PSYCHO-PASS – 18
「水に書いた約束」 (Mizu ni kai ta Yakusoku )
“A Promise Written in Water”
Imagine that you woke up one day and realized you were living a lie — a farce pushed upon you under the guise of keeping you safe. What would you do? Could you tolerate it? Would you risk your life to fight it, knowing that you’d likely die? Given the choice between living a lie and the potential alternative of not living at all, what would you choose? Would you really be living if you were forced to abide by standards that conflict with your very being? More importantly, what happens if despite all the cloak and daggers, the system does actually keep you safer than you’d otherwise be?
As our main characters begin to realize that the Sibyl System is anything but what it seems to be, it’s these exact questions that they must now ponder. And as far as expressions go, they’re now stuck between a rock and a hard place — an unenviable position that’s not without a fair share of irony. Because in the end, the Public Safety Bureau’s main goals are to enforce the law, deliver justice, and uphold order — all goals inherently given positive associations. At the same time though, it’s precisely because of those goals that the members of the Bureau end up being exposed to the negative aspects inherent in society — and from there, the realization about the Sibyl System. In ways, it can be said that it was a byproduct of them having performed their investigative tasks too well — to the point where they’ve pretty much put themselves into this situation, as their initial capture of Makishima ironically led to this sequence of events. And when you consider the fact that they’ll actually end up destroying the societal order they’ve been fighting so hard for (and represent as well) if they topple the Sibyl System… it’s truly an unenviable scenario to be in — though one quite fitting of the rather brutal nature of a series made by UroButcher.
On a related note, this then brings up another well used expression in the classic “ignorance is a bliss.” Invariably, you’ll always find differing views regarding whether this is true or not, but I can’t help but think of how potentially true this would be in this case. I mean, if you look at the situation one way, if our cast never found out that the Sibyl System was hiding its fair share of secrets… they’d be in a much better position for the most part. Of course, there’s no real point to discuss this now given the revelations and developments we’ve already been shown, but I really just can’t help but be reminded of the expression — especially when you consider how Makishima could pretty much be said to be a representation of the side that believes ignorance is anything but a bliss.
In any case though, the end result — as of this moment anyway — is that Kougami ends up deciding that he must go outside the law in order to deal with Makishima and the scenario they’ve been put in. And to say the least, it’s a decision that has immensely far-reaching consequences. To but it bluntly, Kougami’s pretty much sacrificing himself to relieve the others of the burden, as if he succeeds in killing Makishima and ends up getting executed as a result, it resolves the entire dilemma for the most part. For one, Makishima’s death would stop him from wrecking any more havoc on society. Kougami’s own death would then free Ginoza and the rest of the Enforcers/Akane from debating the aforementioned scenario as well, as it is likely one of them would have to be the one that shoots him. This would serve the purpose of allowing them to return to their daily lives as members of the Public Safety Bureau, while also serving as a statement by him that having the system — even with its shady elements — would be preferable to the alternative. This would then make it so the other members could at least accept continuing their job and living in a society run by Sibyl, even though they would likely still harbor discontent at the system and their own share of regrets. In this way, this is perhaps one of the most ideal of possible endings at this point — one where Kougami not only gets to go out while staying true to his own morals, but also while giving a new lease on life for the other members.
Sadly though, the one thing you can’t expect in general is an ideal scenario from an UroGen series. It would be admittedly nice if things end up like the above, but gosh darn, it doesn’t have the feeling that it’ll end up like that at all… as it seems likely that the Sibyl System will have its own say of things before it’s all said and done. There’s definitely a potential scenario here where no one lives, and if this set-up episode has given off any vibes, it’s that the ultimate in grimdark endings awaits us in the remaining four episodes. And with that, another week of PSYCHO-PASS draws to a close… and well, hopefully future weeks will at least be free of notices from the director apologizing for the quality of the animation. The ending will undoubtedly be quite intense, and there’s just not enough words in the dictionary to express how sad it would be if what would have been a great experience ends up being ruined by terrible animation.
ED2: 「All Alone With You」 by EGOIST