Psycho-Pass 10 – It’s all one big game


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The ease with which peoples voices can be faked, along with the startlingly inaccurate information and maps that the police have at their disposal once again throws the numerous flaws and dangerous of the Sibyl system into the light. As Kougami and Akane are called out into a trap we see how the criminals are using the flaws that they have seen in the system to their advantage. They use these flaws and choose where they wish to meet, thus demonstrating a clear knowledge of the city that even the most advanced technology cannot replicate. When Kougami seemingly walks through a wall and then disappears at high speed the puzzled and shocked look on Akane’s face shows us how much she trusts the technology at her disposal. It is however hardly surprising that there would be numerous unknown tunnels and alleyways in a city as large as the one in Psycho-Pass. Over time the numerous redevelopments and restructuring must have left a veritable maze of catacombs and mysterious and abandoned areas under the city. What is most surprising though is how little the official data shows of the city, with all of these mysterious areas missing from the official records. When we take these inconsistencies into account it is little wonder that Makishima has been able to avoid the gaze of Sibyl and the Public Safety Bureau. In many respects this area represents the twilight of this city, both metaphorically as well as physically, a place far from the gaze of the all-seeing eyes of sibyl.

The methods that Makishima uses to lure Kougami into the trap act as a game, almost as if Makishima is enjoying the intricate ways with which he can foil the Public Safety Bureaus every move. Furthermore, by providing a method for Kougami to escape we see Makishima testing his resolve and seeing what sort of person Kougami is. The constant presence of Akane’s friend further reinforces this idea as she is effectively dead weight, or at least to would appear to be for certain individuals. But, rather than abandoning her to save his own life Kougami makes the effort to keep her safe and even understands her importance. She is another part of the game, and her mismatched underwear helps Kougami to solve the puzzle that would allow him to call for backup and turn the tables on Senguji. Kougami is an ambiguous character at times, someone who is obsessively focused on Makishima and how he is linked to the original murder case that got him demoted to being an Enforcer. But at the same time he cares for Akane’s safety and doesn’t abandons her friend in order to save himself, regardless of what is Psycho-Pass reading it seems that Kougami is still a detective at heart. This attitude is in stark contrast to the one Ginoza shows as soon as Akane calls for backup and reports the situation. He immediately blames her for letting Kougami get away while also jumping to the conclusion that it must have been Kougami who engineered the whole situation in order to escape.

Ginoza cannot see the Enforcers as anything other than hunting dogs, beings without free will and whose only purpose is to hunt down their prey and destroy anyone that gets in their way. Throughout the series he has constantly talked about the infallible nature of the Sibyl system, suggesting that any connections between crimes is circumstantial and not important. His utter belief in the Sibyl systems ability to police society properly has blinded him and he is now incapable of looking at the evidence and coming to his own conclusion. Ginoza has effectively become another drone, carrying out the will of Sibyl without any thought or even questioning why the situations exist in the first place. He has continuously questioned Akane’s judgment, suggesting that she is somehow being led around by the Enforcers and for all intents and purposes views her as a liability. The way he talks to Akane is that of a superior to a naïve, foolish and above all, stupid subordinate, despite the fact that they both hold the same title of Inspector and are equals according to the system. Akane questions his attitudes and through her increasingly close relationship with the Enforcers demonstrates how weak some of Ginoza’s beliefs are. As Kougami points out, Akane understands what it means to be a detective and has faith in the abilities of the Enforcers when the system itself devalues them. And while Akane doesn’t directly question the system, through her continued interaction with the Enforcers, along with the way they treat each other she is indirectly questioning it and everything that Ginoza believes in.

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Ginoza’s utter belief in the Sybil system is dangerous, it shows us a society that can no longer think for itself and instead relies upon a system to sort things out. The Sibyl system has become all-pervading and controls every element of their lives through the constant Hue checks and of course the aptitude tests that decide your career for you. There appears to be no need for humans in many of societies systems and decision making with so many elements automated to the point where humans almost seem to be pointless. Throughout the series so far we have seen the danger that such a system poses to the health and wellbeing of society, with Enforcers simply pulling the Dominator’s trigger and killing people because their Psycho-Pass levels were too high. At no point do any of these Enforcers question why the levels were high and if they played any part in the situation. Instead they follow the orders that given to them because to ignore them would be to risk their own lives. The Sibyl system is inherently flawed, but no one questions it and the flaws are therefore ignored or maybe aren’t even noticed to begin with. This in turn allows characters like Makishima to exploit the wholes and flaws that they find in the system. In doing so they can operate with impunity and because of the systems flaws, no one even knows of their existence, at least not in the Public Safety Bureau.

