It’s been about a week or so since I’ve had an update on my blog due to the holidays. I hope that everyone had a great holiday and look forward to the new year with some interesting and fun anime series to get into! Hopefully I will have a post about that within the coming week! Now onto Noitamina’s second season of Psycho-Pass!
I get the feeling especially with the finale here is that Ubukata could not quite grasp the ideas Gen Urobuchi had for the story of Psycho-Pass when it came to developing its characters, creating intense scenes and wrapping that around the Sibyl System. I miss the quotes he used in the first season and it’s highly noticeable especially with this episode and the constant persona switches from Kamui in the beginning that this is the same series but a completely different writer.
I say this because this episode pointed out absolutely everything that was wrong in the development of this second season. Two antagonists, Kamui and Togane that could have been made into frightening people on two sides of the spectrum– one obeying the system and the other denying it’s perfection. Personally, I did not like Togane very much as Ubukata forcefully wrote his personality from the get-go to be evil since the very beginning which contrived some really plain backdrop scenes around Akane. [Thinking of when he pointed his dominator at her for the first time and Shimotsuki was right around the corner witnessing it all and his red eyes during the drone facility event]
Right at the core of Sibyl is finally where Kamui questions the authority of a collective entity but it just doesn’t add up. Why destroy all those brains that the system has worked so hard at enriching itself into being better and why didn’t Kamui manipulate Akane into pointing the dominator right at Sibyl from the start? I guess the writers here needed something desperately to work with and it’s without fail that they even used Chief Kasei’s death to somehow elevate the situation for her son, Togane. I can understand that Kamui has a skewed view of this system just as Shougo Makishima had but his reasons were rather unnecessary: to be denied by a system that establishes a clear path into a life of peace just because your life was saved from 184 human beings. It’s a shame that they even used a different writer for this because Urobuchi could have crafted this more intelligently as he has some kind of understanding of the sci-fi world built here rather than Ubukata.
I think what went wrong here more-so than anything else is the impact Akane made on Kamui and Togane as even the cliffhanger from last time pointed out that this is a showdown between the two of them. A question of ideals that Togane backs up on the front that Sibyl is perfect and Kamui with his prowess in removing obstacles just to be noticed makes me think of Zankyou no Terror‘s main cast. Pushing aside that the kids in that series were neglected and used as tools for so long without a family, Nine and Twelve somewhat gave off the idea that they vied for attention with those bombings whereas with Psycho-Pass there is this undesirable effect of completely removing a key solution [Akane] to solving Kamui’s deep-ridden issues of feeling left behind. He could have just manipulated Akane into using her own dominator in question Sibyl instead of killing off tons of people including civilians, inspectors and enforcers. He had used Shusui to a pretty good effect in this series but it was this ending that resulted in his downfall as she was apprehended quite easily by Ginoza. It’s too bad that we could not have seen her character switched with Akane’s, as being a strong-willed person and abruptly captured would have provided some very interesting scenes with the new and old cast.
Overall he is a loosely-cultivated character that doesn’t fit into this cyberpunk world which works in the matter of not being noticed by Sibyl for the sake of enriching the story but in terms of keeping on cue of the other characters and this series themes it doesn’t work one bit. It’s at fault by the writers in creating a stronger effect with him. What takes the cake here is solely due to Togane’s poorly scripted emotional scenes about his mother dying, the truth behind Sibyl and his own lack of empathy for the Safety Bureau Inspectors that were trying to uphold a truer sense of justice.
Shimotsuki however did get the backbone to finish off Togane and it’s about time! After all the hell she was put through in the previous episodes it was good to see her have a courageous moment of doubt on Sibyl’s part. However it’s a shame it took eleven episodes even do this monumental part into her own character.
There were two parts of this I actually did like and that’s where Akane’s color has remained the same and the other being that music composer Yuugo Kanno chose to use the beautiful score from the end of the first season to close off this season and remind us as horrible as this season was that we are watching a series based on a dystopian future that is revolving around Sibyl a system that leaves a question to the viewer throughout: What is it exactly that makes us human?
Please, Production I.G. redeem yourself of the mess that this was with the feature film in January! I look forward to seeing the animation better than what your sub-par animation studio Tatsunoko Productions managed to create with this season!
Also what was that animation on Togane’s complete meltdown, that had to be one of the worst character drawn scenes I have ever seen.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10