Psycho-Pass S2 – 09

Psycho Pass 900

Psychopathic kids just love getting puppies for Christmas

You know, when we pick shows to blog for the season we never quite know what we’re getting into. We do our best to look at the staff list, trailers, and whatever else we can find before deciding which will be the best shows to blog. Psycho-Pass looked like a sure winner since season 1 was so fantastic, and I had to restrain myself from writing 2000 word posts every week. But now I’m not so sure if choosing to blog the second season was such a good idea…

Instead of trying to pose clever questions about the state of a society governed by an elite, asymptomatic few, Psycho-Pass is content to just be dumb and shocking. There is so little quality content underneath the cheap thrills in the form of various acts of brutality. I hate to compare this show to Tokyo Ghoul, but here we go: this is the same technique of randomly inserting gore and suffering just for the sake of having it there. At this point, it doesn’t add anything meaningful – it’s just there to shock you. It’s like a little boy who learns that other kids are squeamish around worms, so they gleefully unearth worms and wave them around at the other kids as much as possible just to get a reaction. The random cannibalism and burning politicians in grotesque poses is excessive. We would have got the point if they had died normally (and even that’s pretty macabre). Let’s not forget that Togane kills not one, but two adorable puppies…and an old lady!

Psycho Pass 901

“Gotta kill you before the rental time for this tux runs out”

The torture porn isn’t really doing it for me. It works when used sparingly to show that a key, pivotal moment is truly messed up. In season 1, this is when Makishima kills Akane’s friend. It’s powerful precisely because all the episodes leading up to it wasn’t a circus side show of gore-y wonders that treated death as a casual occurrence to keep the audience focused. Death was a big deal. For season 2, literally every episode has been so messed up that it’s hard to know what’s a big deal anymore. The directing leads me to believe that every moment is supposed to be extremely disturbing, and that lack of contrast is exhausting after 9 episodes. I’m so numb to it now that all I could do was roll my eyes when a guy’s ribeye turned into a hunk of human flesh.

The grim embellishments do little to hide the fact that the entire storyline of this show has become rotten. It’s almost arbitrary at this point because none of it makes sense and they never follow up on things we actually need to know. I could talk about Mika joining forces with the bad guys, but her immediate acceptance of Sibyl is so incredibly stupid and unbelievable that I’d just rail on her the entire time. The omnipotent monologue was interesting, but I admittedly got so lost in Akane’s explanations that the whole thing was wasted on me. Can Sibyl judge itself? What would happen if Kamui pointed a Dominator at Sibyl? Well, I don’t know and I don’t even want to bother entertaining that question because this show pulls up so much bullshit that the answer could be anything. It’s becomes such a silly show that I can’t take it seriously enough to play along with it any more.


Final Thoughts

Psycho-Pass has fallen from grace so far that I’ve gone from tolerant optimism right down to bitter disappointment. It’s a shame. I loved season 1 so much and now this is making me wonder if season 1 was even good. It’s sad. I really don’t want Psycho-Pass to end on such a sour note, but there’s no way they can save it now. The finale will be cringe-worthy and we’re all going to deny that this sequel ever existed once it finished. When you have to resort to killing puppies and making the heroine walk around naked for no reason, you know the staff has given up.

If I have to say one good thing, it’s that Togane continues to be an interesting wildcard throughout all of this. He’s a momma’s boy, but he seems to have a bit of a complex over having such a high criminal coefficient. It must be kind of harsh to have his mom (and other brains but whatever) judge him as being a giant, walking time bomb. He’s dangerous and unpredictable, and his attempts to taint Akane are always fun to watch. I don’t want to see her be broken, but I want to see her rise above everything Togane throws at her and then laugh smugly as she wins in the end. But with the movie on the horizon, a cliffhanger ending isn’t out of the question. Can Urobutcher fix all this in the movie? That’s a long way away, but at this point I’d do anything to have Urobutcher back in control. May lvlln and I survive the next 2 episodes without injury…

Psycho Pass 902

Even Akane can’t take it anymore


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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29 Responses to “Psycho-Pass S2 – 09”

  1. zztop says:

    The question is how the upcoming PsychoPass movie can redeem the current season. I’m surprised Urobuchi hasn’t spoken out yet, considering his investment in Season 1.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I chalk it up to him being patient and making an overall comment of the second season when it ends. Not very wise to make a general review until everything has been laid bare.

      • Overcooled says:

        Yeah, he can’t exactly speak out against the sequel to his own show. That would be bad press, and less people would want to see the movie. But still…I wonder what he thinks about all this.

