「血の褒賞」 (Chi no Houshou)
“Medal of Blood”
「完璧な世界」 (Kanpeki na Sekai)
In looking back at PSYCHO-PASS’ finale, my thoughts inevitably end up at the same conclusion—that this ending wasn’t something that appeals to everyone. When considering the grand scheme of things though, the fact remains that few series have endings that do. As such, the thing that I end up looking at is whether or not it ends up being satisfactory in the context of the story. Did it wrap up all the respective plot lines? Did it give us a proper conclusion? Was it something that made sense in the context of everything that’s happened until now? And when you consider all of these factors, I can’t help but think that PSYCHO-PASS’ finale ends up meeting all these requirements. It might not have been something that everybody liked/wanted, but in the end, it was something that provided a satisfactory conclusion and not only in the context that we got “some kind of proper ending.” No, I mean in the context that every plot line conclusion we get is a direct result of past developments.
For instance, the plot line regarding Ginoza and Masaoka. From the start, it was quite obvious that there was just no way that things were going to work out well for the two. Their different views and beliefs, their inability to act as a father/son normally would, and Ginoza’s rising coefficient… they were things that just made it so that given the “right push,” at least one of them would likely not make it out alive. As it turns out, Makishima would end up being that trigger—fitting, given his propensity for being the force that puts things in motion—forcing Masaoka to either save his son or let him die. We all know now the decision he made, and it’s just something that comes as a direct result of the above factors—as Masaoka seizes the one chance he has to be the father he was never was. Naturally, this leads to Ginoza’s acceptance of himself and his PSYCHO-PASS, resulting in his enforcer role toward the end of the last episode.
Shifting over to Makishima and Kougami, this was also one of those plot lines that wrapped up as a result of things set into motion from as early as the first episode. For better or for worse, you knew that there was just way that they would not end up meeting each other in one final confrontation. Because that’s how the story has been going about it all along, that these two were the only ones who could understand each other and thus, the only people that could be involved in either the capture or killing of one another. That was how things were going to be and that’s how it ended up. With that said, I’m going to go as far as saying that Makishima’s death was also something that was taken to its natural end. And I say this because his personality was one that revolved around solitude. His rejection of the Sibyl System’s offer a few episodes back is something that emphasizes this further, as well as the fact that while he may have been doing this to seek a place in society at some point, it ultimately developed into something way more. Towards the end, it wasn’t as much as trying to find a place in society as it was just trying to find hope in general—hope in humanity and in the individual potential. As such, his actions were a kind of test for humanity—a test to try and find someone out there could meet/exceed his expectations. Ultimately though, this was a route that makes his death a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy—which is what I mean by this being a natural end—as it can be said that the second he found someone who did, it’d likely result in his own downfall. Considering his triumphant smile as he was killed by Kougami, and well, I just can’t help but think he was not only expecting his death, but hoping for it—looking for someone who could free him from this life.
So as you can see, the really big developments here—at least, in my eyes—were things that met their natural end and things that made it so the story would come full circle for the most part. The final moments of the series just end up virtually identical to moments in the first episode—except for a few role changes among the personnel (although Ginoza being of the same family as Masaoka and having an injury to the same arm too, kind of made it like his father’s still there)—and things look like they haven’t changed at all. But as the old proverb goes, “never judge a book by its cover”—and it’s a notion that readily applies to this finale. Because despite the fact that everything looks quite similar to the way it was before and the fact the Sibyl System is still running things, it’s undeniable that significant changes have happened and will happen in the future. With Akane—and her ideal views (you’ll likely remember me discussing this a few weeks back)—now in charge and a new Inspector in Mika (who is likely going to be similar to Akane considering her prior run in with Oryou Rikako) as well, the people high up in the MWPSB chain are no longer the same as they were before, and it’s likely that they’re going to start gravitating toward a world where the Sibyl System will no longer be needed as a result.
Looking forward, what the future actually holds is still up in the air—as there’s definitely room for a sequel here, especially with Kougami still around—but let’s just say that at least this ending here felt exceptionally satisfying as a result of the aforementioned. Again, it might not have been what everyone wanted, but it gives the series the kind of conclusion it needed—arguably the only proper one given the developments up until now—and solidifies PSYCHO-PASS as a likely candidate to be one of the better series of 2013.
ED2: 「All Alone With You」 by EGOIST
Going into the Fall 12′ season, PSYCHO-PASS was hyped as one of the best series the season had to offer. With Production I.G., UroGen, and a handful of esteemed female seiyuu all involved, it wasn’t hard to see why. The question is, did it manage to meet those exceptions? Looking back now, I have to say that it did.
Because in the end, the series was something that not only offered a solid story, a nice cast of characters, and an intriguing world—it offered a lot of other things as well, things beyond just what you saw on the screen. Indeed, with things such as the Sibyl System, there were a lot of philosophical elements to the series as well. The definition of justice, the lengths you’d go to dispense it and preserve the law, the value of the individual self, the potential of humanity as a whole… all of these were concepts touched upon through out the series, and it’s something that makes PSYCHO-PASS above and beyond just your normal run of the mill series. What made it even better, was the fact that you could theoretically just watch it only for the action/sci-fi elements too—thus appealing to a wide variety of viewers.
That said, while I do believe the series ended up quite good, I do have to say that it’s not quite the masterpiece. After all, many of the elements were quite obviously borrowed from Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, The Minority Report, and other critically acclaimed science fiction/cyberpunk works. As such, the series takes a slight hit in terms of its originality and creativity, though it’s nothing that really makes or breaks the series—as PSYCHO-PASS does do enough to differentiate it from the aforementioned. Ultimately though, the basic thing is that I’ll definitely miss this series (especially the CAUSE I FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL OP). It certainly ended up being one of the better series of past seasons and it’s something I feel will be one of the better series this year has to offer—just… not the the best.