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 2:00 p.m. EST.
I’ll update this post with the log after the chat.
ETA: Chatlog under the cut!
[14:15] <mere_oblivion> As Sylocat said a few moments ago, “Now that’s a good line”
[14:16] <mere_oblivion> (“I have no idea what’s going on”)
[14:16] <Sylocat> Ah, I’d forgotten that this whole area was off the building records
[14:16] <Arrlaari> Hm, buffering
[14:16] <Sylocat> Added intrigue
[14:16] <Sylocat> We’ll pause at the end of the credits, then
01[14:18] <Froborr> Paused at end of credits.
[14:18] <Sylocat> Paused at end of credits
[14:19] <Arrlaari> Paused at end of credits. The whole thing was stuttering to buffer a bit and then resume
[14:19] <Sylocat> Ah, okay then
[14:20] <Sylocat> …
[14:20] <Sylocat> Click
[14:20] <Sylocat> “Saint’s Supper.” Huh.
[14:20] <Sylocat> I keep forgetting about the robodogs
[14:21] <mere_oblivion> They’re awfully not cute
[14:21] <Sylocat> Will that setting even work on a robot?
01[14:21] <Froborr> We’ve seen it work before.
01[14:21] <Froborr> In the robot factory?
[14:21] <Sylocat> Ah, right, that episode
01[14:22] <Froborr> Also, the amount of time that takes to fire could easily be abused to kill people other than the target.
01[14:22] <Froborr> Anyway, what I was starting to say is, thile they’re doing some interesting things with it, in the end this whole “Deadliest Game” thing is pretty cliche.
01[14:22] <Froborr> And has there ever been a real-life case of it?
[14:23] <Sylocat> It is indeed a well-worn trope
[14:24] <Sylocat> The way he said “Duelist,” I suddenly had Utena flashbacks
01[14:24] <Froborr> du-eh-ri-s’-to, yeah.
[14:24] <Sylocat> …His arm isn’t bleeding?
[14:25] <Sylocat> Oh right, he’s part machine too
[14:25] <Sylocat> Hey, those are the same barrels from the school basement
[14:25] <Arrlaari> The blood is bait
01[14:26] <Froborr> The use of “Ode to Joy” is pretty cliche, too, especially when the dark palette closely resembles that sequence in Eva.
[14:26] <Sylocat> Yeah… I did like the imagery with him being hollow, though
01[14:27] <Froborr> Oop, and here’s whatsisface kidnapping her.
[14:27] <mere_oblivion> “You’ve seen too many things you shouldn’t have” — yes, I have
01[14:27] <Froborr> Does Kogami recognize him, is the big question.
[14:27] <Sylocat> This is Makishima’s first time encountering them face-to-face (at least, barring flashbacks), right?
01[14:28] <Froborr> Yes, but if Kogami DOES recognize him, it greatly increases the odds that the cold open of the first episode was a flashback as opposed to foreshadowing.
[14:28] <mere_oblivion> Indeed, which throws me for a loop
01[14:28] <Froborr> While if he DOESN’T recognize him, it can’t be foreshadowing.
01[14:28] <Froborr> And so far it seems like no, he doesn’t recognize him.
[14:29] <Sylocat> Ah, so Kogami got to play Round One, now Akane has to play Round Two
01[14:30] <Froborr> Interesting name convention. Shepherds and hounds (sheepdogs would be more accurate, I suspect). But then who are the sheep? The criminals, or the public?
[14:31] <Sylocat> I suspect from Makishima’s POV the only difference between the criminals and the public is time
[14:31] <Sylocat> HAhah, that was a good moment “Why would I watch that crap?”
[14:31] <Arrlaari> Huh, the remains were moved?
01[14:32] <Froborr> The factory episode is becoming more and more significant.
01[14:32] <Froborr> It established that you can keep your crime efficient low by using others to commit the crimes and vent the stress.
[14:33] <Arrlaari> So he can fool Sybil, and probably knows it
01[14:33] <Froborr> So like 99% of anime villains, he’s read Nietzche.
[14:34] <Sylocat> And “Shan Yu” from that one Firefly episode, too
[14:36] <Sylocat> There’s some interesting commentary here on how we define “Good” and “Evil” as something people ARE, rather than something they DO
01[14:36] <Froborr> Yep. I refer to it as totalizing vs. atomic morality in some of my panels and writing.
[14:36] <Sylocat> And now he’s quoting Descartes
01[14:38] <Froborr> Prediction: reporting this incident will result in The Conspiracy targeting Akane. Because of course there is one.
[14:39] <Sylocat> I’m not sure this show is going to give us that easy an “out.”
01[14:39] <Froborr> Possibly, possibly.
[14:44] <Sylocat> So much for our theories that Makishima is a projection of the Sibyl system or someone’s split personality given life via AI and the hologram projectors
01[14:44] <Froborr> True.