  2. SherrisLok says:

    Psycho Pass always had shock value elements and that were more disturbing than whatever S2 showed as of yet. I think you should rewatch the first series. Or even the first episode is enough.

    I also think I read/watched a different Tokyo Ghoul than you as I remember little shock content for the sake of shocking being present there. Only the hunting theatre of the rich ghouls would qualify to be called as such.

    I loved that episode. They are making it theatrical on purpose. Especially the Show ▼

    scene was a classy and climatic one, almost as if Urobuchi wrote it.

    I don’t get the illegal immigrant thing. The politicians Show ▼

    to clear their own hue? What? How is that possible?

    Mindbroken Mika is so pitiable that I root for her now.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I also think I read/watched a different Tokyo Ghoul than you as I remember little shock content for the sake of shocking being present there.

      I feel the same way. They were showing their nature in their own society. That’s about it.

    • Overcooled says:

      This isn’t because of faulty memory – I’m fully aware season 1 had shocking material. But there was restraint. Especially compared to this ridiculous level of slaughter and blood. I think our tastes are just very different.

      • SherrisLok says:

        Well, it depends how you define restraint. The first series had less people getting blown up or killed in other manners than S2. Still the first series really liked to indulge in panning the camera on beaten up victims for prolonged periods. Episode 1 and the girl clubbed to death during the helmet riots come to mind. S2 does it to a lesser extent, I think.

    • fragb85 says:

      Except Season 2 only uses shock and gore for the sake of it. Its completely one note: Murder lots of people and hope the audience reacts. It doesn’t help that anyone who dies are just faceless people who we don’t know or care about. Who were those politicians other than the fact they are one dimensional caricatures? Its hard to be shocked if you already know they were made specifically to die. It overused to the point that it becmes mundane and boring.

      And Urobuchi would not write that. Urobuchi doesn’t write pointless deaths. When people die, its a significant even to drive themes, plot and characters. Ubakata writes death and gore because he has a violence boner and feels the need to blow his wad every episode.

  3. JPNIgor says:

    I wanted to see Akane’s hue when she saw her grandma’s ear. I really did.

    I can’t believe they pulled the puppy killer kind of villain here. That’s so clichéd. I can’t wait for Urobutcher to take the front seat, too.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’d love to see it too. It’s probably clear as per usual, but it would still be amazing to see her maintain sanity in such a situation.

      Puppy killing…I can’t believe it either. -_-

    • BlackBriar says:

      I wanted to see Akane’s hue when she saw her grandma’s ear. I really did.

      In spite of the shock of seeing that, I’m sure her hue was still below 50. If one made a conclusion based on her hue alone, they’d think she’s cold-hearted.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    I will say the brutality never ceases. For a society that’s about maintaining mental health, things gets violent in a heartbeat. Tougane’s mother really is a piece of work. Already much to instruct a child to kill in order to prove the uniqueness in an artificially criminally asymptomatic human being by handing him animals to turn into a bloody pulp but it’s her own child. How many ethical boundaries hasn’t this lunatic broken?

    The omnipotent monologue was intriguing and agreed that it can difficult to comprehend the longer you think about the subject. For me, there are two possibilities: Either both sides cancel each other out or stay in a perpetual loop.

    Aside from that, Akane has been getting mentally tested quite frequently as she doesn’t often look like she’s about to snap. Apart from seeing her grandmother’s severed ear, her last outburst was the pharmacy incident where Aoyanagi died. Mika’s finally broken so I want to see what becomes of her.

    As a villain, Kirito deserves his own pedestal. As opposed to Makishima who handed his pawns means to carry out their crimes and leaves them to go about it their way, Kirito rallies people who share his sentiment and suffering because they’re victims who’ve suffered the loss of loved ones from incidents similar to the plane crash 15 years ago in the period called the Season of Hell. So, instead of being scattered about, they all have a common goal.

    No denying Tokyo Ghoul had flaws but I liked it nonetheless for its setup, world building and the gore was basically mandatory because it’s about creatures with vicious, superhuman capabilities and needs, even if some want to live in peace. And I felt it had little to do with shock factors. Besides, maybe the second season in Winter 2015 won’t be so negatively received since the manga creator himself will personally be holding the reins for the story thanks to recent ANN articles and rumor has it that he wasn’t happy with how the first season went either.

    When you have to resort to killing puppies and making the heroine walk around naked for no reason, you know the staff has given up.

