Posted by psgels on 23 December 2012 with categories: Psycho Pass

Now. This was incredibly intense. This latest installment has really pushed this series to new levels and I really was at the edge of my seat through the entirity of the scene between Akane and Shougo Makishima. And hands off for the creators for actually doing it: killing off the girl. From Urobuchi Gen this was to be expected, but many other writers would have chosen to let her live, which would just not have had the same impact.

Because the end of this episode was just hopeless. Akane really looked completely shocked in this episode. She was slightly different and more competent from the usual rookie you see in these positions, but she still is naive, believing that she can just take care of things herself. This episode was so over her capabilities. The direction of this episode really was amazing in bringing this forth.

I just wonder… what idiot thought that the Sybil System would be a good idea? I mean, what it basically does is sniff out psychopaths. The junks and the mentally instable people whose desires go out of control. There is another group of killers out there though: the ones who simply don’t care about human lives. These guys aren’t necessarily psychopaths, they just have no value for anything and just kill whenever they find someone annoying. Or in Shougo’s case someone who just rationally manages to kill people.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

32 Responses

  1. Mathias says:

    I’d say that Makishima meets the actual definition of a psychopath which is the exact reason why the Sibyl System cannot recognize his actions as criminal.

  2. DmonHiro says:

    Nope, Makishima is not a psychopath. Most likely, a psychopath would be detected by the system. He’s probably a sociopath. Still, the Sybil system is VERY stupid. Not only does ot fail to identify those that actually matter, but it also discourages people from thinking for themselves, and actually makes studying psychology detrimental for the one studying. It’s useless. Crimes don’t decrease thanks to it, but they increase in brutality because of the pent up stress.

    • HunterWulf says:

      I think it does reduce crime rates, because the average criminal is nothing like the sly devil Shogo is, all the criminals that got caught/eliminated had very high crime coefficients (not to mention where encouraged by Shogo to pursue their twisted depraved criminal desires).

      The real problem with Sybil as Shogo pointed out is that human-will can’t be accounted for nor measured by a machine, how do you quantify will-power or scan it, the other side to Sybil’s problems as he also demonstrated is that it turns the society into vegetable-like humans so overly dependent on it for decisions they can’t make judgment on their own anymore and eventually lose the ability to move or act due to lack of natural stimulants.

      So yeah the Sybil system does have serious flaws but that doesn’t make it 100% useless or stupid.

  3. Litho says:

    Typical Urobutcher. I bet he gets off watching snuff films.

    • HunterWulf says:

      If you seriously think this episode was just meant as torture/violence porn then you clearly don’t get it at all .. just becasue a writer kills off some of the characters in gruesome ways doesn’t mean he is doing it just for the heck of it.

      If you think Uro’s works are equivalent to snuff films wait till you watch/read Mohiro Kitoh’s Shadow Star (a.k.a Naru Taru).

      • Litho says:

        … or Bokurano?

        Personally, I don’t think Psy-Pas has been all that great. In relative terms, say to the sci-fi we’ve seen recently in anime, yeah, maybe. It’s no GITS though. Like all Urobutcher works, it’s got a lot of swiss-cheese sized holes in the plot and he just tries to make up for it with shock value, misdirecting the audience. Clever way of writing? Maybe. Inspiring? hardly.

        • HunterWulf says:

          Bokurano at least had good story with some twists and interesting premise which deconstructs the super-robots genre (while i admit it was being severely cruel with the children characters sometimes to a disturbing degree) overall it was a guilty pleasure … Naru Taru) is just sickening Pokemon-esque torture porn.

          Speaking of PP, what plot-holes are there exactly, the writing so far is excellent and has very interesting social commentary .. the violent scenes are scarce and only there when they are really needed.

  4. Commenter says:

    As Makishima himself says: what’s the criteria for being a criminal?
    Clearly the system has issues all over the place. Makishima doesn’t register because he is an ideological killer. He doesn’t do it out of madness, desire, or plain psychopathy. He does it because he wants to show to everyone how the system is broken. Though of course it can also just be that the system uses a criteria that simply doesn’t cover all of it.

    By the way, I’m going to make a prediction here that Akane herself also doesn’t register regardless of her actions. It would certainly match the impression the OP leaves on me.

