Psycho-Pass: Stop Mischaracterizing Makishima (Half-Rant)

Before I get into the Rikako Arc, which features some extended Shogo time, I want to make one thing clear. If you’re reading this and you’ve watched Psycho-Pass, chances are that you have the wrong idea of Shogo Makishima as a character.

I don’t blame you, I misinterpreted him originally as well. A lot of people seem to think that Makishima’s ideals are either right. or at least can be viewed as such. That Psycho-Pass presents his “side” as a viable option idealistic even if you don’t agree with his methods.

Nope. Nuh uh. Not true. Incorrect.

I have talked about this before and also have a full breakdown of Makishima planned so I’ll keep this somewhat brief. I’d just like readers to understand how I view Makishima (although this time I’d posit that this is not just my opinion but closer to fact) before we get into later Psycho-Pass and thus why he’s so fantastic as a villain.

Make no mistake Makishima has no ideals. If you believe he does, then you are just like any one of his devotees, you have been fooled into thinking that he stands for something other than himself. He uses his purported ideals as an excuse to flex his sadistic muscles. He uses them as a way to create a cult of personality and thus be able to cause the destruction and desire he wants on a massive scale.

I’ll only be talking about one of the reasons why this is the case, trust me there are many, as to save some for my full Makishima breakdown.

The SIBYL component

This one’s pretty straightforward, what are the requirements to be inducted into SIBYL?

To be criminally asymptomatic. What does this mean?

Well it’s never explicitly said but it’s a certain psychopathic trait. A lack of empathy. This is clear, as every person we see inducted into it conforms to this.

Also just from the way the system works. It’s the idea that those who exist outside of the system should be the ones to run it. Those who exist outside of society should govern society. Sociopaths.

(Edit: Sociopathy is SIBYL’s entry requirment not psychopathy:What I mean by this is that it is not Psychopathy that is required for entering SIBYL but sociopathy which means one has an extremely antisocial nature. Whilst being antisocial is one of the symptoms of psychopathy it is not required to be a psychopath so while soicopathy and psychopathy have a large overlap they are different things. It’s the reason (in my mind) that people like Rikako aren’t fit for SIBYL selection because she is not sociopathic, thanks Jon for pointing this out)

The idea being that without empathy to impair judgement one can make logical decisions benefiting the majority.

Those without empathy cannot have ideals that relate to others, because they don’t relate to others.

And logically if one were to care about everyone’s human individuality like he claims to then they wouldn’t be suitable candidates for SIBYL. He only cares about his own individuality.

I hope you enjoyed this quick rant about the characterization of Makishima, I promise I’ll go into full depth about it but it goes so deep, it’s about philosophy and psychology and thematic shit that will take a lot of explaining. I pretty much have to explain exactly how SIBYL works as a concept to do so.

I was actually talking to mother about this (who is a psychiatrist) so I’ll have some actual, interesting insight about it.

Please follow the blog if you did enjoy and

Thanks for reading,

Psychime

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9 Comments

  1. Hmm, interesting. You haven’t sold me entirely though. Round 2 with mom comments might though. Also, found it interesting that you start off with psychopathy but then immediately refer to sociopaths, which is pretty different.

    Love the new site layout though 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sociopaths and Psychopaths have a large crossover, I think people think that SIBYL’s entry requirements are to be a Psychopath because of the shows title. Sociopath fits the bill a bit more closely in my mind because people like Rikako should be considered under the Psychopath criteria (difference being she possesses a twisted form of empathy)
      One very interesting thing is episode 6’s title “Return of the Psychotic (some translations:Lunatic) Prince” which implies not only is he a sociopath and psychopath but may be psychotic as well although I’m only just looking into this one.

      I don’t think this is a killing blow, I just wanted to get the argument out there before continuing my masterpiece territory as I will probably bring this up a lot.

      I’ve got so much stuff I barely know where to start, it’s a little nerve wrecking !

      And thanks I find it’s a bit neater.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I’m definitely interested in hearing more from you.

        I pointed out the difference in linguistics to you only because it changes the meaning of your writing quite a bit. While it is common for psychopath and sociopath to be fairly synonyms, there is a fairly important and district difference at a technical level that should matter for these pieces (particularly since you are taking an in-depth analytical look).

        As for the writers of the show, I think it is fairly clear that you are intended to at least prescribe some sort of idealistic philosophy to his actions but your statement that he does things entirely for himself is also just as accurate. Makishima’s character is (what I feel to be fairly obviously) driven by his need to be judged by the system rather than ideals or philosophical viewpoints.

        Taking this perspective, the philosophies and ideologies he mentions are simply a means to an end. This makes it easier for the viewer to get the take away point that, as you mention is wrong, that his actions are justifiable and reasonable because he is simply rebelling against a system that has rejected him in order to write the wrongs that the system has supposedly created.

        Now I haven’t watched the show recently enough to break it down with a level of specificity beyond this but I think you’ll be able to infer my overall meaning from this. Lastly, yeah your site definitely is cleaner lookin’ 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ll go over the thing again now, I wrote it as a quick rant so it’s not as polished as it would be but you’re right the distinction between the two needs to be clear for this.

        And I would pretty much agree almost exactly with that take on Makishima. I think I said it in my first article on him (which I think you read) that that is why he is OK with Kogami killing him, as he’s the only person capable of providing the judgement the system will not provide.

        It’s like the audience can get conned by him just as much as his subordinates do, which I love as a concept.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Got ya. I did read that article by the way, but this article and that one don’t seem to have a unified view point if you get what I mean? I understand better where you are coming from now though.

        Thanks for the thoughts and your swift replies. Looking forward to more of these!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh good I was hoping this wouldn’t be redundant.
        Of course! Any time, the best time to talk about Psycho-Pass is any time in my opinion.

        Be careful what you wish for, you’ll be getting many, 3 articles on 5 episodes totaling about 6000 words (because this one’s shorter) I may well die before I finish writing about Psycho-Pass

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t exactly say that Makishima has no ideal, but more that you can’t disagree with his arguments. From a purely logical perspective, you’re forced into a corner, where you can’t really say more than “You’re not wrong,” even if you know that his actions are plain evil. From his point of view, there is no logical reason why he can’t do as he pleases within society. I think the sense that he isn’t wrong (and therefore must be right, in theory) is probably what leads most people into thinking he does have ideals…maybe…

    Liked by 1 person

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