PSYCHO PASS 03 — Bullying

What an interesting episode.

In the utilitarian world of Psycho Pass, someone needs to be the one who gets bullied so that the bullies can remain healthy. If he can’t take it anymore, he can just get transferred. What’s the big deal?

At the heart of PSYCHO PASS’s dystopia is a world without personal liberty or responsibility, but with personal culpability. Citizens of this brave new world don’t have the freedom to choose a job or even to think negative thoughts. They aren’t trusted to manage their own affairs without the “help” of the Sibyl system.

And yet, despite their complete lack of freedom, individuals are punished for the failure of the system. Even more than the lack of freedom or the fact that their every action is predicted by a computer, this is what makes the world of PSYCHO PASS seem so inherently unfair. Individuals are punished not for their own failure, but for the failure of the Sibyl system itself.

In our own world, people are expected to take responsibility for their own actions. But people have the freedom to choose their own actions. In the world of the Sibyl system, as we have seen in the cases so far, the line between personal and collective responsibility is more finely blurred. All of the crimes we have seen so far were in fact directly caused by the Sibyl system itself.

So is the Sibyl system really a blessing? Does it actually preserve order, or does it actively control disorder in manageable ways?

The fact that someone’s Psycho-Pass can improve after killing someone is a feature, not a bug. Just as the factory workers use bullying to alleviate their stress, the bullied uses murder to relive his stress.

This is why Akane is a fool according to the other inspector. She believes that the Psycho-Pass is intended to prevent crimes and to service justice. But it’s not. The Sibyl System’s goal is to preserve and to control. An illusion of “justice” is simply one of the tools in its repertoire.

The World is a Prison

This factory is not a workplace. It is a prison. They are not allowed to leave or to communicate with the outside world. They have mealtime brawls. They even wear prison uniforms.

My impression is that this kind of job is not unusual in this world. Akane and her friends are part of an elite, upper class given limited freedom and mobility.

I thought before that the enforcers have it bad, not being able to leave the police building. But these workers have it way worse. They work 24 hours a day and never leave at all. At least the Enforcers can go out when they have cases.

PSYCHO PASS is not Moe

PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

6 thoughts on “PSYCHO PASS 03 — Bullying

  1. This was the best directed anime episode I’ve seen since Hyouka’s Jumonji arc! I think I’ve rewatched the last few seconds around when the ED song kicks in about 30 times by now.

    Excellent analysis of the PSYCHO PASS world, Draggle! For some reason this series’ setting also reminds me a lot of UN-GO (and not only b/c Akane’s smirk in your second last picture is like totally Diet Girl!).

    Re Akane is not moe: Also note how she is wearing these clunky school girl penny loafers to her business suit: bit.ly/S43xbd . Or how she has this let’s say inefficient way of running: http://bit.ly/XHryce .

    1. Yeah, this definitely has a lot in common with Un-Go. The whole idea of the pervasive information control is one of the staples of cyberpunk.

      Her way of running is really cute. It’s weird that she’s not wearing socks though. Doesn’t seem like the best outfit for the job.

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