  5. HunterWulf says:

    Hmmm, where should i start, let’s start by saying THIS IS ONE HELL OF AN INTENSE EPISODE .. phew .. now that this is out of the way let’s focus on the “why”.

    The first part focused on our Criminal Investigation Division team busting into the sewers network to look for Kogami, mean while the intense battle between Kogami and Senguji was quite a treat as Kogami despite being shot few times manages to outsmart Senguji and blow his cybernetic body to bits.

    That’s when things start getting really grim, Kogami is bleeding and almost dead while Tsunamori rushes after her friend and Shogo without waiting for backup, now from this point there are two scenes i’ll really focus on .. the confrontation between Shogo and Tsunamori and the scene between Kogami and Tsunamori afterwards.

    I can’t just express how intense and powerful the scene between Shogo and Tsunamori is, it really had me at the edge of my seat unable to guess at all how it will play out, when Shogo threw his shotgun to Tsunamori i was like “WTH are you doing !!?”, but slowly i figured out the what a sly devil this guy is, he read Tsunamori like an open book in few moments (thanks to his teacher), he knew she won’t be able to overcome the conditioning she lived through all her life, that Sybil’s judgment is always right, that it knows better .. but it goes deeper than that, the negative effects of Sybil taking all choices out of people’s hands made them unable to act when faced with a death or life situation where they have to make a choice themselves .. specially a choice that involves judging another person and killing them based on ones own judgment (not Sybil’s) .. as demonstrated by Tsunamori .. sure she picked the shotgun and fired .. but she fired half-heartedly, without aiming and while still clinging to the Sybil Dominator gun (which in a very ironic and heart-wrenching way kept repeating over and over that Shogo isn’t a threat despite him holding a knife over the neck of Tsunamori’s friend Yuki), the disbelief and shock in Tsunamori’s eyes as Shogo’s Crime Coefficient kept dropping gradually to zero was just so genuine and masterfully done .. the genius of it is that it was sort of countdown to the climax of the scene and also worked to showcase how Shogo just looks down upon, rejects and contradicts all the rules established by Sybil and all those who follow it .. he just spits on all them.

    Also the moment Shogo runs his knife over the neck of Yuki was also done very well and didn’t involve huge amounts of blood spraying all over the screen gratuitously, unlike many other death scenes in the series before which were grotesque and shocking due to graphic in-your-face violence this scene was intentionally cut (we see the knife running over Yuki’s neck, and then we cut to her dead body hanging from the handcuffs silently while her blood drips from the floor) it’s subdued in a very smart way to maximize the fact that it’s shock value doesn’t come from the blood or gore involved, but rather from the implications of what just happened and its impact on both Tsunamori and the viewer(i kept thinking to the last second that Shogo is bluffing and won’t really do it).

    Shogo mentally crushed Tsunamori in that scene, he destroyed everything she took for granted in her world, made a strong practical statement about the flaws of Sybil that she couldn’t do anything to counter and took the life of one of her friends in the process (masterfully foreshadowed by the death of one of her schoolmates that she got involved in the investigation few episodes ago), in short Tsunamori recklessly danced with the devil and got burned severely.

    The other scene i want to highlight is during the aftermath of the episode, that scene where Kogami despite being severely injured and almost half-dead moves his bed right next to the shocked Tsunamori and then taps her shoulder with the back of his hand, in a way he is telling her “Snap out of it”, but also it could be seen as a “I’m here for you” or “I understand your pain/loss, tell me what happened” .. sure the “Snap out of it” seems the most obvious and straightforward .. but IMO the beauty of the scene is that it can be seen in many ways despite its simplicity, the following scenes aren’t any less amazing, the way the ED starts playing and overlaps with the sound of police/ambulance sirens and Shogo walking among the street crowd who are unaware of what he is capable of could make for one fantastic finale of a top quality sci-fi thriller movie.

