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Old 2013-03-23, 14:24   Link #21
Kazu-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Spoiler for BOTH SERIES ENDINGS:
Spoiler for SSY:

Needless to say, I don't buy into SSY's cheap words of hope at the end, so for me both this and Psyco-path's ending are pretty much the same.
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Old 2013-03-23, 14:39   Link #22
Kirarakim
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That's your interpretation of the ending, but

Spoiler for SSY:


Anyways I am not really saying either SSY or Psychopass have a more hopeful look towards humanity as a whole (if anything the SSY society might be even more bleak and tragic) but the development of the main characters in SSY at least fills me with more hope & I enjoyed Saki and Satoru's development more than Akane and co.


Edit And another thing I also thought squealer's ending was much more satisfying than Makishima in terms of storytelling & character development
Spoiler for SSY:


Although the direction of Makishima's ending was superb it left me a little flat. I thought Makishima was a great character and deserved something more...
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Old 2013-03-23, 16:06   Link #23
Kazu-kun
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I stand by my word. I don't see anything in SSY's ending that convinces me this 'hope' they speak of is real and not just meaningless sugar-coating.

To each their own, I suppose.
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Old 2013-03-23, 18:44   Link #24
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First, the facts: I enjoyed Shin Sekai Yori a lot more than Psycho Pass. I thought the Shin Sekai Yori ending made its point brilliantly, whereas I didn't really get the point behind the Psycho Pass ending. Note that I'm talking about my intuition, here, and that a "point" isn't necessarily something that I can define. I felt the SSY ending was very satisfying and redeemed some of the show's flaws. PP... I wasn't dissatisfied, I wans't satisfied; the show just ended.

I don't think there's that much difference in terms of hope. I disagree about Akane:

Spoiler:


I find Akane and Saki pretty much on par, with Saki better positioned to actually work change, but one person can only do so much.

My biggest problem with PP was ultimately the basic concept. SSY has set up a situation that's very hard to resolve even ethically. The social controls in place feel necessary. With PP, we have a system without any perceived need. What would happen if you went back to a human-run system? I thought PP failed to justify the system.

Why do we have Sybil? What's the point? I wasn't fond of the Sybil reveal:

Spoiler:


Finally, I think SSY did a much better job at displaying a crisis:

Spoiler for crisis comparison:

Last edited by Dawnstorm; 2013-03-23 at 18:46. Reason: Messed up a spoiler tag on [i]both[/i] ends.
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Old 2013-03-23, 19:35   Link #25
Kirarakim
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Looking back I agree there were other weak aspects of Psycho Pass (and I said before it had weak world building).

I think Psycho Pass peaked at the Kagari episode. That was the strongest episode of the series for me.


Although there were scenes after that I highly enjoyed: the discussion between Makishima & the sybil system and the imaginary discussion between Makishima and Kougami. This is when the series said some of the most interesting things, it just never followed through with them in my opinion.


And my issue with Akane is
Spoiler:


I'll admit that Kanon is right that Akane and Saki's situations are different but I still feel unlike Akane I can see Saki's growth over the course of the series
Spoiler:
whereas Akane just got tougher.
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Old 2013-03-23, 20:55   Link #26
TinyRedLeaf
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Ultimately, both series disappointed me, for almost exactly opposite reasons.

As observed, the world of Shin Sekai Yori was far more plausible. It presented ethical dilemmas that were veritable Gordian knots. Reprehensible though the society of Shin Sekai Yori was, as a viewer, I could clearly see why such rules were created and why they were necessary.

The problem however, was that the story's narrative went all over the place and character development was weak in the middle parts of the series. I found it hard to be emotionally invested in most of the characters, because I just couldn't feel the intensity of the relationships they were supposed to share with each other. I can't quite put a finger on it, except to say that a number of them, like Saki's relationships with Maria, didn't feel "real", didn't feel plausible. Yet it was these very relationships that were key to understanding how the events of the finale unravelled.

Count me among those who feel that the ending of SSY is a cheap contrivance. What hope am I supposed to believe in? One epilogue's worth of a happy ending with Satoru and Saki? It just feels, for lack of a better word, empty. They never felt like a natural couple throughout the series, and their union felt to me like a marriage between survivors making do with what they had left, rather than a marriage between people who complemented each other. Maybe that is the author's intention. Even so, it leaves a bitter taste, rather than engendering feelings of hope.

