Text version and links:
Edited by The Davoo: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheDavoo
Part One: https://myswordisunbelievablydull.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/psycho-pass-vs-psycho-pass-2-what-happened-part-one/
Part Two: https://myswordisunbelievablydull.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/psycho-pass-vs-psycho-pass-2-what-happened-video-2/
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In the last video, I began to compare and contrast the many similar components which make up both seasons of Psycho-Pass, starting with their antagonists. Here, I will continue on this train of thought by comparing the characters and scenes of season one against their counterparts from season two.
One of the biggest similarities in how the antagonists of both series are presented is in the way that they use other people to carry out their plans. Both Makishima and Kamui have one second-in-command type character who accompanies them in a lot of scenes and is given their own time in the limelight later on, along with a number of random cronies who create some of the chaos in the earlier parts of the show.
When it comes to the minor cronies working under each, it would definitely be unfair to compare them too strongly, considering that a lot of Makishima’s puppets were the subjects of their own miniature arcs. Senguuji and Rikako in particular were highly memorable characters who stood on their own–but at that point in the show, it wasn’t yet even clear how Makishima was holding the reigns of the operation. Nonetheless, it’s kind of amazing just how unmemorable everyone is who works under Kamui. None of them are given any personality beyond the fact that all of them are fanatically devoted to Kamui because they think that he’s made them pure. You could use any of these characters in any of the scenes that calls for a Kamui flunky, and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.
Makishima’s primary sidekick, Choe Guseong, is another highly aesthetic character, with a personality and candor very similar to that of Makishima himself. He comes off as less of a broad concept guy and more of a technical wizard, which makes him a good compliment for Makishima’s skills; and he has his hands in a lot of the dirty work of getting Makishima’s jobs done. Choe gets a fantastic scene to himself when he discovers the true nature of the Sybil system, and is laughing right into his grave at the realization.
Kamui is paired with Mizue Shisui, an inspector whom he tortures and transforms into his cronie after removing one of her eyes so that he can use her dominator. While the scene in which he transforms her is possibly among the most memorable of the entire season, what results is just another blind devotee who fights in the name of Kamui’s glory. She is completely interchangeable with any of Kamui’s other drones.
In this instance, more than in any other, we can make the case that the followers of each villain were made to reflect that villain’s thematic purpose. Whereas Makishima represents unwavering individuality, Kamui represents the collective–so it stands to reason that Makishima’s followers would have more distinct personalities, whereas Kamui’s would be more of a hivemind. It would be possible to attack this logic on the grounds that Kamui is meant to be a collective of different individual parts containing outliers which raise his psycho-pass level; but ultimately I don’t have a big problem with the logic behind Kamui’s horde–I simply think that it inevitably leads to a bunch of boring characters. Mizue is given almost as much screentime and focus as Choe was in the first season, but manages to be a completely uninteresting, one-note character, whereas Choe was interesting enough to make me curious about him throughout.
Moving away from the antagonistic side of the stories, let’s have a look at the main character of both shows–and one of my all-time favorite anime characters–Tsunemori Akane. Throughout both seasons of Psycho-Pass, Akane is a character who is mostly swept up in the narrative surrounding her, and is more important for her symbolic purpose and for how she interacts with the other characters, than for how her actions influence the storyline. Akane undergoes a very clear character arc over the course of the first season, and then inexplicably goes through the motions of exact same arc in the second season.
I’ve already detailed in the first video of this analysis how Akane’s main conflict is between knowing that the Sybil system is important to society, but also feeling that its imperfections are too great, leading her to try and act as an additional safety net extending beyond what the system is capable of. In the first episode of season one, she talks a woman down until that woman’s psycho-pass is clear enough to avoid lethal elimination. In the first episode of season two, she has adopted the mantra “299,” as her ideal system of not arresting anyone until she can talk them down below a crime coefficient reading of 300.
Akane’s course throughout the first season begins with disillusionment, followed by a long period of confusion and anxiousness, leading up to the moment when Makishima murders her friend right in front of her. From this moment onwards, Akane’s already strong will becomes ironclad, and she takes on a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense persona, with an unwillingness to back down from any challenge, even when it puts her at ends with the sybil system. Akane is fearless and incorruptible–the paragon of what the law stands for, and what society strives for.
It only makes sense that, having completed this transformation over the course of the first season, Akane will still be that kind of character in season two. Which is why it’s confusing that said season then mimics the same story beats which drove Akane’s development in the first season–only without leading to any further character growth.
