PSYCHO PASS 18 — Law

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This week of PSYCHO PASS presents three options for dealing with Makishima, represented by three key characters:

  1. The Sibyl System. The chief believes Makishima should be captured alive and incorporated into the system.
  2. Vigilante Justice. Kougami believes Makishima should be killed for what he has done, outside of the Sibyl System.
  3. Partial Rule of Law. Akane believes Makishima should be captured and put to trial, but only because the Sibyl System doesn’t work on him.

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It’s important to note that no one suggests the type of law we have in our current world, where everyone is subject to the rule of law. Akane only proposes bringing back inefficient relics of the past like courts because the Sibyl System doesn’t work on certain people.

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Kougami is concerned that his actions fall outside the law. They do. But every one of the proposals fall outside the rule of law. The Sibyl System itself is not based on the rule of law. It is arbitrary, such that you won’t even know if you are slated for termination until after the fact. You don’t have to even do anything to fall afoul of the law. Sure, supposedly it is fair in that the same evaluation is applied to every person. But it is not law because there is no set of codified rules specifying what behavior is forbidden. Justice in the Sibyl System is a black box, where no one (not even the police) knows how it works.

Akane’s proposal embraces the central concept of the Sibyl System, except she proposes a second tier of justice for the extraordinary people like Makishima who Sibyl cannot handle. Sine it retains the Sibyl System, Akane’s proposal offers no law that is applicable to everyone. In addition, unlike the Sibyl System, it is not fair in that different people get a different type of justice.

Kougami’s proposed vigilante justice, like the other two, does not have a codified set of laws. Kougami is judge, jury and executioner, just like the Sibyl system. More than replacing the Sibyl system, Kougami complements it, taking on an equivalent role to Akane’s courts.

It’s interesting that none of the characters even see as an issue what seem to me to be the main problems with the Sibyl System:

  • Punishment for crimes that have not been and may not be committed.
  • Lack of clear, public laws proscribing illegal behavior.
  • Cruel and unusual punishment: on the spot execution, corporal punishment for every variety of “crime”, indefinite detention.
  • No rehabilitation component.

Now the main concern of the characters seems to be the fact that Makishima is not being punished or stopped from his crimes. But to me, this issue of Makishima seems like a tertiary concern at best compared to the systemic problems in the Sibyl System. The characters’ actions make perfect sense, given that they have grown up with the Sibyl System, and the only surprising thing for them in all of this is that the system doesn’t work for everyone. But I wonder if the show will ever look more explicitly at the wider issues?

Akane is a Beast

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Wow, these brains are so cruel…

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But Akane is a badass. Wow. So cool.

PSYCHO PASS is not Moe

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PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

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PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

Further Thoughts

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Hahahaha his face.

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Yeah, I wonder who…?

7 thoughts on “PSYCHO PASS 18 — Law

  1. No comment on the animation… lol.

    The one thing I didn’t get though is why the Chief potentially revealed that she can change the Dominator. I mean it is a collection of brains after all.

    1. And by that I mean if the the chief is a collection of brains you’d think she’d be smart enough to do anything to potentially reveal the big secret.

    2. Yeah, overriding the dominator in front of them didn’t seem like the best idea. Clearly Akane at least realized something was up with the way she recovered saying the dominator was broken. My understanding is that the chief isn’t a collection of brains, but a single brain who changes day by day and is taking a break from being the Sibyl System. I wonder if some of her actions are inspired by different brains’ agendas?

  2. Yes, one must not forget that the animation in this episode was fucked up and some writing went all wickedy wickedy whack. XD Apparently, they are fixing the problem and will try to reair a more complete version…apparently.

    1. Yeah, I’d heard that as well (after I wrote this). It’s weird how they don’t finish these episodes further in advance.

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