Two things on Psycho-Pass: The Movie

March 9, 2016

(There are some spoilers here.)

Here's two more or less unrelated natterings on the Psycho-Pass movie, untethered from any larger framework. In general the movie reruns a fair number of familiar themes from the first TV series, although this time it's somewhat more pointed about them; the question of whether Sybil is attractive to people is addressed directly, for example.

(Non-spoiler: the bargain Sybil offers people is pretty darn attractive when they're coming from a civil-war-torn environment. People will put up with a lot simply to get some of the benefits, because it beats the alternatives.)

One of the interesting questions the movie makes me ask is whether combat soldiers and former combat soldiers can ever have clean enough psycho-passes to live in a Sybil-controlled society. Based on things from both the TV series and the movie, my suspicion is that they can't, which leaves SEAUn with kind of a problem. How did Japan get away with it? The answer from the series seems to be that Japan mostly uses automated attack drones, and they probably forced their limited number of combat soldiers into roles as Enforcers.

(Now there are real spoilers, although things won't make sense unless you've seen the movie.)

The movie opens with some SEAUn terrorists showing up in Japan, equipped with the technology and knowledge necessary to get past the Sybil System (at least for a while); how the terrorists got the specialized gear and knowledge is never explained. Also, near the end of the movie, Mika shows up to snark at Akane about how Akane's expedition to SEAUn was basically pointless. It is my view that Mika is dead wrong here, as usual, and also that these two things are not unrelated.

The simple and obvious explanation is that Sybil engineered the whole terrorist situation as the trigger to get Akane to Shamballa Float, where it knew she would bring the corrupt system down more or less on the schedule that Sybil wanted. This is why Sybil went behind Akane's back in interrogating one terrorist; it needed to turn up the image of Kougami in order to push Akane into going to SEAUn. Mika's role in all of this was to be an ignorant tool for Sybil, which she is very good at.

('Smugly wrong and completely unaware of it' appears to be Mika's default state in life, or at least in the Bureau.)

This is probably pretty clear when watching the movie since Sybil is one of the very few parties with the necessary knowledge and gear, especially once you rule out Kougami. But I feel like writing it down for various reasons.

(As a side note, I suspect that Akane is smart enough to have worked this out for herself by the end of the movie.)

Written on 09 March 2016.
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Last modified: Wed Mar 9 21:09:25 2016
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