In the first season, Akane was given the opportunity to shoot Makishima when her friend’s life was on the line, but she couldn’t bring herself to kill someone without the due process of law. This moment hardens her as a character–yet, as the series goes along, she continues to hold to the belief that she shouldn’t shoot anyone, and tries to stop Kougami from doing just that. In episode six of season two, Akane once again has the villain at her mercy, but is unable to shoot him, and stops Tougane from doing so either. This moment doesn’t add anything to Akane’s character. We already know that she’d never be willing to shoot someone in cold blood, even if it seemed like it might be the best course of action. When she and other characters reflect on the fact that she didn’t shoot him, it comes across as very redundant.
Around this point, we also discover that Tougane is secretly on a mission to blacken Akane’s Psycho-Pass. This is something we already know to be virtually impossible, given all of the things which happened to her during the first season. Akane even remarks in episode fourteen that her inability to be clouded is her only skill. In an effort to cause Akane as much stress as possible, Tougane ends up murdering Akane’s grandmother, and later rubs it in her face that it was him who did it. This accomplishes absolutely nothing. It’s not surprising that this accomplishes nothing, given that Akane has already watched one of her best friends get killed right in front of her face as a direct result of her own inaction, yet was still unwilling to kill Makishima–so the entire idea of Tougane trying to cloud Akane’s psycho-pass is redundant.
Moreover, what had made the scene wherein Akane’s friend got murdered so effective, was how it was, up until that episode, pretty unexpected. Akane’s friends had shown up several times earlier in the show during scenes which were meant to break away from Akane’s police work and focus on a more personal angle of her life. It was already a big surprise to see one of those friends getting wrapped up in Akane’s work, much less to end up gruesomely murdered right in front of her. This scene was a watershed moment in the progression of the series, as it had Makishima taking center stage and outing himself as the big bad guy, while jumpstarting Akane’s growth into a more hardened and bitter character.
Comparatively, the murder of Akane’s grandma is as blatantly telegraphed as it is utterly pointless. Akane’s grandma is randomly shoehorned into the story in episode seven of season two, when her hospital is ransacked for unrelated reasons and Akane rushes in to see if she’s okay. Mind you that up until this point, Akane’s grandma has only ever been mentioned two or three times in passing during other conversations, and is now suddenly being thrust into a scene on the flimsiest of pretexts. The first question on every viewer’s mind when seeing this is going to be, “what’s the relevance of Akane’s grandma?;” which is quickly answered when Tougane finds out about her in the next episode. By now, we’re sure that Tougane is going to kill her–so when the big reveal happens, it isn’t the least bit surprising. This reveal does not change anything for anyone. You could have cut Akane’s grandma out of the series entirely, and it would not have made a single bit of difference.
Towards the end of each season, Akane has a scene in which she’s driving down the road, talking to the Sybil system through her dominator, and using its own logic against it to make it follow along with her plans. The first time that this happens, it’s a badass sequence, as Akane begins to take some level of control away from the system and prove that she’s an asset which the system can’t afford to be without. In the second season, the exact same thing happens. Both shows end with the system determining that Akane is important and that it wants her to continue working for it, even though it has already had that realization at the end of season one.
The only new aspect of Akane’s character presented in season two is how she’s come into her own as a detective. Akane has internalized the lessons given to her by Kougami to the point that she uses the scent of his cigarettes and visualizes him speaking to her in order to help her to tap into the skills which he’s taught her. While this does come off as kind of corny and unnecessary, it at least makes some degree of sense as an extension of her character, and it was nice at times to see her having fully developed her skills as a detective.
Towards the end of the first season, one of the biggest reveals is that the Sybil system is secretly a network of human brains taken out of criminally asymptomatic people, under the logic that those who exist outside of the normal bounds of society are the most capable of objectively judging those within it. In order to protect the idea that the Sybil system is always objectively correct, no one can possibly know about the system’s true nature, nor the fact that the system is actually fallible, because it would shatter the illusion of perfect order.
In season two, Kamui is somehow privy to the true nature of the sybil system, and confronts it with the idea that if it were to judge itself as a collective, then its psycho-pass would exceed regulation value due to the moral crimes which it collectively commits. In response to this, the Sybil system then exterminates a bunch of the brains inside of itself which are apparently causing its crime coefficient to go up, thereby stabilizing its psycho-pass back down to zero.
