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Psycho Pass (anime)

The quote at the end of the episodes:

“A world where humans’ state of mind and the tendency of 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 “Psych-Pass”. This story is fiction. The names of all individuals and organizations that appear in the show are fictitious, and have no relation to those in existence in the real world.”

In the future, there is a Sibyl system. It provides guidance to select a career. It can tell good art from bad art. It can tell whether you are criminal or not. The administration of society is outsourced to that. It follows the ideal of selfless, rational bureaucrat. Society is convinced by that.

Nevertheless, there is room for improvement in the long tail. We see that through the clash of three main different characters:

  • Akane Tsunemori. She is devoted to the system. She believes that stability and happiness are of the uttermost importance and they trump personal freedom.
  • Shinya Kogami. He is an idealist who is guided by his feeling of justice. He acts boldly and he defies the judgemental nature of the society as too superficial.
  • Shogo Makishima: He is the impersonation of the opposition force towards the system. He is labeled as anarchist who deviates from the ideal due to the use of excessive violence.

These three characters have their trajectories met multiple times. They develop a level of understanding between each other in their effort to achieve their goal. The lines between good and bad are thin. The viewer is left with room for his own judgement about good and bad, a decision that may change about the character depending on the context. The characters themselves exhibit seem to oscillate between what is good and what is bad.

To help the viewer to understand the motivation of the acts, sometimes raw quotes from known works are presented. They provide a context of reference that we are familiar to while, still, projecting into the (dystopian?) future that is described in the series.

Some interesting quotes:

When you entrust so much of your everyday life to those electronic devices, the argument that you aren’t a cyborg isn’t very convincing. To you, those portable terminals are already your second brain. Isn’t that right? It can be said that the history of science is a history of the expansion of the human body’s functionality, in other words, the history of man’s cyberization. That’s why it’s a matter of degree.

Solitude? Does that only apply to me? Who isn’t alone in this society? The time when our connection to others was the basis of our selves is long gone. In this world where everyone is watched over by the system and live within the system’s standards, a community isn’t necessary. Everyone just lives in their own cell, and the system tames them by giving them each their own personal serenity.

Isn’t using the net just like using knives for cooking or using paper to write things down? It has nothing to do with good or bad. It’s like, it’s there, so we accept and use it.

It’s not the final judgement of “good” and “evil” that’s important. What matters is that you come to that decision yourself. That you agonize over it and eventually accept it.

I think the only time people really have value is when they act according to their own will.

Everyone is alone. Everyone is empty. People no longer have need of others. You can always find a spare for any replacement. Any relationship can be replaced.

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