Psycho-Pass S2 – 02

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Season 2 is giving us the moe Akane we all deserve

So this episode saw the wrap up of the story started in the 1st episode, while still dropping hints and revealing more about the who is presumably going to be the main villain this season. With this season taking up just 11 episodes before the movie, it’s good to see the main arc being built up so heavily from the get-go.
It’s tag team time! We’ll be your guides for the rest of the season as we give our opinions on the series. Maybe guide is a bad word when we have no idea what’s going to happen next, but just go with it for now. Truly, Psycho-Pass is pulling out some interesting tricks and turns that have me convinced this season is going to be a great one.

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The blush combined with the freckles is pretty adorable

lvlln// What I found most interesting in this episode were the details revealed about who I’m presuming will be the 3 most important characters in this story: Mika, Akane, and the villain Kirito. I wrote about wanting to see more of Mika last week, mainly because I’m a big fan of her voice actor Ayane Sakura, and she did get her moment in the sun here in berating both Akane and Ginoza for their actions in the previous episode. I found this odd because, like I stated last week, she’s presumably been working with these people for a year and a half already; is this the first time she’s seen Akane go off-script in her actions? If so, I guess that’s an indication of how special this incident was. Also, I’m sure everyone noticed her little blush upon being told to calm down by Yayoi. The end of season 1 left no doubt that Yayoi and Shion were an item, but a lot can happen in a year and a half, and NTR/hot yuri threesome is always a possibility…

The show made it a point to emphasize that Akane has picked up smoking. Smoking is much more prevalent in Japan than in the US, but I imagine by the year 2114, even in Japan it would be a fairly stigmatized and rare activity. Making Akane’s picking up the habit even more significant. I’m not entirely sure what it’s supposed to signify, exactly – never having had the urge to pick up the habit myself, I don’t know what would drive Akane to do that. But we do know from season 1 that one of Akane’s specialties is not letting stress affect her emotionally – making it easier for her to keep her hue clear than others – so whatever’s driving her to smoke must really be getting to her.

And there’s Kirito Kamui, of whom we saw another glimpse at the end of this episode. His first appearance in episode 1 wasn’t very revealing, and even after this he still very much remains an enigma, but his emotional reaction to the death of the villain du jour – presumably a puppet of his, based on the way he was talked about – was a little surprising and quite telling. This certainly isn’t another Makishima, someone who feels no emotion or empathy. Which is good, because it would suck if the second season was just a retread of the first season’s story. I’m very curious how this new villain will challenge the Sybil system and our heroes with his unique angle.


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So badass that even if she broke both arms, she’d use her teeth.

Overcooled// Not surprisingly, mental and emotional scars aren’t healed by a few kind words spoken hastily by a cop in a miniskirt on a windy rooftop. It initially appears that Akane has beat the odds and saved someone that everyone else had given up on. However, people don’t change so quickly in reality. Akane’s soothing voice was enough to lower his criminal coefficient a few measly points (and avoid blowing himself up), but that’s all. Although Akane is trying to do a good thing, it appears there is still a huge gap in knowledge about what to do with people who already have cloudy Hues.

For such an advanced society, it’s striking how they have progressed so little in knowing how to treat high levels of mental and emotional stress. It seems like once you pass a threshold, you’re pretty much dead to society. You can become an Enforcer or just wallow in a health facility for the rest of your life. Even if you recover, the stigma on once having such a cloudy Hue must be intense. I will concede that they send in a therapist to try and fix things. But to me, it felt like a half-hearted attempt to calm him down so he would spit out some intel instead of a genuine concern for his well-being. (On a side note, I find it hilarious that they depict therapists as these all-knowing people who can read your every move and habit just by looking at you. My labmate once told me that she was a guest at a wedding, and people stopped speaking to her when she had a PhD in psychology because they were afraid she’d figure out all their secrets and insecurities just by speaking to her. Amazing.)

