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: Shinya Kogami, the second main character of “Psycho-Pass.”
Since I talked about Akane and she is only one of the main characters of the show, I figured that I should talk about the other main character, Kogami. I mentioned him a bit in the article about Akane, but didn’t go super in depth about him. I would strongly recommend reading the Akane article before this one.
The summary is, of course, the same for the show but here it is. “Psycho-Pass” takes place in the far future in a world where your crime-coefficient, hue, and the future of your life can all be measured by the mighty Sibyl System, an all knowing computer. With this computer running peoples’ lives, some people naturally have a bit of an issue with it. To deal with these people and other criminals, the MWPSB (also know as the CID), serve as the police force and keep order. The MWPSB use a weapon called a Dominator which is called the “eyes of the Sibyl System” meaning it can immediately read someone’s crime coefficient and decide if someone should be killed or stunned and brought in for trial. Kogami is a real detective and doesn’t simply obey the Sibyl System, much like Akane.
Kogami is an enforcer for the MWPSB. The enforcers are latent criminals, meaning they have committed a crime yet but have a high probability of doing so, that have decided they are going to help the police instead of being placed in a mental hospital. They are however trapped in the headquarters of the MWPSB so it’s not complete freedom by any means. Kogami is a special sort of enforcer because he was previously a detective. Seeing the death of his friend sent Kogami over the edge, making is crime coefficient go to high and as such, making him an enforcer. Due to being an detective for the MWPSB, Kogami is very skilled at his job. He can look at the scene and quickly analyze and solve the puzzle faster than anyone else. He goes into a “Sherlock Holmes” mode looking at all the factors and surrounding objects and coming up with solutions seemingly out of nowhere. He is a master of his craft to be sure and is the person who ends up teaching Akane much of the skills she later gathers and uses to good effect. He is cool and collected and makes you start to like him very early on as his confidence in his skills is through the roof. Detective skills are not the only thing he is talented at, however.
Kogami is also a trained fighter with the morals of a warrior. There is a scene when Akane sees him training with the combat robot on the highest possible setting and asks why he trains so hard when he has a weapon like the Dominator. Kogami responds like a straight up Jedi, saying “I must be more powerful than the weapon I use.” He is a man with great mental strength as well as skill. He trained himself so that he could rely on his own abilities in case his weapon fails him, which naturally it eventually does. He understands how the world works and knows he must be able to protect himself in such line of work, he can’t simply fall back on the weaponry given to him. There are many points in the show where his quick wits and physical prowess win him the battle rather than the usual protocol and rules of the MWPSB. This is part of the reason that Akane begins to get so much better at her job in the latter end of the show. Kogami’s personality is the part of him that stands out the most.
His attitude toward his job and the system of government in place is often kept very quiet. You know that he does not agree with everything in place but he keeps to himself about it and simply works within the confines. He isn’t exactly super kind but isn’t necessarily mean either. He is very much a realist who says it like it is and then moves on from there. He is very much a contrast to Akane, who has wild swings in emotions going from jubilant to contemplative to almost depressed. Kogami keeps cool at all times. These two being the main characters means they bounce off of each other a lot which makes the two characters more interesting as you see the difference between them. It’s subtle compare and contrast. Kogami personality however also ties a great deal into his ethical stance.
Toward the end of the show, the main villain has found a way to beat the Sibyl System. Kogami starts to act more radically due to these events which compounds with the fact he very badly wants the villain Makishima dead. The chief of the MWPSB, however, wants Makishima alive and is seeing Kogami’s growing aggressive actions. As such Kogami is fired and sent to be detained. Kogami having that warrior spirit refuses to fail and escapes the MWPSB. He also isn’t an enforcer anymore if that wasn’t apparent. After escaping and speaking with his old mentor Kogami finds himself and old fashion six shooter and sets out to kill Makishima. He can’t accept letting this devil of a man survive. All the while, Akane is chasing down Kogami to bring him in because of her extreme sense of justice that I mentioned in the previous article. The two eventually meet and Kogami and Akane work together to go after Makishima. No spoilers on how it ends, though.
Kogami’s verdict is Good. He is a man with genius, resolve, and the warrior will. He refuses to quiet and seems to never stop getting better at what he does. He has a very stern but also relatable personality as well as a never give up attitude. On top of all these things is simply a cool character akin to someone like Goku or Ichigo. “Psycho-Pass” is a fantastic anime that quickly climbed to my top favorites and Kogami only makes it that much better. I presume that in the sequel he will only continue to be his amazing self.