「狂王子の帰還」 (Kyou Ouji no Kikan)
“Return of the Psychotic Prince”

Sometimes it feels like one episode of this show contains as much material to mull over as multiple episodes of other shows. Over a span of twenty or so odd minutes, there was plenty of symbolism, revelations, and concurrent storylines, some of which were so subtle or nuanced that only upon a second viewing were they noticeable. Yet even with this much story to digest, somehow the series never feels overwhelming – viewers don’t feel like they need a wiki to keep track of everything that is going on. On the other hand, the amount of various story elements in this episode does make it harder to tease out a common thread that ties it all together. A theme nevertheless does exist in this episode. It is a portrait of a world where Sibyl, one way or another, prevents people from reaching their true potential or achieving their true dreams.

The first character seen in this episode is a prime example of a person whose full potential, and likely his dreams as well, have been cut short by Sibyl’s intervention. Even as an Enforcer, it’s clear that Kougami possesses the skills, the intelligence, and above all, the talent to excel as an Inspector. He had all this potential to become one of the best, probably even better than Ginoza, but because his proficiency carried his work too far beyond Sibyl’s norms, and thus society’s as well, he was prevented from realizing it fully. What is truly admirable about Kougami is that he doesn’t allow the hand that was dealt to him in life affect him negatively. He doesn’t complain like Kagari does – he just silently accepts his fate and soldiers on with his mission to find the person responsible for Sasayama’s murder.

Tsunemori, who basically replaced Kougami’s former position as Ginoza’s partner, is remarkably similar to him, but it remains to be seen whether she will share his fate as well. Right now, she appears to be the only person who is truly following her dreams, even if it means that she is not living up to the potential that Sibyl sees in her. However, it’s also not a very farfetched idea to see Tsunemori eventually walking the same road that Kougami did. Against Ginoza’s advice, she’s been fraternizing with several of her Enforcers, and should something tragic happen to one of them, her strong sense of justice could lead her to becoming the second coming of Kougami.

It’s probably safe to assume that many people in the world of PSYCHO-PASS carry a burden of some sort that stems from Sibyl preventing them from reaching their true potential or chasing after their true dreams. Even if some of the characters don’t voice their frustrations out loud like Kagari does, if one reads between the lines, a mild discontent with their lot in life can be detected, like Tsunemori’s friends Funahara Yuki (Koiwai Kotori) and Minase Kaori (Harashima Kozue) in this episode. It’s this discontent and frustration that is hidden from Sibyl’s eyes that Makishima has tapped into. He is basically targeting true psychopaths that match the serial killer profile – people who have murderous intentions and ambitions inside them but can hide it from the world, and more importantly, from Sibyl’s eyes.

The latest recipient of his help is a girl who looks almost as lifeless as the bodies of her victims. Ouryou Rikako (Sakamoto Maaya) has been set free by Makishima to pursue her dreams of dealing death, but what makes her probably even more disturbing and mentally unhinged than either Kanehara Yuji and Jae Guseong is that she uses her benefactor’s words to lure her victims as well. High schools are the perfect hunting ground for a murderer to prey on people who feel stifled, and only a few would suspect such a well-mannered and well-respected girl was capable of drawing such a macabre tableau and then carrying it out. She and Makishima seem like two birds of feather, and the consequences of their pairing could prove to be dire. Looking beyond the immediate danger that she poses, an army of serial killers lurking in the shadows who prey on people that are unsatisfied with the life that Sibyl has given them would have many potential victims, and it’s fast becoming a definite possibility.

In this episode, we see the effects of Sibyl’s pervasive control over society rather than its extent – the cost that humanity must pay daily in this dystopian world. Although the possibility of a happy ending where someone in the show escapes or brings down the system is becoming bleaker with every episode, PSYCHO-PASS is still one of the most compelling shows of the season. He may not be a modern-day Shakespeare by any stretch, but Urobuchi Gen knows his tragedies.

  • Lots of close-ups on the eyes in this episode, and it reminds me of those in LOST, which was one of my favorite shows. I’m not sure what the symbolism is just yet though.
  • Interesting to see that there is a rumored genetic, and therefore heritable basis for crime coefficients as mentioned by the chief as she warned Ginoza.
  • Yet another appearance of a caduceus
  • Tsunemori is pretty moe when she’s buzzed.
  • Full-length images: 10, 15, 24, 33, 33.1, 33.2, 33.3.


    1. Good observation, I too thought of the idea, considering how ballistic Gino went back in episode 3 when Masaoka went into detective-mode and how Kagari mentioned about the history between Gino and Masaoka being taboo.

