PSYCHO-PASS Ep. 8: Off with her maidenhead

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The deadly consequences of yuri. Anyway, I apologize if this is a bit of a rush job compared to my previous entries.

Plot summary: Shinya uses his detective smarts to identify Oryo as the culprit. Unfortunately, he lets an old man prevent him from apprehending the suspect. Not that it would’ve mattered anyway, since the Dominator would’ve just annihilated the girl. I mean, wouldn’t they want to question her? Oh, this is the plot summary section? Okay, to continue on… Makishima initially helps Oryo escape, but she soon realizes that she has been betrayed. Makishima no longer takes an interest in the girl, so he allows for her to be “raped,” so to speak. See the analysis below for an explanation of what I mean.

Notes:

• Makishima: “If the academy doesn’t take action, they’ll have to answer to the parents.” I would have expected them to answer to the parents after just one unsolved murder, let alone two.

• I like and dislike Oryo’s feminist spiel at the start of the episode. I dislike it because it’s too obvious. To echo my complaints from the previous week, PSYCHO-PASS has a tendency to beat its audience over the head with its message. This academy trains young women to become nothing more than trophy wives! So I literally turn them into trophies! Remember the mystique of the first victim? It was interesting to decipher what the statue meant. It was fascinating to see how other people interpreted the same piece of “art.” In the end, I think we came close to what Oryo says at the start of this episode, but without the anime having to spell it out. The message could be found within the visual narrative of the anime itself. So what I’m disappointed by is that the writer just decided he couldn’t hold it in any further. He had to tell us now! The dialogue isn’t necessarily boring, but it also felt unnecessary and uncreative.

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So what do I end up liking about the spiel anyway? Just that it’s not everyday that you find an anime character decrying the shackles of the “good wife, wise mother” role. All I want, however, is for this message to be presented in a visually interesting way. Hey, it’s anime, not a dissertation!

• This is not so much a flaw with the anime, but a flaw in Oryo herself. Oh, so she’s perceptive to how society pigeonholes young girls into a single role? Well, what does she do about it? She just constructs gruesome statues. She said last week that she’s bringing her father’s work to life, but it’s unclear how these statues are supposed to make people confront their human despair. In the end, she seems to be a purposeless killer.

• Y’know, it’s bizarre to me that our lovable gang of detectives continue to think Toma is the prime suspect just because plastination is involved. From what I can tell, the previous cases of plastination yielded grotesque corpses. What Oryo has done, on the other hand, is so markedly different. But then Akane says, “Based on the analysis of the chemicals, I could only think that the possibility has increased that this is the same culprit from three years ago.” Uh, only if the culprit suddenly has the flair for the fabulous! I mean, seriously now… criminals don’t just suddenly become artists.

The fact that the victims have been turned into art is itself a clue! Hey guys, here’s a hint: all art is derivative in some form or another! Maybe you could use all your amazing computer technology to look up similar works of art to see where the culprit gets his or her (yes, we all know it’s a she, but the characters don’t) inspiration!

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• So of course, this sets Shinya up to look like a genius! But oh no, the genius has been taken off the case! Instead of actually making Shinya a genius, however, the writer has instead opted to make everyone else incredibly dumb.

• Oh dear, Akane beams when Shinya invites her to come along with him on their own private investigation. It’s the one time she doesn’t look droopy-eyed.

• We get to visit a facility where the dangerous members of society are kept or trapped, depending on how you choose to interpret it. First, we see a guy surrounded by dolls, then we see another guy who appears to be into drugs. We also see a guy who is deeply interested in… books? Is learning a crime? Is he some sort of anarchist who takes in dangerous literature?

First, it’s surprising to me that these dangerous members are allowed to keep such contrabands. It makes you wonder if rehabilitation is the goal at all, or if the System simply wants to conveniently remove these people from the population.

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Second, you’ll notice that they’re all males. Finally, these images are all rather transparent, aren’t they? Oh, the obsessive otakus, the zombified drug users… the enemies of any police state.

• Shinya also tells us that the facility won’t hesitate to vent poisonous gas through the vents in an emergency. This is a cruel and barbaric society beneath all cleanliness.

• Well, I guess instead of looking it up on the internet, you could always go ask some nutjob for clues instead. But yeah, a strange guy in the facility identifies the artwork easily. That’s usually how it goes.

