First Reactions: Psycho-Pass Episode 22 (End) and Quickie Scores (7/10)

For all the trappings of morality and exploring social constructs, this show came down to a 1-on-1 cop vs. criminal staredown. I’d be lying if I said I was impressed with the way chips fell down as Psycho-Pass came to an end.

Discarding the earlier misdirection, the ending of this series struck me as that of a very pedestrian cop show. Kogami chased down the criminal, wounded him, chased him some more, and shot him, execution-style. It was a wholly straightforward approach that looked worse because the show had plenty of opportunities to throw a real curveball. Don’t even get me started on how weak the “like father, like son” resolution to Ginoza’s story was.

PP-22-1

Surprise

Akane’s afterward was at least a bit more complex. She’s at least stuck with the soul-crushing knowledge of the Sibyl system going forward, and the choice she makes to continue to maintain cooperation with the brotherhood of laughing brains will certainly eat away at her as time goes by. I guess that’s my main issue with the other characters’ roles in the ending; they were just allowed to follow relatively straightforward paths when the show had opportunities to make their lives (and personalities) more complicated

This is more of a side note, but I don’t really see the point in outing characters as LGBTQ in the last 5 minutes of a show. I don’t mind if it’s a comedic zinger, but it distracted from other important plot threads being wrapped up in a limited amount of time. More to the point, it begs the question; why wasn’t such a feature integrated into the story earlier? The show can’t be angling for a second season on noitaminA. Teasing viewers for something like that is just irresponsible, given how often it actually happens. For a team who’ve had a 2-cour show, the tolerance level for Urobuchi and Motohiro bombarding the audience with loose ends is and ought to be very low.

The part of this episode after Makishima lost the truck, where he was limping out towards the edges of the field, had very minimal impact. I can’t hate this scene the same way I hated the ending lead-in at the end of Blast of Tempest 21, though, because I can at least see what the staff was trying to do with this one. Playing classical music as Makishima comes to realize the despair of his current situation, and using it to create deliberate dissonance in concert with his state of mind wasn’t a bad idea in theory. The problem is that the audience never sees directly into Makishima’s head enough to really allow that musical cue to drive their point home. So what was planned as deliberate bg dissonance ended up as just flat-out dissonance. I can’t hate the staff for trying, but I can hold them responsible for a gamble that didn’t come out right. This ending in general felt like that final musical montage – clunky, and clearly trying to do good, but not focused enough and ambitious in all the wrong ways.

(Prediction Record: 0/3)

Final Scores:

Character Designs: 1/1 (Capable of fine expression, particularly visible as Akane’s personality hardens over the course of the series.)
Soundtrack: 2/2 (Cyberpunk-themed beats match up well with the underbelly-of-utopia feel the show is going for.)
Writing: 2/3 (Show focused on buildup early on and tried to do too much later on. The level of ambition was good, but the overall plot felt kind of unwieldy.)
Directing: 2/4 (There was a distinct peak in the middle of the series, but its overall level left a lot to be desired in some key areas.)

Overall: 7/10 (Solid, but with noticeable flaws that kept it from being better)

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