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How to deal with these so-called lost causes is a potential focus for this new season. Akane admits that knowing how to keep your Hue clear while you plan an elaborate bombing plot out would be hugely beneficial (for reasons other than dodging the system to commit crimes, of course). Unfortunately, the current options to keep your Hue unclouded are pretty bad. Want to stay pure? Take some drugs and you won’t even care about what day it is let alone your daily worries. Drugs solve everything, after all. Want to clean your Hue? Have some sketchy, system-evading ghost dude hack the system somehow into thinking your Hue is clear. Both options effectively make you a good person in Sibyl’s eye, but they’re methods that are easily abused. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the drugs so I can’t comment much on them yet without the risk of being too overly cynical. Anti-depressants do help certain people, after all. But the way this show is structured (i.e. as straight-forward with symbolism as it gets), I imagine the drugs are more like Brave New World’s soma than a miraculous future drug we all wish we could take right this second.

Kirito’s special ability is certainly an exciting new prospect that could carry the show through the entire cour. It matches up nicely with how poorly the system deals with those who are sick. Not that his method is any better since it doesn’t fix any of the core mental issues with these people. I feel like the explanation for how he manages to conceal someone’s true criminal coefficient level is going to be the dumbest thing ever, but at least it brings up interesting issues with the system. It’s tough when your one weapon is powerless against someone who is definitely a criminal, but isn’t “legally” defined as a criminal by Sibyl. I though all those brains were supposed to be smarter than that.


Final Thoughts

With that big bloody explosion, the investigation kind of hit a dead end, which leaves me thinking a new story will start next episode. I hope and believe it will tie into Kirito’s story in some way. Hopefully it gives us more chances to see how stress affects Mika and Akane and their relationship with each other. It would be nice if the actual crime plot was interesting too, because this episode was a bit underwhelming in that regard. Well, the sooner the main arc is truly and properly revealed, the better, because it’s when the details of the Sybil system and the society around which it’s built are scrutinized that Psycho-Pass truly shines.

I actually really enjoyed watching the gang try and work through the meager clues they had to solve the “WC?” crime. It was a perfect way to slow things down and get us fully acquainted with the characters. What a huge improvement over last week’s episode! I feel much more grounded now that I have a better feel for Shou and Kougami…I mean Tougane. On top of all this we get to see more of the beloved Akane as she starts looking more ragged than usual. She’s supposed to be extremely resilient, but seeing her turn to smoking/lighting cigarettes for incense for comfort (a reminder of Kougami’s scent, perhaps) really shows how much she’s stressed out. This may be the end of her perfectly clear Hue streak. There’s a lot going on right now with Kirito, the tension between Division 1 and 2, Mika’s disdain for pretty much everyone but Yayoi and all that may follow. I was worried this season wouldn’t have a very good plotline to follow…but I’m pleased to say I was oh so wrong.



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18 Responses to “Psycho-Pass S2 – 02”

  1. AllenAndArth says:

    It was a nice episode…it didn’t make me vibrate like some of the first season, i was expecting more…and i still can’t get over how pale Akane is

    • Overcooled says:

      We’re just getting started. Hopefully we hit some high notes.

      Yeah, everyone in this show is crazy pasty.

      • BlackBriar says:

        When they’re not at the office under the air-conditioning, they’re out at night chasing criminals when the weather is cool. That might be a solid enough explanation.

  2. Irenesharda says:

    Well, that was a good mystery, though I wish someone on this police force would take Sherlock Holmes’ words to heart that “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

    The answer keeps staring them in the face, but of course their complete trust in Sybil has made them unaware of the fact that Kirito Kamui (yes, writers, I know you wanted your villain to be awesome, but you really had to choose those two names and put them together? 😛 ), our villain here, is completely invisible to the system. In fact, not even the cameras are picking him up. It’s almost as if her really IS a ghost. Also, like Makishima before him, he presents another issue with the Sybil System: if a person can change their hue at will, what does that mean to the detection system that Sybil is based on?

    And Kamui seems to be an interesting villain, especially as he’s made it personal by coming to Akane’s home to leave her a message. However, the fact that he wishes her to sympathize with him and then gets all emotional at the bomber’s death, takes him down a couple of tiers from Makishima’s level, but he’s still a good villain for what we’ve got, and those were huge shoes to fill anyways. I guess, I rather like psychopaths more as villains since they’re a little less predictable as they don’t care about the same things as the rest of the populace. When you have a more emotional, twisted goal-driven villain like this, who wants to “help”, and for people to see the “good” he’s doing, and asks why the hero just can’t “understand”, you kind of know where that villain’s story is going to go. It’s a lot more formulaic.