• Strange guy: “It was because they were not superficial, trendy art. Instead, they contained firm fundamental themes.” Uh huh. Yo anime, are you trying to convince me or are you trying to convince yourself?

• Way to go, old man:

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Now those kids will never buy into authority cuteness again! But anyway, I’m assuming that Shinya’s under Akane’s authority. Why did she not bother to mention to her colleagues that Shinya would be showing up at campus? Is this how a brilliant professional of the MWPSB operates? Instead, she opts to run up at the very last second to say, “Please wait! There’s a suspect among the students!” Gee, a little warning would’ve been nice.

• How on earth does Shinya know where to find Oryo? He just walks straight to her location on campus.

• Why would the headmaster tackle Shinya? Did he not hear the massive 473 coefficient? Or does he doubt the Sibyl’s judgment? And of course, an old man restrains a super fit guy long enough for Oryo to escape.

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• In the end, Oryo disappoints Makishima, and he quotes Tamora, a character from Titus Andronicus:

“So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.”

To give you a little context, Tamora is the one who directed her two sons to rape and mutilate poor Lavinia. Lavinia begged Tamora to just kill her, because for women back then, losing your virtuousness was worse than death itself. But recall Oryo’s rant from the very start of the episode. What is the purpose of the boarding school? To turn young women into proper ladies so that they may become trophy wives. What would these rich husbands likely desire least of all? A tainted woman for a wife. So in the end, Oryo meets a similar fate as poor Lavinia. One of her legs gets caught in a trap, and a robotic hound slices one of her hands, probably removing a few fingers. Not only that, look at how the old man at the end kills her. He aims a rifle (a phallic symbol) straight at her head and fires a shot so powerful that it literally sends her head flying (removes her maidenhead, i.e. her virginity). That’s one way to rape a girl without being explicit about it.

• So how does Oryo disappoint Makishima? He rejected Mido because he felt Mido wasn’t original enough. I guess you could say that Oryo merely imitated others, but I suspect there has to be something deeper than this. Makishima seems like an agent of chaos, someone whose purpose is to disrupt the System in power. Perhaps he feels neither Mido nor Oryo are impactful enough in their crimes. After all, Makishima sees the society as one being in a deep slumber, its senses deadened by “serenity.” Anyway, he now has his eyes set on Shinya.

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44 thoughts on “PSYCHO-PASS Ep. 8: Off with her maidenhead”

  1. “Why would the headmaster tackle Shinya? Did he not hear the massive 473 coefficient? ”

    No. Only Kogami himself hears Dominator. It was mentioned in first ep.
    And i really liked how Shinya looked like a boss and targeted the gun toward her while schoolgirls were watching.

    1. The idea that liberating women from typical gender roles by cutting them up into pieces is of course, ridiculous, from the mind of a sociopath/psychopath, but more than anything, it’s a cheap pseudo feminist monologue. Oryo never details how women should be/act in society. What role should women play in this kind of world? Should girls try to be like Akane, and join the police force? Should girls become artists and play with creativity? There could have been so much more potential for this aspect of the arc, as Oryo resides in an all-girls school system. But what weirds me out is that Oryotakes her revenge out on WOMEN instead of men (which makes no sense to me – if you’re telling me that it’s a woman’s fault for being molded into a housewife, you’ve got a very distorted sense of feminism). Oryo talks about using the system to break the system, and yet, her choices of art are always the people she was trying to ‘liberate.’ I’m not sure if that was intended, but it didn’t seem like it because they failed to go and address it.

      Of course, there’s the whole pseudo-rape scene which would seem to be progressive from Episode 1, where, you know, a woman was raped just because rape is the only way we can show that humans suck and corruption is rampant in a seemingly perfect society, but it’s not because so far, every woman in this show has been tortured/raped (metaporically or not) and…I’m just so confused about what this dude is trying to go for. Combine that with Akane being literally USELESS and Shinyo doing everything as usual, and you’ve got me pretty unamused at how Urobuchi seems to be so ~intellectual~ in this show. Sure, I’ll give him credit for researching this stuff. But so far, Urobuchi in Psycho Pass to me, is all talk and no work. I can only hope that things turn around eventually.

