「鉄の腸」 (Kurogane no Harawata)
“Iron Heart”

“Make a contract with me and become a magical girl! a part of the Sybil System!”

Following the predictions made by some astute readers last week, the lauded Sybil System reveals itself as an aggregate of brains collected from the “criminally asymptomatic”. Ironic? Most definitely.

But first: what does it mean to be criminally asymptomatic? By Kouzaburou’s definition, it simply refers to a person whose criminal coefficient cannot be judged by their psycho-pass. That does not necessarily mean, however, that they’re not criminals – in fact looking at Makishima and Kouzaburou, it’s possible for one to make the assumption that it is actually the criminally asymptomatic that commits the worst crimes because of their controlled sense of chaos. Disturbingly rational and lacking the ability to feel anything outside of their own logic, acts of violence committed by them have a more chilling feeling than crimes committed by a regular psychopath. How twisted is it then to use these people as the “baseline” for society’s normalcy? It’s nonsensical and twisted and incredible at the same time to see a society built upon such backwards reasoning. A collection of brains is enough to overturn the people’s absolute faith in the Sybil System, but discovering their lives are blessed and ruined by two hundred-something criminals? The consequences of such a reveal are beyond disastrous.

Considering the magnitude of this development, it’s amazing what the humanization of such a lauded system does to the atmosphere of the show. Intoxicated by the thought of playing God, Kouzaburou dulls the effect of the Sybil System’s true nature. Before, the system was an omniscient idea, one that transcended the limits of human ego; but with the introduction of that precise component that would have discredited it initially, the magic dissipates. This is especially true with how Kouzaburou is portrayed – he’s surprisingly simplistic and one-dimensional, to the point it’s almost disappointing. He was just as enigmatic as the system he is now a part of, and while the aspect of the Sybil System was very well handled, the revelation of his character comes across as anti-climactic.

Makishima’s rejection is no shocker, yet it sets PSYCHO-PASS in an unknown trajectory. He will no doubt continue on his path to wreak havoc on Sybil, and Kougami and the rest of the Enforcers will not stop chasing him. But where does it all end? Is there a conclusion where anyone will “win”? If Makishima emerges victorious, it would mean the end of the Sybil System, but the triumph of misguided, villainous values. Kougami’s win would ensure “justice”, but the continuation of falsely peaceful ideals.

There were several other things I would’ve liked to touch on, but as this is quite late already, I think I’ll leave the rest for another time.

Full-length images: 1, 4, 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 27, 28.


ED2.53 Sequence

ED2: 「All Alone With You」 by EGOIST


  1. Oh well, first of all, not all of the “brain trust” of sybil system were criminally asymptomatic – they were chosen as a way to “broaden perspective” of the “hive mind”
    Secondly, I assume that the ending might be something along the lines of Makishima having to cooperate with our Inspectors and Enforcers to bring down the Sybil.
    Last but not least, I’m no fan of Makishima, in fact I want him dead – the old fashioned way of dealing with murderers… But I’ve found his trashing of the cyborg body (sadly there are more in storage, and over 200 spare brains…) immensely satisfying.

  2. This scene:

    Now that that’s out of my system…

    I wasn’t too surprised that Sybil is made up of brains, not even that it was made up of criminally asymptomatic ones. However, I thought the reveal was an interesting touch, for lack of a better description. I didn’t think they would keep the phone, never mind keep the video recording of it.

    Regardless, if the public found out the system they put their faith in is run by some 200 criminally asymptomatic brains, the riots would be even worse than the ones Makishima instigated. I do believe they’re all criminals of sort, because how else would they have shown up on the radar?

    I wasn’t a fan of Makishima destroying the cyborg body, if only because it just felt too easy. I know he’s supposed to be a beast with his hands — the past few episodes have hammered that through nicely — but there’s something a little silly about a cyborg being completely overwhelmed by a human. Took away from the episode a bit for me. There’s also the fact that I can’t cheer for him because he’s still a complete monster.

    1. Well, Kougami trashed an actual combat robot set to full level. I am not surprised Makishima could do the same. Besides, you can also take into account that the guy who was controlling it at the time is an incompetent fighter.

    2. well the assumption that cyborg technology at the time is vastly superior to the human body may be wrong. Seen as most of his damage was caused by disabling joints and pivots which may be just as weak on a machine as they are on a human (particularly if they’re supposed to look and move like a human being)

    3. The problem with Makishima trashing the cyborg is the fact that the same cyborg body took a full blast from whatever energy-pistol the hacker was using. The end-result was the old lady lost her ‘skin’, but still had her entire metallic frame intact underneath.

