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PSYCHO-PASS #18 - - Watch & Learn

The most emotionally-moving moment, right here.

Man… we’re all familiar with that nigh-requisite scene in any cop movie, right? You know, where the frazzled chief throws the maverick detective off the case because he’s getting too obsessed? The way this episode puts a sci-fi spin on that - - conceptualizing it as a matter of behavioral percentages - - is nothing short of brilliant to me.

Taking a step back, I realize I’ve been using words like “brilliant” and “clever” and “deconstructionist” a whole lot in these write-ups; and I know that some of you lunatics have brought up that the story has left you fairly cold, emotionally. My first thought, appropriately enough, is that maybe there ought to be quantified stats system to measure which qualities a given show is satisfying. Would PSYCHO-PASS register as 25% creative, 45% intellectual, 20% thrilling, 10% humorous and then 10% sentimental in comparison to the completely different quotient for a show like... say... CHIHAYAFURU?

This isn’t a perfect show, and I’ll concede that Akane’s arc has mostly been just about her getting better at her job. And the one-off episode introducing the new detective who’s an ex-musician seems more like an exercise in world-building and concept riffing as each episode passes. The girl just kind-of stands there with nothing to contribute in these group shots.

Even as I recognize that, though, I’ll still say that the ending of this episode was quite moving. I’ve griped often before about other shows that play up romance sub-plots without apparently having the guts to see them through. Here though, PSYCHO-PASS manages to make that feel sharp, and far more in character.

When a lot of fans complain about a story lacking “emotional content,” I think a lot of the time, what they really mean is that the story doesn’t have the specific emotional journey they’ve enjoyed in the past. PSCYHO-PASS’s two main characters are an armed social pariah and a boring goody two-shoes whose most remarkable trait is that she literally doesn’t think any more than her job needs her to. The former is specifically presented as being too damaged to integrate into society, and the latter is a bureaucratic type - - just like many you’d find in real life - - who isn’t that great at self-examination.

So it actually feels more honest that their potential romance winds up being an awkward relationship that vaguely touches-and-goes between friendship and professional acquaintanceship. I feel like it's actually more moving that Kogami's really struggling to find the right words in his farewell (and is maybe even incapable of finding them). The most moving part to me, appropriately enough, is when she shoots him down with a paralyzer shot.

And I suppose that says all we need to say about the tone of this show.

Watch this episode, "A Promise Written On Water" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

YotaruVegetaon Feb. 22, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.

Their relationship is refreshing. In any other show of this type, they would've been sleeping with each other. In fact, I think that they make a joke when the- what is she, a CSI, basically?- says "Should I have slept with you already?" because she is drawn exactly like the slut archetypes we've seen in other shows. Then we get another joke, where he says "we're not each other's type" Calling back to the hint that she and the ex-musician are lesbians.

So back to the characters. I think that when a certain character met the business end of a dominator a few episodes, just ask yourself "What was that guy's background? Do I even remember his name? Why is he even on the team?" The ex-musician got an episode on her background, and that's the most we've been offered for the whole team. Yes, some character moments and juicy tidbits about their past. I kinda don't care about these people. I only care because they are propelling the plot, and cool/bad stuff is going to happen to them.

Maybe we will learn and feel more for Kogami, since he's becoming a retro detective in order to fill the Sybil System's loophole.

RavenBusteron Feb. 22, 2013 at 9:09 p.m.

This show seems interesting; I'll definetly have to pick this up.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.

@RavenBuster: Highly doubt you will regret it.One of the best adult level sci fi anime out their .

Tom i think Intelligent is a fine description, but the show really is more for adults.It uses complex sub plots,deconstructs popular themes as well as referances past science fiction novels.More i tell my friends about this show the more they can not wait for dubs.Which is a loss in a way as much as a win.

Hell the story now is will they blow all the good will at the end. Can it end in a satisfactory way ?I kinda hope it does not.Maybe it will just end a chapter but goes on .Well worth the ride if the ride ended with this episode.But we have 4 more to go.

YotaruVegetaon Feb. 23, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: I can't see them blowing the end. It doesn't look like they're going to have some crazy or incomprehensible ending. It feels like it will be straightforward.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 23, 2013 at 3:02 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: I hope your right. It does not have to be a all lose ends tied into a perfect bow ending. Good setings an stories can go on after the final curtian call.But i suspect it be a big change for the story seting .

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This Franchise is made up of one anime written by Gen Urobuchi and one Manga written by Hikaru Miyoshi both released in 2012.

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