    You got me on the first half of that sentence but made me laugh with the second. I know it’s been a while since the first season and some memory of such would dissipate. However, this isn’t the first time Akane has walked around with only the bottom half of her underwear. She’s done that twice in the first season. One where she prepared and ate her food right after taking a shower with the towel still hung around her neck.

    • Overcooled says:

      Akane is hanging in there pretty well despite all this (although we’ll have to see if she can stay calm in the next episode). But Mika looks pretty messed up because of all this. I’m surprised her hue hasn’t been darkened enough to flag the police yet.

      Gore is never mandatory. Tokyo Ghoul used it excessively to cover up how puerile the story and characters were. I guess if it didn’t have gore, it would be nothing so it’s good they at least did something. But I’m always extra bitter towards shows I start blogging and end up disliking :/

      Akane walking around naked was just the icing on the cake here. Nothing wrong with it, but amongst all this craziness I can’t help but see that as a desperate fanservice plea as well. Maybe if it wasn’t book-ended by cannibalism and slicing off ears like in season 1???

      • Highway says:

        For me, gore is something that almost always puts me off a show. It’s never necessary, and what it is is just a different type of fanservice. But it’s rare if people complain about it the same way they complain about sexuality. Noone ever bitches about “pandering” to people who like seeing blood and body parts, even though which is a better message: “Pretty people are nice to look at” or “Woo! Chop someone up! MurderMurderMurder!”?

        There have been some queasy shows that I’ve continued to watch because the story or world-building was good, even through more gore than I’d usually tolerate, but most of the time it’s a quick exit for me (Parasyte is about my limit, if it was more gory I don’t think I would continue).

      • BlackBriar says:

        Akane is hanging in there pretty well despite all this (although we’ll have to see if she can stay calm in the next episode). But Mika looks pretty messed up because of all this. I’m surprised her hue hasn’t been darkened enough to flag the police yet.

        Like I mentioned in the previous post, Mika might be another special case like Akane having a strong hue because Tougane pretty much said the same thing you did.

      • SherrisLok says:

        I don’t understand your claim of ‘if it didn’t have gore, it would be nothing ‘ regarding Tokyo Ghoul. The series had a plot centred around a conflict of coexistence. It did rise existential questions about what it means to be human and whether coexistence of two species whose instincts, social background and the resulting value systems is possible. It did flesh out its cast and their points of view on the coexistence thing. Thematically Tokyo Ghoul is not that different from vampire stories and so some bloody content is to be expected. Shiki also had gore and a good number of characters getting slaughtered or sucked out on screen, so I take it that your thoughts on Shiki mirror your opinion on Tokyo Ghoul?

        I think you are just being oversensitive. The kind of violence showed in Tokyo Ghoul (the anime) did not differ that much from many shounen series, like Dragon Ball Z or Jojo (I can’t really stomach some of Jojo’s bodily harm).

        • Overcooled says:

          To clarify that claim: I thought the plot in Tokyo Ghoul was so bad that they tried to cover it up by distracting the viewer with gore. So without that distraction, you’d really see how shallow it is.

          Again, this comes down to personal tastes and I personally did not find anything about the plot/characterization/etc. of Tokyo Ghoul to be appealing. Nothing much we can do to make each other like or dislike the show so let’s leave it at that.

          Bringing Shiki into the mix is irrelevant because it’s only the same in that it’s also violent. We’re already incredibly off-topic talking about Tokyo Ghoul in a Psycho-Pass post – which was one throwaway reference in my post just to say “I’m not happy with this show for the same reasons I was unhappy with this other show.”

          For me, it’s not about how extreme the violence is. It’s whether that violence fits in with the story and actually adds to it without just being tacked on as torture porn.

          • SherrisLok says:

            Well, it’s expected that people will want to discuss other shows if you mention them in the review.

            One can argue that no violence is ever justified as contributing anything to a story apart from the torture porn.

  5. fragb85 says:

    I can sum whats wrong with Season 2 in one sentence: Ubakata thinks his audience is stupid. His writing is so hack that he feels he can imitate Urobuchi just by killing lots and lots of people.

    Season 1 always had some sense of ambiguity which is one of his key aspects of his work. That’s why there has been lots of debate every episode. We get to see both the pros and cons SYBIL. Both sides had valid points. Urobuchi allows its audience to watch and think for ourselves.


    The puppy killing shows that. How hack of a writer do you have to be if you need to do that just to show Tougane is evil? Did they have a list that includes “Tougane eats kittens”, “Tougane steals candy from babies”, “Tougane flushes goldfish down the toilet” and just settled on puppies?

