View Single Post
Old 2013-02-28, 21:52   Link #41
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 37
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Very enjoyable and extremely interesting episode. It's good to see the animation quality take a big step up from where it was last episode.

While Ko's chase after Makishima, and the police force's chase after both Ko and Makishima, were probably the most intense and developed parts of the episode, what I enjoyed the most about this episode is learning more about the world of Psycho-Pass.

Finally, a clearer picture of what the world of Psycho-Pass is like as a whole is beginning to emerge.

Some key facts, and what they likely mean:

1. Japan has essentially cut off contact with the outside world.

2. We now know the following about "foreign nations" in Psycho-Pass:

a) At least some enjoy internet access.

b) At least some are in a position to export food to Japan. This logically means that at least some of these nations are at least doing Ok, and are still organized enough to handle things like mass trade and/or foreign aid. In other words, the world outside of Psycho-Pass' Japan is not some entirely anarchy-ridden badlands straight out of Mad Max.

c) That being said, the likelihood of refugees flooding into Japan if Japan accepts food imports also came up. Clearly some nations outside of Japan (and presumably close to it) are either war-torn or poverty-stricken or both. So some nations perhaps have declined in the world of Psycho-Pass. Perhaps there was even something akin to a third World War for all we know.

The Japan of Psycho-Pass has clearly isolated itself from the rest of the world.

I think I'm getting a clearer picture of the social commentary that Gen might be aiming for with the Sybil system in Psycho-Pass.

Consider how both Kougami and Makishima love quoting literature. Literature and famous philosophical and political minds. In this episode, Max Weber was brought up. It's interesting how none of these philosophers and political theorists are Japanese. There's a real contrast between Ko/Makishima here, and the much more inward-looking Sybil collective.

I wonder if this might be Gen's way of arguing that modern Japan is itself too inward-looking. That some of the ideas of great thinkers from around the globe does not inform Japanese society as much as it perhaps should. That Japan has become too isolated from the rest of the world, and runs the risk of becoming like the Japan of Psycho-Pass, were its degree of isolation does indeed appear to be comparable to current North Korea.

I have a lot of ideas like these swirling around in my head right now, but I'll leave it at this for the moment.

As for the actions of Kougami... I think that Tomomi explained this well in his discussion with Gino. At this point, it's a matter of commitment and pride to Kougami. Kougami has devoted so much time to getting revenge on the killer of his friend and colleague, that his life itself would feel like "a sham" to him if he stopped now. As Tomomi himself makes clear, this isn't the wisest course for Kougami, but it's an understandable one.

You have to remember that, in his own way, Kougami is not a character that sees much hope in the future. He is aware of what it means to be a latent criminal in the world of Psycho-Pass, and so he probably feels like there's not much for him to live for anymore (consider how calm Kougami was when faced with the prospect of being killed by a Dominator last episode). I'm not saying that Kougami is downright suicidal, but I also think he's a man without any particular hopes and dreams, due to how bleak he views his life as being within the context of the Sybil system. For Kougami, getting revenge on Makishima is the one thing really worth striving for. Everything pales in comparison to that.

I hope that Akane can bring a greater sense of hope and purpose back to Kougami... but then she might end up having to bring him death instead.

Speaking of Akane, I really love how her character has developed in this show. I loved the brief discussion between her and Shion.

Akane clearly isn't a coldhearted person, but nor does her hue get cloudy or her Psycho-Pass rise much.

I was glad to see Akane really question what these Psycho-Pass readings even mean exactly.

What I'm starting to lean towards is that a good Psycho-Pass reading reflects a certain moral confidence and sense of consistency in your actions, thoughts, and words. In other words, Akane has a very firm inner sense of right and wrong, and she consistently lives by that. Hence she never feels guilty. She never wavers much.

In some ways, Akane and Makishima are like opposite sides of the same coin. She's "Lawful Good" while he's "Chaotic Neutral". But both basically believe in what they're doing. There's an internal consistency to their actions, thoughts, and words. Neither wavers much, if at all, from that. Perhaps that's what a Psycho-Pass reading is all about - Firmness of character, no sense of shame, no sense of having compromised one's self or one's ideals, no crippling doubts or second thoughts.

Well, sorry for all that rambling, but I really enjoyed this episode and wanted to write at length about it. I eagerly look forward to Episode 20.
Triple_R is offline