Welcome back everyone to my Psycho Pass watch-a-long with Matt! I’m surprised by how few bloggers seem to be watching this series but that’s o.k. Small parties are the funnest! Also, my week has been a killer so I don’t want to go to some huge party! Next week is gruesome too but after that, it should ease up – YAY! So how has your week been Matt?
I’ve been a bit unwell but I’m sure the people who come to read this aren’t interested in the details of my health, on with the review!
I’ll be honest with you guys, I really didn’t take as many notes as I usually do so I may skip over some things but here are the things that stood out to me.
I loved that bank fraud and market manipulation in the form of a manufactured housing bubble was the initial crime. And explained in such detail as well. It was amazing! Financial crimes in Psycho Pass is something I really hope they explore more. Because people’s relationship with money, especially in a society that has no poverty, is probably quite different than their relationship with violent crimes. I wonder what it does to their hues! What did you think Matt?
It’s funny I was watching these parts thinking “man, the writer of this series must have just discovered about the 2012 financial crisis and housing collapse in the US and felt compelled to write about it… either that or they’d just watched ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘The Big Short’.” Not a bad thing, of course, it was very interesting and conveyed well, just a little bit obvious. There were also mentions of election fraud and manipulations…it was a pretty topical episode.
At one point, we see Arata jumping around rooftop with a cord tied to him, as Kei is infiltrating the criminals’ stronghold. That action sequence was spellbinding. I really enjoyed it. How about you?
I loved it, simple yet immaculately choreographed and executed parkour.
So the white colour crime got wrapped up quickly but rather gruesomely and just as Kei and Arata are chasing after the main criminals, bam, familiar faces. We get a Ginoza and Kogami (reunited again!) double whammy cameo. I recognized them both instantly and my heart did that little nostalgia squeezy thing. And I do love seeing them but I’m not sure how I feel about the constant callbacks. They feel a little “fanservicy”. I think I would have been happy with a glimpse of Akane and then let this be its own story.
It’s gotta be hard for a series that’s got so many ardent fans to both please them with enough call-backs to the things they liked about the first season while simultaneously introducing the new. I’ve been fine with it up to this point, but I don’t think they need to go as hard about the call-backs going forward.
Also, I must say, there were a few moments during this sequence and the conversation with Mika afterwards where I think I really missed something because I have not seen season 2. Did you know that Nobu and Ko were working as partners again and for Foreign Affairs at that? They don’t seem to be latent criminals (or at least are not being treated as such). Have we ever seen that blonde before? They kept making cryptic references to Akane as if she was an urban legend…Cause all of this came as a confusing surprise to me.
I have an absolutely terrible memory so unfortunately you’re asking the wrong person. I barely recognized them as returning characters until the show spelled it out for me (yeah, yeah I know I’m pretty bad at this).
Having wrapped up their first case, the second half of the episode switched to a new one. Investigating a supposed suicide. The hotel staff that discovered the body as well as any witness had their Psycho Pass deteriorate and are now probably stressed out because of that and I realize that Sybil is just the ultimate victim blamer. Something bad happened to you, better not let it get you down – or else!
That’s always been my number one complaint (maybe) about the Sybil system in general, the idea that innocent bystanders can get their hue deteriorated to such an extent just by witnessing something–hardly seems fair–but I guess that’s the point this series has always been making.
I got to say, I still feel like the mind trace is a bit of a gimmick. Not necessarily a bad one and I enjoyed it in this episode a lot more than in the last, in fact, I wished it had lasted a bit longer, but nevertheless, it feels awfully convenient.
I still like it, I think it’s unfair to judge the quirks and abilities of people who see the world differently than the lay person, maybe there are people like this in our real world and we don’t hear about them because their abilities like ‘absolute empathy’ are things that aren’t measurable by modern science. I don’t find his abilities to be cheaty any more than a character who has a genius intellect, it’s just something they can do better than everyone else.
I’d just like to say, I’m only judging it as a narrative device. As a character trait I like it. But I find that so far it does take something away from the investigation aspect as the long hard job of gathering clues and making deductions basically wrapped up in 2 minutes instead and in a way where the audience isn’t given a chance to figure out the mystery along with the character because everything is just given in direct exposition.
I mean sure I guess that’s a concern but I’ve never been one to try and be smarter than the show I’m watching. I’m just happy for it to unfold however the writer wants it to unfold, if that means me solving the crime before the characters do and feeling smug about it then so be it but if that means me being stupid too then thats okay too.
Really? Trying to figure out who the killer is has always been one of my favourite things about mysteries! I’m pretty sure authors pride themselves on leaving just enough clues for people to figure it out but presenting them in a way where we don’t think of it right away because we get wrapped up in the story! Even when I do figure it out though, I doubt it makes me smarter or even anywhere near as smart as the writer. Creating a mystery is way harder. Besides, I’m wrong most of the time but its fun trying, you know? I wouldn’t people who enjoy trying to solve puzzles are doing it to feel smug. I just think they like puzzles. Maybe I’m being naive.
Seeing the history of the idol Karina and how every step of her path was dictated by Sybil in a parallel with the Sybil approved man vs machine MMA fight that ends with shouts to the glory of the system, was a bit of a shock. I never got to see much of everyday life in the Psycho Pass universe but what I remember is fairly normal, very peaceful and full of holograms. That was the brilliance of the system. There was no need to make the population obedient either through force or propaganda because they were perfectly content. Sybil’s control was through comfort and safety.
This was a much more obvious and forceful depiction of a rather stereotypical dystopia and I think it makes the story a little weaker.
I’ve always felt the Tokyo of the ‘Psycho Pass’ series was incredibly dystopic, to me it’s a world that on the surface looks like a law-abiding peaceful place but is run by a system that’s so counter-human that everybody is living on edge–always afraid of something going wrong or seeing something horrible that might cloud their hue. The revelation of a character being almost raised by Sybil to be a perfect personality and then later become a politician seemed very in-line with what this universe has shown. Sybil works by controlling everyone, even down to what’s popular, who’s famous and who’s in power.
On the other hand, Karina seems like a wonderful potential antagonist. Honestly, I got excited but the little of the character we did get to see. I was even a bit bummed out when the episode ended. And it took me by surprise which is impressive considering these guys are double the length I’m used to.
She was great, wasn’t she? The idea that she’s almost like a Moriarty-esque equal to Arata’s Sherlock is going to be something that I really want to see a lot more of!
I know I nitpick and point out aspects I enjoy less. I did like the latter half considerably more than the first in this episode. But all in all, I am really liking the start of Psycho Pass season 3. I can’t wait till the next episode. Had it been available, I would have watched it right away. What are your thoughts so far Matt?
I agree, the second-half of the episode had a lot more going for it overall and is looking to push this show in a lot more interesting directions especially as politics are going to be involved. One thing I didn’t get to mention in last week’s review but is still exceedingly relevant here is how glad I am that these episodes are all double-length the normal anime length. The added time helps this show greatly as it allows you to fully immerse yourself in this world and allows for a lot more information to be imparted in one go. To binge watchers this’ll be hardly noteworthy but in watching week to week it helps. Overall I think I liked this episode even more than the first episode and if things continue along at this quality we could have some stiff competition to the first seasons’ crown.