Is Akane Criminally Asymptomatic?

    In 2014, I was trying more anime out of my comfort zone. And, as time went by, I realized that there was a similarity in some of the anime that had been my favorite watches around the time despite having completely different genres, being part of different franchises, etc. They were not remotely connected except for their director, that was Gen Urobuchi, known for making Fate/Zero, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and, of course, Psycho-Pass and its MC Akane.

    Psycho-Pass, to this day, holds the title of having one of my favorite protagonists of all time. However, there is always a lot of debate about what her character stands for. Most fans argue that, because of how things work, Akane Tsunemori gets a carte blanche in every scenario. Due to her crime co-efficient never rising, it almost feels like she is criminally asymptomatic. That if she ever were to commit a crime, the Sybil System would never be alerted about it because of how steady her reaction to everything is.

    In hindsight, that sounds so perfect for a protagonist in a premise like Psycho-Pass. She is literally above the system, which means she can dismantle it. But that’s not how it works. This isn’t a story of an officer of the law going rogue and dismantling a corrupt system. Akane is not just the ‘Chosen One’ who can cheat the system and do something different. There is a lot more nuance to her character than being the blank canvas of a Mary Sue heroine.

    I think the main problem here is that people confuse her not being a blip on the Sybil System radar as proof that she has the potential of becoming a villain herself. Except, no, that’s not it at all. She isn’t devoid of human emotions, she’s just very, very astute. And when you break down her character arc, you see her for what she is – a voice of reason in the chaos between a supposed black-and-white morality. So, in today’s Character Analysis, let’s take a deep dive into Akane Tsunemori, Rookie Detective!  

    Akane Tsunemori: Shades Of Grey

    Akane Tsunemori - Psycho Pass

    Psycho-Pass is about a society that runs on a credit score system to identify criminals before crimes are committed. Judging by the scope of the crime intended, you can look at anything from a lawful arrest and detaining to an immediate death sentence that is carried out by the Public Safety Bureau.

    When Akane arrives on the scene, she is focused on as the newbie, the amazing applicant with a surprisingly low crime co-efficient that never rises. Not once. And you think that, hey, this is going to be the heroine that realizes an artificial system to judge human crimes is maybe not the best idea and leads a revolt against it. I mean, she’s practically made for that role, right?

    Akane is a foil to the very mechanics that the world of Psycho-Pass ran on, but that doesn’t mean she’s the anarchist heroine of the story. Instead, she decides to fix the system from within, using her privilege to shape how we view good and bad.

    This proves how much of an anomaly she is when compared to the extremes offered by the anime. On one hand, her senior represented how the system failed humanity, and on the other, a domestic terrorist showcased a need for that system in the first place. And in between it all, she is the middle ground, the nuance that justice often delays.

    What Akane’s Relationship With The System Shows Us:

    Akane Tsunemori - Psycho Pass

    In the end, the Sybil System is far too big for it to be eradicated by the will of one vigilante alone. Shinya Kogami was right in his actions to act against it, but he was too brash and thought breaking the system meant releasing humanity from its clutches, like an amputation.

    That’s sadly not how it works. And Akane’s mental fortitude proves that. There are so many mental disorders that can never be quantified as good or evil, that require layers of deciphering. For a system so ingrained in society, it needs to be rooted out using its very strengths against it. Humanity is not a binary, and it never can be. People like Akane and Shōgo Makishima prove this.

    Justice, sadly, can never be about being noble or evil alone. Mental health, circumstances, and motivation, all need to be considered before rolling out a sentence.  

    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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