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Psycho-Pass Episode #18 Anime Review

4 min read

Psycho-Pass Episode 18
Psycho-Pass Episode 18
A vital and harrowing episode that’s laugh out loud hilarious due to production values.

What They Say
After Makishima’s escape, the MWPSB’s Chief assigns Division 1 to recapture him alive and orders Kogami taken off the case. However, Ginoza feels that Kogami is best able to track down Makishima, so he hatches a plan to keep Kogami on the case.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
When the director apologizes for an episode before it airs, you know you’re in for something interesting. And the episode delivers. Due to a hurried production schedule, the characters appear off model almost for the entire episode. At times their distorted appearances are laugh out loud hilarious. When this happens in the middle of an otherwise emotional scene, it’s devastating to the intended effect.

I thought long and hard about whether the production quality should effect the episode’s score, but the actual truth is that this is a fantastic episode. The director has promised the episode will be fixed in time for the Blu-ray, and as it is the episode is simulcast for free. Let any concerns about the quality episode be hashed out between Production IG and Fuji TV, who had to air the mangled episode. For the rest of time, this will be seen as a tense prelude to the explosive ending that is surely to come.

That said, those who enjoy looking for animation mistakes will want to check this out in the meantime. For now, though, I’m giving it a pass.

The episode proper begins with Ginoza and his section investigating the helicopter crash. A body is being carted off, and yet Kasei reappears at the scene, good as new, except presumably with a different brain inside. Ginoza wants answers about how Makishima was allowed to escape, but Kasei twists the focus back around to how Ginoza has failed at finding the missing Enforcer Kagari. She’s giving Ginoza a chance, she explains. Now that they’re tasked with finding Makishima again, the missing Enforcer might be able to be swept under the rug. However, it’s vitally important that Makishima be taken in alive so he can be questioned (and his brain can be obtained). To this end, she orders Ginoza to take Kogami off the case.

Kogami’s unhappy, and he has the usual argument with Ginoza. Ginoza hasn’t been very effective at his job, and yet I feel for him here. He’s been placed in a difficult position as he finds himself at the very borderline of acceptably healthy mental health. He’s impossibly stressed at a time when stress could lead him to be demoted to enforcer. Masaoka suggests that he play the incompetent, so Kasei will quit relying on him. It’s a passive aggressive way out, but despite his prickly nature, Ginoza’s values are basically sound. He decides he’ll let Kogami out to “look for Kagari” and if he just so happens to run away and go after Makishima, well, it was out of his control?

Except Kasei and Sybil will have none of it. Drones corner Kogami, and Kasei corners Ginoza. Ginoza tries to make excuses, but Kasei wants results, she says. Ginoza pulls out his enforcer to knock out Kogami, but Kasei upgrades its status to lethal mode. Unable to kill his former parter and sometimes friend, he freezes until Akane saves the day with some quick thinking. Akane’s snark to her superior really shows how much she’s grown as a character. Her wits are sure to be absolutely key in episodes to come.

Once Kogami finally gets out of the hospital (for the umpteenth time) he decides to head off on his own. Masaoka gives him keys to an old safehouse, and Shion gives him clearance to one of the PSYCHO-PASS shielding helmets, while saying goodbye in her bluntly sexual way. That Kogami intends to essentially commit suicide by going after Makishima alone is understood by everyone. Except Akane, who unfortunately has to read Kogami’s decision in a handwritten letter. She understandably feels betrayed, as Kogami tells her she shouldn’t hesitate to carry out her sense of justice on him should they meet again.

Oh, and Yayoi doesn’t get to say goodbye, either. She has one line in the episode, about grabbing something to eat. I cannot fathom why she being so criminally underused. For the sake of story balance, I certainly hope Urobuchi has something in store for her. Otherwise, she’s served almost no point in the series at all. What gives?

In Summary
For now, this episode is a laughable trainwreck. But in a few months this will all be fixed and all we’ll be left with is a tight, tense episode that dramatize the last few moments of calm before the storm. Even without knowing the horrible truth behind the Sybil system, the team realizes that the ethics of the police brass are problematic, and they all start to bend the rules. Even Ginoza, which I would not have expected. Still, there are revelations and challenges to come. Will the unit be torn apart as Kogami’s single-minded crusade against Makishima continues? Can Akane keep her sense of justice in a corrupt world? Will Yayoi get to do anything? Only four episodes left!

Grade: A

Streamed By: Funimation

Review Equipment:
Sony VAIO 17″ HD screen