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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 is Akane Tsunemori, the main character of “Psycho Pass” and “Psycho Pass 2”.
This is a character revisit that I said I was going to do ages ago in November of 2014. It is a bit long overdue, but I’m doing it now. The story of “Psycho Pass 2” takes place shortly after the ending events of “Psycho Pass”. Akane is now a bit more hardened and leads her squad with more force. There is a new inspector on her team named Mika Shimotsuki. The premise is, of course, the same as “Psycho Pass” because it is a direct sequel, but I will recap. “Psycho Pass” and “Psycho Pass 2” both take place in a dystopian future, where a supercomputer called the Sibyl System can read what is called your crime coefficient and hue. Your crime coefficient is a measure of how likely you are to become a criminal, and your hue is basically your mental state or stability. The police force known as the MWPSB wield guns called dominators that can read your crime coefficient. If it is over a certain percent, then they can simply kill you, no judge or trial needed. Akane in “Psycho Pass 2” is now hunting down a new string of odd murders after the chaos of the first shows’ ending. This new killer is taking out inspectors and leaving writing by the murder sight that say “W.C?”.
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Akane in the first series was very much naive and new to the system. She has issues with the brutality and mechanical way that policing was handled by the Sibyl System and MWPSB higher-ups. She had to “fight the man” and tried to handle things her way more, and often her Enforcer Kogami had to take care of things. Akane actually leaned on Kogami quite a bit and there are many points when Kogami shows his excellent detective skills and solves the case with information everyone else looked past. Akane basically rides on the coattails of her various Enforcers and tries to make things better, but she can’t beat the system. In “Psycho Pass 2”, however, things have changed, and Kogami is no longer in the picture.
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Akane commands with assertion now. She has a few new Enforcers and the new Inspector Mika to deal with. Akane saw a lot of things in the first series and her eyes were opened to a lot of horror. These things were life lessons for her, and she has become a bit more cold because of them. The way she talks and acts is more calm and cool, and she actually gives out orders in a direct way. She also has only gotten smarter through her trials and does things that her team sometimes doesn’t understand or question, but she commands it to happen none-the-less. The idea is that she basically becomes the new Kogami. He is gone, and someone had to take up the mantle he left. Because she was around him more than anyone else, she took it up. There are some scenes showing Akane smoking while racking her brain over the case in the same way Kogami did. Kogami appears in the form of premonitions in her mind, telling her how he would handle things and what she should do. She goes from being a highly intelligent, innocent girl who doesn’t agree with the systems in place to a hardened and skilled Inspector who uses the system to her advantage. The character switch is pretty drastic, and makes her into an almost completely new character. She even seems to become a bit more jaded to all of the killing that occurs. The Sibyl System broke her down and got rid of her innocence, and her time with Kogami and the other Enforcers made her a skilled Inspector. She almost gets to the point of being okay with killing herself at times, where as in the first series she could barely stand the thought of it.
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The verdict on Akane in “Psycho Pass 2” is Good, but with some debate. On one hand, it is a huge amount of character development and shows what this kind of dystopian society can do to someone. On the other hand, she almost isn’t the same character anymore because of how extremely she changes. I think that I personally like the way Akane is in “Psycho Pass 2”; it is a much cooler version of her, but there was some part of the way she was before that I enjoyed also. I like the idea of her being more hardcore and almost jaded, and the idea that she grew a great deal, but it does seem like the change hit pretty hard and fast. Then again the events of the first series were pretty extreme, so I guess they would do that to someone. As before with the other articles about this show, I highly recommend it to any anime fans looking for a show with some heavy themes and events going on.