Psycho Pass 2 Episode 11 [ Final Impression ]

This anime has come a long way from the first episode of Season 1. It’s so hard to talk about this episode because if you watch it, it’s better than the season. Don’t get me wrong there is no way this ending is as good as the worst episode of Season1 (looking at your backstory, Yayoi) but this ending tried to do something that apparently it did not communicate with prior episodes about. It tried to use feelings, psychological statements, and actually examine motivations and intellect.

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The real problem from this episode is that when the heroes succeed it doesn’t make sense. I guess it fits because the villains don’t make sense anyway. The real struggle of this season ultimately came down to this: A person who died and was mutilated and implanted with the brains and body parts of all his friends and classmates wants to judge Sybil as a collective. But the mere concept of analyzing it as a collective is incredibly daft. While Kamui could then be judged by all people, it makes no sense for Sybil to be as well.

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I guess what boggles me the most are the representations of a few things: We see in this episode Togane’s backstory and that he is literally obsessed with his own mother. When she told him she’d be a part of Sybil he went insane and killed her, which is why he lost his perfect psycho pass because the loss of his mother to Sybil drove him nuts. I think if they wanted that to have an impact on us better they needed to do a few things: 1. Less gore this season. Because I’ve seen Togane murder puppies and seen several people in one episode get murdered by dominators, I’m not inclined to care. I’m not shocked. Season 1 of Psycho Pass did it beautifully, but if you want to know why I even bring that up it’s because that’s the problem: All the issues with this show have been fixed..  .in it’s prior incarnation.

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The Season of Hell? Kamui’s very existence? If we had a good writer this season, it could feasibly be done. Take our the gore and the death and you have the patchworks of, while not really the kind of show the original was, at least something decent. You know how the first season drew us in with the characters? It didn’t start episode one with explosions and bombings. It pulled us in with the emotions and the feelings. We saw Akane refuse to kill anyone and Kogami forced to be taken down- the only person who died was the one person we saw had clearly lost the ability to be saved.

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Picture a psychological show that properly explained things. A villain who in detail explained his own existence, and made it seem interesting. We had that in Season 1 with Makishima who very smoothly explained his ideas. When we finally got to the point where we realized brains were controlling society it didn’t seem impossible at all. Even now I’m gawking at Season 2’s twists and going, how is that possible? While saying Sybil doesn’t bother me at all. Urobuchi knew how to write Season 1’s insane twist: by making it a human experience and one that was terrifying, not ludicrous.

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Kamui needed to spend less time repeating ‘what color?’ over and over again. He needed to have more than one episode where he tried to explain his motivations before this. What we see in episode 11 are crazed outbursts from a man who has no control. We never saw that! He has been a calm and collected individual and while that worked for Makishima, it worked because he never lost that. He was about to be killed execution style and softly asked “Will you replace me after this too?” I don’t feel anything for Kamui. Makishima is a sociopath and he elicited more feelings from me than someone who is actually sympathetic.

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This season needed so much work. Togane should have been shown to be crazier, and Akane’s comparing him to Kogami more clear. Akane needed to find out that information about Togane with say, imagine her going ‘I have to stop comparing him to Kogami, I need to see him for my own eyes’. She spends about 15 minutes researching him and realizing he is absolute trouble, it would not be difficult. Yet the way people find out anything in this show, good or bad, is merely contrived. About the only think I’m excited for is hearing Togane freak out the way he did in the english dub, since his actor is Chris Sabbat and that will just be amazing to hear.

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I really wish they’d have either had more time, or just never made this season. Even thinking about it now, the concept of a man who is Frankenstein’s monster being written so wrong in this show is probably the worst. How many times did they miss an opportunity to reference Mary Shelley? It would have perfectly brought out what went wrong with Togane’s mother, too. When they decide to allow a collective reading, Togane’s mother reads over 300. But to become a member you have to be criminally asymptomatic. The best explanation for this to me is referencing Frankenstein. A woman who created two monsters instead of one: her son and Kamui. Kamui is literally the monster with his patchwork body, and her son is a monster because of his mind.

