How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching Psycho-Pass and commenting there starting at 1:00 p.m. EST. That’s one hour earlier than normal!
I’ll update this post with the chatlog after the liveblog
ETA: Chatlog below the cut!
[13:04] <@Sylocat> Quite an opening theme!
[13:05] <@Sylocat> I assume “plastic” is katakana-ized? I wouldn’t be able to hear the lyrics of this mix even if I spoke Japanese
01[13:06] <Froborr> This just threw us right in, huh.
[13:06] <@Sylocat> In medias res, indeed
01[13:07] <Froborr> Ad.
[13:07] <Arrlaari> ad
[13:07] <mere_oblivion> I gather neither of those opening dudes have B.E.D.
01[13:07] <Froborr> lol, I got that ad too.
[13:07] <Arrlaari> 0 to foe-yay pretty much immediately
[13:07] <Arrlaari> B.E.D. was my preroll
[13:07] <Arrlaari> I am getting a noodles ad now
[13:07] <@Sylocat> I’m paused at 2:51?
[13:08] <mere_oblivion> What if I start binge-eating noodles now?!?!
01[13:08] <Froborr> 2:46 for me, close enough.
01[13:08] <Froborr> Back.
[13:08] <mere_oblivion> I’m not yet, my BED got buffered
[13:08] <mere_oblivion> Back!
[13:08] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
[13:08] <@Sylocat> Okay then…
[13:09] <@Sylocat> Click
[13:09] <@Sylocat> I like the moé PSA voice
01[13:09] <Froborr> It’s Japan, EVERYTHING has a cute mascot.
[13:09] <mere_oblivion> Okay, so those aren’t parking meters
[13:10] <mere_oblivion> At least these people don’t put their bunny cops on parking duty
[13:10] <@Sylocat> Villain, or cantankerous-but-well-meaning boss?
[13:10] <@Sylocat> Ahahah… that movie was about profiling too
[13:11] <@Sylocat> Ah, a hostage whose identity hasn’t yet been established, something tells me that’s plot-relevant
01[13:11] <Froborr> Don’t you think a hostage is the sort of thing you should have mentioned first?
[13:11] <@Sylocat> I spy CGI
[13:12] <@Sylocat> Dang, this is a perfect anime to watch in this election year
[13:12] <@Sylocat> (and so soon after we saw Zootopia)
[13:12] <mere_oblivion> Hannibal Lecters galore!
01[13:12] <Froborr> I was thinking of the Suicide Squad, but yeah.
[13:13] <@Sylocat> I so want the Suicide Squad movie to be good, and it looks terrible
[13:13] <mere_oblivion> Did his eyes just change color?
[13:14] <@Sylocat> Presumably they’re cybernetic upgrades or something
[13:14] <mere_oblivion> But they earn paychecks?
01[13:14] <Froborr> Might have been slang.
[13:14] <mere_oblivion> Indeed
[13:14] <mere_oblivion> Or even . . . sarcasm!
01[13:15] <Froborr> Or its a case where the horrifying future dystopia is actually less bad than current reality, at least vis a vis the use of prisoners as slave labor.
[13:15] <mere_oblivion> Good point!
01[13:15] <Froborr> Man, after all the Ikuhara we’ve been watching, it’s weird to watch a first episode full of infodump.
[13:15] <@Sylocat> Yeah… disorienting
[13:16] <@Sylocat> Oh dear
[13:16] <mere_oblivion> Oh, as you so pointedly say, dear!
[13:16] <@Sylocat> …Some reversal just happened there, right?
01[13:17] <Froborr> Ow
[13:17] <mere_oblivion> O, as you so pointedly say, w
01[13:18] <Froborr> Interesting that the police logo has a caduceus in it.
[13:18] <mere_oblivion> In terms of warning cops who’s worth shooting at, the future looks much btter
[13:18] <@Sylocat> Wait, what?
[13:18] <mere_oblivion> Not that all cops today would care
[13:18] <mere_oblivion> much better, I meant
01[13:18] <Froborr> Assuming, of course, that they’re actually measuring criminal potential accurately.
