Posted by psgels on 2 November 2012 with categories: Psycho Pass

This episode was… odd. Very odd. I liked it and all, but it shows this future rendition of online communities that just made no sense. Or rather: things have to move in a very strange direction in the future for it to make any sense.

THe thing with this episode was that it had some nice ideas, but it combined them in a really weird way. Central was a new way for people to interact online with each other: using Virtual Reality that allows them to create their own persona. Logically there are pepole who stand out as celebrities in this setting. And after that it gets weird.

These celebrities have much more elaborate designs than the others. Why would that be? Computing power or something? What also akes them famous is that instead of creating content, like what a lot of today’s famous people on the internet do, they create personalities that people want to be with. Okay. Later on in the episode, a character calls this a “forum”. Okay. And for some reason, even though a computer monitors the entire cities, it cannot keep track of all the proxies it inhabits. Did the privacy laws on the internet survive this well, even though the rest of the setting is so well managed?

The question here: would the internet really evolve in such a way if virtual reality were introduced? I mean, that community definitely wasn’t mormal and all, with tons of shady guys hanging around it (so how on earth did Akane end up there), but this feels like a bizarre way for things to evolve.

What I did like was that there was one thing that this episode did show offline meetings, to show that not everything is virtual. Oh, and this episode was worth it to see Shinya float around as a talking coin. And I admit that I am intrigued as to what on earth the motives of the villain of this arc are.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

18 Responses

  1. Puran says:

    There could be content they are producing. For example Talisman is doing that “show” we saw at the start before the OP. I’m assuming Spooky Boogie did something as well, we just didn’t see it.

    They are equivalent more to youtube celebrities I guess. Those are more personality driven. Talisman did have that “show” we saw before the OP, so he does produce content (answering viewer questions, that happens on youtube a lot). We didn’t see spooky boogie produce anything, but we can assume that she did something.

    About their avatars, they just spent more time to make them? (or a more… real explanation, the creators wanted them to stand out, so their avatar character designs are more elaborate).

    And… What kind of Psycho Pass would a regular user of 4chan have? You are exposed to a lot of weird ideas and stuff on there and the point they made in this episode, is if you manage to understand the logic behind dark things and weird ideas, your Psycho Pass gets clouded.

    It’s a bit far-fetched, but they way they set it up, it more or less makes sense…

  2. Noble says:

    One of the villains was reading 1984 by George Orwell. Rather fitting to include something like that in an anime with dystopian themes.

  3. tear says:

    The coin was Ginoza, not Shinya… -_-

  4. dm00 says:

    As to appearing in forums anonymously, the lab-coat woman talked about that a bit, with her talk of “sketchy proxies”. TOR/Onion-routing taken to a new level.

    These people are creating salons, just as in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Paris. The ability to gather and exchange ideas in quasi-anonymity is probably valuable to a lot of peoples in that hyper-monitored society.

    Having one character read 1984 was a bit heavy-handed, though.

    • HunterWulf says:

      It isn’t really that heavy-handed .. considering they might actually consider Sybil the “Big Brother” and their criminal activity as acts of rebelling against a tyrannical authoritative rule .. heck considering how they weird they act i say the novel might be their inspiration .. or rather the “bible” for their rebellion .. why am i assuming there is a rebellion .. because they seem to be very well organized and aren’t doing it for money or material gain.

      Check what one of them said to the girl with the cat avatar when he accused her of helping the police.

      • Kaiserin Emma says:

        I’d reckon these guys are a rebel group myself hunter, the cat character was mentioned as an anarchist, I feel that could be foreshadowing there. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that these villains would have problems with the government base on that.

  5. Qwerty1 says:

    Isn’t the sybil system supposed to pick up on elevated crime coefficients?

    Hasn’t that been the basis for most of the previous episodes and everything but it didn’t pick up a night club full of latent criminals?

    • Kiavik says:

      Their coefficients most likely raised there on the spot because of the stressful situation of a police raid. Remember what happened to the girl in ep.1 ?

    • AidanAK47 says:

      Also as metioned before the Dominators have a direct link to sybil were as other scanners have to go through channels which might be able to be manipulated or fooled.

  6. Entrav says:

    Awww yeah, I knew I got a 1984 vibe from this.

  7. HunterWulf says:

    I didn’t find anything strange at all about this depiction of online social life in the episode .. the avatars of the famous people aren’t really that much more elaborate that the others .. even then .. maybe you actually have to use cash to buy virtual items or this social community has rankings/prestige and a leveling up system .. and the more you have of that the better items and stuff you have (we saw two online celebrities each with their own “realms” designed after their tastes) .. there is nothing strange about all this .. it’s merely combination of virtual reality + forums + MMOs . that’s all.

    And let’s not forget the “real” side of the issue .. those two celebrities are supposed to be the focus of the episode .. of course their designs are going to be slightly more interesting than the other characters and background crowd (lols .. speaking of that .. didn’t anyone spot Rorschach cosplay in the club sitting on a couch XD)

    Also .. there aren’t “tons” of shady guys or anything .. aside from the handful of criminals the rest are just normal people who might have had a rise in their tension level after being attacked by the police in the club (but non of them was a thereat in anyway .. there was that girl complaining online that her boyfriend was caught even though he did nothing) … but in any online community there are bound to be some shady guys anyway .. it’s inevitable.

    As for the motivation of those crazies (and they are crazy if they kill people and mutilate their bodies into tiny bits then take over their online avatars .. very %^&$#@ creepy and sick ..reminds of some idiots online nowadays who value virtual characters more then real people) .. i think they actually consider Sybil some sort of “Big Brother” and their criminal activity as acts of rebelling against a tyrannical authoritative rule .. they seem to be very well organized and aren’t doing it for money or material gain either.

    It seems this story might turn into the first arc in PP (it could last for a couple of episodes) .. i wonder how Tsunamori will feel when she finds out that her school-mate got brutally killed and butchered becasue she involved her in the investigation and asked for her help (she will surely know instantly that the current cat-girl isn’t her friend).

  8. Kamen Grinder says:

    I guess virtual stuff is just not your thing.

  9. Avalon says:

    This was probably my favorite episode yet. I have no problems with the way they portrayed the virtual stuff. I like how Tsunemori actually seemed to be the most useful this time around.

  10. nin says:

    The portrayal of the online communities remind me of those in the Rainbows End book. There are some very interesting ideas there. I expect that the show will develop these concepts further.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.

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