I’m of the opinion that NoitaminA is facing an identity crisis.
The timeslot is easily associated with ambitious projects and Josei, but to me it was embodied by series like Mononoke and Tatami Galaxy. My problem with Psycho Pass is that it is made to be highly marketable. You can argue with me on this, but I won’t budge. The reason this series is so ‘derivative’ is that it wants to create a profound discussion on the moral problems by presenting ideas in an all too recognizable fashion.
In David Fincher’s Se7en, serial killer John Doe once said:
Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.
Sadly no one likes being hit by a sledgehammer, thus John Doe is shot in the head. Or at least, the events in the film led to him being shot in the head by David Mills. Whatever. The point is that no one likes being hit by a sledgehammer, not matter how good your intentions are.
But! In this darkness, a ray of hope remains. Urobuchi thrives in horror. That’s where his talents shines. It shines where mutilated corpses are, and young daughters are disillusioned by their zombie fathers. That makes me want to see if Psycho Pass will move towards a more visceral direction. This aspect of the series makes it stand out from its peers.
I may not possess a wide knowledge of every serial killer in celluloid, but Rikako is one of the more unique serial killers I’ve had the opportunity of seeing in anime. If you take this episode as an explanation to her motives as opposed to an exploration of why the Sibyl is so messed up, it becomes so much better. The idea that Rouichi may have never been aware that his daughter harbored such cruelty in her provides a scenario rife with tragic implications.
To lighten up the mood, Psycho Pass makes sure we get hefty amounts of manservice.
Speaking of Shinya. During his talk with Akane, it seems to me that it wasn’t just Sasayama dying that has Shinya worked up. It’s how he was killed that matters here. He died a terrible death, his remains used to mock a system established by the government. If he had died by less crueler means, things would’ve been slightly different.