「メトスラの遊戯」 (Metosura no Yuugi)
“The Game of Methuselah”
Girl, take off all your clothes if you want to live… After the numerous references to cerebral and thought-provoking material like philosophy and science-fiction, many viewers were probably expecting the solution to Makishima’s elaborate game of cat and mouse to fall along the same intellectual lines. Who would have thought that the hope for escape came from an observation that girls usually match their underwear?
Makishima’s purpose for his game of cat and mouse is not a novel one by any stretch. It’s simply an age-old adage that a person’s true nature is revealed in times of adversity, and his dialogue left no illusions about his intentions – Makishima is aiming to uncover Senguji and Kougami’s true nature by using the blunt instrument of fear. However, it’s worth nothing that this isn’t the first time he’s actually done this.
The last two psychopathic murders who received Makishima’s aid and became close to being caught by the police have one way or another found themselves in situations where they fear for their lives – and their true nature is revealed. Midou “Tomato Smoothie” Masatake appeared to be another cold-blooded killer who showed little emotion or remorse for his acts, at least until his arm was blown off and the police were breathing down his neck. Faced with imminent death, Midou revealed his true self and took solace in his avatars – all while Makishima looked on, separated by a virtual wall. The most recent psychopath, Ouryou Rikako, met a similar fate as well. She was a complex character whose ideologies about the role of females in society appeared to be the primary motivation behind her gruesome kills, but in the final minutes of her life as she lay trapped and bleeding, she pulled out her phone and tried to call none other than her already deceased father. This was her true nature, and once again, Makishima looked on from high above, detached from the scene.
The manner which Midou and Rikako both met their end raises the question of what Makishima’s true intentions are in his grand scheme. Does he derive his entertainment, pleasure, and ultimately happiness by providing the tools for others to commit murder as was previously believed? Or is it from observing people’s true nature being revealed while the most basic and primal fear – the fear of the death – grips them? For all we know, Makishima’s twisted yet brilliant mind probably enjoys both, as they are equally revealing about a person’s personality.
The two individuals being tested in this episode are interesting cases in their own right. Senguji appears to be a man whose life for the most part life is dependent on the mechanical precision and predictability of technology. He doesn’t even use hunting dogs of flesh and blood, instead preferring to rely on robotic facsimiles to strike fear in the hearts of his prey. So what happens when the machine of a hunt Senguji designed is not as predictable has he intended it to be? Makishima’s bet is that whatever transpires is indicative of Senguji’s true nature as the hunter possibly becomes the hunted. As for the other man in this game, he’s a harder nut to crack. For Kougami, being trapped in a dark maze with a murderous and insane cyborg hot on his heels still isn’t dangerous enough to incite any palpable fear in him – he’s been calm and collected throughout this ordeal. The only reaction we’ve seen on his face is a look of anger more than anything. As an Enforcer, Kougami has probably had his fair share of dangerous experiences, and so far it seems the only situation that can trip him up is one that reminds him of the time he failed to save Sasayama. It’s definitely possible that in the coming episodes Makishima will take an even greater interest in the unflappable Kougami and conjure up an even more elaborate scheme to strike fear directly into the Enforcer’s heart.
In fact, Makishima might have already set one such plan in motion already. A likely scenario that may already be playing out is that he is actually one step ahead and is using the whole cat and mouse game to lure his true target: Tsunemori. Makishima is the one who provided (in bits and pieces) Kougami a way to contact his fellow MWPSB officers, knowing that the people who are most important to Kougami will then rush in to rescue him. In the confusion, Makishima will probably attempt to use Tsunemori somehow in order to unlock Kougami’s true nature. It wouldn’t be surprising if somehow both the Inspector and her Enforcer are in one way or another by the time this is all through.
Ten episodes into the psychological “game” of Urobuchi Gen that is PSYCHO-PASS, this recent change of pace – substituting in more ‘thrilling’ in exchange for less ‘thinking’ – is a welcome one. The result is one of the most enjoyable episodes of the series yet, thanks to the reappearance of dark and gritty action that provides a shot of adrenaline that the dialogue-heavy series has lacked as of late. Hopefully, this episode isn’t also the last moment of relative normalcy for Kougami, Tsunemori, and company – because if past series by Urobuchi are any indication, there’s a monster named Suffering lying in wait…
- I’m not sure if this whole matching underwear thing is true because in high school, I flirted with this girl who would always tell me whenever her underwear matched – and she didn’t match every day…
- Full-length images: 01, 03, 03.5, 04.5, 07, 08.5, 14, 20, 25, 26, 28, 31.5, 32, 32.5. (Caps may be too dark when viewed in Chrome)