      So to withstand a Dominator-like blast at point-blank, but get busted by a book, and some punches, just seems a bit silly to me.

      Red 4
      1. I didn’t even consider that, but now it makes my initial feeling stand. There’s definitely an inconsistency in how much the cyborg can withstand — Makishima’s physical capabilities being stronger than whatever gun his hacker buddy had is just ridiculous to me.

      2. I don’t think it was an energy pistol. It looked more like an acid gun and that’s why it melted off her clothes and synthetic skin. I’m sure a cyborg was the last thing they were expecting.

  3. I have a feeling that Kougami will fall even further and it would be up to Akane-san whether she will be able to pull him out from the darkness or die trying D:

    Makashima was more awesome than usual this episode but one might think, if he survives after the collapse of the Sybil System, what would he be doing then? Lead a peaceful life or play cat and mouse with a new bereau?

    1. I was wondering about that. If the sibyl system is made of human brains then how could they say a person has a crime coefficient of 0 when they’re holding a razor blade to someone’s neck? Unless these brains are just used for their brainpower and not actually conscious of what they’re observing.

    2. I think it’s as sealouse says, the brains are normally just drives that are accessed by the whole system for computationally power and are not individuals that think about whether a person with a dominator to the head is a criminal or not.

  4. I’d venture that the answer to the ‘criminally asymptomatic’ question is actually fairly simple – that they are people who, for whatever reason, have a personal outlook fundamentally and irreconcilably different from that bred into society and humanity at large. To use TYPE-MOON speak (which is where I suspect part of the concept is borrowed from), each of those 200+ brains (or those brains that are ‘criminally asymptomatic’, anyway) probably would be a good candidate for a Reality Marble.

    Logically, then, adding each such fundamentally different individual would in fact theoretically both provide a baseline to judge similar individuals in future, as well as broaden the composite perspective of the Sybil System as a whole. On the other hand, the twist of how much individuality and personality each brain actually seems to retain casts some doubt on the benefits outlined above…

  5. While it’s acceptable for some tomboyish young girls in Japan to address themselves as “boku”, a masculine pronoun, to make them sound cute, you know something just doesn’t sound right when a supposedly elderly woman like the Chief in charge of a solemn law-enforcement institution started calling herself as such.

    While the true nature of the Sybil System being a collective of criminal-asymptomatic brains could be more or less guessed at, it still came as a stunning revelation that Touma was one of the personalities taking turns using the Chief’s persona.

    After this episode, my admiration for Makishima as an awesome villain grows immensely. Not only does he talk the talk about turning society as the world knows it on its head, he walks the walk by refusing to compromise and join the system when given the opportunity to.

    (Surely the system has a reserve of Chief robots to use in order to maintain their control for as long as possible, now that Makishima has trashed the one with Touma’s conscience inside of it. )

  6. The Sybil System is run by psychopaths!AHHAHAHA!! Oh, the irony!!!
    But if you think about it, a highly intellegent person, void of emotion, empathy or remorse would make a perfect impartial judge in theory…i’m not sure about the god complex though.
    I was unabashedly siding with Makshima this episode!(plus he called his girlfriend the minute he got out of jail, how considerate! ^^)That aside though, Makshima did kill Touma this episode, didn’t he? effectively exacting Kougami’s revenge… I wonder if that’s gonna tip the scales.
    Also, why am I getting the feeling that Akane is going to regret not killing Makshima when she had the chance?

  7. If Makishima emerges victorious, it would mean the end of the Sybil System, but the triumph of misguided, villainous values. Kougami’s win would ensure “justice”, but the continuation of falsely peaceful ideals.

    The perfect ending: Makishima triumphs over the Sybil system and destroys it- but victory is achieved at the cost of his life. It then falls to Kougami to lead mankind into a new age. The perversion that is Sybil is no more, as is the villain who was instrumental in its downfall, with leadership falling to someone who is capable of leading us in the right direction…

    1. I wonder if both Makashima and Kougami will bite it, and Akane will be left with the mess.

      Also we likely have chaos nation outside of the Japanese bubble. At least we know Korea went up in flames from Mr. Hacker.

    2. If Makishima emerges victorious, it would mean the end of the Sybil System, but the triumph of misguided, villainous values.

      misguided, villainous values? it’s more accurate to say some values are missing entirely, instead.

