Psycho-Pass Episode 15: Out of Control
“I just long for a world in which everyday things are done in an everyday way.”
With helmets being distributed to those who wish to cause havoc, society has completely broken down, and helmeted latent criminals are freely attacking and rioting throughout various areas in the city, only to be met with frenzied retaliation from victims who have thrown all caution to the wind. As the MWPSB head out and deploy all their forces towards suppressing these riots, Makishima and a new group of allies head towards the unprotected Nona Tower, where the Ministry of Welfare is rumoured to house the core operation of the Sibyl System.
No episode has screamed “dystopian” as much as this one has – both through subtle and obvious references in various areas. You’ve got constant imagery like never before with your flying helicopters and giant skyscrapers full of consumerist adverts, giving off a backdrop of a city that never sleeps. Makishima himself refers to the city (and to the extent, the anime itself) being a parody of dystopian authors, ranging somewhere in the middle between Gibson and Orwell’s fictitious totalitarian worlds. There was even a reference to Blade Runner (a great film, by the way) and the work it was inspired by, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Orwell’s anti-hero protagonist of 1984, Winston Smith, once said that “if there is any hope, [of overthrowing their current system in society] it lies in the proles”, and this applies to Psycho-Pass too – with the mass rioting that the civilians and helmeted people are causing, the Sibyl System’s authority has all but disappeared.
Society is complaining; drones ignore and do not intercept any crime, and with helmets constantly being passed out, crimes are being carried out in broad daylight. Things like the street scanners are pointless now, and with society now aware and afraid of those wearing helmets, the whole system is backfiring on itself. With more people scared, all moral and social values are thrown away. The aggravated victims are losing it and attacking those in helmets, contributing to the rise of both the Area Stress level and their Crime Coefficient – but to be honest, who cares any more? None of those values even mean anything – much less the colour of one’s Hue, which one guy tried to use in his self-defence but failed miserably, as his attackers didn’t even care. You’re not even safe in the security of your own homes, where the elderly (who have nothing to do with this) are victimized nonetheless. In a way, I do sympathize a little with the latent criminals, who Shinya describes as victims themselves – for them, they get no chance at a proper life merely due to the instructions of an apparently omniscient system, and their career is over even before they’ve tried anything. But I don’t know whether that justifies what they did to those top honours students in that room, where some of the most brutal deaths occurred – most notably the poor girl who got covered with gasoline then was burnt alive. Amongst the spinning chainsaws and the knifings, the content this week may not have been the most graphic (see the Oryo Rikako arc) but the sheer volume of them and the city-wide outcry this has caused makes it the most dangerous and significant case tackled by the MWPSB by far.
It interests me that Makishima is claiming to seek what lies beyond the destruction of Sibyl and the society as they know it. It seems that Makishima saw the change in the system just like Masaoka did, and wants things to return to how they were before – but instead of letting his discontent consume him, he plans to destroy it all then rebuild it from the ground up, fashioning society in the way he sees fit. His foreign partner is equally interested in seeing the kinds of results that will arise, and is most likely the hacker that has messed around the with the helmets as well as the person who has struck up the many false rumours on the net. While its become alarmingly clear in recent episodes, we are once again reminded that the government are terribly incompetent in the face of a proper crisis, having relied on the Sibyl System’s apparent perfection to get them by their day-to-day lives. That team meeting said it all – the total capacity of that lecture hall compared to how many people were actually seated proved just how complacent the government has become. With their society at peace for too long, there’s hardly any resources allocated towards crime, which the govt should have been the most guarded against. It’s almost like the Sibyl System itself is rejecting the need for the police with the unique aptitude that’s needed to become an Inspector – a lot of the CID is made up of latent criminals on a leash after all. People like Gino end up representing the overconfident mindset of the system, thinking that there’s no way the Ministry of Welfare will be targeted as the riots are their main issue.
Now we can all watch as Makishima and his friends dance into the Nona Tower with their fancy blue and purple helmets, as they attempt to get rid of what is speculated to be the source of the Sibyl System – a point where, amongst the entire distributing grid, everything that is eventually relayed out passes through at least once. We can expect to have some shady government secrets revealed, as well as an imminent confrontation between Makishima and the head of the MWPSB, whose relationship is still under much speculation.