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What can cloud an asymptomatic person’s mind? A person who is beyond being read? The point of gathering the asymptomatic from last season was to make it possible to identify outliers, but now they can be judged. Simply, the protection of Sybil and knowledge they can destroy whatever they wish so long as it is ‘justice’ turns even the asymptomatic black. This is probably the one aspect that just bothers me infinitely. This aspect should be good! Sybil is being judged! But it isn’t. You know why? The point of Psycho Pass was never to judge Sybil through it’s own means.  ‘People only have worth when they use their free will’. This idea was the villain’s, but it was also the truth of last season. What is someone without free will?

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Akane, Kogami, Makishima. They all embodied free will and a realization of a perfection to a degree that was imperfect. Kogami was the perfect officer, willing to do whatever it took. Makishima was the perfect anarchist, willing to do whatever he could to free the will of the people. And Akane was the perfect ‘citizen’ who could remain pure and sane no matter what even in the face of society’s truth. There is so much to talk about those ideals that even now the first season is an amazing watch. What is this?  Now Sybil can judge itself? That’s no closure! That’s nothing! Human beings, with thoughts and feelings, are supposed to be the true alternative to Sybil. The episode ends saying one day it might even expand further.

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Let me quote you this:

“One day, society will come through these doors and shut off the switch.”

That is what Akane says to Sybil at the end of Season 1. Now she is saying that when it’s all over she might join them as they’re destroyed, as a brain. That is just. . .no. The entire point is ruined. The whole damn premise is flawed! There are no emotions. There is no ‘feeling’. We’re just watching a pointless anime that wants to show itself off as intellectual when it’s writer has no idea what he is doing. The only way to salvage this as a show is to disconnect it from season 1, but then it makes no sense. It is clearly a sequel, and a bad one.

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Hidden somewhere in this show is a better show. But that show? Is still not a good one. Is still only good for the talent surrounding it, not the thing it is. Nothing was developed: Saiga was apparently only here this season and yet he did very little and was mostly just supposed to be ‘assumed’ to be doing things. Hinakawa, the best new addition, is simply overlooked half the time. Ginoza did very little other than question Akane, something we should all know he wouldn’t really do, and Sybil itself was laughable stupid until the final episode. In truth, that they allowed Togane and his mother to be around showed their own stupidity, but when they allowed her to be judged it was satisfying.

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Now, before I give my final rating, let me elaborate the biggest failure of this season: Mika. Mika is a disgusting piece of crap, but you know what? She was actually supposed to be. The show is clearly trying to say, we want her to be an irredeemable crap bag that none of you give a shit about! But the worst part is, I think they wanted it to be something deep. Look at how she failed, she even hates herself now! No. Nothing about Mika in any form is anything but absolutely disgusting. She is willing to blindly follow Sybil and that makes her officially: the worst character this show has every introduced. A terrified little chicken shit willing to do whatever it is her betters tell her. And the kicker? If she knew what Sybil personally took from her, she’d fucking change her tune.

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That’s right ladies and gentlemen: In all 11 episodes Mika learned what Sybil is, but not that they failed to judge the man responsible for her friends murder. Mika has not yet, and might never, learn that Shogo Makishima was likely to become a part of Sybil. Even worse- the main who had initially drawn him to that very school where he found Rikako had actually been a member of this system. The most horrors in her life were all thanks to this system, and she is following them because she is scared. That’s it. Mika doesn’t want to die so she repeatedly allows Sybil to walk over her.

 

Let’s go one step further: Mika is willing to let Togane kill Akane’s family member in order to stay alive. Then sit there and angst and whine and bullshit all over how it’s not her fault, only to go ‘it is, I’ll never be forgiven!’ as if we care. As if we give a flying fuck. I can almost bet you they set her up as this terrible piece of shit only to give Sybil a real piece against Kogami in the movie. Kogami being taken down by Akane would be a great movie all on it’s own, but let’s watch Mika fuck it up because that’s all she does. No female character, or character, in anime has been such a snivelling useless ball of crap while still being a ‘hero’ in all of anime. Shinji had to pilot a giant fucking mecha and was emotionally neglected, yet when the chips came down he eventually did it.

kamui did more than mika and he was a patchwork crazy with no screentime other than to shout WHAT COLOOORRUUUU

kamui did more than mika and he was a patchwork crazy with no screentime other than to shout WHAT COLOOORRUUUU

Mika just whines and cries and even Yayoi tells her she won’t forgive her. Good on you, Yayoi, you are now an interesting character.

