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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:16 pm Reply with quote
The series makes a lot more thematic sense if you take it as Urobuchi's response to Minority Report. MR fails as a story because it cops out and refuses to answer the question it was posing -- if you could predict crime before it happens, would it be okay to arrest the criminals before the act? It's a great philosophical question, but the movie ends with, "Well, you can't predict the future because of free will, so it doesn't matter."

In PsychoPass we get the question reframed slightly, but while the system is presented as flawed, at the end of the series, Akane, who's the moral center of the story, basically endorses it despite her reservations -- it's not perfect, but it does create a society that's mostly safe and comfortable for most people. And who expresses the Minority Report view that free will trumps all and people need to have the option of doing evil? Makishima the psychopath. And because Makishima's view is the closest to modern viewers, Urobuchi ends up suggesting that modern society is itself sick, and our love to free will is itself a form of psychopathy.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:55 pm Reply with quote
This was a really nice discussion and analysis. When the first season of Psycho-Pass came out I did not follow it as it aired because the first episode really turned me off. I watched the whole thing like one or two months after it ended, and it was totally worth it. I was a bit bored by the first third, but after that things got very interesting. The ending to season one was satisfactory, even with all the unanswered questions.

Season two was pretty much a mess and a waste of time; I am glad the panelists only spend like 15 minutes on it. The movie was definitely better, but I still found it lackluster compared to season one. I agree with Zac about wanting more Psycho-Pass from Urobuchi, but more Madoka Magica is what I absolutely want to have from him.

A clarification on how well both seasons of Psycho-Pass sold in Japan. Season one was released on 8 volumes and averaged a little over 9k per volume. Season two was released on 5 volumes and averaged 7k per volume.
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Knoepfchen



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
The series makes a lot more thematic sense if you take it as Urobuchi's response to Minority Report. MR fails as a story because it cops out and refuses to answer the question it was posing -- if you could predict crime before it happens, would it be okay to arrest the criminals before the act? It's a great philosophical question, but the movie ends with, "Well, you can't predict the future because of free will, so it doesn't matter."


Without having listened to the podcast yet (so apologies if this came up), this is the Spielberg version you're (justifiably) calling out for its cop-out. It diverges quite significantly from the short story it's based on/inspired by. Philip K. Dick is less interested in a happy family reunion thanks to the powers of free will and convenient suicide and has his protagonist spoiler[become the murderer he was predicted to be (like Kogami) in order to protect the system (like Akane) as the lesser of two evils]. Granted, the short story's alternative is a grim one, but as Urobuchi has Makishima reference Dick elsewhere in PP, I'm thinking he's familiar with the original.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:08 pm Reply with quote
Psycho-pass 2 is one of those series I liked better than I remember. The most recent iterations of other two series that I felt like that (SAO and Attack on Titan) ended up making me comfortable with the ratings I gave them at the time over the qualms that had seeped in from the shows' critics in the meantime, but I'm not confident that this will happen for Psycho-pass 2 though. I'd want to rewatch it before downgrading it but I'd want to watch the first season again first, and neither are a high priority for rewatching, let alone my wanting to watch something I haven't over rewatching. I'll have to see the movie eventually too.

Speaking of movies that I haven't seen yet, I really have to watch Rebellion. I got the CE when it came out but I still haven't watched it Embarassed

The only thing I'd want Urobuchi to do is whatever the hell he wants. I'd rather see that over any sequels etc. of his previous work, though if he had something interesting to do with something like that, I would welcome it.
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helln00



Joined: 01 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:04 pm Reply with quote
psycho-pass had a second season?

i have never heard of such a thing?, im sure it will be consistent both thematically and plot wise with the original and will not stick out like a sore thumb on the timeline of the story.

from this podcast, i seem to have realised that i have been approaching this series from a different viewpoint since i my reference frame for the series wasnt dystopian or sci-fi fiction ( because i wasn't a follower of such things) but theoretical social models from law, economics and social sciences and i saw every part of the series as a back and forth between these ideas.

i agree that the series is trying to debunk the idea of utopia but more then that i was seeing as a take-down of the ideas of positivism, legal formalism and concensus based order as Sibyl is a system that has a positivist cause and effect view of society and is able to pass down judgements to people because it has that cause and effect understanding. sibyl is literally the brain to the organism that is japan and it cleanses itself of its parts that steps out of line with the values that it desires from society, which fits very well with old anomie theories of social order. this is also reflected in the fact that the system cant handle riots since a society is considered a collection of its individual parts which in theory cannot act as a collective outside of the ideas of the system.