Psycho-Pass fell apart for me the moment it was revealed to be a world controlled by a room full of brains in jars. Like Dawnstorm, I felt that the premise doomed the entire story. Unlike in SSY, where one could see that people had not much choice but to live with their rules, in Psycho-Pass, the system was so vile that it was no longer ethically challenging to reject it completely.

On the other hand, Psycho-Pass benefited from a smaller cast and a tighter focus on character development, at least for its main characters. The narrative was also much easier to follow, unlike in SSY. Psycho-Pass relied on individual cases in the first-half to demonstrate the flaws and strengths of the Sibyl System. The second-half brought all of those ideas into fruition with what I felt to be a gripping and satisfying pursuit story. I wish more time was available to develop the back stories of the supporting characters. Still, with the exception of Kagari, most of them had just enough background for me to empathise with them.

Regarding Akane, I felt the last episode nailed her character extremely well, and allowed me to understand her dilemma. Akane believed wholeheartedly in the laws that upheld her society, because she saw them as the gestalt of her countrymen's feelings, past and present. Rightly or wrongly, she felt duty-bound to protect the laws that encapsulated her people's wish for a peaceful and harmonious society.

She understood the perversion of the Sibyl System, and she could clearly see that it represented not justice, but tyranny. At the same time, she understood that this was the system her predecessors created, and their wishes and hopes are contained in the very laws that she now knows are compromised.

Hence her refusal to confront the Sibyl System. It was not so much because she felt helpless, but because she believed that, even if she wished to replace the system, she had to do it through legal procedures and not vigilante action. Otherwise, any victory she achieved would be meaningless. True, it would be an act of righteous revenge, but it would not be an act of justice, and justice is what she would stake her life to protect.

Akane's viewpoint allows me, in the end, to understand how she is able maintain a clear Psycho-Pass in spite of all that she has seen and been through. Her deep-rooted faith in the laws that make her society is the source of her unique psychological strength.

So, between Saki or Akane, I would choose Akane hands down. The ending of Psycho-Pass felt more satisfying than SSY's as a result. Unfortunately, built as it was on an implausible premise, Psycho-Pass doesn't quite pass as a morality tale. It could have been so much more, but it wasn't.
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:30   Link #27
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Even so, it leaves a bitter taste, rather than engendering feelings of hope.
I was talking about Saki and Satoru clearly working towards change and believing in that change. This was shown, not just spoken.



Quote:
Regarding Akane, I felt the last episode nailed her character extremely well, and allowed me to understand her dilemma. Akane believed wholeheartedly in the laws that upheld her society, because she saw them as the gestalt of her countrymen's feelings, past and present. Rightly or wrongly, she felt duty-bound to protect the laws that encapsulated her people's wish for a peaceful and harmonious society.
Yes that is what Akane said and they were mighty pretty words but here is a question what law would that be?

Sybil system is the law that currently upholds her society. Sybil society is what creates a "peaceful" society. Is the sybil system going to take down the sybil system? Is there some other law out there that Akane believes in? There is no such thing as universal system of law and laws themselves can be corrupt.
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:31   Link #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Ultimately, both series disappointed me, for almost exactly opposite reasons.

As observed, the world of Shin Sekai Yori was far more plausible. It presented ethical dilemmas that were veritable Gordian knots. Reprehensible though the society of Shin Sekai Yori was, as a viewer, I could clearly see why such rules were created and why they were necessary.

The problem however, was that the story's narrative went all over the place and character development was weak in the middle parts of the series. I found it hard to be emotionally invested in most of the characters, because I just couldn't feel the intensity of the relationships they were supposed to share with each other. I can't quite put a finger on it, except to say that a number of them, like Saki's relationships with Maria, didn't feel "real", didn't feel plausible.
The way sex and romance works in SSY is something I never quite managed to wrap my head around.

