Mizue asks Kamui why he wants her Hue to be clearly so badly. He replies that he wants her to have her own will. But if you think about it for just a tiny second, it doesn’t seem like she has any will, does it? This is how the story is heavy-handed to its own detriment. Mizue just becomes an absolutely devoted follower without any subtlety. Remember when the Joker went to Harvey Dent and corrupted him? Harvey tried to resist, but he eventually fell from grace anyway; he eventually became Two-Face. But even as Two-Face, Harvey didn’t start singing the Joker’s praises. He had his own agenda. He was angry. He was livid. He listened to the Joker, but he hated the Joker’s guts too. He just hated other people more, i.e. those who betrayed him. He had his own… will, you might say. And that’s the key thing that I find oddly missing from Psycho-Pass. That Kamui manages to corrupt Mizue so easily doesn’t ultimately bother me all that much. It’s how she turned out. Everyone leaves the cult of the Sibyl System to join the cult of Kamui. And perhaps that’s the point. But even so, this is a point we should have carefully and slowly uncovered over the course of the series.
Psycho-Pass, however, makes it too obvious that both sides are bad, so the audience is left in this strange, cynical position with nowhere to turn to. And that’s fine, but there’s no impact when it happens right away. What makes The Dark Knight so effective is that the Joker seems so obviously evil at the outset, but over the course of the movie, you come to realize that society is just as rotten. You realize that Batman’s victory at the end of the movie is just a hollow one. So again, you’re left in that strange, cynical position that there’s nowhere to turn to. Nevertheless, Nolan builds to this moment, so it leaves a strong, powerful impression on the audience. Psycho-Pass has three months to tell its story, and it just comes flat-out and says, “Well, they’re all asshats.” The same thing happened last season. Everyone knew that the world was a dystopia, and that the Sibyl System couldn’t be trusted. But at the same time, everyone knew that Makishima was a twisted, psychopathic little shit as well. In the long run, this results in little to no drama. Psycho-Pass can be intriguing at times; it certainly deals with themes that fascinate me. It just doesn’t tell a very good story.
Stray notes & observations:
— Mika’s busy puking it up in the bathroom. I get the uneasy feeling that she’s the next to suffer at Kamui’s hands. Yeah, she’s an annoying character, but that’s the thing. The writers try so hard to make her annoying that I don’t want anything to happen to her.
— Sakuya takes gander at Akane’s Hue. Needless to say, she’s clear as can be. Maybe he doesn’t trust her as much as he lets on. Maybe he’s just curious to see if she’s worsen whatsoever. After all, Akane looked pretty pissed at the end of last week’s episode.
— The animation this season hasn’t been too consistent. I suddenly feel as though I’m watching a Clamp anime. For a Production I.G anime, Psycho-Pass has never looked too awesome, but still… I’m a bit disappointed in the results here.
— Akane wants Jouji to interrogate Masuda. We later see the Chief say how they’d rather let our heroine do her own thing within the MWPSB for now instead of having her potentially go rogue like Shinya. Still, I wish this scene would’ve played out more elegantly. The anime is just flat-out telling you things now. Likewise, the conversation between Akane and Jouji is nothing special. It merely serves to disguise the show’s exposition; it could’ve been worse, I suppose. Other anime certainly do it worse. Nevertheless, I’m just of the mindset that every scene should have impact.
— A couple new Enforcers joins Division 1. There are too many characters, I think, especially when the sequel is going to be so short. Instead of using what he’s been giving, and perhaps adding just a few characters of his own, the new writer have set everyone but Akane to the side so he can have his own show. Yeah, Ginoza rears his head every now and then, but he has no real impact on the story anymore. In fact, I still contend that his actions and personality don’t feel like a continuation of his character arc from the first season.
— As for Yayoi, this is literally the most she’s done so far! Patting Mika’s head is the most impact she’s had on this story yet. Besides, why even bother having Mika crush on her? Isn’t Yayoi with Shion? So the whole thing just feels kind of fruitless.
— The Chief continues to cryptically talk to “herself” some more. Obviously, she isn’t talking to herself, but that’s just the thing. I always hate these scenes in other shows. You know, the ones where the conspirators or evildoers sit in a darkened room and drop hints about the story by talking about things that we have no context on. C’mon, Psycho-Pass can do better.
— Mika complains that they have so much to do. It doesn’t seem like a lot to me… get off your lazy ass and do something! But seriously, they’re in charge of keeping the peace in one of the largest metropolises in the world. I’m surprise they don’t seem busier.
— Mika: “That way of thinking is out of date.” Eh, just the same ol’ Mika. Technology has failed her for four straight weeks and yet she still spews the same nonsense.
— Sakuya discovers a holographic wall at a deadend, and he attributes it to a detective’s intuition. But don’t you think someone who has the wherewithal to set up a holographic wall would have done a better job of disguising it? It just seems like the clues are a little too obvious for Sakuya to discern.
— Why is it so problematic for Enforcers to point their Dominators at the Inspectors? Obviously, Sakuya is a suspicious person. I don’t disagree with Mika there. I just don’t see why she thinks it’s such a bad thing that he pointed his gun at Akane. He can’t use the gun unless the Sibyl System OK’s it, so what’s the big deal?
— As Mika leaves, the Chief says that the girl will be eaten alive. Sounds like foreshadowing.
— Akane and Sakuya find a place full of human masks. Jouji then comes to the conclusion that Masuda has not been the same person. Welp, that’s not a coincidence.
— Then all of a sudden, one of the Inspectors plays a cellphone game, but the truth is, he’s inadvertently killing people with one of the drones at the very warehouse that he’s at. Kamui is obsessed with making people commit crimes while keeping their Hues clear. But what’s the takeaway here? That the Inspector seems like a bad guy when he’s playing the game? That video games bring out the killer in us? It’s heavy-handed because gamers don’t really have such a crazed look on their faces when they play games, especially when it’s a cellphone game called Hungry Chicken. Eh, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to that Inspector.
— Eventually, people around the world join in on that game. Kamui already seems like an expert on human psychology — that’s what we’re supposed to think, anyway — but he is apparently also a master hacker, programmer, so on and so forth.
— The dude then emerges from the shadows to say, “Game on, MWPSB.” Grooooooan.
— Elsewhere, Mika investigates Sakuya’s apartment and learns that the guy is obsessed with Akane. Oh boy.