From Utopia to Dystopia CORC 3117
Psycho-Pass is an anime that aired on October 12, 2012 to March 22, 2013, and was written by Gen Urobuchi. It is set in the year 2113, where everything is controlled by the Sibyl System. The Sibyl System measures the stability of a persons mental state (known as Crime Coefficient) and decides if they are in a normal state of mind, if the need to be brought in for rehabilitation, or if they are too far from a normal state of mind and needs to be terminated. The weapons that do this decision making are called dominators which are wielded by Enforcers who are controlled by Investigators. The previously mentioned people and the setting of a vey dark New York City, all build on the way that this world is dystopian
There are many things that exist in this world to make it be dystopian, from the names that of the individuals that look over it to the surroundings that they live in. The first thing that I will talk about the background scenery. The show’s genre is listed under dystopian but, the thing that really drives this idea home is the color scheme used in the anime. There are large amounts of black, grey, and neon green with very few bright colors. This gives the feeling that there is no hope in the city and all of humanity is just there to be a puppet for some other cause. Within the world it is a very large scale city with enormous skyscrapers in it with people everywhere but, no one is talking to each other. These people are just going to where they need to go so their crime coefficient does not go up too high. It also takes on a futuristic world where most jobs have no need for humans. Going to the store, buying food, or getting information is all done by robots. This makes human interaction very minimal. This removes any kind of human emotion that people will feel and turns them in a zombie who is just living in a world that they cannot control.
The people who try to keep the order in this city is another way that it is dystopian. They are known as the Investigators, and Enforcers. An Enforcer is a latent criminal, which means that they have a stable high Crime Coefficient. There are also Investigators who control the group of Enforcers on their team. The Investigator’s are people who want to keep order and, the Sibyl System deems them able to do it. The first thing to look at is the name of the Enforces and their role in society. They are made to seem as if they are invincible and the muscle behind the society, when in reality they are just puppets lead around by the Investigators. Next is the name of the gun that the Investigators and Enforcers carry around which is called the Dominator. This names makes it seem as if they are invincible and cannot be outsmarted by anyone.
It does this by introducing the main Investigator, Akane Tsunemori, and the main antagonist, Shougo Makishima. A problem arises that involves these two because, whatever heinous acts they witness or take part in, their Crime Coefficient never changes. This becomes a problem when Shougo Makishima starts to kill people in very disturbing ways and is then chased by the Investigators and Enforcers. When cornered the dominators do not recognize him as a target for rehabilitation or termination since his Crime Coefficient never rises. Since the acts are done in a public place, the general populations Crime Coefficient rises, thus making many people a target for either rehabilitation or termination. This is almost the perfect embodiment of what a dystopia is. It is a system trying to make a utopia but failing because of one crucial unforeseen flaw. The unforeseen flaw in the system is Shougo Makishima and Akane Tsunemori because their Crime Coefficient never rises. This is a problem because the system is just a collection of brains from influential people, where a robot pools information together and makes the most rational choice. It is not capable of undertaking complex ideas that have to deal with human emotions. This is a problem for utopia because, this robot makes the most rational choice, it does not take human emotion into account and is forcing everyone to conform to one cookie cutter mold. Since the system does not take into account human emotion, it does not even consider that humans just need time to recover on their own it they witness a devastating act. The Sibyl System will sooner terminate them than give them a chance for recovery. Then when one person comes along, they break the systems through exploring its loopholes and brings it to its knees.
Overall this anime is a very good portrayal of how a utopia can turn into a dystopia very fast. You can consider it like the ocean, there is a smooth layer and then the is a single disturbance which causes waves to get larger an large until it becomes unmanageable and crashes down. Psych Pass shows how a utopia can quickly turn into a dystopia then there is a lack of human emotion and human judgment in a society.