      [Then again, Urobuchi has never REALLY been good with feminism. Oh yes, he can create ~STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS~ or use the same old “break the cutie” and “let’s strangle all the females!” trope again, but he lacks a solid understanding of what he seems to be getting at. And this isn’t just for the feminist talk, it’s about the entire show. I think a large part of this has to do with the fact that Urobuchi is working on a show that’s outside his niche – *cough cough* mainstream noitaminA – because he’s trying to appeal to an audience he’s not used to working with. Urobuchi’s talent lies within taking stereotypical stuff and subverting it in horrific and le shock! ways, but here, with Psycho Pass, he’s USING stereotypes…to….defy…stereotypical writing….and it’s just not really working out. ]

      1. > Sure, I’ll give him credit for researching this stuff. But so far, Urobuchi in Psycho Pass to me, is all talk and no work. I can only hope that things turn around eventually.

        At this point, eight episodes in, it would be pretty hard for Urobuchi to redeem this show in any significant manner. The way I see it, the best this show can get by the end of its run is the equivalent of a B- at best and a C+ at worst. Even if every episode after this were masterpieces, it would not make up for the fact that the first eight were so mediocre and “intellectual” and LOLDEEP.

      2. That was… kind of the point of the episode. Ouryou Rikako sucked as an artist. The show made it seem we are to think that her ‘artwork’ had depth, but if you pay attention it’s the opposite – it’s superficial, it’s cliche, it knows this.

        I think things being the opposite of what they are presented as will become a big theme in the show.

      3. Oryo is to feminism what Poison Ivy is to environmentalism. In other words, it’s to give her a motivation that the audience can easily understand and accept. But it’s not to make her a character that you actually *cheer* for. So of course her feminism is going to be horribly twisted in the same way that Poison Ivy’s environmentalism is.

        Oryo is a brutal serial killing antagonist, after all – Do you *really* want her to be the *serious* flag-bearer of feminism in this show?

        Also, while I agree that anime uses actual rape far too frequently, turning it into a cheap plot device, if you guys are going to start equating females getting brutally murdered with “rape”, then you’re basically saying that you can’t have female characters in shows like Psycho-Pass.

        It’s not like female characters are getting unusually bad treatment here, guys. Prior to Oryo, two male criminals were brutally killed Dominator-style. Were they “raped” too?

        Fact is that in a show like Psycho-Pass a lot of characters, of all ages and genders, are going to get brutally killed. Associating every time that happens to a female character with “rape” is going to give a very skewed understanding of the show.

        1. Well my talk about feminism in that post wasn’t about Oryo, it was about Urobuchi constantly trying to implement a ‘sense’ of feminism into his works but with usually poor results.

          LOL you’re missing the entire point. You just said it yourself. The two male characters who were killed off weren’t raped. The two female characters who were killed off WERE. That’s pretty horrible treatment to me. If the only trope you can use to kill off your females is rape, that doesn’t just show me that a.) you’re gross because rape is something to be taken seriously and b.) your female characters are nothing but devices for those sort of tropes. Had the male characters been subjected to sexual assault in any way, I don’t think I would have made that comment, but they weren’t. Rape isn’t something that should be trivialized for shock or dramatic purposes (and don’t even compare rape to something like murder because it’s not)

          Also I don’t think you understand how problematic your statement was. “if you guys are going to start equating females getting brutally murdered with ‘rape’, then you’re basically saying that you can’t have female characters in shows like Psycho-Pass.” So you’re suggesting that female characters should only exist to be forced to have sex against their will, to be taken advantage of and have no control over their own bodies, by a male? Oh, okay.

        2. illegenes – When I put “rape” in qoutation marks, it’s for a reason. Oryo was NOT *literally* raped. She was NOT forced to have sex against her will! Unless I missed something, there has not been a LITERAL rape in this show since Episode 1.

          Having one throwaway one-episode character be raped in a show as grimdark as this one is no big deal. If it was happening as often as it is in BTOOOM!, then yeah, it’s a problem. It crosses the line then.

          But I really don’t think that Psycho-Pass is crossing the line here.

          And wow, what a horrible and ridiculous strawman argument on your part. Nowhere did I even come close to saying that female characters should only exist to be forced to have sex against their will!

          That’s a downright shameful strawman argument on your part. Truly despicable on your part, illegenes.

        3. if you guys are going to start equating females getting brutally murdered with “rape”, then you’re basically saying that you can’t have female characters in shows like Psycho-Pass.

