「透明な影」 (Toumei na Kage)
“Transparent Shadow”

Full-length images: 10, 19, 22, 27, 31.


「正義の在処」 (Seigi no Zai)
“Countryside of Justice”

With the Makishima vs. Kougami battle starting in earnest, it seems Production I.G. has decided to put a little more effort into their animation. After weeks of QUALITY, things finally look a little more acceptable, with Akane in particular receiving some nice upgrades in the visual department. Considering how she’s taking a more proactive role in the plot it’s a good thing. Her involvement still comes across as slightly awkward though, as it feels superfluous to the conflict built around Makishima and Kougami, which is the dichotomy PSYCHO-PASS chose to introduce in the very beginning.

To put it into perspective, both Madoka and Fate/Zero had central conflicts that may be less philosophical, but felt more cohesive and grounded in the individuals who were chosen to portray the issue at hand. PSYCHO-PASS, while containing the loftiest moralistic arguments Urobuchi has brought up to date, is the weakest of the three shows when considering narrative flow and the effectiveness of the conflict’s presentation. Part of the problem lies in the fact the issues Urobuchi tries to tackle in the show require different focuses – one macroscopic and the other microscopic. It almost feels as if P-P needs to be split into two shorter shows to tackle the issues to the extent the philosophical drivels in the series seem to suggest. Kougami and Makishima’s opposition echo Kiritsugu and Kirei’s antagonistic relationship in Fate/Zero, which was a microscopic conflict explored in a macroscopic world. The execution and integration of all the events and side characters in the show wasn’t perfect, but it was done to a far better degree in F/Z than in P-P – all of the secondary characters mean something, and their deaths serve to portray some kind of purpose, while Kiritsugu and Kirei play off of each other in a much more intense manner than Kougami and Makishima. Perhaps it’s because the former two feel more dynamic – the latter two are surprisingly flat. Their intensity is diluted by the Sybil System’s – and by extension Akane’s – involvement. The conflict regarding the Sybil System is a macroscopic, world-based conflict that doesn’t feel applicable to the Kougami vs. Makishima debacle. To be fair, the two conflicts would seem less disparate if Kougami was taken out of the picture and Akane pitted against Makishima instead – morally they stand on opposite ends of the spectrum, or at least enough that there is a more harmonious mix of the two worlds than there is now.

It’s unfortunate, since the moral and philosophical debates behind Urobuchi’s two main issues could have been something phenomenal if they were allowed to be independent of one another. As it stands, it’s difficult to discern just what the writer is trying to say since all two out of the three main characters stand for vastly different things. If Kougami’s focus on Makishima was grounded on worldlier things such as societal injustice instead of a personal one, the series might feel a little less jarring. The use (or lack thereof) the side characters still remains a problem, but if the main cast can gel together a bit more smoothly, it’s not an issue that would be too glaring.

Minor qualms aside, Sybil’s conversation with Akane is probably the highlight of this week and last week. What it describes is an objective system at best; a large sample pool might reduce the chances of a failure in logic, but it doesn’t completely erase it. One really has to wonder who came up with such a system to begin with – the beginnings of the Sybil System is something that seems impossible to comprehend since it’s unimaginable to think anyone in their right mind would be able to conceive and actualize such an outlandish idea. Actually, to think of it is one thing – this is wholly possible, to dream of a utopia where people would no longer have to worry about what they should do for the rest of their lives. But to achieve it using such twisted methods is another matter entirely.

Full-length images: 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 36, ED 01, ED 03.


ED2.54 Sequence

ED2: 「All Alone With You」 by EGOIST


  1. Kougami will shoot Makishima, Sybil will demand for his execution, Akane trades her brain for Kougami’s freedom and have him reinstated as a detective. Series end with Kougami receiving a message from the now dead Makishima about the true nature of Sybil, he will then understand the disappearance of Akane and be faced with the struggle between exacting revenge against a system that Akane is now a part of, or accepting her gift of a second chance.

