The tenth memory of 2012: my introduction to ‘The Butcher’…

The noitaminA shop at Odaiba is a happier memory that I would have written about in an ordinary year, and I’ll bet Psycho-Pass is going to make it onto next year’s list anyway, but the two most recent episodes have been far and away the most engrossing of the past year…even if I sometimes chose to catch up on another Thursday night series first…

"Go on, aim at me with the intent to kill."

“Go on, aim at me with the intent to kill.”

**WARNING** **SPOILERS AHEAD**

‘The Butcher’, or ‘Urobutcher’, as fans know him, refers of course to Urobuchi Gen, a Nitroplus writer known for exploring some incredibly heavy subject matter, often by following the darkest paths that a story can take. Madoka Magica has been on my backlist for over a year (hey, I’ve been busy! Though I really should get to it since too many people are leaving spoilerific references around in discussions of other series…) and the Phantom of Inferno franchise didn’t actually strike me as particularly interesting, given that it dealt with people from an incredibly different, secluded part of society (assassins).

I consider Psycho-Pass different from Phantom, as its main character is someone we can relate to, a relatively ordinary person who decided to join the police organisation of her time. And the climax of the first half of this noitaminA series was very dark indeed, as Akane was confronted with the consequences of being unable to question the institutional structures that had governed her entire life. Faced with a person who could not be judged according to the tools of law enforcement, Akane did not know how to react, with tragic consequences.

Herein lies the deeper question that I feel is being asked by the show’s creators. The point Makishima brought up, of feeling the weight of responsibility for killing someone as opposed to relying on a tool to ‘do the dirty work’, is also interesting in its own right, particularly in a world where the individuals who make such decisions (at least, in war zones) are increasingly removed from the people being targeted. However, I contend that it is far more important to consider the more abstract question of: what are the structures that govern my beliefs, that determine what I put my trust in, and where have they come from? But the point of this question isn’t to arrive at a ‘right’ answer; rather, it’s to recognise why we think the way we do, and that others may not think in the same way.

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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