  8. continuing my theory -where vicious played the white knight role-, I still do not find a healthy cooperation happening between him and kou/akan. with the info kou received, he will investigate further of either (a) the escape of vicious, or (b) system’s foundation.
    if path (b) will be followed, I think kou will seek assistance not from 4eyes and robocop but with the blondie. blondie’s death will be assured then.
    if path (a), kou/akan will run into vicious while investigating but, there will no blood spill, but exchange of information or just kou/akan getting info about the system which they will find absurd. this will lead to them doubting the system. then path (b) is next.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  9. Even from a male’s perspective, Kougami’s strikingly good-looking and without a doubt, he’s the most gorgeous leading male who has ever graced a anime production. Having a shirtless Kougami’s as the RC banner is the best idea ever and I can’t thank you enough for this *Must contain massive nose bleed from mancrushing*

    Seishun Otoko
  10. I have a feeling that Akane and rest of the team members will join Makishima to destroy the Sybil system. As for Kougami, he will continue to pursuit and arrest Makishima for revenge.

  11. Great episode, just like every one so far (only the animation was a bit off sometimes), but there’s one thing I didn’t get: if Kouzaburou Touma is one of the brains in Sybil, why did it look like he died when Makishima destroyed his cyborg body? Did his personality(say, his “ghost”, to use GITS terminology) vanish because he was in that body at that moment? Did he just lose his conscience as an individual? Was he just acting like a normal human would even if it didn’t really mean death?

    1. I thought they have to put the brain physically into the cyborg, with them moving the brains out and about in the system, and how only 200 of them are used for Sibyl processing while the others go do something else. So Makashima literally cut his brain out.

      1. You think so? To me it looked like the only connection with Sybil was that nape-cable a la Ghost in the shell… Maybe more like the physical brain is just a cointaner and the mind is what actually jumps from one vessel to another…

  12. Makishima’s rejection was not surprising at all, but I have to wonder about the other criminally asymptomatic character in the show: Akane. It’s been speculated for a while to be the reason behind her clear Psycho-Pass, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the series end with her becoming one of Sibyl’s gears. Now, it’s not as grim as might seem – as has been said in the episode, she won’t die or even lose her personality. On the other hand, it might be the best opportunity for her to change the system from the inside, so making a sacrifice for the sake of the people she loves might not be that far-fetched.

    Speaking of Akane, seems like Makishima learned quite a few lessons from her attack. Why bother with fancy martial arts when you can simply smash faces with blunt objects?

    1. Ending I would completely disapprove of: Akane as the main Sibyl brain, off of which those other brains/drives are slaved, essentially rendering her will as the will of Sibyl. Don’t do it Urobuchi! Even though Akane would make a great Sibyl.

  13. If the system is conscious and can override hue check whenever it likes, why couldn’t it isolate Makishima quietly once he was caught in the crosshair for the first time. Obviously he was a wanted candidate for integration into the network, thy didn’t it just paralyze him and start from there quietly, without hunting him down again, the riot and all that noise? Hmmm…

    1. The system didn’t override the hue check on Kagari, the chief did – the chief is a body which a single brain operates. One brain made that one decision, but normally Sibyl is powered by 200 brains and does not make case-by-case decisions but rather uses an algorithm. Also Sibyl may have an OS or something that governs how those brains’ computational power is harnessed.

      1. It is a mighty design flaw then, isn’t it? It has to have some algorithm as to when to switch to the override mode anyway, body or not. What if the body is destroyed, is its overriding ability gone for good?

  14. Fantastic episode even if people foresaw the “Sybil=bunch of brains connected together” .. it’s the fact that Kouzaburou is among those and in the body of the department chief of all people (and apparently the “real” department chief never existed or is one of the brains .. because i must wonder who we saw over and over talking with Ginoza all that time since the start of the series, it had to be the same person/brain or he would have noticed something is wrong !!?).

    I also have to say Shogo was pretty scary this episode when he so nonchalantly crushed Kouzaburou robotic body and opened his skull like a can of tuna .. shit .. even robots/cyborgs aren’t safe from his murdering sprees .. but i guess some will say “how could he defeat someone with a cyborg body with such ease” .. well .. Kouzaburou clearly has no combat experience and the cyborg body he has clearly isn’t military grade and made with the clear intent of looking as human as possible .. not to mention .. Shogo is a highly skilled and strong martial artist and clearly has nerves of steel.