[14:45] <Sylocat> Now I want to write a fanfic with that premise
[14:45] <Arrlaari> He’s the mythical “born killer” – in contrast to the others in this show, who were motivated by stressful circumstances
[14:47] <Arrlaari> Reminds me of Metal Gear Rising, in which the villains press the player character to admit that his justifications for violence are excuses he makes for an underlying killer instinct that most humans don’t have
[14:47] <Arrlaari> (In one codec call, the finding that most soldiers need special training just to be willing to shoot to kill is brought up)
01[14:48] <Froborr> Pretty much. Alternatively, immunity to the world’s criminal justice system might have led to him just getting away with things, until he built this rationale around essentially the idea that he is superior to the people under the Sibyl System.
[14:50] <Arrlaari> The explicit text of his argument to Akane is that the Sybil system is wrong and those who trust its judgement in place of their own have forsaken something worthwhile
[14:50] <Arrlaari> In exchange for a counterfeit
01[14:50] <Froborr> True.
[14:54] <Arrlaari> I expect that the beginning of the next episode will be getting the records on Makishima, since they have his full name and likely a record of his face from the Dominator
[14:55] <Arrlaari> So we’re about to find out if Kougane was right to suspect that he was one of the profiler’s students
[14:57] <Arrlaari> 3 years, huh?
01[14:58] <Froborr> Oh! That was her!
01[14:58] <Froborr> Didn’t recognize her.
[14:59] <Sylocat> Huh.
01[14:59] <Froborr> Also… what does painting your fingernails have to do with bleeding?
[14:59] <Sylocat> Something about the color?
[15:00] <Sylocat> New credits?
01[15:00] <Froborr> New credits.
[15:00] <Arrlaari> Subs aren’t in yet
[15:00] <Arrlaari> But the Funimation watermark is
[15:00] <Arrlaari> Has that been there all along?
01[15:01] <Froborr> I still can’t tell if the implication is that painting your nails protects guitar strings from injuring your fingers…
[15:01] <mere_oblivion> No subs because they’re singing in English?
[15:01] <Arrlaari> Oh for a moment we got a shot of the Ministry’s full name
[15:01] <Arrlaari> Which is in english
[15:01] <mere_oblivion> Or buying fake nails
01[15:01] <Froborr> …or if the implication is that the singer is so shallow that she sees someone’s finger bleeding and responds “Oh no, insufficient makeup!”
[15:02] <Sylocat> Ouch
[15:02] <Sylocat> That’s some real dark comedy right there
[15:03] <Sylocat> “Antisocial community.” Now there’s an oxymoron
[15:04] <mere_oblivion> Well, i’ve heard of an Anarchist Party . . .
01[15:04] <Froborr> I wonder if that’s a mistranslation or a deliberate conflation of disattisfaction with society as it is and inability to function socially at all.
[15:05] <Arrlaari> So the institution insists that they can clear their hues, but it’s a lie
01[15:06] <Froborr> Ah, so the idea is that nail polish can protect nails from breaking from guitar playing?
[15:07] <mere_oblivion> Evidently
[15:07] <Arrlaari> So she got clouded for gay love
[15:07] <Sylocat> …Making music that curries favor with Sibyl?
[15:07] <Arrlaari> or at least a gay crush
01[15:07] <Froborr> Oh interesting. I thought it was Yayoi that was the groupie, but Yayoi is actually the professional and the other woman is an underground performer.
[15:08] <Arrlaari> Hey, they gave her her old outfit
[15:10] <Arrlaari> That’s a cynical sales pitch
01[15:11] <Froborr> Yeah, that… doesn’t look like a place that worries about the fire code.
[15:11] <Sylocat> This is still three years ago, right?
01[15:12] <Froborr> I believe so, yeah.
[15:13] <Sylocat> BURN
01[15:14] <Froborr> Yeah, that was predictable.
[15:14] <Sylocat> Probably inevitable
01[15:15] <Froborr> Okay, so is it just me or does the other guy look reaalllly familiar.
[15:15] <Sylocat> Yeah, it’s a distinctive design
[15:17] <Arrlaari> Kougane only gave it to her as a test
[15:18] <Arrlaari> the fact that an unauthorized user pulled the trigger will be logged
[15:18] <Sylocat> I wondered why it wasn’t announcing what her Crime Coefficient was
[15:18] <mere_oblivion> me too
[15:18] <Arrlaari> Kougane didn’t trust Sybil’s word, he took it as grounds to test
[15:20] <Sylocat> New ED as well
01[15:20] <Froborr> Interesting, an entire episode flashback for a character who’s been pretty minor so far.
[15:20] <Sylocat> Interesting place to stick a flashback episode too
[15:20] <mere_oblivion> That struck me as well
01[15:21] <Froborr> Traditionally, this is where the recap episode would go.
[15:21] <Arrlaari> Rather than recapping the events of prior episodes, it’s re-establishing the premise of the setting
01[15:23] <Froborr> Which makes sense for this show, as it really is more about the philosophical implications of the setting than plot.