          What I’m wondering is why you felt the need to pluralized the word ‘guy’ here. When did I ever say every female character got raped? Furthermore, are you implying that my analysis of the end of the episode is off base? Makishima is quoting (mostly) Tamora, especially where she tells poor Lavinia, “Whoops, sorry! Gotta have my boys satisfy their lusts with you!” Then Oryo suffers a fate much like Lavinia, who was brutally raped. How do you read the scene, then?

        4. Sorry if I got a beat overheated here. Psycho-Pass is probably my favorite anime show of the season, and after PMMM, Fate/Zero, and now Psycho-Pass I’ve come to have a pretty deep respect for Gen Urobuchi’s talent at anime writing. At least the guy is able to write something totally different than what’s typical in anime (granted that it is similar to some western fiction, such as the movie Minority Report).

      4. I think the problem with Oryo is not so much that she fails as a feminist. I mean, she’s a bad guy. She’s not going to be your Susan B. Anthony. The issue, I think, is that feminism is a serious subject that requires adequate portrayal, so we believe it deserves someone better than Oryo to advance its cause. I think what would’ve been nice is for Oryo to have a foil, i.e. let there be two characters fighting to liberate girls from the “good wife, wise mother” role. We can then see Oryo as the misguided antagonist who tries to take up the banner of feminism, but fails because she’s too self-centered or evil. Meanwhile, our hypothetical protagonist continues the feminist cause in the right way, now that Oryo has been eliminated.

        The problem with what we have instead is that you take a legitimate cause, you pin it to an evil person, and now that the evil person is dead, the cause disappears with it. Yes, we all know that Oryo was a fake and her feminist rant was as pretentious as her art, but there was a core of truth to her rant. You’d wish the the feminist problem she brings up would be resolved or explored to some extent. It makes you wonder why Gen even brought the issue up in the first place. You get no kudos just for paying lip service to an actual problem.

        every woman in this show has been tortured/raped (metaporically or not) and…I’m just so confused about what this dude is trying to go for.

        Well, most the perpetrators have been guys too. When they visit the prison, we’re only shown men locked away. I guess you could point to statistics that show how most psychopaths are predominantly male. In that same line of logic, you could also point to statistics which show that most rape victims are female. So is Gen highlighting these differences in a thought-provoking way, or he simply perpetuating gendered stereotypes like what you might find in a trashy show like BTOOOM? As unsatisfying as the feminist spiel at the start of the episode was, I think it nevertheless shows that Gen’s aware of women’s role as being underprivileged. I don’t think he’s unaware of the fact that all his female victims have been tortured or raped, nor is he unaware of the implications of such a thing. But is being aware enough? Like you said, there’s a lot of research here, but nothing substantive.

        Combine that with Akane being literally USELESS

        I disagree that Akane has been literally useless. Yes, I snark that she seems a little dull in the head at times, but ultimately, her role is to relate to these “latent” criminals in a personal way that humanizes them. This is a world where people disregard you because of a number. I guess that’s some form of objectification. In an implicit way, Akane doesn’t just see Shinya as a number, and so she nurtures his ability to solve cases with his “unorthodox” methodology (though we all know he’s simply the smart one). I don’t think that’s useless. Now, you could argue that Akane continues to perpetuate gender roles in which the female protagonist is caring and passive, while the male protagonist takes action. But we’ll see how they develop…

        1. I get your point on Oryo, and how it’s unfortunate that the message she represents won’t have a more saner voice putting it forward.

          However, I think that in Akane herself you see a strong, independent, female character. Akane has her weaknesses, to be sure, but she doesn’t seem to be motivated solely, or even largely, by romantic affection for the male lead. In a male-dominated cast like this one, that’s a positive female character, I think.

          Granted that Akane has a lot of growing to do, but I’m hopeful that she will achieve it.

          Psycho-Pass isn’t beyond criticism, but I don’t think it’s a sexist show (not saying that you, E Minor, were viewing it that way; just that I wanted to head off that comparison).

        2. However, I think that in Akane herself you see a strong, independent, female character.

          My argument isn’t that the show lacks strong female characters, but I think the jury’s still out on Akane. That being said, with only eight episodes into the series, I’m not saying that this is an indictment on the show either. But back to my original point, what I think illgenes finds troubling is that an important feminist issue gets brought up, and it goes nowhere. Whether or not Akane becomes a strong female character won’t change this and it’s a bit disappointing to anyone with feminist leanings.

