Some of the incidental dark humour in Psycho Pass is marvellous to someone like myself with a dark sense of irony. A serial killer, who is so sick of a politician speaking out of his ass and pretending he doesn’t remember past events, proceeds to rip of his brain and stick their memory function up their backside. That is so darkly brilliant. It’s like taking a politician with a reputation for sleeping around, like Silvio Berlusconi, carefully extracting his brain, replace it with his testicles, and then carefully put his head back together again.
…I wonder if merely thinking that makes my hue cloudier? Let me make clear that I am not a psychotic serial killer with a dark sense of humour. But if I was, that is totally the kind of thing I would do.
The facility storing the psychopaths was fascinating, particularly the fact that the people in each of the rooms were apparently experts in their various fields. OK, so the guy gleefully hugging the lifelike doll was creepy and sure the guy who tattooed his body to make him look like a skeleton with flesh dangling off his bones was pure nightmare fuel, but clearly these guys Know Stuff. There was one guy surrounded by books, making his cell appear a lot like Kanbaru’s room in the -monogatari series. That dude is probably a fountain of knowledge after all he’s read.
It’s interesting how they keep these guys around. While the Dominator might blow people up when they have clearly gone way off the deep end, it seems to be in the system’s interest to keep these people around. It’s basically the same case as the Enforcers. The only reason the Enforcers are not inside this facility is because they need to be out on the street for the abilities to be of any use. Like the Enforcers, this is Sibyl putting someone in the ideal position for society, whether that be behind bars making art or some boring old factory worker placed for the sole purpose to be bullied.
Quick aside: I rather love how the tattoo guy kept trying to freak Akane out like he was a cross between Hannibal Lector and Freddy Krueger, but Akane was too busy focusing on the case to pay him much attention. Akane really has been growing on me. She’s still naive, but she’s got a tougher head on her shoulders than people give her credit for.
I am starting to get sick of Psycho Pass throwing out all these literary references. I get that it’s supposed to be part of his character. He’s meant to appear well-read and idealistic yet cynical by the quotes he uses, but it’s listening to him babble on is fairly boring. Partly because I haven’t a clue what the hell he’s supposed to be saying sometimes, particularly in this episode. Something about brutality in the hunt of the innocent? It’s more complicated to follow than it really should be. It makes the show appear like it’s trying to show off how smart it is by quoting all these literary works. I’ve said this on twitter already, but it reminds me of how academia likes to throw in references to other academic works that are barely related to the subject they’re covering, but they want to demonstrate how much they’ve read on the subject, even when it gets in the way of the actual point they’re trying to make.
It’s also obtrusive. When Madoka drops references to Faust, it’s there in the background as is optional for those who understand the reference. For those who don’t, it’s easy to ignore and carry on enjoying the story. It’s similar to how I feel an anime with a metaphor-driven story should also have a surface level story that is fun and enjoyable too that supports the metaphor-driven story. FLCL can be enjoyed both by simply following the plot, but enjoyed more by those who can follow the metaphor. In Psycho Pass, the quotations fill up screentime with monologues and only monologues, and you lose characterisation by just doing that.
I still enjoyed the episode a lot. The fact that you have a guy dressed up in old-school hunter gear but with robotic dogs is kinda awesome in a dumb way, as was the fact that what he did to the schoolgirl was essentially the exact same thing the police were going to do to her. But there’s a few niggling things that are starting to bug me about the series, with those relentless quotations being one of my bigger complaints. You know there’s a reason why people didn’t like the second Ghost in the Shell movie, right? Having characters just quote philosophers makes them feel empty as characters.
Or maybe that’s the point? Maybe the villain in Psycho Pass isn’t actually a human. One you hack into his clothes and remove his outer exterior, all you see is one of those jelly portable libraries from Shinsekai Yori.