Saki and Maria's relationship occupies this strange area between "friends with benefits" and "full-fledged romance". The two clearly had very strong feelings for one another (Maria particularly had strong feelings for Saki) which I think has more depth than "friends with benefits" yet they both seemed pretty accepting of the idea that they'd move on to different male lovers (eventual marriage partners) in adulthood.

Part of me thinks the human heart would rebel against this strange relationship situation, one way or the other.

But another part of me thinks that social norms and values are powerful things. Saki and Maria have every reason to think that their relationship is "normal", so why not go along with it?


Quote:

Count me among those who feel that the ending of SSY is a cheap contrivance. What hope am I supposed to believe in? One epilogue's worth of a happy ending with Satoru and Saki? It just feels, for lack of a better word, empty. They never felt like a natural couple throughout the series, and their union felt to me like a marriage between survivors making do with what they had left, rather than a marriage between people who complemented each other. Maybe that is the author's intention. Even so, it leaves a bitter taste, rather than engendering feelings of hope.
I wasn't a Satoru/Saki shipper, but I've nonetheless come to think that the two compliment each other in practical ways. Satoru is ultimately the firmer and more practical of the two, and I think Saki needs that in a life partner. However, there are instances in SSY where I think Saki introduces some moral clarity and deeper consideration into Satoru's world, and reminds him that pure pragmatism/justice needs to be tempered by certain emotional and moral truths. Saki takes the rougher edges off of Satoru, while he gives her added strength. In political terms, Satoru is somewhat conservative and Saki is somewhat liberal, and the two compliment their differences. Rather than antagonizing each other, they give each other a bigger picture to see.

It's true that Satoru/Saki and Saki/Maria both lacked the sheer passion that Saki/Shun had. So Saki/Shun did come across as bit more "real" to me, as though this was a romance that could have worked any place, any time, any era. But a romance rooted primarily in practicality can also work, and perhaps is the best kind of romance for a life-long marriage.

I will admit though that there is some mood whiplash in watching Saki transition from one "romantic friend" to the next to the next.


Quote:
Psycho-Pass fell apart for me the moment it was revealed to be a world controlled by a room full of brains in jars. Like Dawnstorm, I felt that the premise doomed the entire story. Unlike in SSY, where one could see that people had not much choice but to live with their rules, in Psycho-Pass, the system was so vile that it was no longer ethically challenging to reject it completely.
I'd probably agree with this except there appears to be precious few people who know the truth about Sybil. There kind of has to be some architect somewhere, still occupying his body, that knows the truth about Sibyl since he's the one that designed the actual infrastructure of Sibyl to begin with. I mean, those "jars" that can sustain brains and those mechanical lifts dragging brains all over the place, had to have been made by someone. And unless Sibyl is even more reckless than I sometimes think they are, I would think that there's at least someone monitoring/maintaining this brain factory from the outside.

Outside of this theoretical architect though, the only people who know the whole truth about Sibyl are either Akane or dead.


Quote:
On the other hand, Psycho-Pass benefited from a smaller cast and a tighter focus on character development, at least for its main characters. The narrative was also much easier to follow, unlike in SSY. Psycho-Pass relied on individual cases in the first-half to demonstrate the flaws and strengths of the Sibyl System. The second-half brought all of those ideas into fruition with what I felt to be a gripping and satisfying pursuit story. I wish more time was available to develop the back stories of the supporting characters. Still, with the exception of Kagari, most of them had just enough background for me to empathise with them.
I agree with all of this.


Your defense of Akane is interesting. I myself disliked how the final episode of Psycho-Pass portrayed her, but I do think you've made the best defense of her that I've seen yet. It's giving me a lot to think about and reconsider. Not bad.
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:55   Link #29
Kirarakim
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But a romance rooted primarily in practicality can also work, and perhaps is the best kind of romance for a life-long marriage.
Saki and Satoru were also best friends and they have been through and shared a lot together. Perhaps it doesn't have the passion of Saki & Shun but I do believe there is real love there.

Anyways I think I am being too hard on Psycho Pass. I don't hate the series. It definitely kept me entertained for 22 weeks and there was a lot to like. But sometimes a disappointing ending really can damper your enthusiasm.
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Old 2013-03-23, 22:24   Link #30
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Yes that is what Akane said and they were mighty pretty words but here is a question what law would that be?

