Psycho Pass s3 ep8 – Don’t Falter in the End Game

I love it when I can use a quote from the episode as my post title! It makes me feel so professional for some reason. What can I say, it doesn’t take much with me! Also this is a very abrupt way to start a post. I got overexcited.

Hello everyone. For this last episode of Psycho Pass Season 3, I’m going to switch things up a bit, and let Matt handle to introduction. He’s much better at it than I am:

An introduction? Seems like you already got that far without me, but more or less this “final” episode of the third season is something of an odd one–at least tonally–because it feels unlike anything that’s come before and that’s both a good and a bad thing… but I’ll elaborate on that later.

So the last episode was a bit of a mash up between “the Office” type interview narrative and the wrap up of the main arc.

‘The Office’ feels like a very apt comparison, which is a very weird sentence for me to be saying about ‘Psycho Pass’ of all things!

I gotta say, when all is said and done, “Bifrost” had a lot of possibilities in concept but to me ended up shallow in execution. I tend to like a better developed antagonist with more established motivations. I believe this could have helped bring the plot together a bit more. As it is “Bifrost” ends up with a lot of unrealized potential.

I’d agree except I think we’re only at the tip of the proverbial iceberg (pun intended) about this whole Bifrost storyline.

I must say, there was a lot more exposition than I am used to for the final episode. Personally, I don’t mind when a narrative keeps dropping new information all the way to the end. However, with the number of characters and themes that have been presented in the season and just sort of dropped, I really couldn’t connect that well to yet more new elements.

Wanting to have its cake and eat it too? That’s been the ‘Psycho Pass’ way for most of this season. Giving this show the benefit of the doubt when it juggles a dozen different characters and their motivations and how they interweave is part of the fun/frustration of this particular season it seems.

Maybe I’m a heartless person but the enforcer’s truly tragic story about Sybil’s unfairness was interesting intellectually but just sort of there emotionally. I wasn’t crying over it, and I cry over everything.

She has a name, Irina! (Frantically Googles it) Oh right, Mao, I mean her backstory was interesting but it was more or less just another case of Sybil is a jerk to innocent bystanders/victims of traumatic crimes while apathetic perpetrators get away with it. I think what was more interesting/the point of this scene was how it tied into the ‘Foxes’ and that whole part of the narrative.

There’s a point where we see Arata and Kei as children. Kei is very blonde. I don’t know if he dyes his hair to fit in more but that’s my head canon. It was such a nice little touch. Just a bit of visual storytelling that reveals way more about the character than a simple speech would have, in my opinion.

There was a flashback in the previous episode that showed Kei and his wife as (teenagers?) younger having just moved to Japan and Kei had blonde hair in that brief scene too.

They did set up Kei’s personality switch in the past episodes but since they had to fit so much into this one, I feel like it wasn’t given enough time to properly evolve and felt a bit jarring if still logical.

It was pretty jarring, if only because Kei seemed so completely understanding of all of Arata’s quirks, so this should have been a hiccup but ended up a speed bump.

By the midpoint I realized that I’m really enjoying the interview device. It’s a really interesting way to structure an anime and it allows you to revisit all the important characters and create a sort of soft closure. I’m sure some people are going to hate it but I thought it was cool!

I agree, I probably wouldn’t have liked a whole show using this narrative device, but for a ‘season finale’ it helped differentiate itself from the previous episode and give a sort of intimate gravitas to some character’s scenes.

I will say that the scenes with past characters felt like pure fanservice to me. The story really could have been told without involving them at all and from time to time it felt pandering in my opinion.

Sure, but I get the feeling this show wants to tie all of the ‘Psycho Pass’ lore together, past and present characters included–into some kind of elaborate and expansive epic–which is admirable if not just a little bit overambitious.

I must say, I was sort of caught off guard by the ending. It seems like the really interesting story, with Kei caught between a rock and a hard place, is just about to start!

Did you see the post credit scene? I only ask because you seem like the kind of person to turn off after the end credits start and it was kind of an important after credit scene…

The car thing? – yup.

Here’s my personal bottom line for Psycho Pass season 3. Some of you may know that I’m actually a pretty big fan of the first season as well as Mandatory Happiness and I remember both quite well. Which means I know what I liked about them and I couldn’t help looking for those elements in season 3. Namely a strong and interesting antagonist, a small but well developed cast with who I could form an emotional connection that would hit me in the gut when the plot treated them cruelly, amazingly sustained tension and pacing, and finally strong classical sci fi dilemmas to debate over in my head for years to come. I personally didn’t get any of that this season.

There were some great elements but a lot of them just seemed thrown in without deeper thought, like Matt mentioned a few times. The much larger cast meant a lot less time for  attachment to any single character and to be honest the pacing was off in my opinion which meant I was sometimes bored.

Like the whole “fake news” thing that got a couple of sentences in this episode? While I agree this whole season felt like a writer desperately trying to wrangle in a bunch of real life social injustices and larger political crisis’ I at least appreciate broadening the narrative scope–even if it felt like they were constantly chasing their own tail.

However, if I take the comparison away, it was a decent show. Not amazing but certainly with its own strengths. To me season 3 left the impression of a rather good Psycho Pass fanfic.

Fanfic seems a bit harsh! Honestly I really enjoyed this series (especially compared to Season 2) and while I don’t think its ambition is ever met by its execution I’m at the very least impressed by the story it’s wanting to tell and thoroughly enjoyed the new characters along with just straight-up enjoying returning to the world of ‘Psycho Pass’. Plus they announced a sequel movie coming sometime next year, so maybe that’ll help coalesce the more disparate parts of this particular part of the overall story!

Matt has issues with fanfics I take it. I actually enjoy them a lot so it was meant as a compliment…. Did you guys enjoy Psycho Pass? Any strong feelings about fanfiction?

 

 

 

 

Irina

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

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3 Responses

  1. Scott says:

    I’m with you, Irina the show as a whole was very 7/10 territory for me which is good generally but I was hoping it would be more. It needed 2 cours again to fill out it’s story then it might have been better maybe.

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