      Kinny Riddle
    2. I got the same feeling when they started talking about genetics in this episode .. and remembering how aggressive Ginoza was back in the factory crime episode during the team meeting .. i say that’s exactly they type of reaction a son would have towards a father that let his son down or had his son’s expectations in him shattered completely.

      I think we are on the same page here.

  1. Ok so… I had a hard time figuring out the “doll-like” statue. Is her head sewed onto her stomach? And her arms looks like legs, and I have no freaking idea what her legs are suppose to be. Are those even her legs? One of the most grotesque things I’ve seen in awhile, which makes this anime even better.

    1. Perhaps it’s just me, but somehow this human-flesh statue seemed kind of mild for Urobuchi Gen-style horror standards. Maybe my senses has gone numb after stumbling upon one too many guro images on 4chan by accident ages ago. lol

      Kinny Riddle
    2. Its the actual girl in all (well we don’t know 100% that’s the case but honestly it can be inferred). The legs and arms were chopped off and switched around and the head was placed on the stomach. The rings of roses on her body is to most likely cover up the stitches on her body to make it look more “beautiful”…now as for how she got the legs to wrap around each other like that I don’t know…that’s the only thing making me think some of its just a statue but its the future so you may never know, they might have a device that can melt human flesh into clay so you can mold it or something?

  2. Well, that penultimate scene scared me a bit (that kind of a method of murder always gets to me no matter what, it also kinda reminds me of this Japanese novel i read about a psychopath who took the body parts of different girls and and put them together as one to create ‘perfect art’)

    Makishima and that girl seemed to have held onto the wrong tenet, here..judging by their conversation at the end, they thought that they were doing the girl a favor by killing and beautifying her at the same time (if the girl hadn’t opened up about how she lost her virginity, i doubt they would have done what they did..or would they? what did u think verdant? ), even though in truth, they didn’t know whether the girl herself actually wanted to die (the girl complained about how her Psycho-pass was getting cloudy, but it doesn’t mean she wanted to die, right?)

    Overall, a very fine episode, the symbolisms were spot-on, and really rang true to the overall tone of the series…though i do really hope Urobochi won’t get caught up on them too much and show us some action a little bit (i’m hoping for a run ‘and’ gun style of duel like the one featured in Cowboy Bebop)

    On another note…why is it that the Japanese are so fixated upon Shakespeare nowadays…this season alone we’ve got this and Zetsuen no Tempest recited his plays’ quotes every now and then…

    1. I think this show with reach peek crippyness maybe Detective will catch psychopath in action this time ( ponytail is a victime I bet 60% she will survive cuz detective will investigate and Kou will sense it

    1. what makes me curious is i read somewhere Urobochi himself admitted that he felt uncomfortable writing their grotesque scenes….but here we are, watching an Urobochi-written series that as of now has already exceeded Fate/zero in terms of violence (or has it not?)

  3. So this arc is basically MariMite meets Kara no Shoujo. Yet another show is ruined for me, thanks Gen! No really, this is why I like Urobuchi, I avoid creepy stuff like this but Gen makes them interesting enough for me to keep watching. It seems the missing girl they mentioned has been found and the twin-tailed girl will be the next victim. I’d like to think the PSB will save her in the nick of time but I doubt it.

    I do like the little bits of character they keep giving us. Like Kagari being a great cook (yes ladies you can fawn over him now). Akane can also keep her alcohol in and we get even more suggestive yuri between Yayoi and Shion. My favorite part is when Akane laughs heartily on the suggestion that she likes Kogami. That was a great way to defy a shippers expectations.

      1. I’d say they’re a lesbian duo. In one of the earlier episodes, we saw one of them coming out of the room while making their outfit proper while the other was putting her stockings on.

        Seems her archetype from Kanbaru has stuck with her

  4. Also, Oryo sure reminds me plenty of Touko from Kara no Shoujo, in particular their hairstyle, love of drawing & their tendency to be involved in grotesque.. incidents. intentional/coincidence?

    /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\
  5. I find it funny how the crime seems to take place in a stereotypical Yuri boring school. Even with the (This time psycho) Onee-Sama. Wonder if Urobuchi is tired of toeing the line in Madoka.

  6. I also think there’s a pretty good chance that Akane will go down the drain. If it doesn’t happen it’ll still be just as good as it would mean the show managed to surpise me by not doing it. My current guess is that Kogami will get killed by Makishima, and Akane will snap because of it. After that a time skip will occur and Akane will now be a hard boiled detective woman. At least that’s what I’d like to happen. Not that she isn’t already awesome, but it’d be fun seeing her “interrogate” someone like Kogami did.