    1. Alternatively, Akane wipes out all the brains as they’re about to execute Kougami, and then plugs herself into the System to keep it from shutting down, becoming THE Prophetess herself.

      1. I’m imagining a epilogue where a new detective joins the Public Safety Bureau and receives his Dominator MKII(After the “refit” of the Sybil System), and the Dominator’s voice is Akane’s.

  2. I don’t find the micro- and macro-conflicts to be as disconnected as you seem to suggest, personally. In fact, episode 20 arguably connects the two together indelibly in the Akane-Sibyl sequence – where Akane, finding new meaning in words she’s heard before in the light of Sibyl’s revelation, finally reconciles the philosophical truth in Makishima’s words with her hatred for his methods and his overweening hubris, in much the same way that there is truth in Sibyl’s words, as detestable as it is, again, for its methods and overweening hubris. Sibyl, in some ways, is Makishima writ large, set along a completely different and utterly incompatible philosophical axis, which puts the two disparate conflicts into perspective; whereas Kougami, while aligned very close to Makishima’s philosophical axis, is set on a different and utterly incompatible moral axis. Much as, you note, Emiya Kiritsugu and Kotomine Kirei seemed to be.

    As for the main character dynamic, perhaps it would be more useful to contrast Psycho Pass with Madoka Magica rather than Fate/Zero. Madoka Magica had Homura and Kyubey playing the mutual antagonists to each other – but it was Madoka who, ultimately, was the arbiter and the one who broke the cycle. Homura and Kyubey were utterly irreconcilable as well, as it was – everything from their moralities, to their viewpoints, to the scope of their ultimate purposes was different. It took someone vastly different – fundamentally different – from them both to break the cycle. Akane, here, seems set to play the same role – although, from the promise she wrung out of Sibyl, her final answer may yet be more along Emiya Kiritsugu’s than Kaname Madoka’s.

    The one criticism I will agree with is the under-utilization of the side characters. Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica were both much better in this respect.

    (Also, one last thing… not sure if it’s just an unfortunate choice of words, but ‘philosophical drivels’ and ‘Kougami v Makishima debacle’ seem rather loaded phrases, no?)

  3. Actually if i were to compare F/Z and P-P,
    1) Integration of events – F/Z > P-P
    2) Characters – P-P > F/Z
    IMO I didnt feel the connection with F/Z characters :/

    1. Even characters like Yayoi who got no characterization and yet are still around while the one with the most got offed?

      F/Z gave almost every character an arc to their development, especially the development between Masters and Servants (except for Berserker and Assassin’s case when their masters’ character arcs were big enough for two). Madoka was admittedly easier because it had less characters, but it still gave some of the supporting staff their fair share (namely Madoka’s mom and Kamijou).

      In Psycho-Pass, their might as well be only 4 characters: Makishima, Tsunemori, Kogami, and the Sybil System.

  4. I think the Sybil system has really bad case of Deathstar mentality. All the brains in one place? check. Whole country dependant on food on single crop? check! Did the “brain trust” never heard of Irish potato famine?
    I think there is still a possibility of the detectives, led by Akane, staging a coup against Sybil, if Makishima doesn’t succeed with his bio-attack and the Sybil system doesnt collapse anyway. I think that Akane herself might be asymptomatic, and Sybil might have misjudged her willingness to co-operate. And if Urobutcher Sybil kills off Kogami, I am pretty sure we will have Akane rebel.

  5. The only episode with particularly bad animation was 18, I wouldn’t say it was “weeks of QUALITY”.
    If I were to compare Fate/Zero and Saikopass, I’d say Saikopass is better. One of the main point and the only one I’ll brought up to not make this long is that I simply like the characters more. (Even if some got less developed or seem useless. There’s still 2 eps left though so I’d wait until then to deliver my final judgment on this) In Fate/Zero I disliked everyone and couldn’t really associate with the story. That’s just my opinion though.
    Makishima looks so happy while he’s about to genocide billions of corns and tomatoes.

