It’s perhaps cheating to use Akane’s avatar instead of her real body when I said I’d lead off every Psycho Pass episodic with a moe~moe~kyun screencap. That said, I could hardly use anything other than this shot. I think it’s the ruffled hair that adds that cherry to the top of this cupcake of adowabubbleness.
The part from this episode that struck me the most was the reveal how the criminal was able to copy these online avatars without noticing. It wasn’t that he was so good at emulating that person that nobody noticed the difference. That idea is easier to deal with from our perspective, because it suggests you are a complex character you need to really study to pull off an impersonation of. Instead though, the criminal just took a few abstract concepts that their fans recognised in the character and built the identity around that. It’s a particularly damning statement of online identity. Your identity only exists as someone perceives it. Quantum identity if you will.
As someone who spends an awful lot of time online, it’s a rather frightening idea that nobody would notice it if one of my fans killed me and then kept updating my blog pretending to be me. Just throw out a few references to girls being insufferably nice to each other and you’re good. How many of you thought I wrote a certain post only for it to be one of my new co-writers? And they weren’t even trying to emulate me, they just happened to be in the place you would usually expect me. Kougami picked up on the change of people behind the wheel of Spookie Boogie because she started saying police instead of MWRsomethingsomething, but minor changes in vocabulary are hardly unprecedented. When I decided to stop using the -fag suffix a year or so ago, nobody jumped out of their chair and screamed “IMPOSTER!!”
Something that’s been building up in my mind a bit over the series so far is how inefficient the police force appears to be. They’re not quite Section 9 from Ghost in the Shell when it comes to gadgets. Section 9 are an anti-terrorist organisation sent to deal with issues of international importance that could threaten the stability of the entire world. The police force in Psycho Pass, meanwhile, are sent out to deal with malfunctioning toilets. Where Section 9 would have a flamethrower, the police force have to Macgyver one out of a bottle of strong alcohol and a cigarette lighter. Perhaps not the most efficient way of dealing with vision hacking, but certainly the most awesome.
Even their most high tech gadget, the Dominators, are weighed down by bureaucracy. When one of them points the gun at someone, it first needs to identify the criminal, then read his Psycho Pass hue, then fill out the forms and send them to headquarters, then wait 3-4 working day for someone to get off their big fat arse to process them, then get the return form lost in the post so they have to go to the post office to pick them up, and then finally they can shoot the criminal who by this stage has escaped to South America and lives a peaceful life with 4 kids and 11 grandchildren before dying in an unfortunate champagne bottle opening incident.
…where was I?
I’m still not that keen on Kougami. He’s way too quick on the mark when it comes to solving crimes. It seems like he’s able to exactly predict what happened from the most minimal of evidence. The way the anime is depicting his instantaneous ability to figure stuff out is because he has the mind of a criminal, which I can sorta get. It’s a lot like Runge from Monster, in that he has to get into the head of the criminal he’s pursuing in order to catch them. The reveal that he used to be a cop but got too much into his job so his hue went dark makes his quick detectiving easier to swallow. Now all we need is a Monster X Psycho Pass crossover. If you pointed a Dominator at Johan Liebert, it would forgo the usual procedure and just launch a fusion bomb.