01[13:18] <Froborr> Which they’re almost certainly not.
[13:18] <Arrlaari> ad
01[13:18] <Froborr> Ad.
[13:19] <mere_oblivion> That’s always a question. Aah, ZZZquil
01[13:19] <Froborr> I got that as well, and then Blue Apron.
[13:19] <mere_oblivion> I got Tom Clancy’s The Division, and now a local “health care” company
[13:19] <@Sylocat> Their team name is “Hound?”
[13:20] <mere_oblivion> Staples!
01[13:20] <Froborr> Whose team name?
[13:20] <@Sylocat> Oops, sorry, missed the start of the ad break
[13:20] <Arrlaari> Paused after ad
[13:20] <@Sylocat> Where are you all paused at?
[13:20] <mere_oblivion> Ready?
[13:20] <Arrlaari> 12:42
01[13:20] <Froborr> Back, paused at 12:42.
[13:20] <mere_oblivion> 12:47
[13:21] <@Sylocat> What time should I scroll back to?
[13:21] <@Sylocat> Alrighty then…
[13:21] <@Sylocat> Click
[13:21] <mere_oblivion> Becoming a cop is like learning a language: “None of that stuff is helpful when you’re actually on a case.”
[13:24] <Sylocat_> Ah, the Psycho-Pass can be changed via stress… of course
[13:24] <mere_oblivion> Yes, rather an “unpleasant” first case for our heroine
[13:24] <Sylocat_> So the Psycho-Pass is presumably a poverty meter
01[13:25] <Froborr> Yeah, almost certainly.
[13:25] <Sylocat_> (since, y’know, that’s the number one indicator of criminal potential IRL)
[13:25] <Sylocat_> WHAT
[13:25] <Sylocat_> Eww
01[13:26] <Froborr> Ew.
[13:26] <Arrlaari> ad
01[13:26] <Froborr> Ad.
[13:26] <Sylocat> What a place for an ad break
01[13:28] <Froborr> Back.
[13:28] <Arrlaari> paused after ad break
01[13:28] <Froborr> 17:53.
[13:28] <mere_oblivion> Back
[13:28] <Sylocat> Okay…
[13:28] <Sylocat> Click
[13:29] <Sylocat> “Sibyl” is the name of the supercomputer that judges you and finds you wanting, I assume?
01[13:29] <Froborr> Predicts your future, yeah.
[13:29] <Sylocat> Uh oh
[13:30] <Sylocat> Wait, who’s this?
[13:30] <Arrlaari> the paralyzer might ignite that gas
[13:30] <Sylocat> That’s… irrelevant now, methinks
[13:31] <Sylocat> Wait, how did the Dominator let her fire at him?
[13:31] <Sylocat> Oh right, he was already a latent criminal
01[13:31] <Froborr> They said, all the enforcers have high criminal coefficients.
[13:31] <Sylocat> So it allowed a paralyzer round
[13:31] <mere_oblivion> Her evening’s becoming even more “unpleasant”
01[13:32] <Froborr> Well.
01[13:32] <Froborr> That was seriously fucked up.
[13:33] <Sylocat> So… it’s certainly a more in-depth system than Precrime
01[13:33] <Froborr> Minority Report?
[13:33] <mere_oblivion> I was thinking along the same lines
[13:33] <Sylocat> Yeah
[13:33] <mere_oblivion> SOmehow I don’t see this one having a Spielbergian resolution
[13:33] <Arrlaari> To me it looks like her intervention is the kind of thing Inspectors are supposed to do – the whole reason they don’t just send the Enforcers in on their own
01[13:33] <Froborr> Yeah. This seems to be based on constant psychological monitoring.
01[13:33] <Froborr> And yeah, that would make sense, Arrlaari.
[13:34] <Sylocat> Ooh, shades of Person of Interest as well, come to think of it
[13:34] <mere_oblivion> That too!
01[13:34] <Froborr> Commentary on the pseudoscience of police profiling, perhaps?
