13 CommentsPsycho Pass / By Scamp /

Psycho Pass episode 21 – Cyberpunk Gandhi

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Is this…moe?

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.

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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.

vlcsnap-2013-03-18-13h33m50s3Meanwhile 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.

vlcsnap-2013-03-18-13h40m17s249Makishima 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.

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13 Comments

  1. Steve
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Why do you think that Kougami should have character development? His character is similar to Makishima, as one of them(maki) drives the plot and Kougami reacts to it (while akane develops as character in the proccess) Didnt the show already established the Kougami story (and why he is so obsessed) the path that lead him from inspector to enforcer. The only development of Kougami is seeying how he turns into a murdeder, which is basically the final test for Akanes character.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      I can kinda see where you’re coming from, but he is largely reacting to how Makishima sees the world. He does not have a guiding philosophy that makes him a force of nature. He is purely reactionary, and therefore should change as the forces around him change. All that’s happening though is he’s reiterating that he can’t change.

  2. Madu_Scientisto
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    This episode was awesome, and Ginoza is pretty moe.

    Kinda doesn’t feel like a second to last episode, given that they have a lot to cover during the next unless they omit any epilogue showing what happens to the system and the characters. My guess is that system prevails and continue to cause Urobutcher level SUFFERING http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeLxUVACQF0. But I hope I’m wrong.

    Anyway Scamp, I finally watched Legend of Black Heaven. It was every bit as fantastic as you said it would be, and now it is one of favorites (only topped by Death Note). I’ve loved all of the anime I’ve seen from your Top 30’s List, so in general: Thanks for having great taste /praise over.

    • Shadow
      Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Ginoza is Tsundere! Moe~~~~~!

    • Scamp
      Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      More people watching Black Heaven is always good. Glad to be of assistance!

  3. Adam
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    How is watching your father and reacting to it Moe. If Moe is depression than I guess it is but its not. If you saw your father blown up in front of your eyes you would probably act the same way Ginoza did. Makishima and Kougami are very similar people, the psychologist even says so. I actually thought that there was a possibility that Kougami would side with Makishima at one point.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    How can you poll who your readers think is the best Oreimo girl without including the best Oreimo girl, Kyousuke? Was it perhaps a trick question?

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    I saw it coming and I was still mad. Butthurt/10 Urobochi, give me back my oyaji you son of a bitch.

  6. Scarlet
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    As much as I’ve loved all of Urobuchi’s stuff thus far, his character writing has always been his weak point. Or rather–he can come up with amazing, exciting characters, but when he tries to develop them they can slip past his fingers. Case in point: that other member of Unit One you didn’t mention, Yayoi. I just had to look up her name. She had an entire episode devoted to her backstory. As of episode 21 she’s sitting in an empty room, totally forgotten by the plot.

    Akane, though, is brilliant. No one ever thought she’d come this far, and yet it feels like she earned it. She became a strong character without it feeling forced or out-of-place. Not only that, she is so moe~

    • Scamp
      Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Yayoi is a non-character. I think it’s clear by this stage he never intended to develop the rest of the crew at all. Just the non-enforcer people. Of which he’s done a great job of.

      Also idk, but I thought the character arc for Homura, as truncated as it is, was very good. She’s just not particularly engaging as a personality, which still isn’t really Butch Gen’s strong point. The sole exception to this so far is Rider and Waver

      • Pusswookie
        Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

        Though Rider and Waver are the obvious choices, I’ll never understand why more people didn’t enjoy Gilgamesh and his flamboyant dickery.

  7. graham
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Unlike you, I had unfortunately called both Gino’s character development and Masaoka’s death very early in the show (by episode 2 or 3). So I was disappointed to be absolutely right on both those fronts. Mostly because I wanted Masaoka -the only character who is interesting in this series to me- to live, and for Gino to be an uncertain if unforgiving hard ass rather than a driveling mess. It’s also a played-and-tired Japanese trope to have family drama in most police-like shows, so urgh did Gino make me cringe at the end.

    That said, at least Masaoka’s death was a brutally short and sweet fight with the big bad. That was the highlight of the episode for me over the main plot. Hopefully, the ending for this show won’t try to press the moral “gaining the courage to change oneself” that Urobuchi and IG are trying to convey too hard. Hoping that it will surprise and dazzle.

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