I had a conversation with my friend (let’s call him Bob) the other day about a fascinating anime called Psycho-Pass.
I had a conversation with my friend (let’s call him Bob) the other day about a fascinating anime called Psycho-Pass. Bob told me that he spoke to his Media & Identity teacher about it after class, so I wanted to meet with Bob to discuss what, exactly, he could’ve thought related to a class he was taking.
At the time we of our discussion, I hadn’t seen the anime yet, so I was floundering blindly, trying to grasp the concepts being tossed in my direction. But I marathoned the entire season this week, and they’re making a season two, which is awesome! I now understand what is so fascinating about this anime that even could relate to classes.
Anime and manga are art forms, meant to convey ideas, thoughts and feelings to people. With easy access to technology and the internet, we can now find and stream these thoughts and ideas immediately. We can do this almost anywhere, on multiple devices. I couldn’t find the entire Psycho-Pass series on Hulu, so I simply Googled it, and up came other websites of questionable legality.
The Internet and all of our technology is in the palm of our hands. It’s a great feeling in our “free world” to be able to dive into the Internet as if it were a sea, and search for things we want and need. Technology does so much for us, but sometimes too much can be more than enough.
I bring up Psycho-Pass not only because it was amazing, but because it left me feeling a bit scared. I admit that I don’t know much about the universe of Psycho-Pass, but being in a world where everyone is made complacent by technology seems scary. It’s a world where your stress-levels are measured everywhere you go, and if they get too high, you are deemed a criminal and not fit for society. It’s also a place where people can simply “disappear.”
I don’t want to spoil this anime for anyone, so I won’t say much more. But the way that it seemed to relate to Bob’s class was how stress can control one’s life. In this universe, your identity as a person is defined by your “psycho-pass,” or stress level measurement. This is your ability to function normally, and is your personality as well. It can be like that in the real world too because people with high anxiety levels cannot function normally. I spoke with Bob about how people are just normally like this, and in this fictional society, people who get too stressed are automatically criminalized whether they have committed a crime or not. Psycho-Pass is both Orwellian in nature (as in 1984), and also like The Giver, showing how a society can function even if there are people who know how wrong the system running it is. The system is striving to create a utopia. Anyone who’s read either of those novels knows that that’s very bad.
On a different note, I believe it is important to take things like anime and manga more seriously, and not dismiss them as childish. This is a great example of my point. If I didn’t have the education I have at this age, I wouldn’t recognize many quotes, or people who the characters are quoting. Serious discussions and analyzing anime and manga can only happen if people start taking it more seriously and treating it like they are analyzing movies and books. The writers and creators put a lot of thought into some anime and manga, and they need to be shown more appreciation. I say that as a writer myself. I know that this can happen, but everyone needs to be more open-minded about things.
Kirsten Lindsay is a sophomore studying creative writing. Do you read manga or watch anime? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.