    Also, does Tougane remind anyone a lot of Kougami? It’s like he put on a different face and voice but everything else is still there. His fight skills, his smoking habit (he even buys the same cigarettes)…it’s just kind of weird….

    I’ve heard some say that he could be an android created by Sybil to observe and interact with Akane, and was modeled to be similar to Kougami. I’ve seen others that are suggesting that he’s actually Kougami in disguise. I don’t know what it is yet, but there’s certainly a connection.

    And it is sweet that Akane misses Kougami so much, but I don’t think secondhand smoke is the answer, sweetie. Maybe she could find some of his old clothes he left behind or something?:D

    Also, does anyone find the fact that Tougane’s family dealing with pharmaceutical drugs, while Sho (the redhead with Makishima’s voice) was in holo design, incredibly convenient? Especially since our villain deals heavily with both of those things. I’m beginning to have a theory scratching in the back of my head, that perhaps this is all some sort of ruse by Sybil for some reason (probably experimentation of some kind) and the two new Enforcers are really plants. And could it be that the reason Kirito can’t be seen by Sybil, is simply because Sybil allows him to be unseen for its own purposes?

    Also, is the fact of the girl Kirito was pretending to be, died in an airplane crash years ago, going to be an important fact later? I mean, why would he choose that little girl? I know he could just be covering his track very well, but considering it was such a small part of his plan, I’m wondering why he went through all the effort? Could there actually be some significance to this particular plane crash?

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m pretty surprised that Kirito is able to trick Sibyl. I understand that Makishima was a special case, but Kirito just seems to be duping Sibyl somehow since the Hues go right back up if he doesn’t do anything about it for a while. It’s weird…but that’s what makes him so interesting. It’s probably better that they don’t go for a makishima clone either because he just wouldn’t live up to the infamy!

      Tougane really is like a Kougami clone…And the OP seems to be comparing the two directly so I agree that there must be a connection there. Like maybe his brother or something? I have no idea.

      Oh wow, the new Enforcers being plants sounds really cool! Yeah, it is pretty convenient that these guys have such a personal interest in the current criminal’s killing methods. Hmmm….

      The plane crash is also something I’m going to start paying attention to now ;D

  3. SherrisLok says:

    “For such an advanced society, it’s striking how they have progressed so little in knowing how to treat high levels of mental and emotional stress. It seems like once you pass a threshold, you’re pretty much dead to society.”

    The elimination of the weak. Therefore, their society may be said to possess modern technology, but by no means is an advanced one on a societal level.

    • Overcooled says:

      Very true. To them, advancing that sort of technology probably isn’t important. But it really says a lot about what kind of society they are. And it’s frustrating for me to see all of that wasted potential!

      • BlackBriar says:

        Sounds like they don’t want to bother making any efforts and it’s easier to just dispose of those who’ve already crossed the line to save time and resources. In a way, the Sibyl system is still human so it’s not a surprise if they entertain that corrupt line of thinking.

  4. Namika says:

    I’m pretty much loving Psycho-Pass right now. The villain looks quite from Makishima, which I’m very happy about, because that was my biggest concern about this show. Also, I want someone to shut up Mika during her moments of know-it-all-bitching. Like Akane had a fight with Ginoza, when he called her a kid 😀 Though I doubt that will ever happen, I still hope it will 😀

    Something tells me Akane isn’t really smoking o-o But it looks like shes lighting cigarettes because she misses Kougami, like you said, OC. And I hope Tougane will not be his copy, because he’s already playing as Shinya’s replacement. And they have a lot in common as well.

    • Overcooled says:

      Kirito seems to be holding up well so far! Mika…not so much.

      I can’t tell if she’s smoking or just lighting up cigarettes right now…It’s so weird. But it’s definitely a coping mechanism to get over losing Kougami.

