Psycho-Pass S2 – 06

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She dual wields better than Kirito

What an exciting mid-season climax! It had all the right pieces, including crazy over-the-top terrorist scheme by the villain and unflappable determination by the heroine to save the day. It’s truly unfortunate that sloppy writing has to keep this show from being all that it can be, though.
We’re already halfway through? Man, the episodes just keep blazing by. At this rate, I can’t imagine how crazy the actual finale is going to be.


lvlln// World building in science fiction can be tricky business. One needs to find a good balance: explain too little, and the audience can’t follow what’s going on; explain too much and the audience gets lost in inconsequential details, not to mention the extra work that creates for the writers. What I think is, a good science fiction story stays exactly 1 step ahead of the audience. It anticipates the questions the audience would raise based on the events of the story and answers them, while wasting no valuable time answering anything more. Obviously, this is a fuzzy target that can be difficult to pin down. I repeat, it can be tricky business.

Which brings us to Psycho-Pass, which is most definitely not doing a good job with its science fiction world building, exemplified well by this episode. Not that this is anything new, mind you; this was the case ever since the very start of the series. In this particular example, an otherwise exciting sequence of events was bogged down by obvious questions that never went answered, leaving us, the audience, to either figure them out for ourselves or just scratch our heads.

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Things didn’t get off to a great start when Shion complained that removing the game downloads was being negated by users uploading them again. The fact that she considered this a strategy worth pursuing at all, when this takes place 100 years from now when her grandparents grew up not knowing a world without the internet, seems nothing if not absurd. Of course, this was just a throwaway line to show the difficulty of stopping this hack, but why couldn’t that throwaway line have been used to answer an actual intuitive question? A question that might immediately pop into the mind of a viewer, such as, in this society so obsessed with safety and control that it actively checks the populace’s affinity to commit crimes and forbids police from using weapons at their discretion, don’t military drones have killswitches? A simple “Oh no, the killswitch isn’t working!” would have done wonders.

Then there’s the matter of the game itself. In the Robin Williams film Toys, the games that kids were fooled into playing to pilot real drones were hyper-realistic and immersive, far beyond what was possible with technology at the time of the film or even technology today; it made sense that they would be drawn to and even addicted to such games. Here, we’re lead to believe that, in a society that would consider the likes of Metal Gear Solid 5 roughly equivalent to knocking 2 sticks together for fun, a smartphone game with the visuals and complexity of Descent catches fire? Like the killswitch, this could have been satisfactorily explained with just 1 throwaway line. Say, “A game with this much violence/competition/interaction hasn’t been produced since the Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Update of 208x! Everyone is going gaga over it!” But there was no such line.

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The next gen graphics of the future

There’s plenty more I could write about regarding the methods of shutting down the cloud server through furious typing and running a perfected program once, or the police hanging out in the open while killer drones were swarming around, but both are fairly well established breaks from reality; Psycho-Pass is merely the latest in a loooong tradition of using such lazy tropes, not just in anime, but in any visual medium. What was problematic was the mention of the Dominators being limited to 3 Destroy Decomposer shots with no apparent explanation. Yet again, this could have been explained away with 1 throwaway line, such as, “Those shots take so much power that the Dominators hold enough charge for only 3.” Or even a non-technological “Those shots are so versatile that they don’t allow us to use it more than 3 times at once in order to prevent abuse” (though this would raise the question of why no emergency exception protocol exists). But the writers weren’t good enough even to give us that. We just got, “Oh well, that’s the rule, I guess we gotta deal with it in this situation when literal lives are on the line.” This is especially annoying because it could prove to be an important plot point later on, since it’s now established that Kirito is collecting Dominators. Is he limited to just 3 shots for each of them for the rest of the show, or is there a way for him to recharge them?

With all that said, this was a pretty fun episode to watch. I’m a sucker for police action thrillers – one of my favorite shows in the past decade was 24, and the hectic cat and mouse game of the police and terrorists chasing each other with home base using its hacking skills to help out gave me flashbacks of that show. Plus, Akane being badass continues to be a joy to watch. I love that, from the very first episode of the series, her super power has been her thick skin, her ability to handle anything thrown at her without clouding her hue. It’s a super power that one wishes were more common in this day and age. I expected her Psycho-Pass score to get at least a small bump in this extreme situation, but nope, it stayed right around 30 through the end. What a badass. I’m in love. Not that that’s anything new.