Sybil system is the law that currently upholds her society. Sybil society is what creates a "peaceful" society. Is the sybil system going to take down the sybil system? Is there some other law out there that Akane believes in? There is no such thing as universal system of law and laws themselves can be corrupt.
The ambiguity of the outcome you highlighted above is what makes the conclusion of Psycho-Pass brilliant for me, because it reflects our very own messy reality. Akane chooses to embrace her country's laws even though she knows they are imperfect, because she sees in them the gestalt of her people's wishes. She doesn't know the answer to her dilemma any more than we, in reality, know the answer to many of our socio-political dilemmas.

So, her dilemma is not only realistic within her context, but it also feels emotionally true to me, because that is precisely the way I too see our reality: an endless compromise between dos and don'ts. The challenge is to identify the principles one believes in, and to be very clear about the price one would pay to defend those principles. Akane represents all of that as a character and I strongly identify with her ethical conflicts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But another part of me thinks that social norms and values are powerful things. Saki and Maria have every reason to think that their relationship is "normal", so why not go along with it?
Going along with it is not a problem, especially since the relationships were presented as brute narrative facts that I cannot deny. Doing so would mean denying the entire story altogether.

What I take issue with is the need for me to rationalise their relationships, while at the same time nursing the feeling that they have no emotional truth. It's like having to accept what a friend tells me about how she feels, while sensing at the same time that she actually feels otherwise. It rings false.

If it were so easy to go along with cold rationalisation, how is it that we would be repulsed by the Sibyl System? In reality, most people are indeed sheep. We exhibit unthinking group behaviour more often than we would like to admit. That being the case, what's wrong with controlling sheep with a perfectly rational system that weighs an individual's worth through a set of cold, hard numbers?

We reject it because, emotionally, it feels intensely wrong. People are not reducible to numbers. People have free will and, however flawed they may be, they should be given the chance to exercise their freedom as long as they don't harm other people. Yet, even as we reject a system like Sibyl, Akane struggles to accept that it's the very will of her people that created Sibyl and allows it to exist. And the irony of it all is that I accept the way she exercises her will — just as Sibyl does.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I'd probably agree with this except there appears to be precious few people who know the truth about Sybil. There kind of has to be some architect somewhere, still occupying his body, that knows the truth about Sibyl since he's the one that designed the actual infrastructure of Sibyl to begin with. I mean, those "jars" that can sustain brains and those mechanical lifts dragging brains all over the place, had to have been made by someone. And unless Sibyl is even more reckless than I sometimes think they are, I would think that there's at least someone monitoring/maintaining this brain factory from the outside.
I don't think it's necessary to identify the architects of Sibyl. Conceptually, it's enough to realise that the creators of Sibyl are the people of Akane's world. Sibyl, a gestalt of machine and human intelligence, was born from the gestalt of her countrymen's will. That is already sufficient to give Akane ethical nightmares for the rest of her life.

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Old 2013-03-23, 23:15   Link #31
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The Ends are settled

Well, that settles that. In the end, Psycho-Pass is a poorly written show with boring characters while Shinsekai Yori is a (relatively ) well written show with interesting characters.

While the two share an awful lot of similarities, Shinsekai Yori does far more with its premise and ends up being superior in just about every single way.
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Old 2013-03-23, 23:54   Link #32
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What I find really amusing about these comparisons of their ending is that they essentially were the same ending in both shows. The society in both PP and SSY did not get toppled. Both Akane and Saki chose to operate within the system instead of staging a revolt. The bad guy in both series dies, albeit for understand philosophical reasons.

So why the massive difference in assessment between the two endings? I find it incredibly befuddling to say the least .

Anyhow, I don't know which is the better series or not. I think they both played around with very interesting concepts and settings. They both ended in fairly logical manners with no bullshit pulled off. Psycho-Pass is an overall much more consistent show, but SSY had more episodes that simply blew me away at times. SSY episodes seemed quite brisk all throughout, but so did Psycho Pass which really felt like popcorn entertainment at times.