[13:34] <Sylocat> Presumably
[13:35] <Sylocat> Though presumably also a big-idea SF “What if police profiling actually kind of worked? Oh wait, it’d still be fucked-up” kind of thing
01[13:35] <Froborr> And it’s worth remembering that Japanese police have a suspiciously high conviction rate–I’ve heard two different plausible explanations, one that they’re highly reluctant to make an arrest until they have an ironclad case, the other that they collude with the prosecutor’s office in a system that amounts to guilty until proven innocent.
[13:35] <Arrlaari> Hulu seems to think the next thing I want to watch is “The Devil is a Part-Timer!”
[13:35] <Sylocat> The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive
01[13:36] <Froborr> No, no they’re not.
[13:36] <Arrlaari> My understanding is that the sky-high conviction rate is driven by a sky-high confession rate
01[13:36] <Froborr> Which would be consistent with both scenarios…
[13:38] <Arrlaari> It’s notable that there was a lot of talk about therapy, but the guy who got killed seemed to think that even if he went to therapy and got his psycho-pass normalized, a social stigma would forclose the prospects of his life
[13:38] <mere_oblivion> Off to a compelling start.
[13:39] <Sylocat> Lemme know when the next ep is preloaded
[13:39] <mere_oblivion> Good point, Arrlaari. “No marriage, no job” I think he said
[13:39] <mere_oblivion> Sylocat, are we watching 2 today?
[13:39] <Sylocat> Yes
01[13:40] <Froborr> Which are interesting, because “no marriage or job prospects” is a major complaint of… shoot, I’m forgetting what they’re called. That wave of school dropouts that hit Japan a couple of years ago.
[13:40] <mere_oblivion> Oh, darn (to channel Alan whatshisname in Speed)
01[13:40] <Froborr> And yeah, next ep preloaded.
[13:40] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
[13:40] <mere_oblivion> Sylocat: Mary and I are off to that Bix tribute with Lisa.
[13:40] <Sylocat> Ah, I see
[13:40] <mere_oblivion> I’ll catch up on that ep tomorrow and be ready for next week
[13:40] <Arrlaari> The job side is also a real concern of ex-convicts in the US and quite likely other countries
[13:41] <Sylocat> Welp… I’ll show you the second episode on Thursday
01[13:41] <Froborr> See you next week mere!
[13:41] <Sylocat> Or that works too
[13:41] <mere_oblivion> Great! Thanks, all.
01[13:41] <Froborr> And yes, having a felony conviction really screws you for job prospects in the U.S.
[13:41] <mere_oblivion> Just ask Paul Rudd. And on that note . . .
01[13:42] <Froborr> Wait, why is he in the hospital now?
[13:43] <Arrlaari> So, paralyzer rounds are a hospitalization injury
[13:43] <Sylocat> That’s… quite an alarm clock
01[13:43] <Froborr> Oh my god, I would MURDER that alarm clock.
[13:43] <Arrlaari> Not before that Alarm Clock ratted you out to Sybil
[13:43] <Sylocat> (mom’s clapping along to the new theme song)
01[13:44] <Froborr> Yeah, I like this a lot better than the first episode.
01[13:44] <Froborr> The theme song, I mean.
[13:44] <Sylocat> (yes, did I mention she’s watching it along with me too?)
[13:44] <Sylocat> Is the OP spoiling stuff for us?
[13:45] <Sylocat> Ah, it’s a PA as well as an alarm clock?
01[13:45] <Froborr> Ad.
[13:45] <Arrlaari> ad
01[13:45] <Froborr> Immediately after opening credits.
[13:45] <Sylocat> Right, I should have assumed there would be
[13:45] <Sylocat> (it was harder to gauge where the end of the credits even were, in the first episode)
[13:46] <Arrlaari> paused after ads
01[13:46] <Froborr> Paused after ads, 2:46.
[13:47] <Sylocat> Click
[13:47] <Sylocat> So it’s a PA as well as an alarm clock
01[13:47] <Froborr> I like the holographic configurable room.