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Overcooled// I’m really starting to feel the differences between the first season and this bloody action series we have now. Season 1 presented us with a variety of different crimes (and criminals), all of which displayed a different aspect of the Sibyl System that was to be questioned. Through these carefully designed crimes, we were able to slowly learn more about Sibyl and how the world worked. It was interesting to learn one week that Sibyl picks jobs for people and another week that they  have holographic clothes that can turn into absolutely anything. This 360 view of the pros and cons (mostly cons) of Sibyl and the people using the system is what I loved most about the series. Although Kamui also sends poorly misguided people to do his dirty work, it’s not the same as Makishima’s funding of competent criminals with their own personal goals. As a result, all these henchmen with Kamui’s stamp of approval just end up repeating Kamui’s message. There’s nothing new we learn with each crazy, rambling guy Kamui sends out to test the police with. They all want us to ask “what colour?”, which really fails to tell us much more about Sibyl than we already know.

At this point, the mystery of how Kamui is a ghost and how he clears Hues is much more compelling than pursuing such a vague inquiry such as “what colour is Sibyl?”. It’s not even clear what he really means by that, other than to point out how the system is flawed…something we already know. I find myself ignoring societal concerns of what it means for each person to personally decide what their hues and what’s wrong with Sibyl in favour of trying to figure out who/what Kamui is. It’s just a much more interesting mystery than an issue we’ve essentially tackled in season 1. But still, this season chooses to press in the direction of trying to make broad statements about Sibyl in an attempt to milk out every last bit of controversy about having a bunch of brains judge our self-worth based on our mental health. It’s not really working.

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Thankfully, not everything is dedicated to the “WC?” conundrum. Learning about Kamui – whatever little I can get – is always great news. Now we’re seeing Kamui at his most dangerous state yet with a variety of new Dominators and a stolen eye (side comment: who the hell did the eye transplant surgery?). All of these new additions to his arsenal are terrifying except Shisui because she has a pirate eye patch, a ridiculously flashy outfit, and she has the worst lines in the show aside from Mika. I think he needs to lower he dosage of whatever drug he’s giving her so she’ll stop saying things like “you can use my body however you want.” But despite this, today was yet another win for Kamui. The only advances the police have made are that they now can confirm he exists and is capable of dodging the judgement of Dominators.

However, it might have been a win for the police if Akane had shot the boat or just bit the bullet and killed Kamui and Shisui together. This isn’t the first time Akane has faced the main villain with a real gun in one hand and a Dominator in the other. However, when she couldn’t shoot Makishima, she felt powerless and it really shook her. This time, she makes a personal choice not to shoot despite all she’s through. It’s because she’s still able to make the right choice to not shoot despite the fact that doing the same thing in the past has caused her pain that make her such a strong person. Togane may want to break her, but I don’t know how he would do that when she’s so impervious. And while all this tells us a lot about her character then versus now…it’s still still dumb that Kamui gets away when he’s right there. I’ve always seen Psycho-Pass as a show that never pulls punches, but they clearly held back here. It’s a shame, but I understand they can’t reveal everything when we’re only halfway through.

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I’m afraid of heights, but I’m also afraid of killer drones so…

So although Kamui gets away in the end and the writing is kinda sketchy, Psycho-Pass still consistent delivers in one area: action. This episode doesn’t let up for a second on that front. Police officers die like they’re Game of Thrones characters – frequently, and with lots of blood left behind. There are more explosions than a Hollywood action movie. Best of all is that Akane is in the middle of all this, dishing out punishment in a miniskirt and heels. How could I ever forgot how badass Akane was? I thought her recklessness would come to bite her in the ass and the moral of the story would be “rely on others and don’t try to do everything yourself.” No. The moral of the story is “if you’re Akane, you can fuck everything up NO QUESTIONS ASKED.”


Final Thoughts

This episode was marginally better than episode 4, if only for the thrilling action and Tsunemori badassery it provided, even if its writing was just as sloppy. And at least the story is continuing at a steady clip, giving us more info about Kirito’s plans and outlook. After the downright evil villain in Makishima in the 1st season, it’s nice getting one that is a little more empathetic, someone who is motivated by a genuine desire to help his fellow man. I’m curious why the Chief still considered his actions not to be consequential in the previous episode, and whether the events of this one will have changed her (their) mind(s). Wherever this story is headed, I’m excited to be pulled along for the ride.

I’m pretty much in agreement with lvlln about this episode: great on the action front, not so great on the coherent writing front. Shisui and Mika have some pretty terrible lines. Like…really terrible. But even if things get rocky, there are still a lot of cool developments to keep your mind buzzing. Who is Togane and is he a friend or a foe? Who is Kamui and how does he clear Hues? What will Sibyl do is everyone becomes cloudy? Psycho-Pass asks us clever questions amongst the dumb ones, all the while showering us with violence and senseless killing. It’s not the same Psycho-Pass as before, but it’s oddly charming in its own respects.