Both really great series, and I don't see any good in trying to put one on a pedestal over the other. I think they're both worth watching and this sort of competition between the two is a rather silly one IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Psycho-Pass fell apart for me the moment it was revealed to be a world controlled by a room full of brains in jars. Like Dawnstorm, I felt that the premise doomed the entire story. Unlike in SSY, where one could see that people had not much choice but to live with their rules, in Psycho-Pass, the system was so vile that it was no longer ethically challenging to reject it completely.
This is the one reason why I don't consider the series more outstanding. However, I've been trying to reconcile with this in many ways. For one thing, the people in Sibyl are noted to be criminal asymptomatic, but only few were said to be as vile as Makishima. Another consideration is that while the people who are ruling Sibyl appear treacherous, their decision making has clearly created a more "peaceful" society. I personally would have preferred a system in which the brains were not just all a bunch of sociopathic individuals, but the result is still the same. The concept of free will in the story being more important than cold hard justice is still there. Overall the main themes are still held in tact, so I don't really agree with the idea that this was a ground breaker for Psycho-Pass.
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Old 2013-03-24, 01:27   Link #33
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What I find really amusing about these comparisons of their ending is that they essentially were the same ending in both shows. The society in both PP and SSY did not get toppled. Both Akane and Saki chose to operate within the system instead of staging a revolt. The bad guy in both series dies, albeit for understand philosophical reasons.
I think that the endings of the two shows are nothing alike.

Spoiler for Shinsekai Yori:
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Old 2013-03-24, 01:38   Link #34
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The ambiguity of the outcome you highlighted above is what makes the conclusion of Psycho-Pass brilliant for me, because it reflects our very own messy reality. Akane chooses to embrace her country's laws even though she knows they are imperfect, because she sees in them the gestalt of her people's wishes.
I don't know how you, or anybody else, can reasonably claim that. How can Sibyl be said to be "the gestalt of the Japanese people's wishes" when the Japanese people clearly believe that Sibyl is something very different from what it actually is? The Japanese people believe that Sybil is a machine - a truly objective AI - and not what it actually is, which is an assortment of hundreds of brains, many of which being some of the worst criminals imaginable.

This difference is hardly some trifling detail. If it was, Sibyl would not seek to hide it from the public, and Akane's response to learning the truth would not have shown her being shaken so profoundly.


To be sure, it's true that the Japanese people chose to trade quite a bit of freedom for some added peace and security and "harmony". Yes, that reflects the sociopolitical and philosophical preferences of the Japanese people, and that is indeed something that Akane has to grapple with. Any short-term change should respect that preference as much as possible, and any larger long-term change would need to be supported by successfully changing the minds of the Japanese people.

But Sibyl's flaws are of a significantly higher magnitude due to what Sybil actually is.


Quote:
She doesn't know the answer to her dilemma any more than we, in reality, know the answer to many of our socio-political dilemmas.
Ultimately, you either accept a corrupt system or you don't. I don't see the point in ineffectually raging at it if you don't take any concrete steps to combat it.


Quote:
So, her dilemma is not only realistic within her context, but it also feels emotionally true to me, because that is precisely the way I too see our reality: an endless compromise between dos and don'ts. The challenge is to identify the principles one believes in, and to be very clear about the price one would pay to defend those principles. Akane represents all of that as a character and I strongly identify with her ethical conflicts.
Sure, the ethical conflict itself is compelling. But I can't say that I find how Akane deals with that conflict to be terribly inspiring.

Saki is at least willing to take some real risks for what she believes is right. To me, that's much more praiseworthy than someone who refuses to take risks for what s/he believes is right.
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Old 2013-03-24, 01:54   Link #35
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I think that the endings of the two shows are nothing alike.

Spoiler for Shinsekai Yori:

Yes, except Saki had one advantage. A giant time skip. We are also not notified of any actual change that happened.

And yes, Squealer is the bad guy. He killed tons of innocent people. As far as our human cantus users are concerned, he's evil. Even if it they are oppressed.

The main difference between the two shows is that PP's ending screamed sequel whereas SSY clearly concluded whatever it wanted to tell about Saki.
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Old 2013-03-24, 03:21   Link #36
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I sort of wonder what people Akane should have done. As I see the ending, the system kept her close so it could research her, and Akane had to let this happen because otherwise she'd get side-lined with no influence at all. I mean, they made a point of Akane being able to choose her career. Could she still change track? I'd think so. But she didn't even think of it. Ever wonder why? I think it's because if she wants any chance at all, as an officer she's best situated to spot her chance.