[13:47] <Sylocat> Ooh, that would almost be worth the alarm clock
01[13:48] <Froborr> Yeah, but the calorie monitoring? Kill it with fire.
[13:48] <Arrlaari> She just asked for 40kcal less than what the machine told her was appropriate?
[13:48] <Sylocat> Oh wow
[13:49] <Sylocat> Now THAT’S some neuropunk shit… “anticipated group stress level” as though it were a weather forecast
[13:49] <Sylocat> I should, er, “borrow” that idea for a story
01[13:49] <Froborr> Oh god, OTHER PEOPLE can see your psycho-pass.
01[13:49] <Froborr> That’s EVEN MORE fucked up.
[13:50] <Sylocat> Please tell me that’s an opt-in thing?
01[13:50] <Froborr> Come to think of it, that was in the last episode, wasn’t it?
[13:50] <Sylocat> Of course, even if it were, there’d still be a stigma attached to not doing it
01[13:50] <Froborr> I don’t think it is, since last episode the hostage-taker scanned the hostage.
[13:50] <Sylocat> Well yeah, it was in the last episode, but I thought it was only visible to cops
[13:50] <Sylocat> And in his case I assumed it was an illegal hack
[13:51] <Sylocat> Uh oh, they’re talking in religious terms about Sibyl?
[13:51] <Sylocat> Oh, “just kidding.” That’s slightly (slightly) reassuring
[13:52] <Sylocat> Hahah… I like how thought-out the tech level of this show is… I mean, clothes like that are apparently only a few years away from us now
[13:52] <Arrlaari> So they just implied that this woman and the woman who was just leaving the room were having sex?
01[13:53] <Froborr> Zero subtlety with the implication here, huh? She’s even got a cigarette…
[13:54] <Sylocat> So is she going to join the revolution? She’d clearly be a villain in most TV shows, but anime (Urobuchi in particular) doesn’t always work that way
01[13:54] <Froborr> Which “she” are you referring to?
[13:54] <Sylocat> The analyst
01[13:54] <Froborr> Ah.
[13:55] <Sylocat> So what about the rape victim?
[13:56] <Sylocat> Ah, the analyst’s girlfriend sympathizes? Does she have to put up with teasing too, I assume?
01[13:56] <Froborr> Ad.
[13:56] <Arrlaari> ad
[13:57] <Sylocat> (brb, getting water)
01[13:57] <Froborr> Paused after ad.
[13:57] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
01[13:58] <Froborr> 12:09, specifically.
[13:59] <Sylocat> All right then…
[13:59] <Sylocat> Click
01[14:00] <Froborr> WTF
[14:00] <Sylocat> The heck?
[14:00] <Sylocat> Ooh, undercover as animatronics!
[14:00] <Sylocat> The Ideas just keep on coming here
[14:00] <Sylocat> Red herring
[14:01] <Sylocat> There’s someone still in there, isn’t there
[14:02] <Sylocat> Wait, don’t tell me he’s right
01[14:02] <Froborr> He’s telling you that you’re management.
01[14:03] <Froborr> Though honestly I’m sympathetic, I *hated* being a manager for exactly that reason–I want to work, not make sure other people do it.
[14:04] <Sylocat> Yeah, I could never handle a job where I had to wrangle others
[14:04] <Sylocat> (I mean, directing plays is hard enough for me, and that’s with enthusiastic people)
[14:04] <Arrlaari> ad
01[14:04] <Froborr> Ad.
[14:05] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
01[14:06] <Froborr> Paused after ad.
[14:06] <Sylocat> All right then…
[14:06] <Sylocat> Click
01[14:07] <Froborr> I want her ramen really badly.
[14:07] <Sylocat> Wait, Sibyl chooses your cutie mark too?
01[14:07] <Froborr> Yep.
[14:08] <Sylocat> Yeesh
[14:08] <Arrlaari> If you start by acknowledging that crimes are most often the result of stress, a comprehensive crime control system necessarily becomes a comprehensive stress control system
[14:08] <Sylocat> Good point
01[14:09] <Froborr> It works the other way too–if you design a system to predict people’s talents and inclinitions to find the perfect job, it makes sense that it could predict inclinations to crime as well.