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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26 Responses to “Psycho-Pass S2 – 06”

  1. Namika says:

    With each new episode I feel the difference between the two seasons more and more. I really enjoy this season, hands down, but it’s missing that fine sarcasm the first one had. Somehow I get the feeling that it was more refined, intelligent and witty. It had a lot of sides, it raised subjects that made you think and re-think. First season had that depth, but the second one doesn’t. Though I’m glad they’re not attempting to copy that style because they would probably fail, so action is fine by me.

    What instantly turned me off though, was Tougane’s declaration of wanting to paint Akane’s hue black. Really? -_- REALLY? So that was a declaration of him not being in any connection with Kamui, I guess but still, that buildup of his mysterious persona and his motives led to that phrase ? -_-

    I don’t really get your problem with the game though, Lvllnn. At all. The decomposer shots, yes, that was just infodumped in a very anime-like way. But the game? :3 Other than the possibility of hijacking it in that crazy way I don’t see problems with it at all.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Tougane was a therapist before becoming an Enforcer. Maybe he wants to break Akane out of curiosity and see how she reacts because she’s durable than most. No fun in playing with a toy that breaks easily, right? 😉

    • Overcooled says:

      I agree. The first season was more refined and this one is more sloppy. But that being the case, it’s better for season 2 to focus on its strong points…which appear to be action scenes.

      I thought Tougane was a good guy the show was setting up to appear evil…but I guess not? I don’t know. Maybe he’ll find some twisted way to explain himself. There has to be some reason why he specifically wants Akane to be tainted.

  2. SherrisLok says:

    Akane not shooting Kamui/the boat/the air is the biggest asspull in Psycho Pass. I mean, they basically made her look retarded? See everybody, SHE WILL SHOULDER ALL THE DEATHS OF INNOCENT BYSTANDERS THAT ARE TO COME. WOW. WHAT A MESSIANIC FIGURE.

    • Namika says:

      First of all, I’d like to ask the creaters why did she need that gun in the first place, because she probably wouldn’t be able to use it. It was designed for drones, not humans.

      • BlackBriar says:

        The gun Togane took from Akane? No, that was a riffle. It had a standard trigger and everything. Just that it looked modified. From the way he was holding it, it seemed very easily used for humans.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Akane is a slave to her morals. She values life too much to bring herself to take one. It’s why she goes to such lengths to avoid that instead of taking the easy way out like she did with the guy in the first episode. I’m guessing she feels they’ll be another opportunity to catch Kamui. She hasn’t killed anyone up to now and probably wants to keep it that way.

      Looking at that boat, I doubt a few bullets would’ve done anything.

      • SherrisLok says:

        Well, letting him go means that she will be directly responsible for all Kamui’s future victims. Even though she didn’t intend to shoot herself (being worried about her hue or something), she could have let Tougane do it.

        And about the boat, she didn’t even TRY.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Problem is she’s so much of a pacifist that she doesn’t want anyone to kill. Those kinds of ideals just don’t hold up in the real world.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, it was pretty dumb. Not the dumbest thing Psycho-Pass has done, but it’s weird to see them hold back and let a supervillain get away so easily.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Akane doesn’t want to become the monster she’s fighting.

        • SherrisLok says:

          Shooting a mass murderer in the legs to make him or her surrender sure is what evil guys do. Come on.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Something tells me she knew doing that much wouldn’t be enough to stop Kamui.

  3. Highway says:

    I gave up on this show two episodes ago. I didn’t see any of the clever questions, just dumb ones, and people acting dumb. Plus the writing is done from a position of “We are all already decided.” Sibyl is bad. Full stop. There is nothing redeeming about it, there is nothing worthwhile about it. Sibyl is bad, without Sibyl, everything would be awesome for everyone, because we’d have more freedom. Well, I’m all for freedom (probably more than just about *anyone* here), and I don’t see it that way. There are bad aspects to living both ways.

    • Namika says:

      You really like that system, don’t you 😀 😀 😀

      • Highway says:

        It’s less that I like it than that I can certainly see advantages to it. Like anything, it has possible advantages and disadvantages. And that’s definitely something that was explored in the first season, and completely and thoroughly abandoned in the second season. Instead, I feel the show is completely on the side of the “Technology is evil, planning is evil, Sibyl is evil” watchers, and while it wasn’t anything approaching subtle in the first series with Gen Urobochi, now it’s just a 10-ton weight of “SIBYL IS BAD” bashing you over and over and over. There’s nothing thought-provoking about that. There’s no exploration of “Why would people want a system like this?” and that’s a hugely important point, because it wasn’t just foisted upon everyone with no thought whatsoever. There had to be a significant number of people who wanted this system. And I’m sure that there are a significant number of people who are happy to get the guidance in their life that maybe in our world they don’t get, and so they spend 6 years fumbling through 4 majors in college and racking up a bunch of debt, or they bounce from job to job, never succeeding, or maybe they can’t even *find* a job because they can’t decide what they want to do.

