47 CommentsPsycho Pass / By Scamp /

Psycho Pass episode 16 – Good old fashioned punch-up


Because I’m getting bored of Akane moe pictures, have some Akane looking angry. Because there was quite a hefty amount of characters looking angry in this episode. Almost as many shots as there were of people getting into good old fashioned fisticuffs. Sure were a lot of people getting elbowed in sensible areas. Although my favourite move was Makishima’s unceremonious football style kick to finish off his fight.


This episode was really great an all, but all the pieces had been set in place before this episode began. This was more about the delivery to the set up. In that sense, it was a great pay-off  It gave us a fantastic final confrontation between Kougami and Makishima, even if their fisticuffs had to first be preceded by some pretentious literature quoting. But hey, it’s Makishima. If he didn’t needlessly quote classical literature, I’d think there was something wrong with him.

It also gave us the first real confrontation with Sibyl itself, and for that I would like to say FUCK YOU PSYCHO PASS! You should know the eventual reveal of what Sibyl is will disappoint after teasing us with that. It’s the mystery box concept. The idea that there’s something crazy behind what Sibyl consists of is thrilling. But the eventual reveal 99% of the time does not live up to those expectations. The tease is far more interesting than the reveal, and the reveal will never live up to the tease. There is always that 1% that blow out expectations away with something truly amazing, but what the hell could Sibyl actually be? Children? Robots? Aliens? Nothing?


One detail I really liked about this episode, and in Psycho Pass in general, is how angry Kougami gets sometimes. When something goes wrong, he lashes out and kicks something. It has been a running thread between the enforcers that they have a nasty side to them. Things such as the ginger guy suggesting they run over the rioters, or Kougami telling Akane to kill Makishima. There was a lot of short shots of Kougami’s face in this episode with an angry grin, like he was thoroughly enjoying this chance for revenge. Contrast that to Akane, whose face was more that of steely resolve. I like that Psycho Pass never portrayed one of the enforcers as being selfless flawless people, but instead showed their nasty sides that fit with their psycho pass level. It would have rather broken the idea of the system if they hadn’t done that.


Another thing I liked, which ties into characters being nasty and angry, was Kagari and Kougamis’ reactions in different situations. Namely that their reactions were “I know, but fuck you anyway”. Someone points out to Kougami that the people going down to the basement are probably the real deal. His response was “yeah I know, but fuck Makishima I want to get that guy”. Kagari gets told that they’re going to destroy the very thing that has kept him down his entire life. His response? “Yeah, I know that would be great, but fuck you, I’m going to get you anyway”.

And then he went and died boo hoo etc. I could use this final spot to do some theorising about that final shot of the chief constable burning her face off to override her Dominator to shoot Kagari so he doesn’t reveal what’s so crazy about Sibyl, but what the hell am I supposed to say? It’s the old mystery box thing again. The final reveal won’t live up to my expectations for the reveal. Is the chief lady a cyborg? Is all of Sibyl cybernetic? Is the chief lady from the future? Do they run on the brains of people taken by Sibyl? Do they run on the blood of exploded victims of the dominator? Is it aliens? It’s aliens, isn’t it? But instead of speculation, I’m just going to post a picture of Makishima getting smacked in the head by Akane.

vlcsnap-2013-02-08-15h39m53s125Because oh boy, did that feel good.

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  1. Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    A lot of Spike and Vincent on the broadcast tower during the Halloween parade.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      I totally thought of that too. I wonder if it was the same animator?

      • Shadow
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

        Well Production IG said the premise of the series was that this show would be the new generation’s Cowboy Bebop. So i’m not really that amazed of the similarities.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        I’m so goddamn glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this.

      • Mr.RR
        Posted February 18, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

        Woah, I though the same thing. They were clearly trying for something there

  2. Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Clearly the big twist will be that robots secretly took over long ago and are using human brains as super computers to run the Sybil system and keep everything in check. Psycho-Pass loves its dystopian literature references after all.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      And it ends with Akane flying

      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted February 14, 2013 at 2:36 am | Permalink

        Sometimes you die, and sometimes you wake up. But sometimes, you learn to fly.

