Psycho Pass is an interesting take on how we live in a world surrounded by technology that can predetermine how we live our lives and changing them could led to consequences. This series is inspired by literature and movies references to give an idea on how it was created. This will show the issue of how the people in Psycho Pass follows normal social instructions and looking at another point of view can show something uncalled for.
Hard work at work.
The bleak world of Psycho Pass shows a dystopian society that is both ideal and infallible where no one questions and obeys the judgments of a machine capable of predetermining the likely events before they actually happen. The biggest event would rather or not someone is about to commit a crime, most notably murder. However, while this may reduce the threat in order to bring about justice accordingly, there are some implications that would make one turn around and think of the choices.
For instance, the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division (PSBCID) works along with a team of latent criminals known as Enforcers, a group of people who were once isolated at a rehabilitation center, helps the bureau apprehend those who are about to commit a crime. Both teams use a weapon called Dominators, a gun that tells the one using it how high the stress level of a criminal is based on their Psycho Pass. If it’s high, the Dominator will switch to full authorization to execute the criminal. The bureau also has Psycho Passes for this option. They stop crime by killing people. One of the members of the bureau, Akane Tsunemori, refuses one of her orders and decides not to kill her first criminal while one of the Enforcers, Shinya Kougami, follows the order, but ends up getting stunned by Akane. This brings a grim moment if someone like Akane could follow her job accordingly and then break the cycle based on her own judgement, even though her predetermined state is already made and is later reported for her actions. Bringing a criminal to justice isn’t easy, especially since Akane’s emotions are different. She is the one of the main characters who delves deep into why choices of stopping criminals is considered and until she sees the controversial truth behind the Sybil System (I’ll get to that in a minute). There’s also another moment in which Akane crosses between two choices in episode 11.
Akane’s Dominator refuses to execute Shougo Makishima due to Makishima’s low Psycho Pass and is forced to either kill Makishima with a shotgun or let her best friend die.
Akane’s will power is lost when Makishima makes her shoot him after he tells her that, no matter how she thinks differently than what is normally expected during a state of denial and not wanting to kill. Eventually, Akane builds up the courage to do whatever it takes to bring down Makishima later in the series. All of this shows how normality is the only way to outgrow someone’s life and believing in the white lie of “everything will be okay” is like a prison and takes a lot of sacrifice to incline heavy actions.
Everyone's doing it.
Going even further in this topic, there is one system that helps maintain order in a miserable world in Psycho Pass. The Sybil System is an artificial intelligence that dictates the lives of Japan. The system assess the qualifications and talents based on the personality of a citizen and lands them a suitable job through an aptitude test. It also corrects the thoughts of latent criminals while they’re in rehab. This is how people change and become Enforcers. And to think this would work perfectly for the unemployed here in modern America. But the reason why Psycho Pass takes place in a dystopian society is because of the restrictions of freedom. And going back to the normal life subject, it makes the ones who aren’t criminals yet bitter and want to change their lives, and that is through force and recklessness. And no matter how hard a citizen tries to break free, the Sybil System will either make them obey commands, or condemn them into a rehab center or sentence them to death. The Sybil System wants everything to be fine and allow happiness to flourish, but it doesn’t change anything, leading to deadly riots to rise.
A group of individuals wear masks to lower their Psycho Pass level.
The masks not only cover up the emotions of citizens, but they also fall under the influence of rebellion, and the more people who wear the masks, the larger the population expands, leading them to undergo their own sense of normality in the opposite direction of obeying the laws of the Sybil System, only for brief amount of time before the bureau and the Enforcers take them down. And at first, nobody questions why the mask wielders begin to wreck havoc and kill people at random until things escalate. This reference also plays well in film The Purge. So, a citizen either joins the rebellion or gets killed by the rebellion. Much like the Sybil System instructing those who have to follow a normal life or be exiled or die.
What happens next?
Challenging the system has been tried over and over again and there are those who are afraid to uncover the truth about the Sybil System. So, do they just go about their lives and wait for the day when the Sybil System reviles itself with very little effort to save themselves, or attempt to overthink the choices the Sybil System makes and try and stop it from doing more brainwashing? Making choices and how they affect the people or controlling them with their power in Psycho Pass is debatable. And we as a society can take in account of all the times we have tried to avoid the fine line of life and living up to the expectations of others because “Everyone is doing it” or “It’s what we deserve.” And we think that rebellion is a sexy thing where we can find real freedom, yet we get impeached or killed over something small or large. This is one of the biggest themes in Psycho Pass and other forms of entertainment.