14 CommentsPsycho Pass / By Scamp /

Psycho Pass episode 4 – Spooky Boogie Nights

Got to kick off every Psycho Pass post with Akane looking moe, and there’s nothing more moe than her avatar. You can tell this because it has a massive head and no nose. Also, how great is Ginoza’s coin avatar? Apart from just the inherent amusement that it’s a goddamn coin, there’s the irony that he’s got LIBERTY plastered across his face when his job involves enforcing this totalitarian Orwellian rule.

One of the parts I found fascinating in this episode was the contrast between anonymity in the online world and total surveillance in the real world. When the team were analysing the crime scene in the guys apartment, one of them made the point that the chances of the guy somehow escaping the city without being detected were basically impossible because people are tracked as a natural part of functioning society. But this guy had somehow slipped off the radar. Another anomaly was he had somehow gotten through life without employment, despite the fact Sibyl is supposed to tell you exactly what your job is.

So these people escape online. It’s there that they experience actual anonymity  It’s pretty telling that the place they choose to congregate is one devoted to anarchy. The offline meeting, thanks to the ability to change your appearance in the real world, means you can still keep that anonymity. It reminded me of those anonymous demonstrations where they all wear Guy Fawkes masks.

I’m starting to enjoy the characters a bit more. Or, more specifically, their interactions. For as much as I like to make fun of Akane’s naivete and moe~moe~kyun attitude, her rapport with each member of the squad has been getting more entertaining with each episode. What I’ve been particularly enjoying is how the crowd treat her boss Ginoza as an outsider to their gang who they all commentate on, but it’s Akane who has to deal with his attitude. I think my favourite character may actually be the old dude, sitting around painting with robot hand. He’s the veteran arm-on-the-shoulder character who clearly has a lot more going on in his life than he’s letting on. Even Kougami is growing on me, for as much as an enigma as he’s been so far. In particular I really enjoyed the little exchange he had with Akane about him being creeped out by furries. It really is tough being a furry. Even though we’ve jumped several years into the future, people still look down on you, even the most hardened of criminals.


In all seriousness, anime does this relatively often. Time of Eve, PenguinDrum, No.6. Heck, Ghost in the Shell was even more in-your-face with what books it was referencing, having characters simply say the name of the author they were quoting. This isn’t quite Faust scribbled on the walls as it was in Madoka, which was clearly just there as symbolism (sometimes you forget that in Madoka the Faust quote was in bloody German, and I wouldn’t have known what it said if I didn’t internet it afterwards). What’s interesting about the name-dropping of the book is it’s the ‘villains’ of the episode who are reading 1984. They are fighting against what they perceive as being a world they live in that resembles the one in Orwell’s book (although I have my doubts that the rehabilitation those over their Psycho Pass level involves a Room 101 treatment).

But unlike the Laughing Man in Stand Alone Complex, where you could see how this guy is on the side of justice, these guys in Psycho Pass are Bad People. They choke people and blend tomatoes.

Will It Brend?

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  1. Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Noses are definitely not moe – there’s a good reason why Xebec doesn’t draw them!

  2. Posted November 2, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I found the anonymity of the Internet to be fascinating. There’s a lot less of it than now, since it appears that you need a unique avatar like in Summer Wars. Detectives couldn’t do surveillance in hiding. Yet technology also allows greater anonymity IRL, I.e. the holographic clothes. 4chan’s Anonymous is a go comparison, and I was also reminded of furries.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      I admit I was being facetious mentioning furries, but I suppose the comparison is kinda similar. Although I don’t think furries dressing up has much to do with being anonymous at all, while Guy Fawkes masks are entirely about being anonymous

      • Posted November 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        I won’t claim to know what furries think, but watching this episode made me think that the anonymity is probably part of what they find appealing about the culture. It’s like Halloween parties or cosplaying at a con, and the thrill of others not knowing who you really are is definitely part of the appeal for those. With furries, since costumes cover the full body like these holograms, there’s a sense of default anonymity, where one actively needs to reveal oneself to be recognized.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        Halloween costumes are more about showing off than being someone else. I think a closer analogy would be a Masquerade Ball

  3. Rait
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I liked this episode a whole lot more than the last one. This is what Accel World should have been more like. I liked the style of this future internet and the idea of holographic cosplay parties was pretty awesome. It was almost good enough so I could forgive those holographic heels….hmm well not that good, but I hope it will keep being good.

    Now all that is missing are Tachikomas.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    What kind of monster blends a tomato?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      The same monster who would put a strawberry in a mousetrap.

      (I did that once. The results were pretty gruesome)

  5. Smack
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I also found very interesting the fact that they can only enforce law through the Dominators. It would have been so much easier if they could have detained the Enigma guy instead of sneaking in the party with the gun, etc.

    Also, they don’t have a team raiding the building or, at the very least, blocking its entrance , WTF?

    So yeah, not such a mighty police force, don’t you think?

    And there were also a few issues with the tracking system. If you can track people when they get out of a building, how come you can’t track them when they get in? Will you make me believe you don’t keep a record of who has been visiting the condo?

    This Sybil system must run on Windows or something, man. So many bugs!

    • Scamp
      Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      A pretty old version of windows too. Have you seen how long it takes for one of the dominators to run its programme to check the person’s psycho pass? The characters literally had to start circling the robot in episode 3 as they waited for the programme to just bloody load

      • Smack
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Yeah, must be Windows Me.

        No, seriously, I understand that the system may have limitations, after all it has to analyze human minds on the fly, but the police force must have some kind of plan to counter those limitations. I mean, they seem like a pretty militarized police force, and the military may be a lot of things, but they know the drill.

        So, basically, it baffles me that they put so much trust in a technology with so many blatant shortcomings.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        To be fair, they are just a bunch of regular cops. They’re certainly no Section 9 from GITS, who are the highest tech branch of highly trained operatives doing anti-terrorism operations. The team in Psycho Pass, meanwhile, are tracking down broken toilets.

  6. Mr.RR
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the date on the coin has any significance…

    • Desi
      Posted November 6, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

      Maybe they just misspelled 1984 :P

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