          Psycho-Pass isn’t beyond criticism, but I don’t think it’s a sexist show

          The trap is in thinking that this is a binary thing, as if there’s an on/off switch that determines whether or not the entire show is sexist. The entire show might not be sexist, but it isn’t unreasonable to question specific elements within the show for further discussion.

        3. I mean my issue with Oryo wasn’t that she had a poor feminist monologue (I mean, that was obvious from the beginning) – it was that Urobuchi’s writing has inherent flaws when it comes to exploring ‘feminist’ issues, THROUGH Oryo’s dialogue. But like you said, she did bring up valid points, only for those points to have no meaning whatsoever because they disappeared along with her. Why were they brought up? Why weren’t they explored? It wouldn’t have made Oryo a much more interesting character (though the point was that she wasn’t and she was brutally murdered because of it), but it would have also been a sort of way of talking about how women are underrepresented.

          I don’t think there’s enough evidence as of yet to say that Urobuchi’s exploring the underrepresentation of women though. Sure, we had that slight moment in the first episode where a rape victim wasn’t killed because rape victims shouldn’t be at fault, but for the most part, I feel like Urobuchi’s more focused on the inherent problems of the Psycho Pass society in general, rather than specifically (and gender-related). My problem isn’t with Urobuchi being AWARE of women being underprivileged. It’s how he treats their narratives and arcs within a story that makes me feel like while he might be aware, he does very little to suggest a cause that women aren’t inferior to men. Pointing out an issue is no doubt, a step, but treating the problem/solving the issue – that’s where the real work stands. And I haven’t really seen that from Urobuchi. I’m not just taking this from Psycho Pass, but from what I’ve observed of his other works.

          That was me going a bit overboard – I love Akane, and i think she has some great qualities as a female protagonist (she can drink a lot of wine and not get drunk! She can be snarky about her life! She’s honest and kind but won’t hesitate to shoot Shinya if she thinks he’s wrong!) But so far within each episode, she’s not the one breaking cases. Shinya is. I would have expected more consistent teamwork, but Shinya is always making the breakthroughs, and that’s enough to bother me. When did Akane ever capture a villain herself? When did Akane ever make a certain breakthrough? Sure, she did have help in the Cybernet arc when she used her friend as a way to get close to the enemy, but that’s basically it. It frustrates me, and I hope she plays a larger and more active role in the show rather than being just another nurturing, passive female protagonist who will help Shinya ‘find the light’.

          In the end, I think it all boils down to the fact that Urobuchi can write well-constructed female characters. But as far as exploring their narratives to the fullest power, or breaking the system that cages them in, that’s where he misses. And it shows a lot in Psycho Pass, unfortunately. I won’t call Psycho Pass sexist, but I will say that it definitely has tones of misogyny in it. I don’t really care either way – rape should never be used as a casual trope, and certainly not to just abuse women in the most gruesome and ‘grimdark’ of ways just to show that you can have a grim cop show.

        4. I don’t think there’s enough evidence as of yet to say that Urobuchi’s exploring the underrepresentation of women though.

          I didn’t say he was exploring it. I just said that he’s aware. But like a lot of the awareness causes throughout the world, it’s pretty useless. Woo, I’m aware of Joseph Kony! Now what? Anyway, I’m just unsure where or what exactly your disagreement with my comment is.

          Akane

          Well, I don’t disagree with you. I just don’t think she’s useless.

          I don’t really care either way – rape should never be used as a casual trope, and certainly not to just abuse women in the most gruesome and ‘grimdark’ of ways just to show that you can have a grim cop show.

          Are you responding to me? ‘Cause I don’t believe I’ve said any of that.

        5. I think we’re going in circles here – I agree with you, that was what my first post was originally trying to say (hence me talking about how Urobuchi was all talk but no real action) so I’m sorry if it didn’t come out clear enough! (in other words, I agree, and that’s why his feminist talk is just….not really anything but surface stuff.)

          That last part was a response to Ryan, who was talking about how Psycho Pass isn’t troubling with its rape tropes, to which I respectfully disagree with.

  2. > All I want, however, is for this message to be presented in a visually interesting way. Hey, it’s anime, not a dissertation!

    The writer, Gen Urobuchi, probably thinks that the people watching his show are stupid, so he behaves in ways that reflect that belief, namely, by bashing viewers in the head with his message. One side effect that the person doing all this condescending shit gets unintentionally from this way of thinking and behaving is that it makes that person dumb too.

