Psycho-Pass Episode 1 [First Impression]: Crime Coefficient
“What a person thinks, or what they wish for…we live in a time where everything in a person’s mind can be made transparent by a machine.”
In a world where minds can be analysed for potential threats of crime and mental instability, Inspector Tsunemori Akane is sent to deal with her first case, along with fellow inspector Ginoza and a group of Enforcers, latent criminals hired by the police to work for them. Akane’s case deals with an insane man who has taken a woman hostage and raped her, holing himself up in a building inhabited by groups of the homeless.
“A world where humans’ state of mind and the tendency of their personalities can be quantified. While all sorts of inclinations are recorded and policed, these measured numbers used to judge people’s souls are called Psycho-Pass.”
Oh my god, what did I just watch. My mind is a mess right now, I have so many thoughts jumbled up in my head that I have to somehow sort out, but all of them point to the conclusion that this show is absolutely mind-blowing. From the info dump, I got that the Psycho-Pass is a measure. It’s a measure where instruments detect Hues, colours that determine people’s aggression levels and emotions, which means that the police can easily mark who is a danger to society, and who isn’t. The Dominator, their gun is thus used to subdue these latent criminals, with various modes ranging from basic paralysis to outright destruction. The safety is only released once the system determines their danger, which is actually really clever. They’ve thought this through for sure.
On the surface, it’s definitely very useful, but I can already see problems with this. What about the people that barely cross the line, yet are still tracked down by the system? Someone mentioned therapy, but it’s obvious you’re going to panic if you’re targeted by this kind of police force, which would increase your Crime Coefficient even further. It’s also a system, and there can really be no good result from a world where personalities are given a number. Humans are too complex for that, and one number just won’t cut it. Other people may not like their privacy breached, and here machines can view everything about someone’s mind.
These Enforcer people are even more of a mystery. They say they hunt the prey, and are kind of like fighting fire with fire – they are latent criminals themselves, with a high Crime Coefficient enough to be targeted by the Dominator, but apparently not so that it’ll fire a lethal shot. Inspector Ginoza said that they weren’t humans, but I found that rather hard to believe – they have high Crime Coefficients, but still act and talk like normal people, to the point that you wouldn’t be able to tell they had a problem if you didn’t have your gun. Most intriguing is the guy on many promo pics, Kougami Shinya who seems to have history with a certain white-haired dude.
I said the people that barely cross the line may not deserve prosecution, but the guy in this episode certainly did. Perhaps it was the threat given to him by the sensor robot who caught him, but by the time he holed himself up with his hostage I felt that he was very clearly insane. This was where the show proved itself to be extremely dark – both in a physical and psychological sense. I’m really not interested in hearing rape sounds (I didn’t think she would actually even get raped) and really, I felt sorry for the lady. Psycho-Hazard meant that she caught a cloudy Psycho-Pass too, and on the whole she was a prime example of how rape can really mess up someone’s life. Thank god there was no issue with the gasoline catching fire. I know the crazy guy was a cunt, and I believe he ought to have died, but he didn’t deserve dying like THAT. Nobody deserves having their guts blown up from inside out, and maybe the darkest thing about the whole ordeal was Shinya’s blank face while firing his gun.
If Shinya is the main male lead, then Tsunemori Akane is our heroine. A bit dopey, but she’s so cuuuuute <3 Plus it’s even harder to take everything seriously with her Hanazawa Kana voice. Personally I don’t think Akane belongs in this show, she looks far too fragile and innocent to take up something as violent as police work in that kind of world. I didn’t know what kind of personality she’d have before the show started, but as a newbie inspector who has just witnessed a gruesome first case, it’s understandable that she’d take the moral option and believe in things like therapy or rehabilitation. The rape victim lady was probably past the point of no return by then, but at least Akane’s showing that she can act when needed by shooting down Shinya.
Apparently, moe is a forbidden word in meetings relating to this anime, and rightly so. Chief Director Motohiro joked that he “wanted to give his son and today’s youth trauma that will last their entire lives when they watched this anime”, and I can actually see that happening with Psycho-Pass. Here you have a show that is dark, twisted and full with psychological brutality, that’ll probably go into themes like human nature and morality through the eyes of Akane, the only person who’s displayed any real humanity so far. This show will break the conventions used in so many anime series, and it will be awesome because of that decision.
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
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