        It’s totally some random fat neet dude eating chips in his white air-conditioned room being like, “DUFUFU YOU ARE NAUGHTY”

  3. Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    There’s this quote from the Persona 4 game after they capture the copycat killer that I wish was uttered in this episode.

    “Kill you? It ain’t going to be that easy you piece of shit. What you’ve done can never be taken back. No, you’re going to live and repent for everything you’ve done. You’re not allowed to kick the bucket until then, you hear me?!”

    I don’t think that’s the exact quote, but it was definitely badass when I heard it. Imagine if Akane tried saying that to Makishima.

  4. foon
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I thought it said “Non-lethal paralyzer” or something when Kagari got shot?

    • Scamp
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      It did, but she overrode that order. That’s why it started spazzing out and changed to the lethal explody mode

      • Funso
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        I don’t know. The dominator looked to be in a completely new configuration and it never did specifically say “lethal eliminator”. I don’t think we can be 100% sure he’s dead.

      • Scamp
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        And Lelouch is the Cart Driver. You’re grabbing onto straws mate

  5. Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    It must be aliens appearing as lolis. Must be.

    Well less jokingly, like I said before, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from dystopian cyberpunk, brain-computer is a must, so Sibyl must be brain-computer. I’m keeping my expectations down deliberately just to let my mind be blown.

    OR it could probably the police chief that’s Sibyl, but that’s too cheap of a copout. And to be honest, I really wished that Akane bash Makishima’s head in just because I know it’s counter to her character. Not really disappointed that she didn’t though. I also wish there’s more screen time for Masaoka.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      If Akane had bashed Makishima’s head in, it would have set her down the path of being an enforcer, which isn’t what the show has been building towards. The last few episodes have been about strengthening her resolve. So yeah, knew she wouldn’t bash his head in

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Leading Sybil theories so far:

    [ ] Dick
    [ ] The brains of asymptomatic criminals in jars, connected by wires.
    [ ] Makishima Shougo. The one running around outside is an android controlled by the Sybil system, which is the original Shougo.
    [ ] A grotesque, stitched-together biological abomination that wants to be put out of its misery.
    [ ] A bunch of psychic humans with their brains connected by wires.
    [x] A magical girl imprisoned and used as a power source
    [ ] A random number generator
    [ ] An empty room
    [ ] A large number of human bodies, which are used as reference material. Criminal coefficients are determined by finding the closest match within the library of brains.
    [ ] A cluster of mac minis/drones
    [ ] The old lady
    [ ] Plastic tic tacs
    [ ] Akane
    [ ] Akane clones
    [ ] Tomatoes

    I choose lolis!

    • Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      Plastic tic tac LOL.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I do like the idea that there is no Sibyl at all. People just think what their own Psycho Pass is and the machine relays that back to them.

      • Posted February 9, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        The human mind is quite powerful, so if given the facility, this sounds plausible too. All it needs is the concept of a governing entity and people will be nice to each other on their own. Kind of like religion only more tangible. It’s a boring reveal though, but still kind of makes sense.

      • alexvoda
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        I have to say that would be my favorite (realistic, non comedic) option. It would give a lot of depth to the show and it would make sense why people would riot. Since there is no actual Sybil there is nothing to be afraid of.

        Multi-brain computers have been done before so many times so it would be boring and I’m not sure it would stir up riots if revealed. Why would it? They could just claim they were made in a test tube, or they belong to asymptomatic criminals and I think most people would accept that.

      • Scamp
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Problem with the ‘nothing’ option is it doesn’t explain why there’s a giant Sibyl facility. What would be the point in having that?

      • Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        To hold up the illusion that there’ something governing the citizens, IMO. But judging from what Chae Gu-SOng and gingerboy found in the basement, and the way Cyborg lady executed both of them (well Gu-Song only, and implied on gingerboy), the “nothing” theory is a bit stretched.

    • Stef
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Disformed attempts at cloning Akane on steel operation tables.

      Sybil actually plans to control people through moe but Akane comes in and mercifully kills her clones and shows Sybil the true power of moe. Every psycho-pass detector in the city explodes from a HHHNNNNGG overload. Then Akane confesses her love to Kougami and they mary and have lots and lots of moemoe~ children.

    • kai
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      My vote is that Sybil is a magic 8 ball. That or a bunch of drunken uni students playing spin the bottle.

    • Brain Computers
      Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      LOL this guy got it.

  7. Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    And then the rest of the series is Makishima teaming up with this little group of Enforcers and fighting against Sybil. I hope I’m wrong on this, but… yeah.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Why? Why do you hope you’re wrong? Why is that a bad thing?

      • Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        It’s predictable!

      • Scamp
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Once they find out something is up with Sibyl, they’ll turn to the man they have in custody who knows most about its ills and tried to bring it down once already. But doing logical things is too /predictable/ so instead lets have an asteroid come out of the sky and blow up the city instead. Hurrah for unpredictability!

      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted February 14, 2013 at 2:42 am | Permalink

        The great thing is, if they do this, then they get to have Ginoza in the spotlight as he struggles with the conundrum of

        a) following his sense of justice for once, or
        b) siding with sibyll, like he’s been trying to do so far.

    • Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Clearly I have poor prediction skills, because I hadn’t even thought of that. To be honest, at this point I hate Sybil way more than I hate Makishima, so I kind of hope that actually happens, but Psycho Pass has given almost zero indication that what Makishima is doing might actually be right, so I doubt that will actually happen.

      Also, ditto Scamp’s comment. Predictable also means logical, to a certain extent. Right now Psycho Pass has a bigger issue with subtlety than predictability.

  8. Scarlet
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I’ve been waiting for an episode as good as 11, and it finally delivered. Loved every second of it, from the “Of course it’s a trap, I’m getting that bastard anyways” conversation in the elevator to Akane’s Makishima-head-smackage. Great stuff.

    May I just say though, I’m kinda upset that Kagari kicked the bucket. I liked that kid, and I clung to the fact that crazy-robot-lady’s gun had been set to “paralyze.” But yeah, no–there’s no way he’d see Sybil and get out alive. Sadness. :/

    • Scamp
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      11 was better, but I prefer tense stuff to action stuff. But yes, I did love that rather sickening crunch when Kougami got kicked in the head

  9. Stef
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    If by “great episode” you meant “poorly set-up mess of an action movie, then you’re right.

  10. Posted February 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    “It’s aliens, isn’t it?”

    I lol’d.

    You’re right though, I highly doubt the reveal will meet the intrigue, and to be honest, making Sybil something outlandish kind of turns the whole ongoing dialogue about whether or not the system is good into a strawman. It shouldn’t need to be something crazy to be demonstrably bad. I put up with Makishima being a loophole despite similar issues because at least it kind of fit with showing how pathentically reliant and detached the police force had become, but I’m really worried about this one.

    Actually, in general I’m not as high on this episode as other people seem to be. I just didn’t feel the weight on the struggle with the helmetted men, for some reason, quite possibly because a lot of the fighting happened off-screen. Didn’t feel nearly as desperate or epic as the final two eps of Cowboy Bebop, so if that’s what they were aiming for, they definitely fell short, in my estimation anyway.

    It was kind of cool how Akane came out of nowhere to take down Makishima. Her kill-frenzy felt kind of out-of-nowhere to be honest, though. Very little implication had been given thus far that she was that angry at him. Feeling sad and impotent, sure, but seriously wanting to kill him? Nah. So that whole set of flashbacks with Yuki and Akane looking all desperate just didn’t really work for me.

    Also, when Shinya went all Oh no, the helmet trick won’t work cause Makishima is here, doh, my bad, I can’t have been the only one to shout “WELL FUCKING DUH” at my screen.