01[14:10] <Froborr> Welp. He’s clearly the deuteragonist.
[14:10] <Arrlaari> The OP animation basically told us that
01[14:11] <Froborr> True.
[14:11] <Sylocat> Hmm
01[14:11] <Froborr> And the cold open of the first episode.
[14:11] <Arrlaari> Also: Confirmed my suspicion that what she did in the first episode was the fundamental purpose of the oversight class
01[14:12] <Froborr> Yep.
[14:12] <Sylocat> I like how it’s a far more complex treatment of the standard Dystopian Sci-Fi themes
[14:12] <Arrlaari> I think Urobuchi is cynical enough to write a sci-fi dystopia and still think it’s better than what we live in now
01[14:13] <Froborr> Plausible.
[14:13] <Arrlaari> You could argue that currently, police forces are Enforcers from top to bottom. You often hear of kids who were in gangs going to the police academy, every so often you see a quote like the one where an NYPD officer claimed to have “the biggest gang in town”
[14:13] <Sylocat> Like, it’s a very sympathetic treatment of the causes of crime, and yet it’s also a much more nuanced portrait of sci-fi crime prevention methods than the stock fight-the-man rugged-individualism luddite parables that most Dystopian SF trades in
01[14:14] <Froborr> I can think of a whole lot of kids who’d still be alive if police guns couldn’t fire on non-criminals.
[14:15] <Sylocat> I wonder if it’s going to turn out that Sibyl was created to address that very problem
[14:16] <Arrlaari> Some more peopel who would still be alive if it was broadly acknowledge that taser victims require prompt medical attention
[14:16] <Arrlaari> And a whole lot of criminals who’d have been arrested alive if police guns automatically restricted themselves to tasers in most circumstances, in conjunction with the medical attention thing
01[14:17] <Froborr> Yeah.
[14:17] <Sylocat> I was disappointed at first with the rape in the first episode, I’d thought it was too trashy and exploitative especially for Urobuchi, but it then turned out there was an actual textual justification for it for once
[14:18] <Arrlaari> Urobuchi doesn’t make an anime by himself
[14:18] <Arrlaari> For example, the decision to pan over the victim’s body in an objectifying way very likely was not in the script
01[14:19] <Froborr> Might have been. I really hope it wasn’t.
[14:19] <Sylocat> Well, yeah, but I thought having a rape at all seemed to be a bit lazy of a writing choice… but then it turned out to be to make the point that a person’s Crime Coefficient could rise through literally no fault of their own
[14:21] <Sylocat> meanwhile, though, I gotta get to rehearsal
[14:21] <Arrlaari> I don’t agree with letting him off the hook so quickly. Being a tortured and a hostage at all is very stressful, and the central idea that stress can drive up crime coefficient doesn’t specifically require that the torture take the form of rape.
01[14:22] <Froborr> Yeah, I have to agree with Arr on this one.
01[14:22] <Froborr> But, as you say, you gotta go, so we can discuss this point more in comments or next time.
[14:23] <Sylocat> Oh, I’m not saying it was perfect, believe me (also, as you pointed out, the direction didn’t help)
[14:23] <Arrlaari> There was an entire subject I was hoping to talk about that I haven’t brought up yet. I suppose I should put it in comments?
[14:23] <Sylocat> Later all
01[14:24] <Froborr> Eh, it was more that I don’t think we should discuss opposing positions when one of the sides isn’t here, new topic is fine.
[14:24] <Arrlaari> Alright
[14:25] <Arrlaari> In that case: We’re basically watching this show because it shares a scriptwriter with Madoka Magica. It’s interesting to me that I can draw comparisons between Akane and Madoka pretty much right away.
[14:28] <Arrlaari> They both feel a need to be an active force for good in the world, uncertainty over how they could do so. An embodiment of reason tells them that there is a thing Only They Can Do. They jump for it immediately, and the path it shows them leads them to horror.