    Sigh, now time for something a little light-hearted .. is it me or is the scene where Masaoka head-butts injured Kogami is just hilarious, that man really doesn’t kid around .. i mean who would head-butt an injured bleeding man this violently (i mean Kogami seemed to be in so much pain from the head-butt).. Masaoka really took the spotlight twice in this story arc, once when he attacked Ginoza and lifted him in the air with one arm before their raid started when Ginoza was verbally attacking Tsunamori and blaming her for everything, and the second time when he headbutted injured Kogami, he sure is one hell of tough old badass XD

    • consterhk says:

      I totally agree. The way that the inspectors (and Tsunamori, as a product of society) has been ingrained that their psychopass needs to be “pure” and have cost them the will to think -and pull the trigger. This only makes Kogami the real hero, as he has sacrificed his psychopass; to dance the line of potentially being shot by his “shepherds”.

      Shogo drawing the knife was the last straw. Will Tsunamori be willing to taint her psychopass now?

    • jzar says:

      Well said, I love your observations about a great show. I only wish I knew why episode 12 is not yet around.

  6. Airies says:

    I TOTALLY AGREE! with the gun system thing anyways. Also have you seen how long it takes for them to charge!? OMG you could be shot in that time easily before the gun finally shoots. I didnt much like the ep though. I knew the chick would day so It didnt really make me go “yikes whats gonna happen!?”

    • HunterWulf says:

      Well you seem to be forgetting that normal guns are clearly illegal and very rare in the world of Psyhco-Pass … the old enforcer “Masaoka” says clearly it has been a very long time since he saw real bullets holes .. so an enforcer with a Dominator has the upper hand against most normal criminals (who won’t have any access to normal guns like Senguji the super rich collector bastard).

  7. jonas says:

    My bet is that the system is rigged. In the first episode Makishima is being protected by heavy armed bodyguards, and living in the Sybil HQ Skyscraper. He is probably the son of the guy who invented the Sybil system.

    • Litho says:

      It’s possible. The first ep’s opening scene was in a penthouse of some sort, which seemed to be the silver-haired dude’s “domain” of some sort.

    • HunterWulf says:

      Good point, the building in which the first scene takes place in is like at the center of the city and is highlighted in ED .. it really seems like it could be where the Sybil super-computer is .. although if that’s true and Shogo rigged the computer to mask his crime coefficient it would remove a lot of the mystery and impact Shogo’s character has .. would make him just some cheap ass cheater XD

      • jonas says:

        Well, if Shogo Makishima turns to be just some cheap ass “hax0r” character, that would be a perfect fit for the themes of the show, mainly:

        “The fairytale seems to have died moments ago”.

        No grand master of evil, just a rich kid abusing a system created to protect him.

        Of course, there is also the possbility that Shogo may just be a chemically imbalanced Psychopath.

      • Rando says:

        I think the building shown in the first episode in the beginning was the top of the police HQ. They zoom in on it then, and they have a similar shot in a later episode that cuts to Akane at her desk.

  8. Entrav says:

    Highlighting that the Sibyl System is rigged. Basically, there’s no way such a system is morally righteous anyways. It’ll be interesting to see how Akane adapts to the situation and whether she’ll become an Enforcer or not.

  9. witchy says:

    This was a great ep for me. I’m studying Psychology, and anime series like this make me…happy. I guess it’s because there is too much debate and reflection going on after episodes like this that makes me love it.

    Can anyone enlighten me, again, how the dominator or the Sibyl system measures crime coefficient? What were they scanning again when they use the dominator? Blood? Endorphin levels? Whatever activation of neurotransmitter??

    I found how at the end of this ep it was snowing…referring to Yukki (or however “snow” in Japanese is spelled). I’m not very knowledgeable about Gen’s works, but I think the writing in this show is good. Maybe there are plot holes here and there, but a very good story is not measured just by how less flaws it has but by usually HOW POWERFUL the emotional experience it gives to the viewers. Psycho-Pass, for me, has been very intense in most of its eps and has made me have that adrenaline rush although I was not a part of the story (nor live in that world). I love where its going. I love how dark it is. I love it because I can handle its darkness too, and few shows can grip me so much. If From the New World has a merciless society, Psycho-Pass has a society that can be merciful yet still suffocating.
    Akane will learn from this; that’s for sure. If Shinya will be a great emotional support, we’ll see. If Akane though can be as resilient as before…we’ll see.

