Sibyl- the other was too weak, just saying “oh look here it is, brains!”

    • Overcooled says:

      Maybe the other countries are a lot worse? I really don’t know, but there are a lot of holes in the Hyper Oats thing for sure. There are so many things that could go wrong with a big plan like this. I’d actually find it really funny if Kougami did a stake out at the farms for a few days while Makishima is somewhere totally different.

      So you think brains and wires wasn’t the whole truth and we’ll find out what Sibyl REALLY is now? Wow, I was content with what we had already but that has the potential to be cool. I’m suddenly very excited for episode 20 (which is out now, conveniently enough).

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Ginoza is in the red zone now and things are looking really bad for him. His Hue probably wouldn’t be in such a state if he didn’t keep things bottled up inside and throws a fit every now and then like he did with his father. Personally, I see him as a true similarity to Seishin Muroi. They both won’t talk unless it’s with someone they can trust and/or relate to them.

    Saying Kougami and Makishima are the same is an interesting thought. They both have high intelligence and good intuition but act in completely different ways. If anything, one can say they’re both sides of the same coin and one can’t exist without the other or they represent yin and yang. I wouldn’t mind seeing them and the professor having a conversation; the topics that would be talked about though that would be hard if they try to kill each other. You referenced the Linkin Park song “Crawling” for Makishima, then I recommend “Figure 09” for Kougami.

    The hyper oats theory to undo the Sibyl system sounds like an idea a military strategist would use to indirectly attack an enemy like vaporizing or contaminating their water supply. Instead of using brute force, you gain the upper hand by crippling their resources. The idea is plausible but there are holes in the execution being shown here and there’s no guarantee Makishima would use it. There’s no reason that it would have to be that plan.

    Oh, Akane, the most moe yet well developed character in the show. I like how determined she is to save Kougami no matter what and she had an intense look on her face as she came on screen. How far will she go? There has to be something that explains how a girl who has grown up pretty much conflict free until now to be so strong willed. I think she is a special case that has yet to be determined where the Psycho-Pass is concerned. Makishima is asymptomatic because he’s amoral and an anarchist whereas Akane is the opposite. I think the Sibyl system will try to recruit her by exploiting her idealism for order and safety.

    Side note: I’ve officially got 2900 comments under my belt. I hope you have another post there in time when I’m finished with the extra 100, master. Duhuhu.

    • Overcooled says:

      That unwillingness to vent and mental fragility is the only similarity I see between the two. Seishin is constantly fighting against his duties as a monk and a human, while Ginoza is a stickler for following the rules. Lately Ginoza is breaking this a bit to help Kougami and Akane, but only because something changed him…it’s not really his original nature, while it is naturally in Seishin to hate his position in the world and rebel against it.

      The fact that Makishima could use probably TONS of other methods to destroy the city’s infrastructure and get of Sibyl make the Hyper Oats plan sketchy. Kougami could be wrong!

      Excellent job, my minion! Continue the good work~

  6. Namika says:

    I am very happy with the oats plan. Yes, it feels out of thin air,but only because the show only focused on the bureau,the Sibyl and our main characters. However, if you think about it this plan is very much like Makishima. If this plan succeeds(which it will, I’m almost certain), Makishima will once again prove that people are still people and, in fact, they should be. He will show everyone just how fragile and unstable this system is.
    Though I definitely agree that a) Kougami came up with this idea waaaaay too fast, and b) there is no guarantee that this is it. yes, I said that this kind of plan is right up Makishima’s alley, but too much is at stake to be sure of something you have zero proof of. Shinya’s medium-like predictions are a bit too much. God, at least show us that he was struggling to come up with an idea. Seeing his concentrated cute face for a couple of seconds just isn’t enough.

    The fact that progress in technology will, in the end, bite us back is something Psycho-Pass was telling us for a long time and truthfully, I agree with that. I’m glad that it took this angle, because it gives you something to think about, things to learn and realize.

    And about Makishima’s personal problems, I think it was in the right place, actually. They didn’t try to make us feel sorry for him, because they didn’t make the scene last long enough to make me think so. They just wanted to make the watchers understand, that he’s, too, an ordinary person, who has problems, who feels sad, that there is a reason why he is like he is now. I’m content with the info, but the whole Makishima/Shinya connection rubs ME the wrong way. Just…. no BLish, reversed bromanceish vibes, PLEASE! TT^TT

    I should probably stop now because this comment is getting TOO big oO”

    • Gecko says:

      Yes! Please, no BL vibes, no way I want that. The connection is awkward enough.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I agree. The rivalry between Shinya and Makishima even though they’re similar in some ways is far too interesting for it to slip that way.

    • Namika says:

      The connection definitely is awkward, because they understand each other a little too well.

      • Overcooled says:

        I don’t see any BL vibes at all. As much as I love a good rivalxrival couple, those two just don’t do it for me.

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