    Also, on a different topic: Makishima’s actions towards Oryo in this episode have undermined my earlier picture of him as a dissident who wants to change society. Now he seems less like a social critic and more like someone who merely is looking for different ways of having fun. I mean, if he really wanted to undermine the Sybil system’s totalitarian society, wouldn’t he want to build an army of Oryos and Toumas so that the atrocities can accumulate? That would have the effect of undermining society sooner. Instead, what he does is that he gets rid of Oryo as soon as he is bored of her, the same thing he did with that earlier dude who kills people and hacks their online profiles (like Spooky Boogie). Before this episode, I thought that he was some sort of twisted anti-hero who had visions of a better society (albeit twisted and monstrous visions). Now he just seems like a childish narcissist who is forever looking for shiny new toys to play with.

    1. I think that you, and some other people, take the “show, don’t tell” approach to ridiculous extremes. You’d probably have every anime episode look and feel like the first episode of K, if you had your way with everything.

      There’s a balance between the first episode of K, and shows like Zetsuen no Tempest that really do drone on endlessly about what they’re about. And I’d argue that Gen tends to achieve that balance.

      If you rely too much on “show, don’t tell”, you *will* confuse much of your audience. And this isn’t because people are “dumb”, it’s because visual cues are easy to miss and symbolism can usually be interpreted in multiple ways. What Gen does is reinforce the visual cues and symbolism with some very straightforward and clear-cut dialogue/exposition. He doesn’t go on endlessly about it, but he provides just the right amount to properly frame what is “shown”. Personally, I think it’s a great and very balanced approach, that avoids the mystifying ambiguity of K Episode 1 and the annoying “hammer the logic of the world repeatedly into your head” of Zetsuen no Tempest.

      1. I personally think it’s fulfilling when I can take a personal meaning out of a work, alongside what may be the author’s intent. I wouldn’t say that Gen’s expositional writing style prevents that, but it certainly makes the symbolisms and imagery seem spoonfed and standardized. So I’d say that this writing style is restrictive of the viewer’s imagination. Certainly makes me less inclined to rewatch.

        You have a point about ZnT, though, and I recognize that it does the exposition worse than Psycho-Pass. However, K doesn’t count as an example because the substance is absent in both what’s shown and what’s told. “Show, don’t tell” only works when the story gives things to interpret, and there is very little to interpret out of that anime.

        What I’m saying is that Psycho-Pass isn’t middle-ground territory. It certainly belongs in the “tell, don’t show” category, but not as extreme as ZnT.

      2. I tend to agree with Ryan R here. The crux is, viewer like us are (I tend to think, probably because I have an ego and like to believe we’re intelligent and special) very un-typical anime viewers. I don’t think the typical viewer watches anime and tries to interpret it to such an extent on a regular basis – it takes a lot of extra effort, regardless of how rewarding it is. Also, not everyone has the same knowledge base (I know I miss most of the source material from the quotes), and you can’t expect everyone to have read Titus Andronicus to get the references. Many viewers (myself included) sometimes appreciate the message being laid out for them, and then realizing in retrospect all the things they missed. Which essentially is saying that instead of “the writer, Gen Urobuchi, probably thinks that the people watching his show are stupid,” I’d say the better explanation is he thinks most viewers are intellectually lazy. Which you can argue amounts to the same thing.

        Personally, I tend to like the “show, don’t tell” style – it allows you to streamline your presentation and leave lots of the unnecessary legwork up to the readers/viewers (also avoids infodumps). However, the statement “if you rely too much on “show, don’t tell”, you *will* confuse much of your audience” is a true one (especially in genres such as hard/post-human sci-fi, where it’s most used/discussed), and when you’re going for appeal you have to make some sacrifices I guess. *shrugs*

        1. Well, of course, if you’re going for broad appeal, you will dumb the show down. If you go for broad appeal, you end up with Transformers. No one here is disputing that. I’m not arguing from a “How do we make the most successful anime?” mindset though. I’m arguing from the position of someone who enjoys deconstructing themes and symbolism in my narratives, and when shows opt for exposition, I find it dull and uninspiring. You don’t have to agree with me.

      3. it’s because visual cues are easy to miss

        That’s not on the writer. That’s on us as an audience. Is 2001: A Space Odyssey a bad movie because it confused a lot of people?

        symbolism can usually be interpreted in multiple ways.

        Isn’t that the point?

