Psycho-Pass Episode 4: Behind the Mask

“When you gaze into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

Impression

Well! Much to talk about today on Psycho-Pass it seems, since shit’s finally gotten real (in my opinion, anyway). It’s a longer arc that may play a part in the grand scheme of things in the future, so it’s an important one to pay attention to as there are characters introduced that will definitely be sticking around. Apart from the first new character, Hayama, because he’s…you know, already dead. He was only important for introducing the setup of this arc to us, and more significant was his broken toilet for two months that no-one complained about. Shinya described his probable death really graphically, and the worst thing was that it was highly likely to be true – killed in a way that left no blood, then dismantled down to minute bits of his body where it could be flushed down the toilet. And that’s how the toilet broke. Wow. They sure went to a lot of effort to cover things up, huh? Hayama’s online avatar, Talisman apparently runs this really interesting service where he gives advice to people’s friends – but we all know that if your “friend” has a problem and you’re asking someone for help, it’s probably you who wants the advice yourself. Also his mask-like clown face really creeps me out.

We got another glimpse into the technological world Akane lives in – this time the social aspect of it in the form of CommuFields, or Communication Fields. I think they were like…VR spaces that are accessed through an online server, and is used for meeting up, as a chatroom or just a general social function. Spooky Boogie referred to hers as a forum, yet all she seemed to be doing was entertaining other avatars. So she would be the OP…and they’d be talking about stuff? There’s also apparently this popularity ranking system where you compete for a “White Crown”, which seems to be some kind of title or item. I found this whole concept really plausible actually – I can imagine adverts going: “Why go out when you can meet up and chat to your friends online? Start a CommuField today!” *eyes the future hikikomori society in the distance* But yeah, these things seem pretty popular, and even Miss Lemonade Candy visits them from time to time, if only to fret about her doubts over Shinya and his behaviour.

With someone masquerading as Talisman even after Hayama is dead, I was wondering how hard it would be to get an eventual lead on him – because it could literally be anyone behind that mask. And help came in the form of Lemonade Candy’s apparent former classmate, the anarchist Spooky Boogie. Something about her creeps me out as well…it might have been that paperclip around her neck as well as her voodoo-like avatar in general. And true to the Halloween festivities that have been going on recently (though this is actually one day late) Spooky Boogie’s kindly decorate her CommuField with pumpkins and eerie backgrounds, complete with hanging a noose around her neck. I’m sure her visitors loved it, but it’s just like Psycho-Pass to pull a bit of dark humour – since ironically, she was quite literally strangled to death by that creepy otaku-looking guy in real life. Though Sugawara Shouko looks like one of those prissy bitches, she didn’t deserve to die for nothing, which is what might have happened to Talisman as well. Aaaand yup, the plastic sheet and operating tools are all set out next to her corpse. How charming.

I related the dystopian genre to this show a few episodes ago, and really, the (presumed) antagonist reading Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four made me try and immediately draw some parallels, as it wasn’t given a cameo just for shits and giggles. It’s definitely not on a society-wide scale like it is with the Party and their IngSoc, but hints of a very different society can be picked up everywhere – the idea of it being virtually impossible to take a trip without leaving any trace shows that everyone’s being monitored 24/7 by technology. And shock horror, unemployed people exist?! What a scandal that must be! But yeah, technology is controlling people’s jobs and watching their movements – and perhaps even their thoughts, which is essentially what the concept of being a latent criminal is, as they haven’t done anything – they just have the potential to. So the CID is pretty much the Thought Police, and some of the people apprehended are thoughtcriminals who have thinking that sets them apart from the societal norm, which is put forth by Sibyl in the first place. Spooky Boogie was loved for being an anarchist – which means that at least some people are unhappy with the way things are being run right now. Unlike Orwell though, in which the Party refuses to kill Winston until he’s been conditioned to love Big Brother, here people are killed outright – and instead of becoming unpersons, they get replaced online, for some unknown reason.

It seems that one guy is behind everything – I’m guessing the white haired dude, who faced off with Shinya in the first episode. He’s probably not acting for money, as he has to have enough power to be able to hack all the holographic cosplays and arrange for body disposal in the first place. Why he wants to take over more online avatars is beyond me…I could probably bullshit up some reason but it’ll turn out to be completely wrong next week anyway xD Whatever it is, it can’t be more scary than his accomplices, now dubbed Pimp Guy and Otaku Nerd – the latter really giving me heavy chills by staring so blankly as what eerily looks like blood from the blended tomatoes splatters against the plastic case. However well he can play Spooky Boogie though, Lemonade Candy will easily flush him out once she realizes that the avatar isn’t controlled by her old classmate any more.

Vantage

I love cute things.

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