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Old 2013-02-07, 23:03   Link #57
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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This episode and the two before it have made for an excellent thrill ride, and this part was definitely the most exciting part of that thrill ride.

Also, this ending to the arc isn't exactly predictable, imo.

What I find with Gen is that he's great with setting up endings that seem unpredictable going into them (I felt the same way about Madoka Magica prior to its final two episodes), but the finale unfolds in such a plausible and profoundly in-character way that you seriously wonder if any other ending was really even possible. In other words, Gen's finales are almost too good, too tight. They're not truly predictable, but they do feel a bit anti-climatic.

Going into Episode 16 of Pyscho-Pass, I honestly thought either of the following was possible:

1) Makishima succeeds. Sibyl comes crashing down. The rest of Psycho-Pass is about our (surviving) protagonists picking up the pieces and trying to find a new order that can take the place of Sibyl.

2) Makishima fails. Sibyl survives. Kougami and Akane achieve their victory over their hated foe. The rest of Psycho-Pass is about our protagonists truly confronting Sibyl. Makishima is a "mid-boss", antagonist-wise, albeit an excellent one.

But after watching Episode 16, it's hard to imagine a finale fitting as well as this one did. It's an interesting strength/weakness that Gen has here.

It's enough so that I can't give it 10/10. It does leave me feeling oddly unsatisfied once the ED plays, even as I realize the great technical merit and entertainment value in what I just watched. I can find no real, concrete flaw in the episode itself. And the overall package was superb - Great action scenes, great showdown between Makishima and Kougami, sharp dialogue and strong BGM. Akane proving her worth with a dramatic (but totally believable!) last second rescue.

The Director being a cyborg (or purely artificial?) was a bit surprising, I suppose. I am interested in seeing where that leads.

In the back of my mind, I had a thought about the Sibyl system that I felt was too outlandish to speak of. But now, I'm not so sure. My thought was that the logical extreme of Sibyl is... The Borg. Of Star Trek fame. That Sibyl is slowly but surely turning people into totally obedient and completely docile borg drones. The collective is everything, the individual is unimportant. But as strong as my misgivings over Sibyl were, I felt that take was a bit extreme, so I kept it private. Until now.

Now the hidden darkness of the Sibyl system appears very dark indeed, with the Director herself being at least part machine. Sibyl leading humanity into a borg-like state now seems like a bit more than a vague and disturbing familiarity. If not the borg, perhaps we're dealing with something like Terminator's Skynet. Just instead of killing all of humanity, they decide its more effective to just turn humans into sheep.

I also liked Kagari in this episode. I think his take on the wider situation does a good job of reflecting where a lot of viewers were at - Yeah, Sibyl is horrible, but the guys causing these riots are a bit monstrous in their own way.

9/10 is my rating for this episode.
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