Psycho-Pass 3
Episode 5

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Psycho-Pass 3 ?

As we pass the halfway point of the series, it's more than a little apparent that Psycho-Pass 3's biggest focus is on fleshing out its futuristic cyberpunk dystopia..

With this episode of Psycho-Pass 3, we begin our third story arc of the show. While the second case was all about how politics works in Psycho-Pass, this time we get to see how religion fits in. At first, you'd assume that Sibyl would flat-out ban religion. After all, how many wars, conflicts, and genocides have been waged in the name of one god or another? However, Sibyl can see that religion does have its upsides—especially on the personal, psychological heath of the average human. Moreover, as Sybil seeks to evolve—to become more perfect—it explores various paths, even the one's it thinks are unlikely to bear fruit. And just as Sibyl endorses couples, musical groups, and jobs, it also endorses religions (all of which will no doubt be swarmed by those who have implicit trust in the system).

However, that's far from saying religious freedom exists. It's clear from the start of the episode Sibyl has been clamping down hard on religion. Yet the system is not opposed to creating a special area where all religion can practice freely. After all, just like with the special unmonitored zones we've seen in previous episodes, by allowing a safe place for the radicals and malcontents to assemble, you'll always know exactly where they are—even as they self-segregate themselves from the greater society in general.

And then comes the crime of the episode: a suicide bomber. Killed are all the religious leaders that were for the creation of the special religious zone while all those opposing it survive—making them the prime suspects. It's here we get a look at what religion is like when Sibyl runs society. The first suspect is Torri Aschenbach, the de facto leader of Heaven's Leap. Heaven's Leap is the perfect new-age religion for the Sibyl System. After all, it teaches that Sibyl's judgments are an oracle from God. Given how such teachings benefit Sibyl and add to the general trust in the system, it's no surprise really that they were the first Sibyl approved religion. Of course, with their signal jammed HQ (to prevent Dominators) and a mysteriously absent founder, it doesn't take a genius to see something sinister is up.

The second suspect is Joseph Auma, a Buddist monk ex-soldier. His is a story of redemption: he went from a murderer on the battlefield to a charity leader in the poorest communities. He found religion after an explosives misfire and now leads the New Town factory workers. His story likewise serves the system—after all, you want anyone who becomes a latent criminal to believe they can be healed and released back into society. Any doctor will tell you about the power of a good attitude when combating illness.

The final suspect is Sister Theresa Shinogi, leader of the CRP (Council of the Right Path). What started as a refugee protection group is now part religion and part infrastructure management. This again clearly would appeal to the Sibyls System—especially as more and more foreigners are being allowed in to the country. You want them to have a infrastructure looking out for them and helping them integrate.

Of course, the trick is that, despite each being suspected of sending out the suicide bomber, when the three are scanned by Dominator, they come back with a staggeringly low criminal coefficient. Yet, at the same time, all the clues make it look like the three religions were working together. It's the setup to a pretty solid mystery. Really, the big question is which loophole the murderers are exploiting: the one where diluting the responsibility makes no single individual feel responsible (like with the episode 1 plane crash) or perhaps a new, faith-based one.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

  • Arata and Kei are not the first inspectors to join after Akane was locked away.
  • Arata can't seem to fully turn off his mentalist powers now.
  • The story's working hard to hint that Kei's wife is going to get “fridged” (similarly to Akane's grandmother back in Psycho-Pass 2) to make the final arc even more personal. I hope it's just a misdirect.
  • It's interesting (yet not all that surprising) that Yayoi seems personally acquainted with the various religious leaders. I guess when you go from a violent latent criminal to normal person, every religion's going to want to claim your success as their own.


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