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. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 09 – Self-Destructive Society


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While a significant chunk of this week’s Psycho-Pass was given over to our cyborg hunter and his sophistry, the most interesting element was the self-destructive nature of the Sibyl system and its impact upon society. Psycho-Pass presents a fascinating world, a vision of a dystopian society within which your every thought can be tracked and quantified. It presents us with a highly stratified and controlled society where simple test scores can determine where you work and what your life will be like. A world where your thoughts, attitudes and abilities can be measure and quantified, thus determining your entire life, will create a highly stratified and structured society. In doing so, such a society would arguably create distinct and destructive social divisions, and with no ability to move and change your life, what might be dissatisfaction in another society can become dangerous and destructive. To be reliant on technology is one thing, but to let the technology control your life is something very different. Senguji Toyohisa makes an interesting point in his interview when he asks what the difference between a human who relies upon technology such as the costume devices or Ai secretaries and automatons and those who are full cyborg’s. At the most basic level there is little difference, with both wholly reliant on the technology to allow them to function in one way or another. On the other hand, those who have full cybernetic bodies have become utterly reliant upon their technology. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 08 – Shoot First, Ask Questions Later


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As the series progresses, the more dangerous, flawed and downright stupid the Sibyl system becomes, and although there have been certain elements that try to portray the system in a positive light, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see this way of working as good. At first there was the suggestion that the Sibyl system was a positive force that helped to control and maintain society, and through its use society was ordered with everything running smoothly and ‘properly’. However, as is becoming ever clearer, the Sibyl system is fatally and intrinsically flawed, forcing people down the path of self-destruction and causing far more damage to society than it may ever prevent. It is a system that forces people down the path of no return, while creating the perfect conditions for those with the ability to exploit its flaws, thus allowing for crime and criminals to almost function with impunity. Through its use we have seen characters lose their lives for no real reason, while other are forced into one job because their Psycho-Pass readings are too high for them to left alone. The Sibyl system has created and maintains a highly stratified society where aptitude scores and Psycho-Pass levels dictate where you work and what kind of lifestyle you have. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 07 – A Stress Free Society, Apparently


The idea that the Psycho-Pass system was a way of lowering stress levels in society is an intriguing notion, and while it doesn’t really stand up to the evidence that recent episodes has provided it is nevertheless fascinating. The reasoning within the series is that Psycho-Pass eliminates stress, and yet, as we have seen, the system itself doesn’t eliminate anything, but instead controls it though a series is tight checks and regulations. No system can truly eliminate stress within society, and anyone that claims otherwise probably doesn’t understand society or even the system. What the Psycho-Pass system does do is control society wide stress levels through a series of (arguably) arbitrary checks and levels in order to make it more manageable. This is rather similar to every society at the moment, with various different activities used to relieve stress so that you do not allow it to build up to exploding point. Read more of this post

One-Dimensional characters and plot flaws in Psycho-Pass


Psycho-Pass presents a fascinating world, a vision of a dystopian society within which your every thought can be tracked and quantified. It presents us with a highly stratified and controlled society where simple test scores can determine where you work and what your life will be like. The ideas that Psycho-Pass presents are therefore all potentially very fascinating, but at the same time, none of them are unique or new to this series. This in itself is not especially terrible though as every anime, film, music album and so on has in some way taken inspiration or ideas from another. That the issues in Psycho-Pass can be found in Ghost in the Shell or any Phillip K. Dick book is hardly surprising, especially given the wide-ranging influence of Philip K. Dick on the science fiction genre. There is however one distinct problem, Psycho-Pass hasn’t made any of these ideas its own, they have been borrowed almost wholesale in some cases and simple pushed into a space that will fit. Read more of this post

Psycho-Pass 06 – Behind closed doors


Someone who can play the system, find the loopholes, the blind spots and the flaws will always remain anonymous. They are the kind of person who can work from the shadows, or if they are particularly good, in plain sight of those who are supposed to be keeping the peace. In particular, when you are presented with a system such Sibyl or even the Psycho-Pass system, there are numerous ways with which to use and manipulate it for your own ends. That the system is heavily and perhaps inherently flawed may be obvious to many, but it is the faith that inspectors like Ginoza place upon such a system, which may ultimately lead to its and their own downfall. There are simply too many ways with which it can be manipulated and used for other purposes, and in reality, the system is restricting the ability of those who wish to catch the criminals. In particular, this and episode three help to demonstrate how the system is not all encompassing and how the state has created numerous areas free from the influence of the internet and therefore not connected to the Sibyl system. These areas are created for a specific purpose, and the government appears to perceive them as neutral areas, or at least those that they can easily control. Read more of this post

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