Ginoza once again demonstrates the inherent problem in believing wholeheartedly in a inherently flawed and dangerous system when he simply leaves it up to that system to determine Kougami’s guilt. By automatically accusing Kougami of running off, while also berating Akane for effectively falling into Kougami’s trap as he sees it, Ginoza demonstrates how blind he is. His belief that pointing a Dominator at Kougami will show his true intentions, coupled with the comment that the cymatic scan cannot lie or be fooled portrays Ginoza as ignorant and foolish. His attitude that everything is the fault of Akane clearly angers the Enforcers, but the actions of Tomomi come as a welcome surprise. Tomomi and the other Enforcers clearly believe in Akane, and by picking Ginoza up and throwing him to one side we see these characters choosing Akane’s side and believing in the innocence of Kougami. This direct challenge to his authority, coupled with the subsequent message from Kougami shows how out of touch and dangerous Ginoza truly is. By immediately believing in Kougami’s guilt and proclaiming Akane to be an ignorant and naïve fool, Ginoza shows up the flaws in his own arguments and attitudes. Furthermore, Akane’s constant belief in Kougami’s innocence shows how much faith she has in the Enforcers and suggests that the Sibyl system should not be the only way we judge people. She judges them by their attitudes, and actions, whereas Ginoza simply leaves the decision up to technology. Ultimately it appears that having faith in people and trusting in their abilities and attitudes is the correct method, whereas believing that a flawed system is infallible will only ever hinder your progress, especially when it comes to solving crime and protecting people.

This also marks the last time I shall be writing about Psycho-Pass. I was originally a bit skeptical about the series, largely because Urobuchi Gen was involved and from past experience his involvement has meant boring characters and a bad story. I kept watching however because the themes that this series explores are all fascinating and are themes that I have found in other cyberpunk and dystopian series, my problem is that these themes are never really used, they are just put into each episode and left. It has got to the point where I am struggling to find anything to write about because im not interested in the series enough to really start thinking and making connections between scenes, characters and episodes. At this point it seems simpler to just stop writing about the series and find something else next season to blog about rather than continue to force my self to write about a series that im not full enjoying. To do so would likely mean my posts would decline in quality, so better to stop now.

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About illogicalzen
An Illogical anime fan in a very Zen-like way.

2 Responses to Psycho-Pass 10 – It’s all one big game

  1. windyturnip says:

    “Do you want to use a machine, or do you want the machine to use you?”

    – Doohan (Cowboy Bebop)

    I find this to be a particularly relevant quote considering the topic at hand. It doesn’t just apply to the Sibyl system either. I think our society as a whole could take a lesson away from this.

    As for blogging Psycho-Pass this season, I’m in agreement with you. The quality of your posts hasn’t seen a drop, but they have turned into you tearing apart the Sibyl system with no real change in the main idea. I’ve wanted to blog about Psycho-Pass too, but at the same time I can’t come up with a single original idea.

    As you said above, the series brings in a lot of different, but doesn’t really utilize them. They seem like they were tacked onto each episode without much forethought. It’s too bad considering how interesting the show could have been.

    • illogicalzen says:

      In terms of blogging the series I have no really issues with looking at the flaws in the system, my problem is that there has been very little in recent episodes that really got me interested in either the story or characters. The characters are one-dimensional and just seem to play out their roles rather than do anything interesting or unique and so far the story is going nowhere particularly fast. I do love the themes, but once again I can find those exact same themes in say Ghost in the Shell and enjoy my viewing experience far more knowing that they are being used properly to enhance the story. In the case of Psycho-Pass, all the dystopian and cyber-punk themes are just being tacked onto each episode and left to see what might happen.

      The series always had potential, but we are ten episode in and it has yet to really interest me, and worse I am losing interest in the story and characters. This doesn’t really help the post writing since like I said I’ve been struggling to find something that I want to write about. Writing these posts has become a chore and a boring one at that, they might not have gone down in quality yet, but I would much rather stop now than wait until they eventually devolve into a horrible, illegible mess that I fear they would if I continued to write about this boring and largely lifeless series.

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