    • HunterWulf says:

      I suppose the Sybil system runs a full-brain-scan taking in all the possible parameters it could acquire and then analyze them based on the physiological and psychological databases it has .. the scan could include brain activity (which parts of the brain where more active than others), blood pressure in the brain, chemicals levels (endorphin, morphine), … etc etc etc

  10. Rachnid says:

    I kinda felt that the sibyl system sniffs out mentally unstable people, but is incapable of detecting psychopaths, which I feel Makishima is.

    • HunterWulf says:

      Shogo Makishima can’t be a psychopath .. IMO mentally unstable people = psychopaths … Shogo is a whole different monster, he has full control over his emotions and he can suppress them very well (that’s why he mentioned will-power), he is also convinced that what he is doing is 100% righteous and that it isn’t evil/bad or a crime .. unlike all the other criminals he isn’t just disillusioned or driven by desire or insecurities, he rationalized his view-point to a degree where not only he has no doubt at all he is 100% righteous but also has a solid cohesive thread of logical reasons supporting his conviction within his mind which also match with reality .. a simplified example of his logic would be –> (Sybil enslaves people making them unable to make choices in any way/Sybil eventually turns people into paralyzed undead patients due to prolonged lack of natural stimuli thus all people who are slaves to Sybil are theoretically dead .. hence Sybil and all those who protect it are EVIL).

      Shogo really reminds me of the main villain in Monster, that guy was also one hell of a psychological monster XD

      • jonas says:

        My other theory is that Makishima may be chemically unbalanced. Notice how his crime coefficient lowers, the closer he get to the actual killing. In the first episode is mentioned that drugs can alter the readings of the Dominator.

      • Puran says:

        Makishima is a psychopath. He is the very definition of a psycho path. It’s not being mentally unstable. They are mentally very stable, they just lack feelings of guilt/remorse/anxiety etc.

        Anyway, my problem with this series, is that Sybil system is so very much flawed and it’s obvious from the first episode. And the series hasn’t tried at ALL to make it have any kinds of pros and as such it feels like a very implausible future. Have the crime-rates fallen? (we don’t know). Are the lives of people gotten generally better? (we don’t know). We have a system that has been shown to have a bad effect on people’s lives on multiple occasions but we’ve never seen it have a positive effect. Which makes the setting feel very shallow for me.

  11. DangerMouse says:

    Your long post back in the middle of the comments about the awesome strengths of this episode was excellent HunterWulf :)

    As you mentioned: Shinya, Akane and Masaoka great as usual.

    I can certainly see the comparison on the Monster thing with Shogo, he seems to be one heck of that kind of a villain so far.

    Man am I loving the hell out of this show.

    Just like with GITS SAC, Production I.G really knows how to nail this kind of scifi so well and I love them for it.

  12. kero says:

    Some edge of the seat stuff with the final scene between Akane and Makashima!

    Brilliant.

  13. Bakura says:

    Regarding the Sybil system, I believe the way it works is by reading the biological signs. Like you would expect a person who is getting angry to experience a rise in blood pressure. Of course, its not just one factor that Sybil uses, but the aggregate of several ones to come to its conclusion about the psychological state of the subject (using some algorithm, historical data or combination of both). Makishima can’t be judged because he’s the guy who doesn’t give off any the telltale signs even when he’s killing.
    Sybil is shown to be so advanced that it can judge the suitability of people for careers based on the bio/psycho data. If we accept that, then naturally it would replace the law enforcer as the “judge” in a violent situation. While the concept is cool, I highly doubt real guns could be cleansed out so easily from the world just because Sybil is there. And secondly… it does take WAAAAY to long to load up the Dominator. Not too effective if the enemy is a master hand to hand combatant.

  14. solar_sailor says:

    this episode completely tore apart the theory of ‘Fight or Flight’ – what did Akane do when faced with threat? neither! A part of me is in anguished disbelief that this sort of impasse “decision” can be made.. how much this reflects human threat-behaviour in reality, I can’t say I know enough but darn. My psychopass just got 4 levels cloudier watching this LOL.
    And I would like to agree with the few who deduced Makishima to be more sociopath than psychopath.. psychopaths *don’t* try to blend in and stay undetected.

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