        The first season had the opportunity to explore that. This second season is a crappy CBS police procedural.

        • Overcooled says:

          I can see why you’d lose interest if the show took away your favourite parts. :/ Even I’m not interested in the second season’s attempts at talking about Sibyl. It’s definitely not being handled with the same finesse as season 1. But for me, I actually like the police mystery drama and all the action so there’s still a lot there aside from commentary about whether Sibyl is right or wrong.

          Ah well. This season is full of great shows to enjoy even if Psycho-Pass isn’t your thing!

    • BlackBriar says:

      You seem to be going to great lengths to defend that system.

    • lvlln says:

      I don’t really see the unambiguity of Sibyl to be a problem in this season. I thought Sibyl was painted as evil from the very beginning of the series, and, after all, it’s not like firemen or Big Brother were ever painted as anything other than malignant in Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 respectively.

      • Highway says:

        I’m far less interested in shows which feature allegorical lecturing than I am in a thought-provoking dichotomy. I’ve never been interested enough in either of your two examples to read them, either, despite having had dinner with Ray Bradbury (I did read Orwell’s Animal Farm).

        • lvlln says:

          I read Animal Farm and 1984 very close to each other. They’re essentially the same book, except obviously the former is allegorical. I thought the ending of the 1st season of Psycho-Pass took a lot from 1984, in its message that struggling against Sibyl is ultimately futile. That ending and that message were what really redeemed the series in my eyes.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    People keep talking about the difference in quality between both seasons. It’s noticeable, yes, yet I still find myself enjoying nonetheless for what it is. For me, the second season is a transitional period and a cliffhanger finale is expected seeing there’s the movie on its way come January and most of everything will be settled there. So it won’t be much of a surprise if not a lot is resolved. Who knows? Kamui might not even be dealt with at the end and may have a part in the movie. I feel one of the main objectives of the season is to push certain main characters to their boiling point.

    Kamui may be a villain who deserves more credit than already earned. It’s not a stretch to assume the MWPSB cutting the links to the game, causing a Group Psycho-Pass pollution was a fail-safe if the drones couldn’t do their jobs. A win/win outcome. If he doesn’t get all the law enforcement and their Dominators, he gets to plunge the city into madness through one of their most common interests. As Saiga mentioned, part of Kamui’s plan may be to expose Sibyl’s weak points. Should’ve known his reach would be strong enough to turn Shisui. I was wondering who that was in red holding a Dominator. She’s totally become his.

    Tougane wanting Akane’s hue darkened actually turned down the creeper meter now that he has a motive for keeping tabs on her. Before becoming an Enforcer, the guy was a therapist so in a psychological aspect, she probably aroused his curiosity. In the past, he must have come into contact with countless common cases and grew bored of it. Now here stands a rarity with a strong Psycho-Pass before him and he can’t help himself. You could say it’s indulging in the notion “The purer something is, the more satisfying it becomes to corrupt it”. You dabble in psychology, OC. Given your do-S tendencies, if the chance ever came up, wouldn’t you be inclined to probe and prod someone like her just to test her limits? 😉

    Contrary to the majority of viewers, I like watching Mika. Like what happened with knowing the consequences of revealing what the gamers were dragged into and her despairing over it. I enjoy watching the story push her out of her comfort zone, to see her reactions and how they’ll affect her future decisions. Sure, that sounds exceedingly sadistic but I can’t help myself. Watching her in that aspect takes the edge off what she says and does, making easier overall to enjoy the episodes.

    Akane stopping Togane from shooting was much like her since she tried the same with Kougami and failed. She’s like the female version of Batman here. Stopping crimes and catching criminals but can’t bring herself to take a life, even when she knows that misplaced sense of self-righteousness will cost her dearly. It’s why she pushes herself to avoid that last resort. That’s her mindset. Not a lot of people seem to understand that as they asked why she let Kamui go. As she narrated in the first episode, it’s a personal battle to determine who she is. Not to mention if Kamui died, it’d be the end of the series right there.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahhhh I’ll be so sad if the finale is a cliffhanger and we have to wait for the movie. Movies take so long to get subbed!

      Kamui is doing a fine job of throwing the city into a panic to expose Sibyl’s weak spots. I can’t wait to hear from his own mouth what his plan was all along. Does he want to overthrow the entire system like Makishima or does he have his own ideas?

      I never thought I’d be asked to call upon my knowledge from my psych degree AND sadism. First time for everything…But yeah, some people are just so pure that you want to see what happens when you break them. It’s a mix of curiosity and sadism. But Tougane may have a better reason for this other than just being an evil guy who can’t help himself.

      At least someone likes Mika!

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