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So the simplest summary of this season is: If you enjoy psychological sci fi, if you enjoy Psycho Pass Season 1, if you want to feel like death means something, if you want to connect to character’s emotionally, if you want to be drawn in by anything: Do not watch this anime. Even the score is badly paced in the final episode to give the wrong feeling at the wrong time. Simply put, on it’s best day this is a reject Sci-fi movie meant to evoke emotions in a place where I’m more likely to turn it off. I don’t care about anyone in this show unless they channel previous seasons, so suffice it to say? This writer should be ashamed that the best writing he did was simply drawing from another person’s work. Let’s hope the movie can somehow capture the magic we once knew.

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Three out of Ten without thinking about Psycho Pass Season 1. Two out of Ten while thinking about it.

Oki


Alright, You’ve all heard Oki’s point of view throughout the season. For the first six episodes or so I was willing to give this season the benefit of the doubt. Then episode seven happened and there was no hope left. Gore for the mere sake of shock factor aside my issues with the series come down to this, characterization. A few things stick out in my mind, Hinkawa, Saiga, Kamui and Mika.

Hinakawa they had a scene dedicated to talking about his back story with Yayoi and Shion talking, they however left the story unfinished. We know that he used to program holo’s and that he suffered form massive depression and got addicted to medicine. They even leave the scene off by saying, “If that was the whole story he wouldn’t of had to become an enforcer.” well, what’s the rest of the story?
You CAN’T do that, I get the idea of baiting us with the mystery of a characters back story. The REASON I love Kagari in season 1 is that they baited us with his off comment about being flagged as a latent criminal at age 5. They barely ever discuss it again, they only elaborate on it in the re-edit but you know what? That’s okay, because it was one line in passing. Hinakawa’s story was an entire scene told by the other characters for a good five minutes. It’s not cute to drop off at he end of the story, it’s annoying.

Then we look at Saiga, a man they’ve built up for this entire season. He had most of the beautiful scenes of the season just because he’s Saiga, but they waste it completely. They talk about his ability to cloud a persons Psycho-Pass just by being around them which is something that is briefly discussed in season 1 by the fact he no longer teaches for the MWPSB. They take the time to really nail this idea and this ability of his into your head and then they never do anything with it at all. I love this character and nothing made me more angry then when he returned to isolation at the end of the series. However, there is even a way they could of made that scene acceptable by saying something along the lines of “I still have to repent.”
Something that showed he still regretted his involvement in Kogami’s act of murder at the end of last season. There was just nothing like that, so there was NO reason for him to return to his isolation cell. You could argue that due to the context of the scene he was going back because of his ability to paint people black and he didn’t want to lower his own hue at the risk of someone else’s but that’s just bullshit. He was working with the MWPSB and he was a man who liked to be off on his own anyway as we saw clearly back in season 1.

Then we move on to Kamui, ah Kamui. One of season two’s golden children of focus. If you were going to put him on such a high pedestal why in the world could you not properly  characterize him? In the last episode is where we get a clear view of him for the first time and it’s actually interesting. If we’d seen this sooner, the ideals and thoughts of all the victims that were patched together to make up the person known as Kamui Kirito we might of actually cared. Prior to this he was uninteresting, bland, and there was nothing to fear from him. Makishima made us feel scared, in season 1 as he was holding Akane’s friend and his Psycho-Pass was slowly dropping. I felt NOTHING but sheer horror. Kamui could not summon even a fraction of those emotions.
Also, as Oki said, he’s Frankenstein’s monster. There were so many literary references that could of been made that it almost seems like a waste.

Last there is Mika, oh dear lord what am I going to say about her. I think we should start at the beginning for her, when she came in at the end of season 1, we see that things have come to a full circle. Just as Akane ran up to Ginoza on that rainy night when she first joined the MWPSB. She receives from Akane, a very similar yet very different version of what Ginoza had told Akane. You think, maybe, because she was told it this way and taught this way by Akane, she would respect her Enforcers and….