    Really, the only thing even like Season 1 was the discussion of the Omnipresent Paradox. Except that it is already a contradiction to Season 1 because SYBIL itself acknowledges its not perfect and strives to improve itself. Season 2 at this point is an exasperating combination of idiot plot and contradiction of Season 1.

    • Overcooled says:

      I think that sums it up nicely. I thought season 1 was blunt, but this just takes the cake.

      Sibyl really does look like the worst, most idiotic system to ever be implemented. Instead of moral grey areas, everyone is either super heroic or evil puppy-killers. And if they settled on puppy-killing then I can’t imagine what other concepts they scratched out as their “bad ideas.” It’s not a good sign I can actually picture them showing Tougane eating a cat lol

      Ah well, gonna ride this thing out until the end and hope for a good movie!

  6. fragb85 says:

    My comment got eaten by the spammy 🙁

    Oh well I’m too tired to type it again.

    • Highway says:

      It’s better to leave a comment like this one rather than repost the same comment, which usually gets caught by the spam filter again. We can get them out, but it usually won’t be instantly because of people sleeping. Multiple versions just means we have to pick which one to use.

  7. Namika says:

    This is such a shame. The story turned into complete chaos, after all. It’s so unbalanced that it’s even hard to follow. It was visible that this season is worse than the first one. But it had it’s moments, and wasn’t bad in general and I hoped it would stay that way, but as you said, Cool-chan, this season will be denied. Just like Kamui 😀 I feel so sad and disappointed now. We waited for this for so long and we got this jumble of mess

    • Overcooled says:

      The first couple of episodes were actually very promising! I was genuinely enjoying it up until a certain point. Now nothing makes sense anymore so it’s hard to stay invested.

      Yes, I’m going to pretend this season is Kamui…a ghost that doesn’t exist u_u

  8. Irenesharda says:

    Finally getting to this episode, I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I, on the other hand, am having the time of my life! I am really loving this so much. The death, the destruction, crazy Mika, Togane, and how the story is really about to reach its climax. I don’t know, they maybe cheap thrills, but I eat that stuff up. 😀

    • BlackBriar says:

      Forgive me if this sounds rude but I’m surprised you didn’t have any contempt for this episode. 😉 Though, I don’t find it bad as a whole. After reading some of your comments for the first season, especially Sibyl’s true nature, I’d thought you’d be bitter about how loose the story has gotten.

      • Irenesharda says:

        What do you mean? For the first season, I thought the show took a really weird and really ridiculous turn when it was a really dark, deep police procedural with preachy psychological and philosophical themes, and then suddenly had evil human brains be at the center of it all, just came so out of left field and seemed incredibly ridiculous compared to the rest of the nature of the series.

        This episode has simply been following the same course as the rest of the season. Sybil trying to artificially create psychopaths is pretty in line with something they would do since that would just expand their ranks and their power. Kamui is once again this guy who can get anyone to follow him and his has noble intentions even if he is going about it all in the wrong way. Also, it’s been established his connections to the Season of Hell and it’s not a large jump in logic that he would want to get vengeance against those who had brought it about, and that he would gather people around him that would want the same thing.

        As for Togane and his mother, both are psychopaths, and Togane wants to make his mother proud. It also makes perfect sense that since the minds that make up Sybil still have an identity and independence, they would do things that benefits only them, such as hide Togane’s CC.

        Sure this season doesn’t have the same tone or goal as the first season, but it is still doing a concise story within the rules of this universe that this season decided to give itself. Sure the world is really out there and impossible and people can do impossible things like make a single body out of 184 different parts. But I find that no more or less impossible to believe, than that there are almost 200 brains of psychopaths in square jars that are controlling the country.

        To me, the entire world is a loose one where anything goes, and has been since the second half of the first season. The first season was a crime drama, this season is a suspense action thriller. It’s a wild train ride that I want to ride to the end of the line.

        • BlackBriar says:

          To me, the entire world is a loose one where anything goes, and has been since the second half of the first season. The first season was a crime drama, this season is a suspense action thriller. It’s a wild train ride that I want to ride to the end of the line.

          We are in agreement and the feelings are mutual. I really like these kinds of series so it’s kind of hard for me to be discouraged by anything they throw in the story. Even if some of the ideas are outlandish, it makes me curious as to where it’s intended to go.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, this episode was particularly bad for me, but I’m feeling better about episode 10. Glad you liked it though!

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