      Tougane is like Kougami, but he can never replace him. He just looks too much like a creepy old dude…

      • Namika says:

        I’d say he looks like he uses too much hair gel. Other than that he’s fine. Not ‘Kougami fine’, but still 😀

        • BlackBriar says:

          An obvious surrogate to fill the void. Except Tougane has more experience in the psychiatric field as he was previously a psychiatrist. A slight edge over Kougami.

  5. zztop says:

    I’m surprised the show never tried giving a brief history of the SIBYL system back in Season 1, given how prevalent its role is.
    Like who invented it, who its supporters were, etc.

    In fact, I always felt Makishima’s villian role would have had more impact if he was intimately connected to SIBYL’s creators(ie. he was the grandson/son of SIBYL’s inventor).

    • Overcooled says:

      I think that would take us too far away from the current story…unless they tie it in somehow. I guess I just never really wondered where Sibyl came from before so it never bothered me.

  6. Reaper says:

    I believe they were going to highlight the beginning of the Sibyl System in some manga that will be/has been released.

    On that note, the initial redshirt has been disposed of in explosive manner (heh heh) and now the spiral begins with Kirito Kamui, Akane Tsunemori and Mika Shimotsuki.

    Undoubtedly Akane will have her moment to shine in this season given her little soliloquy at the end of Ep 1, and if the opening cinematics is anything to go by (which they aren’t really but hoping for it!). I’m sorry but I can’t help but get the feeling of a lovesick puppy, especially with the cigarettes. I’m more inclined to believe the cigarettes are more like incense sticks, especially since it’s been 1 and a half years (I think?) since the first season’s events. Kougami’s presence is missed a lot at Div 1 from the looks of things…plus I wonder how Mika would react to him if that’s how she sees Ginoza-kun.

    Ah Mika, I can’t help but feel she’ll be the great divider in this season, especially since she’s been antagonistic towards Tsunemori right from the start. I wonder how Ginoza feels when he sees her the way she is, whether it reminds him of his time as an Inspector and Masaoka (god we miss him, don’t we?). She’s going to be the one who’s currently least mature and secure of herself, but hopefully will develop into a kick arse compliment to Tsunemori…or perhaps fall prey to Kamui, like the other Inspector did. Either way, this season definitely has a lot to offer, especially when everyone was divided upon a second season was really warranted. Atm, it’s all looking good. Especially with Professor Saiga if anyone picked him up in the ending cinematics. He’ll probably be a counter to Shion – oh god, imagine his psycho analysis on each of Div 1…he’ll soon know what Kougami would have worked with…and perhaps even help to bring him back into the fold?

    • Overcooled says:

      Poor Akane…she really took parting ways with Kougami hard. I would love to see Mika and Kougami interact, actually. If she hates Ginoza even though he used to be an Inspector, I’d love to see her try and bitch at Kougami. He wouldn’t take it lying down.

      I want to see what they do with Mika. Right now she’s a pretty terrible character.

      Oh, right, the hipster guy who did cold readings! Hmmm…that WILL be fun :3c

  7. Irenesharda says:

    Ya know? Is it bad that though I know how his name is actually pronounced, I keep pronouncing “Gino” like his name is Italian rather than Japanese? With the “J” sound rather than the “G” sound? 😛
    I mean, I even do that with his whole name of “Ginoza” and still pronounce it with the “J” sound, since it reminds me so much of a detective’s name on something like Law and Order or something. It just feels right. 😀

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Ah, the ignorance of people. They never want to believe in anything out of the ordinary until it hits them in the face. Humans are not machines, so of course there would be individuals that can slip past the systems’ cracks.

    I couldn’t help facepalming after finding out Togane was a therapist before becoming an Enforcer. So not even they are safe from Sibyl’s extreme labeling of latent criminal. For me, I could only see Akane using him as a surrogate to fill a void because she hasn’t been in contact with Kougami. Lighting but not smoking the cigarettes is another sign of that.

    The end of season 1 left no doubt that Yayoi and Shion were an item, but a lot can happen in a year and a half, and NTR/hot yuri threesome is always a possibility…

    Now that’s a possibility I’d definitely vote for.

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