  6. The way Kougami and his Sherlock professor were discussing how Makishima’s plans might lead to the borders being reopened, it seems to suggest that the price for Japan implementing the Sybil System in lieu of a judiciary system is that it has once again, since the feudal ages, locked its borders to the outside world, relying on these super-oats to sustain itself.

    Makes sense, as no foreign government would allow their citizen, who has committed no crime, to enter Japan and suddenly being labelled a “latent criminal” to be either locked up or blown to mince meat. Probably explaining why Makishima resorted to hiring foreign mercenaries and hackers like Choe Gu-Seong to sneak into Japan and do his bidding, as it’ll be quite difficult to find a Japanese person willing to carry out his plans unless he’s an asymptomatic like Makishima.

    The System (in their Borg-like collective hive mind) deciding to hedge their bets on Akane by telling her everything was certainly most risky, they relied too much on Akane’s sense of justice and the fact that she happens to benefit most from the System.

    Then again, if someone has to put an end to this System, then who better than Akane, the person who has benefited most from it?

  7. One really has to wonder who came up with such a system to begin with – the beginnings of the Sybil System is something that seems impossible to comprehend since it’s unimaginable to think anyone in their right mind would be able to conceive and actualize such an outlandish idea.

    Here’s hinting to Production IG and Urobuchi: A PREQUEL!

  8. Last week was a smiling Kougami and this week we have a frowning Akane and a very happy looking Makishima. It was a surprised that they suddenly looked very different from how they were always portrayed in the series.

    Anyway,I still believe it will be a Madoka-like ending in which Akane sacrifices herself and Kougami probably gets saved in the end. The ED song lyrics is really getting close to what Akane is doing and it’s probably a hint on how the end would go.

      1. there are only 4 people dead there, how do you see 5? 1 alive is Kougami.. it’s Akane behind him in the middle, not only it looks like her but script writer is Urobuchi Gen, he gives no mercy to protagonists.

  9. BAKAMOCHI, I agreed with you that this show portray the play-off between characters in lower degree that F/Z, however I feel that the discussion about morality in different perspective which is the main macroscope of this show is the main thing that put this show into shine. I do like the intense interaction between characters but I also like the way that this show is ‘NOT’ F/Z.

    I would say this show give as more ‘concrete’ constrain compared to F/Z. While in F/Z characters struggle their ways to holy grail because they are compelled by their personal needs, the constrain in this show is about maintaining order of society, maintaining justice and maintaining humanity. Those last three constrain, in most of the time, cannot be achieved at the same time. Also, people would value those three things differently.

    For Makishima, he put priority to the last one so it’s almost overate it and disregard the other two. Kogami, on other hand has the balance between the first two at first but his inner self lies with the second one. You said that the plot might not be ‘jarring’ if Kogami goes with ‘justice for society’ rather than ‘his own justice’ but I think his inner conflict wouldn’t allow him to. He knows that what he’s doing is against the rule (of society) and he knows that there holds no merit to try justify what he’s doing. Killing people is wrong, letting killer on the loose is wrong, not giving the killer a suitable punishment is wrong as well so he has to do the dirty job personally and then receive punishment. It as simple as that.

    Finally, about your comment on the origin of Sibyl system I also had quite a same discussion with my friends. Who would implement such flawed system? It’s not about right mindset but it’s probably about choices. Some societies which have deep conflicts so that people cannot trust each other. You might want to take a look into the political conflict in Thailand in past four years or some thing of the sort. People who rooted for one party will always think that what the opposing party doing is wrong. In such atmosphere it is hard to set a government which can satisfy everybody. If the technology allow something like Sybil system might be used (fortunately we don’t have such advancement) to restore harmony. I’m sure that people might think that having everybody being controlled by a bad boss who not sided with everyone would be better than having the opposing party as our boss or something like that.

  10. As to how the Sybil System got started…

    Probably as a response to immense political corruption. Science fiction has already done several stories about irrefutable lie detectors being invented and used in society. We know all our politicians are crooks – imagine being able to aim a Dominator at one of them and reading their Crime Coefficient! On live TV. In front of an audience.

