Nobody Knows Your Mask
Nobody Knows Your Face
Episodes 4 and 5
Episode 4 and 5, “Nobody Knows Your Mask” and “Nobody Knows Your Face”, respectively, featured a quite original and strange arc, since most the case this time tightly related with chat rooms. Chat rooms in that age are actually some very interesting small virtual realities which people visit. Once again, it’s just as our world, except to an extremer degree, as the possibility of impersonating an avatar allows for an even realer experience and secluding from real life personal contact. I still find it really interesting how Psycho-Pass touches these little points with its murder cases. The people whose avatars were idolized by everyone and anyone yet rarely left their rooms in real life. The way an idol becomes an icon rather than a person, with its personality being a known façade, a mask that’s worn and once established, can’t be betrayed. Those parallels are all true and probably the main reason creating expectations regarding anything doesn’t sit well with me. Besides that, there’s the simpler reason for me to love this. The sheer creativity put into this, both art and plot-wise is quite the treat.
Anyhow, the case in itself is, just as the previous one, not of much interest or mystery, as a one dimensional criminal is once again found to be the culprit. The interesting villain will, of course, be the white haired guy who’s seemingly behind everything (scratch the “seemingly”, he’s revealed to be behind everything in episode 6). However, one-dimensional psychotic criminals aside, what the cases keep adding up is world-building, which is something I appreciate very much. Join that with the parallels to our society and you have something that can keep entertaining me for the whole season. Of course it’d be disappointing if there was no real plot to develop beyond this, but the fact that there is seems to no longer be a guess.
As the character’s personalities are revealed, with Kougami’s past and the fact that he used to be an Inspector being of particular interest, it isn’t hard to realize there is a lot of room for both character and plot development.
Return of the Lunatic Prince
As previous episodes hinted at and episode 6 makes rather obvious, that mysterious white haired man seems to be the reason behind the increase in Kougami’s Psycho-Pass, or rather, his wish for revenge on said man is probably the reason. Apparently, according to the information Akane manages to get out of a cute drunk Kagari (that’s what happens when you boast about enjoying old-school pleasures xD) and that is later complemented by what that analyst says, there was an unsolved gruesome case in which an Enforcer, named Sasayama, ended up as a victim while working on a totally unrelated case. What resounded more in my mind here, was how Sasayama was an Enforcer, not an inspector. As Ginoza and that other lady (their boss?) were discussing Akane might still end up like Kougami, parallels were drawn between Kougami’s empathy with Sasayama and her current concern for Kougami. That might be one of the reasons Ginoza is always advising her to keep her distance.
In that same conversation, the root for Ginoza’s apparent hatred towards the enforcers is also slightly touched upon, as it is implied that someone in his family had a high Psycho-Pass. Whether said person was a criminal or not and how that might have impacted Ginoza is yet another issue that picked up my interest and that I’ll definitely be looking forward to seeing resolved.
As for the case introduced in episode 6… While, forget what those workers said, I would totally put a sculpture like that in my room! (And I should really be careful about my reputation and stop saying things like this…) But really, if you forget that it’s actually is a corpse, it truly is a work of art. I believe Caster would totally have agreed with me (Urobuchi really seems to like this kind of stuff…)
The criminal this time seems to be quite more psychotically interesting. Yeah, that girl is batshit insane, but in a rather more… elegant way. Her conversation with the white-haired man at the end of the episode was actually rather interesting. I like it when people see things in a logical perspective. Yes, a skewed one when you take your human values into consideration, but nonetheless logical when based on their own moral values. Which is… way more interesting than some desperate guy killing off people with robots.
Speaking of which, it seems the white-haired man was also behind that incident. As well as the chatroom one, though that had already been shown. “The intent and means to kill… To create a crime by bringing those two otherwise separated things together. That’s his goal.” Kougami’s proclamation was bold since, as Ginoza pointed out, he doesn’t even know for sure whether such a person exists. However, it does seem to be right on the mark. I can’t wait to learn more about that guy.
I actually wonder how he managed to earn all that power an influence, but there’s no doubt he’s quite the resourceful man. The variety of killing means he has provided the variety of supposedly safe havens he’s meddled with… That doesn’t seem like something just anyone would have the means and talent to do. I wonder how the system handled (or didn’t handle him). Was he told to live his life in a way he didn’t want to? Or has he been outside of the influence of the Sybil system for longer than that? He doesn’t need to even be introduced to pick my interest. His simple existence in such a controlled society is already a point worth pondering about.
Speaking of said society, as interesting as this case seems to be on different grounds than the precious ones, it also offers yet some more world-building: the setting this time is a school. An all-girls school with the selling point of… Completely isolating them from the outside world and any other kind of problems, which would avoid any Psycho-Pass contamination. But the question here is… wouldn’t that just make them more frail, naïve and easily influenced individuals? Well, I guess that’d also make them easier to control and fit perfectly into such a society, but it’s yet the same dangerous point of counter-productivity.
All in all, Psycho-Pass keeps building-up a quite thought-provoking view of the world, and has more recently added to that a promise of good character development I’ll be looking forward to.