Again, who needs moe?! Not when there’s fan-service to “make up” for it. On a more serious note though, I’m quickly finding PP to be one of my favourites for the season thus far (despite being a little slow on getting this out), the character designs do seem very much different from the norm, but after this episode I’m getting used to it – Akane even manages to appear “moe” with her various facial expressions.
Who needs money/love when there’s this thing called technology?
The previous episode started off on a dark and serious note – with Akane thrown right into the fray after she had just transferred in. In hindsight that move didn’t allow for the general settings and backgrounds to be explained, as all we knew back then was basically what the term “Psycho-Pass” is all about and what Akane’s work environment was like.
I liked how there wasn’t any significant time-skip at all in this episode, where the story continued off after Akane shot Kougami with the Dominator. It was certainly a good decision in terms of story directing so that viewers wouldn’t feel lost whatsoever, and thus able to quickly grasp what is the current situation without having to figure it out.
Before anything else, I have to say: “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had these kind of futuristic technology?” Apart from the Sibyl System itself (more on that later), technology does wonderful wonderful stuff. From having an automated housekeeper-of-sorts (who prepares your meals too), to having holo-suits to instantly generate a preset outfit (just like computer games!), to tech gadgets such as the Dominator and a Avatar-generating-cloaked-machine-whatever-it’s-name-is, to the Sibyl System itself. Essentially technology has advanced to a point where a person’s basic life is more or less on “auto-pilot” or “easy-mode” so to speak.
Sounds great! Where do I sign up for this?
Despite the benefits that advanced technology brings about, the drawbacks are quite obvious as well. The most notable one is the Sibyl System in itself – how it classifies people, how people’s path in life was determined the very moment they draw their first breath. This sort of system reminded me of a previous show called Fractale, where mankind was also ruled under such a similar system – There will always be a darker, unseen side to such a system.
This episode in itself is rather indicative of the flaws in the Sibyl System. Take Kagari Shuusei for an example: Ever since 5 he was classified as a latent criminal without really knowing how or why. Yes the system might eventually be accurate, but think of it this way – Is it fair to deny someone a proper livelihood just because he/she is predetermined to be a threat beforehand?
The same goes for Akane’s friends, in a less brutal fashion. After taking an aptitude test of sorts their career choices are limited in what they can choose to do. Honestly I’m not sure whether such a test is a positive or negative aspect of the system, on paper it does seem to suck since the results narrows down your options in such a way that one’s fate is decided solely by the Sibyl System and nothing else. Choice becomes an illusion, because what you can do and what you want to do is no longer in your hands but lies with the Sibyl System. The flip-side is, assuming that the system is accurate, your work is pretty much cut out for you – in that it is tailored according to the individual’s strengths and what might be considered “optimal” for them. In a sense, one’s capabilities are no longer there to be discovered since the Sibyl System does it for them anyway. Such is the life of an ordinary or the less than fortunate citizen.
Akane on the other hand is the epitome of a person who has everything right going for them in life (apart from having the looks maybe). Due to her exam results and the aptitude test, she can choose to do whatever she wants just because the system deems so. It is quite interesting to also note that despite her looking somewhat distressed after shooting Kougami on her first day of work and landing him in hospital, her mental state or “Hue Check” indicates that she’s mentally healthy. Perhaps that is why the system gave this girl straight A’s for her aptitude test? More importantly, the highlight for me would be to see how Akane develops as a person throughout her stay at the MWPSB (don’t ask me what that stands for!)
Today’s criminal of the day is..
In contrast to the previous episode, PP shows us that incidents might not escalate till the point where lethal force is needed. Although that jealous guy did put up a little resistance, he was quickly subdued and after some emergency therapy (or should I say “brain-washing?), the case is effectively closed. Of course this was purely an isolated example to demonstrate to the viewers that “normally” most cases that Akane and co have to deal with aren’t that serious but knowing Uro Gen we’ll probably get to see the exact opposite, more extreme cases in the episodes to come. How else are we going to see any further character development then, especially with Akane?
Chicken Soup for Akane’s soul?
In the end, the whole “police catch thief” premise is merely a facade. The real purpose of PP is to actually explore the various character’s line of thought as they are faced with events that forces them into an uncomfortable territory, or an ambiguous situation that puts them in a difficult position – How will they react given a XYZ crisis? Should the triggered be pulled, as we’ve seen in episode 1?
In Akane’s perspective: She feels a sense of uncertainty while carrying out her job as an inspector, what is she exactly supposed to do? Is her job all about making sure that Enforcers do not step out control? She’s definitely searching for a sense of belonging after deciding on this particular job, even though she’s been told by Masaoka Tomomi that her current job scope is to effectively “do nothing”. Heck, even Kagari ranted at her having the luxury to do whatever she wants while he himself was a victim of the Sibyl System.
In Kougami’s perspective: With Akane’s appearance and the very act of shooting him with the Dominator, he realizes that being an Enforcer isn’t all about blindly following what the Dominator instructs him to do, but there is so much more to it. In his own words: “I may be able to work as a detective, not just a dog” sums up his thought process.
There’s a whole lot of character dynamics, social interactions going on here in PP. Dealing with criminals, latent or not is merely the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are simply endless and waiting to be discovered. Oh, this is only episode 2 and there’s 20 more episodes to go.
- Futuristic cities sure look awesome to live in, especially with that kind of technology in place.
- If a holo-suit generates an outfit, what does the person actually wear?
- I’ve intentionally left out mentioning the “doctor” and Akane’s co-worker because they aren’t really given much depth, yet.
- Akane’s workplace is to say the least..kind of interesting.
- Writing reports still part of the protocol eh?