Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Akane Tsunemori, the main character of the anime “Psycho-Pass.”
“Psycho-Pass” is an anime set in the far future with a dystopian feel. People’s levels of stress, future jobs, and most importantly, likelihood to commit a crime can all be measured by a computer called the Sibyl System. The Sibyl System rules everyone’s lives and is constantly reading people’s Psycho-Pass to see if they must be dealt with as a criminal or not. The police force known as the CID have a gun called a Dominator that can instantly read a persons crime coefficient and determine if they need to be killed or paralyzed and brought in. No need for a trial or anything; if the gun says shoot, you simply shoot. Nothing in life, of course, can be so simple and many people wish to bring down the power of the Sibyl System.
Akane Tsunemori is a brand new detective at the CID, also know as the MWPSB. She is a girl who the Sibyl System decided could do anything she wants. She is a perfect person, essentially. She may do whatever job she pleases but she decides to help the MWPSB. Akane gets thrown into a mission almost instantly and quickly sees how things work. The MWPSB have people who are known as “latent criminals” be their enforcers, basically their muscle. A latent criminal means they have a high chance of committing crime but haven’t yet. On the first mission, Akane sees a Dominator blow a criminal to nothing but a pool of blood. She of course gets freaked out real quick. One of the enforcers, Shinya Kogami, then points the Dominator at the victim whose crime coefficient has now gone high enough that the Dominator said she may be killed. Akane doesn’t want to shoot the women as her high crime coefficient is only coming from the stress of almost being raped. Akane then shoots Kogami with the paralyzer. Akane’s first mission then comes to close and she realises she made have screwed up.
Akane is a young and innocent girl who is very much weak willed. She doesn’t want to kill anyone and is having a hard time agreeing with some of the judgements of the great Sibyl System. She soldiers on, however, trying to learn from the enforcers and her fellow inspector/detective Ginoza. Akane is very cute and likeable. She is small and kind and has huge potential. She is kind of safe character, it’s hard to hate her or not enjoy her in terms of writing. You can’t keep this up, of course. A safe character is fine, but having one of the two main characters be a super safe character can cause some boredom. I say one of the two main characters because Shinya Kogami is also a main character. With this said, initially I liked Akane from a “nice character” kind of stance but I felt like she wasn’t really doing much. She was getting a bit smarter but she wasn’t taking action. This seemed to go for several cases and I was feeling a bit concerned. Conversely, Kogami was doing a lot as a main character. I had a feeling there wasn’t enough love going into Akane’s character. The last couple of episodes of the show, however, showed what Akane could do.
Due to all of the chaos that starts to ensue throughout the town Kogami ends up leaving the MWPSB. As Kogami is an enforcer this is highly illegal and makes Kogami a target. A villain by the name of Makishima is trying to destroy the society and the Sibyl System. To avoid the constraints of the law and take matters into his own hands Kogami sets out on his own to kill Makishima. Akane, however, refuses to kill Makishima; she insists on doing things with the law and justice. After her time with the MWPSB, Akane has really now grown into a strong detective with a stronger feeling towards justice. When Kogami leaves she suddenly becomes an amazing analyst and tracks down Makishima. She now feels she has more purpose to her life, which was something she was struggling with before. In a world where a computer tells you what your life will be, struggling with purpose made Akane out of place. This was one of the more interesting parts to her character on top of the fact her Psycho-Pass never seemed to get anywhere close to the danger zone of being a criminal. Now Akane is resolute and set on bringing in Kogami and Makishima with the law. She is so set on the law it arguably clouds some of her decisions. Makishima killed her friend but she refuses to kill him out of vengeance. Kogami isn’t so set on justice. Akane whips out some cool lines and gets things done toward the end of the show, but that is kinda the problem; it’s basically the end of the show. Akane didn’t really come into her own until things already got out of control. I really really liked her at the end of things but it was a bit too late really.
Okay, so now for the verdict. You guys are probably assuming Bad, however I give Akane What The? Why, you ask? Well, because like Kankei from “Tokyo Ghoul”, those final moments for Akane really mattered. They made up for a lot. There is another reason for the verdict, though. This article is all about Akane in “Psycho-Pass” but the thing is this show got a sequel in the form of “Psycho-Pass 2.” So the plan is that once I am done with watching the sequel, I will revisit Akane and she how she is in that one. I have high hopes for her character getting much better.