    Oryo Rikako sure got a ridiculous name, and sure is a psychotic bitch I wouldn’t mind killing myself, but damn is she hot, and voiced by Sakamoto Maaya !! I can’t help but like her. I hope she develops nicely, and gets a slap on her face.
    Also, I was surprised at first that Makishima is a teacher at an all girls school, but now that I think about it he probably just change jobs corresponding to the psycho he wants to help kill stuff.

    1. I agree very much to the slapping. Mostly because it would be a shame if she die off or simply written off the series, Sakamoto is a great seiyuu! And I would like to have that character linger a little bit longer to keep enjoying her voice.

  7. That’s interesting that you think the true psychopaths are hidden from Sybil, I thought perhaps the opposite, that Makishima may have access to Sybil data and be targeting people with cloudy psycho passes that have been ID’ed by Sybil but do not yet pose a threat b/c their crime coefficient isn’t high enough.

    It’s likely that these people would not have had the means or opportunity to kill if Makishima hadn’t intervened – doesn’t he put them in touch with the right “tools” to act out the killings? I think Makishima can stay one step ahead of Sybil b/c whatevr matrix Sybil is using to ID threats can’t discern the connections that Makishima is making happen – he becomes the trajectory by which a factory worker or a school girl can become a killer. For some reason this reminds me of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (that you can’t determine both the velocity and the position of an electron since the more you know about the one factor the less you know about the other). Sybil is very good at determining the position of a threat (person with a high coefficient), less so about determining the acceleration of the threat level, especially when it is acted upon by an unpredictable agent. And if Makishima has data from Sybil, then he’s using Sybil to facilitate murders that would not otherwise have happened.

  8. The way they treat the dead bodies are so sick… I almost didn’t expect something this gruesome from this show. I thought the worst they would do is the body swelling up and exploding like in the first episode but I was wrong… in the previous episode we had victim’s body being cut into pieces and now this…

    But yeah, I for one am not good at handling this sort of things but this is still an interesting show. I already got fond of a lot of the characters so no matter how gruesome it gets I can see myself still watching it sadly…

    1. It’s a good thing for the industry that nowadays we still have anime that don’t pussy out from showing bold violence like this in an age where people would just aim for a PG-13 rating just for the sake of profit (even if it means quality has to be expended on)embrace this…

  9. Oh man, this anime keeps getting darker and creepier per episode. In a good way, because I do tend to like Psychology related psychotics but then this show is unique…never have I seen such death scenes, dead bodies, could it be that the creator of this anime is mentally disturbed? If he is…he’s doing a good job.

  10. Finally Kogami’s back-story is fully revealed and now we know why his psycho-pass when sky-high .. and he has every right to feel anger and killer intent after what has been done to his Enforcer (whom he clearly was friends with) .. Makishima Shougo really pushed him to the edge by killing his friend (and enforcer) and mutilating his body in such grotesque sick way.

    Also it’s interesting that Kogami is really such a good detective (as he showed in the previous episode), really loved it when he tied together all the previous cases with his arch-nemesis Makishima Shougo (that white-haired guy), turns out the previous cases weren’t just episodic content .. they all tie together to show the pattern of the psychopath that Kogami dedicated his life to study and chase (and became an enforcer in the process) .. and surely this episode paints that mastermind criminal in a very dark and creepy light … he doesn’t commit crimes himself but rather manipulates other people, plays with their weaknesses and problems and helps them in every way possible to turn them into senseless killers .. devilish .. he can just then sit, watch and enjoy the show .. that’s one sick twisted bastard … i will surely feel happy when Kogami puts an end to his schemes .. preferably with a Dominator shot (although it would be a problem if that guy doesn’t trigger Dominators .. maybe a good old fist-cuffs will do XD)

    And i also can’t blame the people who had their psycho-pass go up four levels when they found the truth about those grotesque corpses which they thought were weird statues … heck .. just seeing few pics of those corpses and thinking how they were made (specially the last one with the cross-shaped girl) made my own psycho-pass cloudy and sent a shiver down my spine XD

    And i wonder what Shion meant when she said Yayoi is into more violent and passionate stuff !!! .. i seriously can’t wait to find out Yayoi’s past, how she became and enforcer and what’s really going on between her and Shion (Yayoi so far is the most mysterious member of the team, we really don’t know a single thing about her other than that she is into violent, passionate stuff and probably in a relationship with Shion) .. she also several times showed that she still cares a lot about Kogami .. probably out of mutual respect for his skills .. or maybe more XD)

  11. UGH! certainly our “mister heloping hand” has a knack for finding potential killers…
    Eyes are mirror of the soul, they say, and it seems staring into abyss is something can corrupt even high school girls… MariMite meets Seven? Ouch!
    I am eagerly awaiting what will be the reaction of assorted Inspectors and Enforcers to the renewal of the specimen case – in the form of arts macabre case!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *