Rather reminiscent of episode 11. Also maybe this will stop people saying Gen Urabuchi is sexist because he writes female characters that suffer emotional trauma, which makes them totally different from the male characters who suffer emotional trauma in equal amounts. Because logic.
Taking a step back and looking at Psycho Pass as a whole, what’s interesting is it has done way better at presenting character arcs with depth and complexity than establishing the world it’s set in. Doubly weird for a cyberpunk show, where the setting is supposed to be the main draw over everything else. Akanes’s development from naive rookie who couldn’t understand the system transitioned into blindly accepting the system, only to see its limitations crash in front of her right when she needed them most. Then we had the period of doubt over her own abilities and the capabilities of the system, but through that she gradually grew her resolve and eventually made her decision on how she wanted to lead her life, leaving this badass version of Akane we have now.
It ties in quite nicely to the overall story of self-determination. Technically Akane could only have self-determination because she was so ‘perfect’ by Sibyl’s standards. This allowed her to have these worries that allowed her to develop into the person she is today. Other people in the show don’t have that option. They don’t get to agonise over what’s the right thing because Sibyl chooses it for them. Plus even if they do start questioning themselves, their hue goes up and the system restricts their freedom even further. I made the joke right back at the start that Akane is the equivalent to the over-privileged white kis with rich parents for whom the whole world is open. Running with that comparison, Akane’s resolve seemed to be that this system is broken and that everyone should have those same opportunities. Essentially she’s turning towards the path of Cyberpunk Gandhi. Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d use.
Meanwhile when you take a look at the path Ginoza’s character has taken, it’s pretty fucking depressing. It’s largely the same as his father’s. Starts the show as a bland, by the book cop who blankly follows orders and does exactly what Sibyl tells him to do. However as Sibyl starts to fail them in various departments, he in turn starts doubting the legitimacy of his job and whether he can do anything to change that. However unlike Akane, Ginoza doesn’t have the resolve to come to any personal conclusion and instead continues trying to follow the system through his doubts. By the end, his hue is almost completely gone and is told to take time off, he can’t follow the chief inspector’s orders anymore and instead stands around fumbling. And now, right at the end, the system fails him completely when the criminal it let free kills his father. And then, just to tie it all off with a neat bow, and to seal the comparisons between the two, Ginoza loses his arm just like his father.
It’s a goddamn depressing story, and one I honestly didn’t see coming at all right at the start of the show. I thought the show would be more about the enforcers rather than the inspectors and Ginoza would be like some grumpy boss who just turns up to yell at everyone. Instead he became the alternative path to how Akane dealt with the situation.
Makishima doesn’t have any character development. Indeed, he’s not supposed to. He’s meant to be that ever-present force of nature that represents this single ideal that the other characters must react to. OK, so him sitting around quoting books instead of coming up with his own lines of dialogue got a bit silly, but I like how they kept him as this single driving concept character.
The character who I feel has been underwhelming is Kougami. For the guy who is supposed to be the face of the show, he’s been awfully static throughout the whole thing. Let me make a weird comparison here and bring up Arakawa Under the Bride. In that, while the main story is how Recruit changed through his relationship with Nino, what made the ending great was how it finished up Recruit’s story while in turn giving us some glimpse of how Nino had been changed through the relationship too. Kougami simply has had none of that. If anything, his conversations with Akane have him reiterating that he hasn’t changed at all. So if I want one thing from the final episode, it’s to give us some kind of payoff with Kougami’s story, because as of now we’ve got nothing.