01[14:28] <Froborr> Very true.
[14:28] <Arrlaari> There are differences – Sybil doesn’t seem to be treacherous and prepares Akane much better than Kyubey prepares Madoka
01[14:29] <Froborr> Also true.
01[14:29] <Froborr> Curious if it’ll end up going in the same direction.
01[14:30] <Froborr> Also the fact that you can be rated as a latent criminal at any time through no thought of your own… well, that’s not exactly Sybil being treacherous in a malicious way, but it’s certainly not safe.
[14:31] <Arrlaari> The system doesn’t refer to justice at all. It’s all about threat, treatment
01[14:33] <Froborr> Yeah. It at least appears to have removed vengeance from the equation.
01[14:33] <Froborr> But then that stuff in the first episode about how being marked as a criminal destroys employment and marriage prospects suggests otherwise.
01[14:33] <Froborr> Oh god, I just realized, Sybil is probably a dating service too, isn’t it?
[14:34] <Arrlaari> It would be, if Gen thought of it
[14:35] <Arrlaari> I mean, a super high proportion of battery and murder is between intimately related people
01[14:35] <Froborr> Yeah.
[14:36] <Arrlaari> A comprehensive crime management system would therefore consider management of existing relationships a high priority task
[14:36] <Arrlaari> It’s easy to see that leads to end-to-end control
01[14:37] <Froborr> It’s interesting that it does allow *some* choices, though.
[14:37] <Arrlaari> Do you figure Sybil is scarier in a guilt culture or shame culture?
[14:38] <Arrlaari> That makes sense. The illusion of autonomy feels good and is therefore a stress relief.
01[14:38] <Froborr> Well, but I mean it allowed actual autonomy in Akane’s case.
01[14:38] <Froborr> She got to pick between jobs she was rated as well-suited for.
[14:39] <Arrlaari> All of which were intellectual management positions. Sybil guided her away from even thinking about manual labor.
01[14:39] <Froborr> Which makes sense if, as seems likely, Sybil is based on probability calculations.
01[14:39] <Froborr> True.
[14:40] <Arrlaari> Also not on the table: artistic pursuit
01[14:40] <Froborr> But what I was thinking was, the illusion of autonomy can be broken. If, on the other hand, it allows real meaningful choices between options which all pass a minimum threshold of probability of being a good idea, that greatly reduces the likelihood of rebellion.
01[14:40] <Froborr> Very true as well.
01[14:48] <Froborr> As to your question about shame vs. guilt culture, I dunno.
01[14:48] <Froborr> A lot of it depends on how you look at Sybil in metaphorical terms.
01[14:48] <Froborr> Is it the judgment of society? A capricious, vengeful god?
01[14:49] <Froborr> Fate?
[14:49] <Arrlaari> When the guy said that having to go to therapy for a bad psycho-pass would forclose career and romantic prospects, my inference was that would be due to the shame attributed by people, rather than Sybil’s judgement
01[14:51] <Froborr> Oh yeah, I figured that as well.
01[14:51] <Froborr> But as you noted, that happens in the U.S. as well.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> Well, I think of Shame culture vs. Guilt culture as a matter of degree
[14:52] <Arrlaari> We’re not entirely shameless, here
[14:52] <Arrlaari> Trump ain’t president yet
01[14:54] <Froborr> Hahaha
[14:56] <Arrlaari> And the guild culture paradigm of crime and punishment isn’t totally alien to Japan, either. Akane and the latent criminal in the second episode have both expressed the sentiment that applying punishment to one who hasn’t comitted a crime is unjust
[14:56] <Arrlaari> (they disagree on what constitutes punitive action)
01[14:57] <Froborr> I’m not sure that’s an inherently guilt culture thing.
01[14:57] <Froborr> Tbh I have my doubts about the spectrum to begin with.
[15:00] <Arrlaari> about the distinction, or about not treating it as a binary category?
01[15:02] <Froborr> About the distinction.