Thursday, 22 November 2012

Psycho-Pass - Episode 7

Thanks to the appearance of a girl's body put on display in a very similar fashion to those of the "Specimen" murder cases in which Kogami is so invested, the Inspector turned Enforcer finds himself barred from any further involvement in the case thanks to the prejudices of those previous grisly murders.

With Akane tasked with keeping an eye on Kogami and ensuring he doesn't do anything untoward that might interfere with the investigation, our protagonist gets to find out a little more about Kogami's former partner in crime-fighting Sasayama, while also revealing some of the more recent leads that Kogami's scratching around had brought forth.  Although he's off the case, Akane certainly doesn't seem to be immune to helping him with the idea of proving his usefulness to his colleagues one way or another.

Meanwhile, this week's episode spends plenty of time delving into the world of the murderer herself - Rikako Oryo, the daughter of an artist whose oeuvre was depicting girls in decidedly sadistic poses despite said artist's morally sound real-world behaviour.  However, his insistence upon being of sound mind and morals appears to have been his downfall, as one of many people to succumb to the ill effects being overly concerned with ensuring that their Psycho-Pass results remain crystal clear be it through medication or other means.  Thus, it becomes clear that Rikako's macabre work is one of revenge while also making a statement about the world in which she lives... but how does it tie in to the Specimen murders, and who are those who choose to help her go about her grisly business?

This week's episode of Psycho-Pass was excellent on two counts - firstly, its murder-mystery story is gruesome yet gripping stuff that manages to make both the killer and the scenario surrounding her efforts feel grounded in some kind of in-world reality and oddly fascinating.  On top of that, this week sees us come to another crux point in the show's concept - that of mental well-being and the removal of stress gone mad, and the effects that this can have on both society as a whole and the individuals within it.  Although this was expressed via a long and slightly meandering monologue, it did little to lessen the impact of a thought-provoking discussion of what a world where stress is seen as wholly negative has created.  If I wasn't already entirely on-board with what this series is trying to do (which I am), this episode was yet another powerful reason to convince me that it knows what it's doing and seems intent on delivering with aplomb.

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