Considering that the entire point of the Sybil system is that it’s a collection of criminally asymptomatic personalities, it contradicts the logic of the first season to then suggest that the system is capable of detecting which brains are raising its collective crime coefficient. If every brain in the system is criminally asymptomatic, and if all of the brains can only make decisions by coming to a collective agreement, then how is it possible for just a few of these brains to somehow raise the system’s collective crime coefficient?
Throughout season two, the Sybil system’s android avatar is controlled by the brain of Tougane’s mother. This brain has made Tougane into one of Akane’s enforcers, in spite of knowing full well that Tougane is a dangerous psychopath who constantly tries to darken the psycho-passes of the people around him, because he thinks that it helps to purify his mother. It has already been established at the end of the first season that the Sybil system considers Akane to be a valuable asset which it hopes to continue working with; so why would the system allow someone like Tougane, who clearly doesn’t fit in with its society, to become a partner to Akane? Tougane does not do anything to help the system in any way, and even murders a citizen in cold blood in the process of trying to poison the Sybil system’s champion.
Back in season one, it was established that even when controlling the android avatar, every brain in the sybil system has to consult with the network before making any decisions. The system only chooses a specific brain to inhabit the avatar when it feels that said brain’s individual characteristics will allow it to better communicate with certain people. It doesn’t make any sense that Tougane’s mother would be able to act in ways which contradict with the will of the system, nor does it make any sense for Tougane’s actions to fall in with the will of the system. It honestly feels to me like the writer of Psycho-Pass 2 did not understand how the Sybil system works.
Now, let’s have a look at each of the inspectors who work alongside Akane in the field. Season one pairs her up with the experienced, long-time enforcer Nobuchika Ginoza. From the very beginning, Ginoza’s attitude is strict, overbearing, and highly duty-driven. Ginoza does not question the ruling of the sybil system, and attempts to fulfill his duties as efficiently as possible, while carefully guarding his psycho-pass. He treats the enforcers as nothing more than hunting dogs and disregards everything about how they do their work, believing that in order to maintain a clear psycho-pass, one should regard the opinions of those with criminal minds as irrelevant.
As the series goes along, we find out that Ginoza’s paranoia over mental self-preservation is the result of having watched both his father, Masaoka, and his former partner, Kougami, fall out of line with society and end up becoming enforcers. It makes perfect sense for Ginoza to see the actions of these characters as faulty and to doubt the worth of detective work, when it’s been proven to him twice that those tendencies lead down the road to criminal activity. Ginoza’s disdain for Akane’s methods comes not only out of his faith in the sybil system, but out of his fear that Akane might end up like his father or his former partner.
Eventually, Ginoza finds himself confronted with evidence towards the sybil system’s failures, and the stress of trying to reconcile those failures against his desire to uphold the system slowly begins to cloud his psycho-pass. As Ginoza watches Akane continually manage to deepen her skills as a detective without her psycho-pass getting clouded, he is slowly humbled and forced to face the fact that he is incapable of performing his job as well as Akane is. In the end, after witnessing the death of his father, Ginoza’s crime coefficient is finally pushed over the edge, and he ends up becoming an enforcer to replace his father, Masaoka.
With Ginoza now working as an enforcer, Akane is given a new partner at the end of the first season in the form of Mika Shimotsuki–a girl who was previously introduced as a high school student, who lost one of her best friends to one of Makishima’s criminals. Mika isn’t given much of a personality in the first season, other than being worried about her friends and capable of some level of deductive reasoning; but even this little bit of characterization is contradicted by her characterization in the second season.
Just like Ginoza in the first season, Mika follows along with the sybil system’s rules unquestioningly, and has a problem with the way that Akane does things. Unlike Ginoza, however, her reasons for feeling this way don’t make any sense–if there are, in fact, any reasons for it at all. Even though Akane is Mika’s senior officer, and shows time and again that she’s capable of achieving results with her methodology, while also being strongly respected by each of her enforcers and even approved in her actions by the Sybil system itself, Mika continually decides that everything Akane is doing is wrong. Even Yayoi, the one person who Mika respects, tries to convince her that Akane knows what she’s doing; yet Mika spends the entire season blindly fighting against Akane, to the point where she even ends up partially responsible for the death of Akane’s grandmother.