    • Stef
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Like I said, this ep drops all pretense of thoughtfulness and goes full action movie logic(the bad kind).

      Every single beat is telegraphed a mile away, terrible set-up, illogical decisions from everyone. Shinya trying to shoot Makishima(I literally screamed at my screen how dumb he was) is just an example of the many things wrong in this episode.

      But really, everything can be summed up by “I just didn’t care about any of this”.

      • Posted February 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Actually, that’s a good point about everything being obviously telegraphed. As soon as they split up I went “oh no, Shusei is going to die, isn’t he.” Urobuchi seems to have forgotten that killing people off for tension only works if it isn’t incredibly obvious. Hopefully they’ll twist that round and fuck with our expectations. After all, rule of fiction is if you don’t actually see them die, they’re not dead for sure. I will be pleasantly surprised if it turns out the didn’t just kill him off for its own sake.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      Between her recollection upon picking up the dominator again, and her memory burrowing flip out to get Makishima’s face, I think it’s been pretty clear that she’s been thinking about that scene a lot. Most of all though, it was a reversal of the helplessness that I think pushed her. She now was in the position where Makishima was helpless and she held the power.

      As for complaining about the scene not having unpredictability to it, and then bringing up Cowboy Bebop, wasn’t the whole point of those final episodes in Bebop the fact that his demise was inevitable? He was already dead, he was just running from that fact. That’s part of what made it beautifully tragic. I did think ginger kid going off by himself and setting off the death flag was a bit dumb, but complaining about predictability in a story that sets out its story beats seems like a dumb complaint to me. Complaining about plot twists making narrative sense.

      This is pretty standard in Butch Gen stories too. The narrative arcs are very clearly laid out. I really love his stories because of how everything seems obvious in retrospect as the arcs make total sense for that character. I knew exactly how the Rider/Waver arc would go in Fate/Zero, and still loved it for that. It’s not that I don’t also love ohshitplottwist anime also. You are on a website named after Code Geass after all. But that’s not Gen’s style, and I think there’s room in the world for both.

      • Posted February 11, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        Not sure how much of that is a response to me and what parts are a response to STEF, so apologies if I argue something that wasn’t aimed at me.

        Ok, first, the Cowboy Bebop thing and the predictability thing were two separate points. The point I made about Cowboy Bebop was that I didn’t feel the weight of the conflict to the same extent I did in Bebop. I agree with what you said about Cowboy Bebop, you’ll also see that further up in the comments I agreed with about the predictability thing. The only thing I explicitly said was too predictable was Shusei dying, I agree apart from that predictability was, at most, a small problem for this episode, probably not really an issue at all.

        Re: Akane, again, you’re misinterpreting me. I didn’t say she hadn’t been thinking about it, or that it wasn’t obviously very much in the fore-front of her mind. I just said up till now I haven’t seen it manifest itself as anger, or even hate, particularly. She’s never been shown to have the slightest bit of killer instinct, so the tension over whether or not she’d kill him felt forced to me. Maybe even if they’d just shown that her Psycho-Pass HADN’T recovered so quickly from the memory probing I would be buying into it more. Feels like they’re trying to have their cake and eat it on that one. On the other hand, I did very much appreciate seeing her be a more active participant this time.

        I actually really like Urobuchi, and there’s certainly room in the world for his style, I wish their were more writers in anime with his talents. To me the best parts of Psycho-Pass have been everything they haven’t said, everything they haven’t pointed out. The nuances of the world, people and interactions are what I find the most satisfying here, and while elevating the conflict certainly adds tension and excitement, I tend to find a lot of the subtlety gets left by the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good episode, I enjoyed it, I really, really want to know what’s up with Sybil, I am intrigued, but just because there are definite strengths to this writing style and defnite strong points of the episode and series, that doesn’t mean there isn’t reasonable criticism to be made about where things aren’t as strong, and these aren’t all things that necessarily contradict Urobuchi’s strengths, which I feel is what you’re saying here (though I agree about the predictability point, the logic is more important than unpredictability). If anything the flaws stand out BECAUSE it’s such a strong, overall package.

      • Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        @alsozara, I have to agree with Scamp on the Akane thing though. The point is not whether she’s angry at Makishima or not, but to show what she would done when there’s no Sibyl to restrict her decision making. She was given the chance to make that kind of decision once (save her friend while killing Makishima) and failed, and now, given the chance to act freely again, but with a choice of “to exact revenge” or “detain him”.

        One consideration that can be made is the way Akane and Kogami can be compared. Both has their friend(s) killed by Makishima, but one chose to exact revenge to the point of clouding his Psycho-Pass, and the other chose to stop the villain so that others won’t have to feel the pain of losing friends and/or family to someone like Makishima in this kind of world.

        @nobody in particular, re:Gen’s style, my first taste of his style is Saya no Uta. With all the love and hype that people pushing me to read it, I expected some literally mind-blowing narrative. But ever since the start I know what Saya is, what the ending is going to be like once the path has been chosen; both for bad ends and the true end. I am actually disappointed with Saya no Uta tbh. It’s predictable. Well, someone turning into a pet was surprising though, and the reveal that someone else is a badass mofo with a grudge. But other than that, once the path has been chosen, the signs are kind of obvious. That doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome though, and Gen’s style is still awesome despite the blaring signs of predictability.

      • Scamp
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Yeah, sorry, I guess that as more a general comment against some of the criticism I’ve been seeing against this show recently

      • Posted February 11, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        @Feast91 We’ll have to say agree to disagree re: Akane. It really did feel bizarre and forced to me.

      • Stef
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        @Scamp: I knew when I was writing my previous comment that I was doing a gross over-generalization by complaining about “predictability”. I don’t mind predictability. And I’m not asking a complete ass-pull(which IMO is going to be case for whatever the Big Secret is). My real problem was that every beat felt horribly cliché. The episode literally followed every action movie tropes in the book in the most unexciting way.

        I have much more to say, but the problem at the basis of all the criticism I can make is that I don’t know why all of this is happening! I don’t know why I should care! I can’t wrap my head around that Big Secret. Why the Hell is Makishima storming that tower for? What could possibly need to be revealed to take down Sybil after days of riots and a huge flaw in the system now public? Do they think the population will just settle down and go back under Sybil after all this? What?! Why?!

      • Posted February 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        @alsozara, fair enough. It does gave me a good look from another angle, because, I don’t know about others here, I kind of like Akane a bit too much.. :3

  11. Axiom
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Gen doesn’t really do M Night Shyamalan plot twists. That’s not his thing. He pushes the “obvious” narrative so hard because it’s not obvious. He’s a genre deconstructor. He takes what you think you know about a genre, and makes it obvious that everything you thought you knew was completely backwards.

    Also, I’m positive it’s not brains. A) That’s what everyone is expecting. It’s massively overdone. B) Brains wouldn’t incite nation-wide rioting like Choe says w/e Sibyl is would. People might be weirded out, sure, but brain computers could be seen as ethical if done properly. My bet is on aliens/robo overlords.

    • Axiom
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Also, I’m fairly sure Chief overwrote the Dominator into Destroy Decomposer, not Lethal Eliminator. Based on the screenshots floating around, Lethal Eliminator is only half open/ partially lit up while Destroy Decomposer is fully open/ fully lit up. Most likely, she did this so that Kagari’s body would be completely vaporized and so she can play it off that he made a break for his freedom.

      Finally, while something is definitely up with Robobaa-san, I don’t think she’s the Sibyl system. The Sibyl system wouldn’t need to “overwrite” itself like that. She could be a preferred defense mechanism, but that doesn’t mean she’s literally the system itself.

  12. Sarukah
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    “Do they run on the brains of people taken by Sibyl?”

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