        He doesn’t go on endlessly about it

        Last week, the two bad guys stand in a room and tell us that the world is zombie-like and metaphorically in a coma thanks to the System. Y’know, this is after we just saw Oryo’s dad literally in a catatonic state. I mean, honestly, did you need them to tell you that? C’mon, Ryan R, I know you’re smart enough not to have missed such an obvious message.

        I find your example of K peculiar. I didn’t think K was all show and no tell. I think K was just K: stupid.

        1. You’re right. The two guys are just reinforcing what’s obvious from Oryo’s dad and what we see of him and learn about him from Oryo himself.

          I guess that it just didn’t bother me that much, partly because we learn some interesting secondary details that almost require exposition to get across (such as how the human life-span is actually declining in the world of Psycho-Pass; I honestly found that interesting, and constituting a considerable mark against this world and the social systems that run it).

          With K, I’ve found it improving slightly over the last few episodes, due in part to how it’s actually telling us something about these characters and their factions. Granted, I can easily understand somebody finding K silly or underwhelming regardless. It’s not the deepest story. It pales in comparison to Psycho-Pass, imo.

        2. such as how the human life-span is actually declining in the world of Psycho-Pass

          I’m not saying all exposition is bad. I just think PP delivers it inelegantly at times. You could deliver this same information, I think, creatively. Have a scene where Akane is getting ready for bed or something. Maybe there’s a talk show playing in the background where the hosts say, “Hey, did you hear about the crazy scientist who claims that our life expectancy is dropping? What a nut job!” One, this moves the exposition to the background. Two, this creates a certain sense of ambiguity: who do we trust — the “nutjob” scientist or the talk show hosts? Three, you can sort of see this fitting in a world like PP, where the media might be used to mock opposing viewpoints. Think of it like “Fox and Friends.” I’m not saying this is a brilliant example of what you could do to avoid inelegant exposition, but hey, it’s one of the many ways.

    2. Now he seems less like a social critic and more like someone who merely is looking for different ways of having fun. I mean, if he really wanted to undermine the Sybil system’s totalitarian society, wouldn’t he want to build an army of Oryos and Toumas so that the atrocities can accumulate?

      I dunno if the likes of Oryo and Mido will accomplish that though. Maybe Makishima is like the Joker when the latter says, “This town deserves a better class of criminal.”

      Instead, what he does is that he gets rid of Oryo as soon as he is bored of her,

      This is what we’re told. This is what Oryo thinks, but is it really boredom? I mean, if you look back at all the murderers — other than the first one — they’ve all been people who probably wouldn’t have resorted to crime without Makishima’s influence. The droid factory worker? A shy, easily-bullied guy. Mido? A shut-in. Toma? A teacher. Oryo? A young school girl. These are all marginalized people to some extent — Toma is an iffy example — but what Makishima seems to do is to take broken people and allow them to go hogwild. Unfortunately (or fortunately), none of these guys have been very grand in their attempts. Mido just wants to collect a bunch of stupid avatars. Oryo just makes pointless statues of schoolgirls. Now, Makishima turns to Shinya, and I think it’s not just because Shinya interests him, but that Shinya is astute and perhaps there’s potential there for a great fall.

      Now he just seems like a childish narcissist who is forever looking for shiny new toys to play with.

      But nobody except his accomplices even know he exists.

  3. “And of course, an old man restrains a super fit guy long enough for Oryo to escape.”

    I tilted my head at this too. Shinya is shown to be totally awesome, beating the crap out of battle mannequin which has been programmed to maximum difficulty. I expect him to fling the headmaster 3 meters away using one hand, and said “Sheesh, get lost, old man,”

    And the idea of getting help from an ultra dangerous criminal is soooo unoriginal. The first manga which comes to my mind is : Psychometrer Eiji. The police detective in this manga is also getting helps from a really bad guy. You should try reading this manga if you haven’t. It’s GOOD.

    1. Maybe Shinya didn’t want to risk seriously hurting the headmaster precisely because he is so much stronger than him. Shinya already has a high crime coefficient, seriously hurting an innocent civilian might be enough for Gino to say “Ok, that’s it, your Enforcing days are over”. And we saw in this episode what happens to Enforcers after their Enforcing days are over…

      And while getting help from an ultra dangerous criminal obviously isn’t original, I also found Shinya’s meeting with that criminal to be informative and entertaining, and that’s more important than being original, don’t you think?