***

My problem with the PP Sybil System is this:

Spoiler:


Compare this to SSY which starts with the idea of humans acquiring "god-like powers". That theme is thought through in immense detail, and - to me at least - it all makes sense. It's as if SSY was written by an anthropologist who had fun in his fictional sandbox, while PP is written by a philosopher who doesn't know how to set up a clear thought experiment.

I do think, though, that PP is slightly better at character development than SSY.
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Old 2013-03-24, 03:48   Link #37
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
My problem with the PP Sybil System is this:

Spoiler:

Spoiler:
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Old 2013-03-24, 07:08   Link #38
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Akane chooses to embrace her country's laws even though she knows they are imperfect, because she sees in them the gestalt of her people's wishes. She doesn't know the answer to her dilemma any more than we, in reality, know the answer to many of our socio-political dilemmas.
Quite honestly it doesn't come off as realistic or brilliant writing but a contradiction. The words sounds nice (and dialog has always been a strength for Gen) but it makes absolutely no sense in the context of the series.

She is not upholding the people's wishes she is upholding the sybil system. The people had nothing to do with these laws.

Anyways you can't have it both ways. You either agree with the law or you don't. If she wants to uphold a corrupt law because she believes it is for the people's wishes for peace and order, then fine. But then when the series say one day the sybil system will be overturned it doesn't ring true.

I don't think Akane should of had all the answers but what she said about the law seems just as much of a non-answers as everything else. Again it is like trying to have it both way.

Of course I can't really blame this on Akane as a character. This was more Gen's decision to leave things open in the story.



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Yes, except Saki had one advantage. A giant time skip. We are also not notified of any actual change that happened.
We see Saki and Satoru working towards change. We see them researching Akki and Gouma, we see them contacting the other villagers. we see Saki not fearful of her child, we see her writing a letter 1000 years to the future.





Quote:
The main difference between the two shows is that PP's ending screamed sequel whereas SSY clearly concluded whatever it wanted to tell about Saki.
Psycho Pass's ending doesn't scream sequel to me at all.



Quote:
Both really great series, and I don't see any good in trying to put one on a pedestal over the other. I think they're both worth watching and this sort of competition between the two is a rather silly one IMO.
This I understand but the series were compared pretty much from the beginning so its natural to compare them in the end.

Anyways while I think SSY is the stronger sci-fi series there were worthwhile things about PP.

If anything I think Gen wanted to use Psychopass to present a lot of different concepts and ideas and this he certainly did well but the story ended up feeling underwhelming to me because it fails to say anything concrete in my opinion.
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Old 2013-03-24, 09:25   Link #39
4Tran
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Yes, except Saki had one advantage. A giant time skip.
Psycho-Pass had a time skip too, but it decided to not show the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
And yes, Squealer is the bad guy. He killed tons of innocent people. As far as our human cantus users are concerned, he's evil. Even if it they are oppressed.
Spoiler for Shinsekai Yori:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
The main difference between the two shows is that PP's ending screamed sequel whereas SSY clearly concluded whatever it wanted to tell about Saki.
Spoiler for Psycho-Pass:
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Old 2013-03-24, 12:11   Link #40
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IMO, I do think the essence of the endings in Psycho Pass and SSY are the same. Change did not happen. SSY though, ran with its ending in a way fitting to the essence of the entire series itself. In Psycho Pass however, it just seems like they creators didn't know exactly how to end (though it also strangely fits; just not as much as SSY).

In Shin Sekai Yori, we were never gonna get a happy ending to begin with. No one is correct in a war. Both sides did terrible things to each other. It's just that the realization of that fact itself made the ending very worthwile.

In Psycho Pass however, we were lead to believe that there was a change that was going to happen. I really think the creators ran into a wall towards the end since there probably wasn't going to be a fitting ending of sort if or not Sibyl System was taken down since if the creators show an aftermath, I highly doubt that the creators can make something of believabilty. They just chose the best non-ending they could get and I guess they really got the best one.
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