Psycho-Pass Episode 22 [Final]: Perfect World
“Long before they had ever met…I think this destiny awaited them.”
Shinya and Makishima face off at last, with Shinya scoring a clean hit on Makishima and prompting him to escape on a truck while wounded. Akane intervenes, crashing the truck and injuring both herself and Makishima, who hobbles away after deciding not to kill her. When Shinya catches up, he shares a few final words with Makishima before shooting him in the head.
Life slowly returns to normal, and we see how things turned out for the surviving members of the MWPSB, with Akane now in the role of a senior Inspector, as Gino’s Crime Coefficient has demoted him down to Enforcer status. As the curtains close, a new police recruit runs up to Akane on a rainy day, introducing herself as Shimotsuki Mika.
“The law doesn’t protect people. People protect the law.”
First blood to Kougami! These moments were definitely the most heated of the episode – the long-awaited rematch between two individuals who perhaps may seem different, but are actually more alike than they think. Shinya laughs at Makishima’s solitude, yet he’s also abandoned everything he had, turning his back on friendship and justice – which provides a nice bit of foreshadowing that we get reminded of at the very end of the show. Anyway, unlike their last battle, Kougami came out on top this time, managing to tear a deep gash in Makishima, who has surprisingly remained quiet during the battle. It’s always hard to infer what he’s thinking, whereas with Shinya it’s pure rage – and a desire to kill him, which Akane picked up on quite easily. I would have liked to see more teamwork between Akane and Shinya, though ultimately it was Akane who managed to get on the truck Makishima was escaping in, and collapse one of its tyres. No matter how perfect an individual Makishima might be to Sibyl, even he can’t escape a truck crash without any injuries.
I do wonder why he decided not to kill Akane – by referring to her as “you guys” and to himself as “us”, I’m assuming he means the Sibyl System’s attitude to those who are criminally asymptomatic, and its desire to collect their brains in order to expand their world view. Even so, what did he see in Akane? She was at his mercy, and it was her fault that he’d become even more injured…so it must have been something about her that Urobuchi’s chosen to leave very open-ended. Maybe it’s even what Sibyl sees in her – though Makishima must have known that he was heavily injured, and was going to die. That classical music playing throughout his stumbling was chilling considering the context behind it, but I suppose it represents his acceptance of death and perhaps even satisfaction that Kougami was the one to kill him in the end – like he himself believed. He looked very peaceful even in the moments before his death, and just like with Kiritsugu and Kirei at the end of Fate/Zero, Kougami shot a kneeling Makishima remorselessly.
With the end of that particular plot thread, all that’s left was to tie up any remaining loose ends, starting with Akane’s interactions with Sibyl. Like with other dystopian works, there have been multiple talks between the protagonist and the ruling power, usually to iron out any remaining ideas the creator has for his dystopia – and Urobuchi is realistic in having the Sibyl System continue on, especially with the over-reliance society treats it with. Yet to ensure proper, sustainable stability, Urobuchi is also right in acknowledging it’s a short-term measure to hide Sibyl’s true form like this, and it’ll be a large step towards a real “perfect world” if society is aware of what Sibyl really is, yet still follow its judgement. Akane continues to fight against Sibyl while accepting the need for its existence, again leaving things pretty open-ended, so that we can draw our own conclusions. Gino is now a latent criminal with a CC of 140, and works as an Enforcer – I must admit, they’ve done well in changing my opinion of him…he’s a pretty cool guy now.
Must be the glasses :D And as a treat for the fandom, there was some nice yuri fanservice of Yayoi and Shion, who notes that much of the male cast has disappeared, with the exception of Gino.
I liked the circular narrative Urobuchi decided to use for an ending – it really does highlight how nothing has really changed, despite so many events happening – its all on a personal scale, while in terms of the wider society, life still goes on. For the MWPSB, work still needs to be done, and latent criminals need to be apprehended. That role reversal in the rain was very cool. Akane’s really badass now, especially with her new outfit – and the words she gave to new recruit Shimotsuki Mika were nearly identical to the initial advice given to Akane by Gino. I daresay Akane’s seeing something of her former, inexperienced self in Mika, who happens to be one of the girls who went to the same school as Rikako did.
So, it’s over. As an ending, I personally felt it was pretty anti-climactic. Perhaps it was my inflated expectations based on the excellent track record Urobuchi had with Madoka and Fate/Zero, and how I expected the vast majority of the cast to never make it to the end of the show. Putting that aside, I felt that something was missing with Psycho-Pass – it had an amazing, unique setting, but that wasn’t executed to its full potential, and we saw that in particular with our supporting characters. I’ve commented on my admiration for Akane’s gradual growth and development before – but what of Kagari, or Shion? As a whole, that episode devoted to Yayoi’s back-story seems arbitrary other than serving as an example of how the system is applied, because Yayoi never really had much importance after then,
aside from that bit of yuri. Maybe that’s why Urobuchi’s bad habit of killing off the entire cast had such a profound effect in the past, because each of them mattered in their own way, and we knew enough about them to despair when they died. The tragedy of it all is just the cherry on the top – being Lancer is suffering, after all. On the other hand, it’s not good to draw too many comparisons – Psycho-Pass has its own strengths, among them being its literary references and social commentary which I very much enjoyed.
Where do we go from here? The MWPSB carries on its duty as usual, and Shinya is still out there, somewhere – and they do subtly imply that he has the potential to become the next Makishima. As they understand each other so well, there’s no one better suited to replace Makishima than Shinya himself, if he can’t find another equal. Akane would have to hunt him down then, as much as she might not want to – but that’s all hypothetical. Even with the ending teaser that Sibyl continues on, it doesn’t seem like the type of show to receive a sequel. Leaving things open-ended, with some food for thought is perhaps the best way to finish it, instead of dragging it out for another 20-odd episodes. Despite Urobuchi’s usual tendencies, he’s gone down the mild route, with society slowly returning to what it used to be before the events of the show. In comparison to how everything could have turned out, it’s a happy ending.
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 commonly called ‘Psycho-Pass’.