i am also very cautious of the idea of attributing any sort of personality or group based motives to sybil as the podcast suggest that sybil judges the way it does because it is made up of a group of psychopaths. i see sybil as a representation of the idea of a group being able to make objective consensus decisions, based upon the ideas of the "original position" by John Rawls. A group of people who are removed from their personal perspectives ( i mean a group of identical brains in jars is not a good metaphor for this i dont know what is) and in the case of the show, removed from the fluctuations of human emotions in order to be absolutely objective in their decision making. in this way i see the themes of the show as being forever relevant because it also asks questions about the nature of social decision making and what it means to live as a collective made up of individualistic beings, do we assert each of our individuality upon it or be removed from it in order to achieve existence as a collective. this doesnt just mean dictators or computers but democracy, laws and even the internet as in all of them , there is a struggle between managing a collective existence and individualistic ones. the reason why sybil can be argued to be crushing the human spirit because it fundamentally ask for conformity to the society's rules and norms ( which all society asks) and makashima, the embodiment of anarchism to the point that they had to explain it to us is fundamentally against that. makashima also made reference to this conflict and the problem of sibyl when he quoted Gulliver's travel

i think the show is showing what it means to look at both sides of this question (both in S1 and the movie). this is why i think also the ending of the movie isn't a cynical ending because it shows at least in part the consequences of there being no collective existence( war and post-colonialism) or a false collective existence ( a single personalised dictator).

quick note on s2(which may or may not exists). while the whole thing about sybil not being able to judge itself was just nuts, the whole idea about the omnipotence paradox is a relevant concept, atleast in legal theory; which is relevant because sybil is the legal and social equivalent of a sovereign. i genuinely believe that the idea proposed in the show could have been explored within the confines of the show ( judging a collective instead of judging individuals and sybil judging itself) as it would expose the contradiction of sybil as being an objective entity ( which is sybil's claim to legitimacy and acceptance). but what was shown( or maybe it wasnt) was just a complete mess.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:21 am Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:

In PsychoPass we get the question reframed slightly, but while the system is presented as flawed, at the end of the series, Akane, who's the moral center of the story, basically endorses it despite her reservations -- it's not perfect, but it does create a society that's mostly safe and comfortable for most people. And who expresses the Minority Report view that free will trumps all and people need to have the option of doing evil? Makishima the psychopath. And because Makishima's view is the closest to modern viewers, Urobuchi ends up suggesting that modern society is itself sick, and our love to free will is itself a form of psychopathy.


I've seen this in other writing and I really think it's a total misinterpretation of what he's going for. The show is not endorsing the Sybil system. Or suggesting free will is harmful in the slightest. The Sybil system is horrifying. I think they discussed this thoroughly enough in the podcast that I wonder how someone could come to the conclusion that the Sybil system is totally okay after listening. But honestly, I thought it was pretty obvious from the show itself. People are sick and miserable under the Sybil system and this is clearly expressed over and over in the show. It is a slightly better hell than the hell of the rest of the world, but it's still a hell. That's kind of what it's saying. And Akane's decision not to take it down immediately is because of the impact such a dramatic step would have on society. It would collapse. Therefore, they have to figure out a way to build society to a point where it is not dependent on this monster.
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helln00



Joined: 01 Apr 2016
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 4:13 am Reply with quote
relyat08 wrote:

I've seen this in other writing and I really think it's a total misinterpretation of what he's going for. The show is not endorsing the Sybil system. Or suggesting free will is harmful in the slightest. The Sybil system is horrifying. I think they discussed this thoroughly enough in the podcast that I wonder how someone could come to the conclusion that the Sybil system is totally okay after listening. But honestly, I thought it was pretty obvious from the show itself. People are sick and miserable under the Sybil system and this is clearly expressed over and over in the show. It is a slightly better hell than the hell of the rest of the world, but it's still a hell. That's kind of what it's saying. And Akane's decision not to take it down immediately is because of the impact such a dramatic step would have on society. It would collapse. Therefore, they have to figure out a way to build society to a point where it is not dependent on this monster.


i think there might be soft endorsement of the system or more likely an indifference to it, especially in the movie since the state of the foreign country that sybil is trying to prop up is like the state of nature as described in a Hobbsian viewpoint and Sybil itself is the Leviathan, the absolute sovereign that brings order. the movie atleast agrees that without a strong state or collective existence we devolve into chaos and that is the more natural state.
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kpk



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:31 pm Reply with quote
As I remeber ‫Zac didn't like the firat episode of PP, right? Glad to know you've liked the rest of the series.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 4:45 pm Reply with quote
I'm pretty sure the point of the Movie was to show parts of the world of Psycho-Pass where the Sybil system was not used. In order to explain why people in Japan would be willing to live under it, as to them the alternative was even less appealing.
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