Not only does Mika’s personality make no sense whatsoever, but she doesn’t accomplish anything in the course of the story. Ginoza was integral to facilitating Akane’s growth over the course of the first season, while standing as a symbol for the way that the sybil system operates, and even getting his own unique character arc. Mika’s actions do not effect any change in the other characters, nor in the narrative; nor does she have a character arc of her own. She starts a blind devotee of the Sybil system, and ends the same way. Mika could easily have been cut from the story entirely with only the most minor changes to how certain events played out, and nothing would be different. Moreover, had she been given less focus, it would’ve opened up a lot more time to flesh out the more important characters, and to allow the story more breathing room.
Each season of Psycho-Pass places four enforcers under Akane’s command. In season one, Masaoka largely serves as a level-headed conversation partner for Akane, as well as someone who can help to drive the development of Kougami and Ginoza thanks to his history with each of them. Masaoka gets his share of dramatic scenes, culminating with his death at the end of the first season; and his role is largely taken up by Ginoza from there on out.
Ginoza doesn’t do much of anything in the second season, and that’s okay. He’s already completed his character arc over the course of the first season, so we already have a good understanding of what he’s all about. Considering the already overstuffed storyline of the second season, it was probably a good idea to relegate Ginoza to the background. Likewise, Yayoi plays the same minor supporting role in the second season that she did in the first without really adding anything to her character.
Season one also gave us the outspoken and energetic Kagari, who stood out more as an aesthetic character than as an empathetic one, but nonetheless managed to get a dramatic scene with his death in episode sixteen. He is replaced by Shou Hinakawa in season two, who is also a largely aesthetic character, but with the opposite personality–being meek, quiet, and more knowledgeable about technology. Shou never gets any opportunities to shine dramatically, but thankfully doesn’t get in the way, and wouldn’t make a bad addition to the team if he was intended to stick around in the long term.
This leaves us with the most important enforcers from each series: Shinya Kougami, and Sakuya Tougane. While Kougami is referenced in the second season, each of these characters largely exists only within their own season, and is billed in a similar fashion.
One could easily make the case that Kougami is the real main character of Psycho-Pass season one. Not only is he the most personally and emotionally invested in the Makishima case, but his rivalry with Makishima is presented as the central conflict in the series. The cold opening shows them facing off for the first time, and their final battle marks the climax of the last episode. Makishima’s effect on Kougami is the main driving force of his actions, while Kougami’s desire to capture Makishima is what allows the team to stand against him. You couldn’t have the Makishima case without Kougami, nor could Akane have made it very far as a character without his direct influence. He is possibly the most important character in the show, in terms of driving the central narrative of the story.
Not only does Kougami ooze with aesthetic coolness and get to deliver many of the most satisfying scenes in the show, but he is also an intelligent, interesting, and conflicted character. He constantly grapples with the duality between being a skilled critical thinker, and an emotionally-driven vengeance seeker, which leads him down a path to self-destruction–even as he manages to hand down his most important skills to the more level-headed Akane.
Just as Makishima symbolizes anarchic free will, Kougami represents the will of emotion. He stands for the core desires which humanity pours into the construction of the law, as well as the faults that often come with judging others emotionally. His intentions are good, but his methodology does not necessarily represent what is best for the greater social welfare. If the sybil system represents perfect social logic, and Makishima represents anarchic individual logic, then Kougami represents human logic–a logic which is capable of understanding and appreciating the importance of social conduct, but is ultimately incapable of silencing its emotional reactions. As such, Kougami, like Makishima, manages to be not only a compelling and sympathetic character who drives the series narrative, but also representative of the central themes of the story.
Tougane, meanwhile, is what I would describe as an anti-character. He exists less as one who believably and naturally fits into the series narrative, and more as an idea, around which the skeleton of a character has been built. The idea of Tougane is that he’s a guy who tries to corrupt people in the name of purifying the sybil system. This mentality is completely illogical–therefore, the only rationale which can be given for it is that Tougane is a psychopath. We are told that Tougane is a psychopath because of the twisted experimentation which was performed on him as a child; but ultimately, this backstory could have been used an excuse for any kind of personality that the writers wanted him to have. There is no logical through-line for why Tougane’s history would generate the exact person that he became. It only tells us that Tougane is insane; and the result of that insanity just happens to be this kind of character.
In the case of Makishima, it was the nebulous nature of his personality which lead him down the path of creating anarchy. Makishima’s goals were a logical result of his upbringing, and were non-specific enough that we could buy into his character. Kougami meanwhile had a very direct motivation–the murder of his former enforcer–which lead him to the direct goal of wanting to kill Makishima. With both of these characters, we can clearly understand how the person that they were made to be reflected the actions which they took. With Tougane, however, we are only shown the cause for him to lose his mind in a broad, vague sense; which results in a specific goal that doesn’t directly relate to what made him that way.
