Psycho-Pass 05 – Illusions and Reality


Over the past couple of episodes Psycho-Pass has introduced numerous new concepts dealing with the overlap between the virtual and real worlds. For many the virtual world is an extension of who they are, with highly crafted virtual personalities evident across the Internet. For some these avatars are merely a way of communicating to a wider audience, while for others they can become an escape, a new start, carrying with them an element of anonymity and the promise of creating a new self, different from the real world. In this respect the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds become blurred, with many seeing the virtual world as more real than others. What Psycho-Pass has been dealing with though is the issues surrounding the theft of virtual identities and the idea that given the right information anyone can take your space. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 04 – The Overlap Between the Virtual and the Real


The Sibyl system has created a supposedly perfect surveillance state, with very few ways of going about your daily lives unnoticed. The idea that simple things such as leaving your house or apartment can leave an electronic signature thus leaving a virtual diary of when you go out and when you come home is shocking. Such a system arguably exists in some respects today, with the increased usage of CCTV and other controls, but the system evident in Psycho-Pass takes state surveillance to somewhere altogether more scary and dangerous. In such a system it is hardly surprising that there would be those who rebelled, deciding that they are fed up with having their every move watched, to the point that something simple like a broken toilet can be tracked. The Psycho-Pass system is supposed to control the population, thus making it easy to determine who may be a criminal, and where your place in society is. However, we are beginning to see how easily abused such a system can be, and how something as supposedly infallible as the Dominator or Sibyl systems can be avoided and used for other, more nefarious purposes. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 03 – Self-fulfilling prophecies


Sibyl is a system that is supposed to scan and check every citizen in society, and through the psycho-pass system law and order is maintained, while every element of society works together in harmony. At least, that is the apparent aim behind this system, however, the name ‘Sibyl’ can also be seen as a link back to the Sibyl’s of ancient Greece. They were oracles or prophetesses, who were seen as possessing the lips of god, with the ability to see the future and through their rituals divine the will of god. As Heraclitus (c. 535- c. 475 BCE) a Greek writer and philosopher suggests: ‘The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperformed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god’. They are beings that are viewed to be the human voices of god, and while they may provide positive prophecies, they are not entirely to be trusted. In other legends the Sibyls and other oracles are seen as dangerous, corrupt, or destructive, taking bribes in order to invoke a positive prophecy from god, but to cross them would mean certain doom. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 02 – Decisions and Consequences


A world where your thoughts, attitudes and abilities can be measured and quantified, thus determining your entire life style will create a highly stratified and structured society. In doing so it is also arguably creating distinct and potentially destructive social divisions, and with no ability to move up and change your current way of life, what might be dissatisfaction can become destructive and dangerous. These similar ideas are present in numerous cyber-punk anime, not least Akira, where the highly stratified society leads to protests and social disorder on a large scale. Such are further present in real life, with protests against government plans and attitudes towards where ones place in society are. Akira, and now Psycho-Pass mirrors this with the use of their various systems and bodies in order to police the spaces between these distinct areas of society, looking out for those who have finally snapped. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 01 – The illusion of choice


A society where technology control our every move, making decisions for us and determining the fate of the world – in such a society he lines between what is real and what is fantasy become blurred, melding into one another until indistinguishable. The idea that technology can not only control society, but also determine who is guilty and their future actions is a scary thought, and questions the role of humans and human decisions on the very basic of levels. Such a dystopian worldview could have been snatched straight from the pages of a Phillip K. Dick work like ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ (Blade Runner), ‘We Can Remember it for You Wholesale’ (Total Recall), or perhaps even ‘Minority Report’. And that is because largely it is, the plot synopsis and general aesthetic and thematic choices present in Psycho-Pass are straight out of any Phillip K. Dick novel. Read more of this post