    What i also liked about the events of this episode is that it changes a lot about the things to come, now Shogo is loose and has full knowladge of what Sybil is .. if our heroes ge that info Sybil is more likely to become “the enemy” more than Shogo and once he so they will be faced by the hard choice of co-operating with him to bring it down (considering what he did to both Kogami’s and Akane’s friends this will be very hard on them), or they can try to kill him first (since handing him over to authority again will only mean he becomes part of Sybil) and then work to bring Sybil down after they finish off Shogo (won’t be easy at all like last time XD), then there is Ginoza who might still support Sybil even after knowing it’s truth … there are many possibilities here .. can’t wait for the next episode.

  15. Ten episodes ago they telegraphed this by dwelling on the whole cyborg theory thing. Ultimate cyborg is a society of networked selves.

    Sibyl logo is a giant brain, the two lobes separated by a reverse-image of the Ministry of Welfare tower. Cool!

    1. Working together with a murderer that has no problem with killing and doesn’t even feel remorse at all…
      Hope this bastard will pay for what he did to Yuki(Akane’s friend) and many other people.

  16. I wasn’t too surprised last week about the chief being a robot, what surprised me the most was that they actually caught Makishima, I was wondering what would happen next. And well, I totally didn’t expect the Touma Kouzaburo reveal and that Makishima wouldn’t even spend one episode in custody. Sure, feeling from their discussion, it was obvious Makishima would tell Touma and his “lol I’m God” proposal to f*ck off, but seeing him escape like a boss was pretty awesome.

  17. I was expecting the asymptomatic brains making up Sibyl part, but not how much personality they still retain.

    So Sibyl is not that different than many governments of past and present, made up of “special” men who cannot see other men as human beings, deciding how other people should live and die, and doing everything to hold on to the power they have.

  18. I’m a fan of a lot of things, Star Trek isn’t one of them. But I recognize a borg cube when I see one and that thing that the chief is playing with and that’s in the ED, that’s a borg cube.

  19. Although the real secret behind the Sibyl System isn’t unexpected, the execution is fairly well done as I didn’t expect it to be revealed in such a manner. That end part… Jesus, I jumped for a second when it happened. It would be badass to see Makishima and Kougami work together but the chances are next to none.

  20. I’m guessing the “government” or whoever had that kind of money to make the Sibyl system are pretty corrupt to come up with this mess of an order for the society/country.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    random viewer
  21. Brains… Tell the truth, everyone of us was expecting this, weren’t we?

    I mean, from the last episode, we could very well guess that Sybil has something illegal up it’s sleeve. And a machine can only have something bad up it sleeve if it has something to do with something human.

    At first I was “Ew. Disembodied brains, I presume.” Then when this episode came around I went “Fu**! It really are brains!” (0_o’)

    Which makes sense, mind you(pun not intended). Brains are the ultimate creation of God. It’s a machine, only limited by the heart. If I were to create the ultimate system, something akin to a brain would be my first goal. And nothing get’s close than a real brain.

    1. @moondoggie I expected people with their brains tortuously wired to a giant processor, not disembodied Morbius brains. Not sure people in this society would even mind a computer made of brains as long as they don’t know those brains are criminals; a bunch of comatose dudes with wires coming out of their heads would be much more upsetting to the governed.

  22. Any one knows of the name of the literature/story that Makishima throws the red leather book at the chief and start disassembling her? The story about a flying island (laputa??) there a doctor decided to try to silence opposition politicians by cutting their brains in half and re-assemble them back together again? (Apologies, my Japanese is bad, that’s how far I got out decrypting that sequence of the story line)

    James Beaver
  23. When I watched this episode, a line from the Second Renaissance (Animatrix Short) came to mind: “May there be mercy on man and machine for their sins”

    So we all were right, that Sybil used brains for computing, through ASI (Artificially Sustained Intelligence aka Living Brains in a jar) but who’d have thought there where Ghosts in the Machine as well?

    Yeah, using a machine to judge criminals by using criminal (especially extra-psycho) minds? Seriously, how did this system get approval for development? Were the geniuses behind it all former Windows designers/creators?

    Ha, and while we still don’t know if Androids dream of electric sheep, we now know they certainly so scream when in a bad circumstances ^^

    Now the question remains – who will be the mastermind behind the demise of the master minds? Makishima? Kogami? Both, or can we expect someone else stepping up to the challenge?


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