I’m not trying to say that Tougane is a completely broken character because of this. Going crazy is such a nebulous concept, that it’s easy to justify pretty much any choices that a character makes as the result of losing their mind. However, I think that this makes for a much weaker character overall. With both Makishima and Kougami, the logic behind their character progressions allowed them to be relatable and applicable personalities through whom we could reflect on the systems and concepts of our own reality. Tougane is just some crazy guy. He’s completely unrelatable, and he doesn’t stand for anything.
In spite of being given a considerable amount of screentime, Tougane receives startlingly little depth or development, and is gradually revealed to be completely incompetent over the course of the series. At first, he is built up as the next Kougami, as someone whose critical thinking skills and faith in Akane are a cut above the rest. However, once it’s revealed that his true intention is to cloud Akane’s psycho-pass, then this becomes the sole focus of his character. His continued attempts to do so, up to and including the murder of Akane’s grandmother, result in no changes whatsoever to Akane’s psycho-pass, rendering this entire subplot pointless.
Like Kougami before him, Tougane is put into conflict with Akane over his desire to murder the villain towards the end of the series–this time out of his desire to purify the Sybil system. Again, there is no symbolic or emotional weight behind Tougane’s desire to kill Kamui, and Akane pretty much makes him look like a complete joke in the end.
You could make the case that Tougane affected the development of Mika, considering that he caused her to learn more about the Sybil system and to facilitate the death of Akane’s grandma, which has a clear detrimental effect on her psyche. However, Mika doesn’t end up changing her outlook at all, and if anything just becomes even more of a Sybil system devotee. Once again, if Tougane had been completely written out of the story, then it would only take some minor alterations to how certain scenes played out to render him totally irrelevant. Between the amount of time wasted by both Tougane and Mika in the name of trying to recreate the formula of the first season, we probably could’ve freed up two or three episodes for the sake of developing the central storyline in more depth, and allowed for better pacing in the presentation.
The biggest saving grace of the characterization in Psycho-Pass 2 is that it doesn’t manage to ruin any of the important characters from the first season. Even though I’ve criticized the fact that Akane’s character remains totally static across the series, it could’ve been much worse had the writers decided to do something to change her in a bad way. Kougami is thankfully spared from appearing in the series at all; and while the Sybil system is handled in an illogical fashion, it ultimately ends the series in pretty much the same state that it began. It is for this reason alone that I feel Psycho-Pass can continue as a franchise with the same characters, and the second season can essentially be skipped over completely. With the status quo largely unchanged by the second season, and the original staff returning to work on the feature film, there’s not much reason to let the failures of the second season cloud our expectations.
However, there is one minor character who do I think got somewhat watered down by the second season–and that’s the psychologist, Jouji Saiga. In season one, this character was used sparingly, and was presented almost as a mythical figure, whose intelligence, worldliness, and profiling abilities were beyond what anyone else in this world is capable of. His gimmick was that he could tell all sort of things about a character’s background and state of mind just by watching them, and liked to relay these things back to the person in kind. It was also suggested that most people were unable to learn his techniques without raising their crime coefficient, which has caused him to live as a hermit outside of the city.
Jouji returns in season two, having been locked in a mental health facility after turning himself in at the end of the first season, and is approached by Akane for help with the Kamui case. Had this been the same Jouji from the first season, then he would have instantly started figuring out the nature of what Akane wanted from him just by the way that she carried herself. Instead, Akane pretty much explains everything to him outright, without him deducing much on his own. Over the course of the season, Jouji gets to talk to a number of the people who work with Kamui, but is mostly just shown asking them questions, rather than figuring things out about them deductively. Ultimately, it doesn’t seem like he says or does anything which Akane or Shion couldn’t have done themselves, and was mostly brought in so that there’d be someone we know to be smart interrogating Kamui’s supporters while Akane is out doing the footwork.
This isn’t to say that Jouji’s character was necessarily ruined in the second season–but I do feel that he was criminally underutilized. I like the idea of bringing him back, especially knowing that Akane is willing to bend some of the sybil system’s rules in order to solve her cases, and I think that he would have made a valuable asset to the team with his unique skills. However, he ultimately isn’t given much room to do anything unique or interesting, and only receives a faint hint of an arc which doesn’t manage to go anywhere.
