Recently, I’ve been rewatching season one of Psycho-Pass, a police sci-fi show partially written and composed by one of the most well-known anime writer, Gen Urobuchi. I’ve been meaning to rewatch it for some time because I don’t quite ‘get’ it the first time that I watched it (also I’m kind of a Urobuchi fan.)
While I was watching the first episode, I suddenly felt conflicted. After the death of George Floyd due to police brutality, many people called for complete police abolition and condemn mainstream media for glorifying the police as the arbiter of justice. While Psycho-Pass is about exploring hypothetical society, the show’s primary lens in exploring that society is through the lens of law enforcement officers. Inevitably, there is always going to complication of whether or not this show is merely depicting cops or glorifying them. Me watching this show, in turn, potentially propagate the glorification of police.
I still have a bit of reservation because of this, but as I watched the show, and remembering some of the show’s plot twist down the line, I actually found several interesting things about the show’s world-building that correspond to the narrative surrounding police abolition. In fact, based on my findings, while the society of Psycho-Pass is a pretty extreme fictional portrayal of hypothetical society, it probably is the closest to the ideal of a police-free/crime prevention society than our current society.
(Warning: Spoilers from here on)