    The same for judicial corruption and widespread crime. The judge let the drug dealer off with a technicality? Point a Dominator at the drug dealer as well as the judge and see what their hue is. I can see the Sybil System being offered as a solution to martial law and war.

    As for pigeon-holing people into their jobs and society, I knew many teenagers that would have loved to be told what to do, rather than struggle to “find” themselves in high school and college to see what kind of career they had.

  11. Huh, Makishima’s going viral, eh?

    I love the machine they created for the viral production http://irlgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Successful_troll2-204×300.jpg
    A mechanical loom, that turned straw (or in this case grains)into a golden dream meal, now used to weave a tale of doom by an author of disaster – nice

    The flashbacks, showing Akane then and now really help show how much she’s had to change with all that’s happened to her, how much stronger she’s become.
    Must admit, when the boxbot-o’-guns came to her, and the Sybil started talking to her after she took the gun, I was worried it meant something more sinister, like perhaps Akane was like the chief, an andriod or something such (made by Sybil) without her knowing it, a test prototype (which might explain her Psycho Pass always being so clear)

    Glad that wasn’t the case, though I share Ginoza’s shock at how hardcore investigator she’s suddenly became in this episode. Potential indeed ^^

    As to Makishima & Kougami… don’t know, their little screentime & their actions didn’t have much feeling, especially Kougami.
    I mean, at the beginning of the show we saw how determined and dogged he was about finding Makishima, almost getting killed for it, and then… he sits down for a cup of coffee and blogs… wha..

  12. Maybe that’s why I feel so iffy about this show. After reading this post, I finally understand why what was bothering me. I mean, the whole concept of Psycho-Pass is super cool and amazing, but I guess how the story is being told makes me go “huh.”
    But overall, still enjoying this show~

    1. I pretty much have the same feeling, and Bakamochi really nailed just what is bothering me about this show. It lacks a certain cohesiveness, a true purpose for all the characters, a story that just clicks together. Here, we have building blocks of what could be a really good show…but they’ve been put together wrong, so something is just off about it. This isn’t the type of show where every scene has a purpose, it just kind of flows along.

      Mind you, I don’t think it’s a bad show (it’s still one of the upper tier ones this season) but it lacks what really made Madoka and Fate/Zero special, and that’s a pity. Where you could get really attached to the characters in those shows (there’s a reason Rider won the best character award last year), I kind of feel distanced from the ones in Psycho:Pass. They have their moments, occasionally, but they don’t leave much of an impression because, yeah…they’re kind of flat. I don’t ‘feel’ them. Personal opinion of course, but still.

      On another note, that old factory totally has ‘last boss dungeon’ vibes coming off of it. I could totally imagine Makishima playing on some big church organ (Ganondorf style) while they’re climbing the thing, anyway.

    1. Sometime when you put clothes on, you forget to take them off. I would sometimes put my scarf on in the morning, go to class, eat, go to class, come home, do work, play games, watch psycho-pass, take a nap, and eat again before I take my scarf off.

      Suppa Tenko
    1. I shared this with my family. Although my mom dropped after Rikako’s arc (too grotesque for her,) my dad continues to enjoy it like I do. I’m glad to be able to share it with them. Maybe you can try it too. Watch the first episode with them and have a discussion about it! I am sure it will go fine. 🙂

  13. wow sry to say this but the macro/micro argument doesn’t hold at all besides why is there a need to compare it sets the bar very high and almost guarrantees disappointment due to high expectations, second, this show, i feel, is very different from fate/zero and madoka the issues takled are very different. the three shows share a dystopian vibe but i personally like this one much better, mayb it’s because i’m studying george orwell and dystopian fiction and i find uribuchi’s take on the genre thrilling and enriching. these rather low key episodes present a meaningful contrast to the previous chaos and prepare us for the ending. this show is mostly about the human psyche we shouldn’t forget this and if looked at twice you will doscover much more in these two episodes than you have especially episode 19, that one definately needs to be seen twice
    I really hope people will stop comparing this to fate/zero and madoka

    1. That’s all well and good, but even if you disregard how the themes are handled (which isn’t very well, in my opinion), there’s also the fact that a good portion of the main cast have little to no role in the story, making them pretty much talking scenery, unlike Urobuchi’s previous works. No amount of repeat viewings is gonna change that.