  4. I definitely support the idea that Oryou’s speech was mostly just fluff. It’s her verbal presentation of her supposed intent, but I think that’s just a poor attempt to rationalize her homocidal impulse, which considering the way she does it is probably partially a misinterpretation of her father’s work + anger about the fate of her father.

    And that’s why she gets ditched. She’s fucked up but not in a particularly interesting way, at least from Makishima’s point of view. I think his desire is to breed very interesting psychopaths by looking for them in people who aren’t already excluded from society by their hue/crime co-efficient: the idea that those who manage to pass those checks would probably be more fertile soil to grow a more interesting plant.

    Anyways basically Oryou as a feminist is a sham. She just appropriated the rhetoric to supply a more interesting intent for her crimes than plain desire to kill + malformed affection for her father’s art.

    Good catch on the metaphorical rape at the end, though I’m not sure how many people will actually catch that despite the lengths they went to set it up lol

  5. >Well, I guess instead of looking it up on the internet, you could always go ask some nutjob for clues instead. But yeah, a strange guy in the facility identifies the artwork easily. That’s usually how it goes.

    Yeah, I didn’t really see a point to visiting the prison apart to show what happens to the criminals if they’re too dangerous. I thought they had giant databases and the future and all that. That and I thought her father was a prolific painter for his time. Surely, there would be something online.

    >Now those kids will never buy into authority cuteness again!
    TBH, I’d be more disturbed by being questioned by a giant cartoon hologram than regular police. I’m not sure how this is more discreet overall.

    Hm, I admit the ending of the crime seemed anti-climatic? I still don’t have a better sense of what Makishima is trying to prove or his reason for seeking out dangerous individuals. That prison scenario does seem to be on the extreme side even for a future police state. I imagine they’d run out of room eventually for all the prisoners and who exactly is paying for all this high security and buildings?

    1. I thought they had giant databases and the future and all that. That and I thought her father was a prolific painter for his time. Surely, there would be something online.

      Shinya’s supposed to represent this traditional private eye from our present day procedurals, but unfortunately, he’s stuck in a world with information at his fingertips.

      I imagine they’d run out of room eventually for all the prisoners and who exactly is paying for all this high security and buildings?

      The Dominator so often recommends lethal extermination that there probably aren’t as many prisoners as we think.

      1. I thought that the information wasn’t available online because it was somehow illegal to submit art that was designated as “harmful”, of which Oryo Rouichi’s stuff could clearly elicit such reactions. The convict even states that no one has the guts to put his artwork online these days.

        1. But you think the government wouldn’t have its own database even if it’s illegal for the public to see? How do you hope to stop criminals that way?

        2. Hmm, now that I think about it, wouldn’t that correctional facility act as both a prison and a database? You’d think that the justice system would deprive the convicts of their addictions in an attempt to rehabilitate them (dolls, drugs, morbid artwork), but they’re allowed to keep such possessions. Maybe addictions in general are dealt with by just moving them away from society where they wouldn’t “harm” anyone. I mean, as long as the convicts have their drugs or obsessions they obviously don’t care where they’re put as a result, coupled with the fact that it’s impossible for them to escape anyway. As dangerous as they are deemed by society, they would make great caretakers for forbidden material.

        3. This is no form of database though. It’s all disorganized and scattered about, and there’s no guarantee any of the convicts would work with you or suddenly decide to destroy the material. I mean, we can invent all sorts of fancy scenarios, but the simplest thing they had to do was just to have some sort of secret government encyclopedia that only certain people can access.

    2. I think those prisoners are few lucky ones. Most of them have gone “SPLAT!” forever.
      We saw them killed the glasses guy mercilessly last time without even bother to question him.
      And Kougami is about to do the same to the rape victim, and Oryo.

  6. As much as the episode intrigues me… and creates a more interestingly twisted perspective of purity and female sexuality more than Himiko will ever do in her entire life, I’m more interested with Book Guy and his existence in this episode.

    From the looks of the difference between that scene and about episode 2 or 3 where the Female Enforcer (Yayoi) was reading e-bookesque pad (it was on guitars I think), it’s the source. I’m also guessing that media censorship is heavily prominent here in the Pass Universe since we get to see LOTS of traditionally printed books in the facility. And who knows that Oso Academy only teach the safer/more regulated parts or literature to prevent the students from wondering about those parts, thus Oryo being more interested with the… grotesque parts of it. Partially because they simply don’t teach it, and if so, not in vivid detail.

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