Psycho Pass s3 ep6 – Friends and Strangers

Hello everyone. Please bear with me this week. I am still in the midst of a huge cold and even watching Psycho Pass was a bit of a challenge. Matt, I’m going to have to rely on you for the deep insight even more than usual this week. Oh and if I say anything that makes no sense, please assume it’s the cold medicine talking.

Oh boy, this oughta be a fun one! Strap in guys and gals!

First let me say that to my eye, it seems as if last week was a blip. This week’s episode was largely back to normal regarding character model consistency and art quality. I really didn’t notice anything off. Of course there’s no way I trust myself in my current state to make that assertion so Matt, what did you think of the visuals?

Much improved, not sure if that was because they were a bit smarter with shot composition in this episode–favouring still frames and off-camera dialogue over low quality mid and long shots–but whatever it was worked well for the visual fidelity of the episode.

I thought the episode would have mostly concentrated on the undercover infiltration of Heaven’s Leap and I was excited about it. So it was a bit disappointing to me to have the narrative swing back to Arata and the rest of division one that quickly.

This episode was jumping around a lot, in spite of what people may have thought this episode would be, I’ll elaborate on that later though…

Although I was amused by how sly Kei is. He’s like an ogre, the boy has layers, and it’s slowly winning me over.

A ‘Shrek’ reference? In 2019? For shame, Irina…

The story does indeed seem to be continuing its exploration of the plight of immigrants in a Sybil controlled society and the plot is thickening on all sides. A deep conspiracy is going on with most of our key players missing for unknown reasons and still no explanation for the acts of terrorism all pointing back to the church.

It does appear that a powerful organization is using immigrants to reap chaos and perhaps in other ways as well but so far, I haven’t gotten a handle on why. I’m not sure if it hasn’t been revealed yet or I just missed it, but the end goal is still fuzzy as far as I’m concerned.

From what I can gather, Bifrost (the three people who talk cryptically in that extremely detailed 3D room) are all ‘congressmen’ who have power on par with the Sybil system and can drastically affect anything going on in Japan; from the allocation of public funds to different projects to the plotting of needlessly complicated conspiracies involving religions, kidnappings, and all manner of mischief. Basically, they are demi-gods, playing with pawns in the shadow of the absolute god that is the Sybil system.

Well yeah – I mean I got the basics down, I’m not that sick. I just don’t quite know yet the point of holding Roundrobin games. Is it a purge tactic, simple entertainment, modern day gladiator games? Bifrost is like an evil Sybil computer right? Why is it holding the games in the first place?

Because ambitious people will always want to have power over others and Bifrost is the end goal for such ambitions maybe?

One thing I would love to get more information about, is the larger context of Japan on the international level. I know I say that a lot simply because I think it’s really interesting to see how Psycho Pass’ specific version of authoritarianism would play out when confronted with other governments. However, in this particular case, I think it could help us appreciate the story more as well.

I’m sure they’d get along fine with the US in its current political state. Ohhh~ spicy!

Like I mentioned earlier this season, I was pretty surprised there even is enough immigration into Japan for the possibility of racial/cultural tensions to rise. I would have thought it would be too chaotic and unpredictable a situation for Sybil to allow.

Regardless of how Sybil feels about it, I’m also super curious why anyone would want to immigrate to Japan. It’s an island country so it’s not mere convenience. These people went through effort to go there specifically. That’s a bit unusual especially in the case of hue compromised immigrants which seem to be not uncommon.

What is happening in the rest of the world to make Japan that attractive?

It’s gotta be the secret porn doujin underground, right? I mean that’d be enough to make me risk a clouded hue to live in a Sybil-controlled Japan!

You may have chosen the wrong show to watch Matt…What I mean is considering the danger, why would someone chose Japan? I know Kei mentioned fighting in his home country but his home country is Russia. They aren’t exactly strangers to warfare in our world…. Do you know anything about this?

Do I know anything about what? About Russia, or about Kei being Russian? Or about Kei fighting in Russia? Or warfare in general? Because as far as I know, war… war never changes…

Did season 2 give us any glimpse about the state of international matters?

I try to block season 2 out of my memories… but no I don’t think it did.

Another aspect that would actually change things quite a bit is the emigration policy which I don’t think they’ve discussed yet. For instance, let’s say that Hue determination is based on some super secret set of calculations (like the google algorithm) and no one can know their own hues until Sybil assesses them. Can you show up in Japan, find out that your one quarter stuck in the bubblegum machine away from becoming a latent criminal and just decide to leave? Is there anything keeping you there outside the financial burden of travelling?

If Japan is letting so many people in you figure they would be letting some out as well to avoid overpopulation but we never really see that. In fact, most people don’t seem to have even travelled outside of Japan (which would make sense) so how does that work?

I think you’re trying to apply too much logic to a show (and by extension its writer) who just wanted to tack on some buzz-worthy topics like ‘immigrants’ and ‘housing crisis’, etc to the world of ‘Psycho Pass’ without you thinking too much about the nitty gritty details. Or maybe the writer is a genius and he’ll answer all your questions in time for the finale!

I don’t know. The writer is probably smarter than me. Besides what I do know of this franchise has always been very nicely constructed. None of these things are essential to understanding the story of course. I just think they’re interesting concepts and would add some nice world building to a season that’s been mostly plot driven.

As the episode came to a close, things were looking pretty dire for Kei. Just as I was starting to like the guy too. And I mean very dire. It strikes me that Psycho Pass may be the type of show that does not shy away from killing off main cast members and now I’m really worries. I will personally be bummed if anything happens to Kei. Maria will be devastated and I don’t know if Arata would even survive it….

Matt, tell me it’s going to be ok!

I mean, Maria got kidnapped to, things are going from bad to worse before our eyes, Irina!

Oh also, Bifrost is deeply involved with Heaven’s Leap. Of course. I don’t even know why I felt the need to throw in a spoiler like that…

Well I mean corrupt religions and corrupt politics go hand in hand, just look at the US… Oh! There I go again being ~spicy~!

So Matt, what did you think of this episode. Is last week still your least favourite?

This episode felt needlessly, almost combatively confusing, presenting itself in a fractured narrative that cut between story beats and flashbacks in such a way to keep itself ahead of the audience as if obfuscation passes for complexity. There was nothing specifically I disliked about this episode, there were some great scenes but they were presented so hurriedly and so disjointedly that on the whole it was hard to fully enjoy the experience. Even though this was a 45 minute episode, not only did it feel like a bunch of plots and subplots were simultaneously emerging, converging and diverting but it also felt like it was rushing for the sake of being compelling but instead ended up just confusing. This’ll be the new least favourite episode (so far). What about you Irina, can you blow past your cold and give us your verdict on it? 

I’m neutral on it. I found it less confusing than past episodes in that motivations were much clearer and I have no issues with intertwining narratives, in fact I often like them. However to me here are a lot of interesting themes being laid out but they are presented in a fairly dull way, in my opinion. So it evens out?

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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5 Responses

  1. Batuhan says:

    Wow Movie Very Good

  2. Scott says:

    The Psycho Pass movie was what dipped into foreign relations.

  3. How do you import the pictures like that? You did awesome reviewing this episode. You sure pick apart alot of pieces which is so cool how you did it.

    • Irina says:

      I watch on my computer and take screenshots automatically. Then I go through them and pick my favourites… Thank you so much.

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