      1. i agree about that especially yayoi since there was an entire episode devoted to developping her background I would be very disappointed if that part of the story was not brought forth again. but while in madoka and fate zero it was clear that the focus was on more than two characters i’ve never felt this with psycho pass from the beginning ( the opening also makes it clear) it was clear that kougami and tsunemori were the central focus of the story i didn’t expect the other characters to get as much focus as the side characters in fate/zero

      2. Well, remember that a good story’s foundation is in its supporting cast. I dunno how Urobuchi wasn’t able to do that this time when he’s usually so good at including everyone who needs involving, but I at least hope it doesn’t happen too much more in the future.

  14. You can tell Akane is maturing when her Ginoza sees Kogami in her investigating skills. It seems that the line has been drawn. Do you keep the sybil system in order to maintain the social order it has created? Or, do you shut it down on the basis that it is wrong for society to be ruled and have its will taken away based upon the arbitrary standard set up by some of the most brutal criminals in Japan who alone are the only people in Japan with a will.

  15. I agree with you about the side characters. For an “experienced” anime-watcher, we have some kind of expectation for every character we see on the screen. But for other “amateur” anime-watchers, side characters who don’t shine will remain unnoticed. My dad did not notice Yayoi existed until episode 12 (oops!) I actually had a high expectation for Yayoi because she looked awesome from the first episode. But I know now episode 12 was the last for her.

    I guess one of the problems for this story is the scale. The macroscopic scale is so large, sometimes character developments are sacrificed. I want to know more about Masaoka, Ginoza, Yayoi, and of course more Kagari (my favorite T_T). But this anime will have to have at least 50 episodes to accomplish that.

    In response to the comparisons illustrated, Fate Zero was a bit different. The backbone was basically set from the beginning; Urobuchi only needed to focus on the development of the characters (most of them die anyways.) Madoka, on the other hand, was budgeted to be a relatively short story from the beginning. So I would say Madoka was simpler to execute than Psycho-Pass. Maybe this kind of length or depth for a story in animation is new for Urobuchi (I don’t know) so he went overboard? Nevertheless, PP is still one of the better ones I have come across with. I am just nitpicking.

  16. Anyone still doubting that Akane is Madoka and Sibyl is Kyuubey in this series?

    This ep – first time in this series that I have felt hopeful! I thought Sibyl revealing its true form to Akane would shatter her spirit but instead she emerges as the only character other than Kougami with true free will.

    Also, both Akane and Shougo look very tasty this ep.

  17. ” Who would implement such flawed system?”

    Probably it was not implemented as-is, all at once, but rather in gradual steps, one after the other, none of them individually very controversial, and each seemingly a logical conclusion to what came before.

    First, install cameras everywhere.

    Then, add facial recognition software.

    Next came cymatic scans– a different kind of sensing device that shows you what people’s thinking is like, instead of what their appearance is like.

    After that, you need a massive computer system to perform the analysis.

    At some point, it turns out that conventional computers simply aren’t appropriate to the task, and developments in cybernetics make it possible to substitute human brains.

    Next, criminally asymptomatic individuals are detected by the system. What to do with them? Justice needs to be served, and the system needs to be improved in order to detect and control aspects of human behavior that currently evade it. Isn’t the best solution one that achieves both of these objectives?

    Even if one agrees that the end result is hideous and broken, in steps it might have been something people agreed to do in good faith.

  18. are you guys not planning on reviewing the best ending of the best show of the season, zetsuen no tempest’s ending planes in comparison and shines with superficiality in comparison to this

    1. I honestly thought the ending was bland. The only thing it gave us was the fact that the new Inspector was going through the same kind of thing as Akane on her first time, which was somewhat symbolic.


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