Beyond the characters and overall narrative structure of the series, Psycho-Pass 2 also cribs a number of big set pieces from the first season, while handling them about as senselessly as it does anything else.
In season one, on Akane’s very first assignment, we witness how victims can become targets for enforcement action because of the stress of a dangerous situation–and it becomes Akane’s mission from the very beginning to prevent this from happening again. The fact that inspectors and enforcers will use unquestioning lethal force on otherwise innocent civilians is one of the most basic things that we know about them. It is for this reason, and because we only see the dominator’s lethal eliminator mode used once every few episodes, that it manages to be horrifying and sad every time someone gets shot by the dominator.
In episode four of season two, a bunch of people are held hostage by a madman, who is unable to be enforced thanks to Kamui’s effect on his psycho-pass. At the end of the episode, as the victims run out of the building, they are mowed down en masse by the enforcers and inspectors waiting outside, while the criminal gets away free. Not only have we already experienced the dramatic irony of innocent victims being the target of enforcement action, but the idea of the criminal getting away because the dominator can’t shoot them, even though they are clearly the perpetrator of a crime, was used both in Makishima’s scene with Akane, and as a major plot event in the midsection of season one. This time, however, the violence becomes so overblown and ridiculous that it borders on being comical, and completely cheapens the impact of people getting blown up by dominators for the rest of the series.
Midway through the first season, Makishima distributes a bunch of helmets which allow the users to mask their psycho-pass behind the psycho-pass of nearby citizens. Because this society is so incapable of dealing with stressful situations, and because the police force is ill-equipped to fight against opponents on the basis of anything other than their crime coefficient, the use of these helmets creates mass chaos and a widespread psycho-hazard, which turns the entire city on its head. In this way, Makishima is exploiting the weaknesses of the system while presenting the ironies behind its construction, all while generating enough chaos that his team can break into the MWPSB building and discover the true nature of the Sybil system.
In episodes five and six of season two, Kamui also exploits the system in an ironic fashion in order to accomplish his goals, while generating a massive psycho-hazard in the process. In his case, his team hacks into a bunch of military mecha drones and feeds their operational controls into a popular tablet game; which, unbeknownst to the players, gives them the goal of using the robots to mow down inspectors and enforcers while Kamui collects their dominators. There are no shortage of problems with the way that this plan is presented, which I’ll be diving into at a later point in this analysis–but for now, let’s focus on why this idea fails thematically.
First of all, it’s never even been established that this level of military force exists in this world; and we are given no indication as to what kind of relationship there is between the military and the sybil system. There doesn’t seem to be any necessary reason for the drone controls to have been fed through a popular video game instead of simply being controlled by Kamui’s teammates, except that it makes for a dramatic irony which only the viewers get to experience.
Because the players are unaware of the game’s violent true nature, their psycho-passes are protected. This is meant to feed into the theme that a group of people can commit a criminal act without any one person being marked as a criminal; however, even if the system judged them as a collective, then there would be no reason for the psycho-pass to present a dangerous reading, because not one of them would show any signs of criminal intent. If anything, this scene only serves to emphasize how confusing the idea behind Kamui’s message really is.
Ultimately, this convoluted plot only amounts to a means through which Kamui can lure a large number of enforcers and inspectors into one place, murder them, and take their dominators. It doesn’t turn the system on its head, nor expose any unique underlying irony, but is the excuse for a gigantic action set piece in which lots of background characters get gruesomely murdered.
Likewise, towards the end of the series, Kamui’s forces end up fighting a gigantic battle against a team of enforcers and inspectors which serves no narrative purpose whatsoever. It is nothing more than an excuse to show an extreme amount of gruesome violence during the final episodes, in a way that feels totally unnecessary. Whereas the first season had used its big action set piece as a high-point in the violence and chaotic tension of the series, before slowing down into a more up-close-and-personal final confrontation, Psycho-Pass 2 continually cuts back and forth between its more personal and more chaotic final confrontations in a way that makes everything feel like one big, ridiculous mess.
At this point, I’ve broken down the majority of the ways in which Psycho-Pass 2 attempts to copy the structure of its predecessor, and explained how it managed to fail at every turn. However, just as a lot of what made the first season great came through in the details of its presentation, a lot of what makes the second season suck is present in the details as well. Join me in the next video as I take a microscope to the second season and dive deep into its failures; and as always, if you enjoy these videos, consider supporting me via patreon or paypal, or by sharing my videos around. I’ll see you in the next one!