Psycho-Pass Season 1 Review: Beware of the Rational Pyscho

Disclaimer: Minor spoiler alert. Please watch show before reading.

Throughout history, I think humans have a deep-rooted fear of losing one sense of self. They are always searching for the ideal society where everyone can live in harmony. But what if this perfect society is run by an old asymptomatic, crazy pink hair lady or worse, a robot that is made of collected data of criminal thoughts? In this anime’s universe, a device in the shape of a gun called the denominator will measure whether we are a threat to the society. It’s kind of scary actually, don’t you think? Literally, with a point of a gun, our sanity is diagnosed. Not only that but where we score in mental health will determine where we will be placed in the society. Pretty much, everyone’s fate has been decided because we are all pawns for a “safe functioning society.” Quite frankly, the society sounds like an authoritarian robot gone crazy, waving its gun at people in the name of harmony. In all reality, it’s just a form of dictatorship.

If you think about this show, there is nothing new about it. Good and evil is at play like it has always been throughout centuries. Purity is what will save humanity from destruction. That’s where Akane Tsunemori, the naïve, pure maiden come to play. In western culture passive traits are seen as a weakness. In Japan, ironically the female kind is highly praise for its feminine virtues: kindness and sympathy are forms of strength that glue the society together. People protect the laws not laws protect the people, said Akane. That’s why she doesn’t deviate from the rules despite all the horror she has seen on the job as an inspector, which makes her a powerful stern leader. In case you are not familiar with the plot, Akane goes around making sure detectives don’t abuse their power while they are hunting for criminals (I don’t think I want her job, putting people on the leash sounds tiring. I’ll stick with my boring desk job so I can reserve my energy for blogging). Like every one of us, she eventually wises up and realizes that society is not always black and white. Sometimes our superiors don’t always have our best interests. She found out the hard way.

For my final thought about this series, sometimes when you try to play god, you’d eventually go mad. No human being is omniscience. In the end, it’s the smart guy who wants to destroy the world out of spite for the prisoned-society that humans have created for themselves. I think I understand now why the series is called Psycho-Pass: the villain is rationally psychotic enough to know what he is doing. He simply chose the self destructive path, and he is going to take everyone down with him.