THEN SEASON 2 HAPPENS and we see right from the start that she is the scum of humanity. She treats the Enforcers like shit, she treats her superiors like shit. She spends the entire first half of the series treating Akane like shit, at a normal job, in a normal society? She would of been fired for treating Akane like that. Then, everything from when she learns about the Sybil system on is just pitiful. She doesn’t grow as a character at all, she contributes NOTHING other then standing there in her own self-pity repeating. “It’s not my fault.” YES, it IS your fault. You are sick, I don’t know how you can sleep at night much less keep your hue clear. You know who learned the truth of Sybil and died because he wasn’t worth anything to soceity? Kagari! Yeah, Sybil judged that he was worth less to society then Mika!
Let’s look at this in a logical sense, someone with a clear hue who can be let out into society and tell you secrets to everyone and have credibility because of her standing in society. However, is a horrid human who does nothing but put down those around her. Against, a man who was in a cage, would have no credibility with the public as a latent criminal and even if he did say something would have it passed off as the ravings of a man rejected by Sybil….Fuck you Mika, fuck you for living when he had to die. Like seriously, there is nothing good about her character. I’m glad Yayoi says she’ll never forgive her, as Yayoi is the only Enfocer that Mika seems to like. Well, good job, you fucked it up good for you, you raging bitch.

There is just so much wrong with this season, I won’t even touch on Togane and everything wrong with him or the actions of the Sybil system. There are hints of a better series hiding under all the issues with this series. It makes me sad to see one of my favorite shows reduced to this, it pains me to insult anything about this show. I take no pleasure in this.In the end, I can give this series nothing more then a 2 out of 10. The two is credited to Hinakawa, Saiga, and the conversations Akane had with Kogami in her head.

and since Oki said she’d kick me if I said something nice about the season, uh, at least it gave us a lot of Akane/Kogami shipping material?

~Midnight 

Oki

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2 Responses

  1. You both said it really well. I actually started realizing what a flop this season would be at ep 3, but even then I couldn’t have possibly foreseen just how bad it got. Like Oki said, there were SO many moments of potential in this season, even when the plot was going to hell, that at least some deep literature stuff could’ve been thrown in (aka Frankenstein). Frankenstein and Oedipus references would have fit beautifully into this season. Yet instead of Shelley and Sophocles we got explosions, explosions, and….more explosions. Give me a break. Like you both said, Urobuchi was very tasteful in season 1, with mostly philosophy and psychological warfare and only enough gore to back up said philosophy/psychological warfare.

    About Shimotsuki, I actually sympathized with her a little at one point, because Akane’s actions really made no sense to an outsider. (That didn’t give Shimotsuki the right to treat her like shit, of course.) Shimotsuki had SO MUCH POTENTIAL for character development!! Yet she went from really really bad to even worse, if that was possible.

    And another issue, the 2nd biggest (second to the awful plot execution) was that there was NO character development. Shimotsuki, Tougane, Gino, and Yayoi all regressed, and I personally think even Akane regressed. Like I said, so much wasted potential with Shimotsuki. And when I found out Tougane was evil, after my initial eyeroll at such a predictable “plot twist,” I was actually really intrigued. I was excited to see what he’d do next, and by the end I was just weary of him. Like Oki said, Gino was uncharacteristically difficult with Akane, when at first he had seemed so supportive. Even Yayoi, who was given development and backstory in s1, was a lifeless husk in this episode, only present long enough to add commentary.

    I may be one of the only people who says this, but I disliked Akane for a surprisingly large part of this season. I understand why she hardened up after Kougami left, but her character was so unrelatable this time around. Like, in s1 when Akane was watching Yuki die, I felt like I was watching my best friend die at the same time. But now… I was getting angry at Akane too, 1) for not explaining things properly to her colleagues, and 2) being so slow to notice what was going on. Like Oki said, it would’ve taken a 15-minute reflection for Akane to sit down, compare Kougami and Tougane, and realize something was wrong. Even when she finally, FINALLY figured it out in episode 10, it was so late in the game that it didn’t feel real, and her discovery was never properly explained. Sure, that 15-minute self-reflecting would’ve taken up an entire episode, but I would have much rather watched that than Tougane killing puppies or Kamui screeching “WHAT COLOOORRUUUUUU”.

    Sorry that was kinda long, I have so much pent-up frustration from this disappointment of a season! Do you mind if I quote some of both of your statements in the final review I’ll do on my Facebook page? You made some really valid points, and I’ll credit you for them! :)

    • MidnightDevont says:

      I don’t mind at all if you quote anything I said, and Oki is totally okay with it too. ^^

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