[15:25] <Arrlaari> It also seems to be about the personal implications
01[15:26] <Froborr> Hmm, I was considering its impact on individual lives as being part of the philosophical implications, but sure.
[15:27] <Arrlaari> The way the Sybil system restricts artists has blighted 3 lives in this episode alone: the enforcer, her crush, and the guy killed
01[15:27] <Froborr> True.
[15:29] <Sylocat> Was this the first exploration of how Sibyl has impacted the industries surrounding the art world? I mean, aside from the backstory of the schoolgirl painter?
[15:29] <Arrlaari> There was the imprisoned underground artist they visited investigating that case
[15:30] <mere_oblivion> ah yes, that guy
[15:30] <Arrlaari> He mentioned that he expected her father’s work to have been preserved on the net, and Kougane replied that Sybil had put away those who would have done so
01[15:31] <Froborr> Which is, actually, the clearest marker so far that the hostage-taker in this episode was right in calling this society fascist–the “need” for strict control of the arts is a major element of fascist regimes.
[15:34] <Arrlaari> It reminds me more of the CCCP, in that the underlying ideology is “a peaceful society at any cost”, whereas Fascist movements glorify war
01[15:35] <Froborr> True.
01[15:36] <Froborr> Also: if you’re going for the abbreviation of the Russian name for it, SSSR would be closer. Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialistichyeskikh Respublik.
[15:37] <Arrlaari> China, not Russia
01[15:38] <Froborr> That’s PRC.
[15:38] <Arrlaari> Hm
[15:38] <Arrlaari> I’m not sure where I picked up the acronym I used
01[15:39] <Froborr> CCCP is what the Russian abbreviation LOOKS like, but the letters aren’t English C and P, they’re Russian Es and Eyr.
01[15:39] <Froborr> S and R, essentially.
[15:39] <Arrlaari> I think I must have guessed that two of the Cs were “china” and “communist”
01[15:40] <Froborr> Not unreasonable.
01[15:40] <Froborr> Something like Communist Coalition of the Chinese People or something.
[15:43] <Arrlaari> I am specifically recalling an account of the PRC’s closed meetings regarding Tiananmen, in which their internal descriptions of the protests were not inconsistent with their propaganda – that they really did believe that pro-democracy student protests could and would plunge the PRC into a civil war and expose China to foreign domination
[15:45] <Arrlaari> Most discussions of authoritarian repression take it for granted that everyone knows democracy would be fine and the ruling party just wants an excuse to keep power at the expense of citizen lives
01[15:46] <Froborr> Most lay discussions, perhaps.
[15:46] <Arrlaari> Most discussions are lay discussions
01[15:46] <Froborr> True.
01[15:47] <Froborr> My understanding is that the actual research suggests the opposite.
01[15:47] <Froborr> Authoritarian leaders share most of the personality traits and beliefs of authoritarian followers, it’s just they also add social dominance orientation on top of that.
[15:49] <Arrlaari> When I first read that account, I thought of two things: a quote about governments fearing people vs. people fearing government (google informs me it is spuriously attributed to Jefferson https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-government-fears-people-there-liberty-spurious-quotation), and the Sword of Damocles
01[15:49] <Froborr> Oh yeah. Authoritarianism is closely wrapped up in fear.
01[15:50] <Froborr> IIRC (I could look it up again, but I’m lazy), the defining features of the authoritarian follower personality are fear of complexity and ambiguity, fear of being seen to be wrong, and above all fear of outsiders.
[15:50] <Arrlaari> It turns out that the fake Jefferson quote inverts the truth: In any unfree society the ruler (probably correctly) fears that losing power will inevitably lead to his own death, while in democracies leaders who lose power get a pension, and possibly another shot at a scheduled interval
01[15:52] <Froborr> Good point.
[15:53] <Arrlaari> In some societies “death” can be softened to “political imprisonment” – I’ve seen some stories about Chinese officials falling out of favor and getting locked up on corruption charges – and those tend to be societies that are unfree by our standards but livable
[15:55] <Arrlaari> There’s also cases like Iran, where there are elections that serve some meaningful function but the scope of political debate is policed on foreign threat grounds – in Iran’s case there’s a clear history of U.S. backed coups and a persistent U.S. hostility
01[15:57] <Froborr> Unfree but livable sounds like a pretty good description of the show’s society.
[15:58] <Arrlaari> Well, does Sybil know how to be afraid?
[15:59] <Sylocat> I wonder.
01[16:00] <Froborr> It really depends on what Sybil is.
01[16:01] <Froborr> I feel like it’s probably at least partially human/organic, but when I examine that belief I just get images of the Precogs from Minority Report.
[16:07] <Sylocat> Ah, Minority Report… I should check out the series
01[16:08] <Froborr> There’s a series?
[16:09] <Sylocat> Yeah, it just came out last year I think
[16:09] <Sylocat> Short-run, one season only IIRC
01[16:09] <Froborr> Mm.
[16:10] <Sylocat> But I love the movie (and the novella), so…