PSYCHO-PASS: This Plastic Beautiful World

hisui_icon_4040 What is cyberpunk? While it is hardly as problematic a term like steampunk, which is a tempest in a teapot in of itself, it is a genre that gets plastered on quite a few series for mostly cosmetic reasons that often miss the point of the purest essence of the classification.

Therefore I am going to say that to be a full cyberpunk series you need to simultaneously fulfill two requirements. The first is the proliferation of cyber-technology. Cybernetics and Cyberspace should be fairly ubiquitous in the setting. While in many ways we are living in parts of the cyberpunk future laid out in things like the Sprawl Trilogy any contemporary cyberpunk work should be set in the not too distant future where our present information technology infrastructure is even more omnipresent. There should be more advanced augmented reality, more complex and sometimes totally cosmetic integration of man and machine, and a totally ubiquitous internet.  The technology should advance with the march of science.

The second part is there should be a fairly oppressive divide between haves and the have-nots with a distinct air of dystopia. The rich should live in luxury and decadence with a technological regime that supports them. At the same time the down and out live in a paradox. While they have progressed a good deal with the ubiquitous nature of technology their lives should actually be worse since they have lost so much freedom and security. Also the gap between the poor and the rich should be astronomical with the resentment on both sides being equally intense.

You see that in all the classic cyberpunk novels like Neuromancer and Snow Crash, RPGs like Shadowrun and Cyberpunk 2020, and anime like Serial Experiments Lain and Ghost in the Shell. So our question here today is how much does PSYCHO-PASS fit into this two-part model. Does it have a cyberpunk flavor or is it full-immersed in the genre?

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Had to Share This Message to Adolf Panel Sequence

narutaki I guess spoilers? This happens fairly early and isn’t too difficult to deduce.

Osamu Tezuka’s story of WWII and three men sharing the first name Adolf is a taut thriller.

These panels feature German officer Mr. Kaufman going to bed with his wife which morphs into his memory of murdering a young geisha. I don’t really have that much to say beyond: OMG so good. Mr. Kaufman isn’t a very sympathetic character but these panels do a lot to show how his actions haunt everything he does.

Please Use a Spine Template

As readers, I’m sure many of you, like me, treasure the books and feel a lot of satisfaction collecting and displaying them. And that is why I find the above infinitely frustrating. Doesn’t most everyone display their books spine out on their shelves? It is what we see most often after we take a book home. Even in most stores, only a select few books are face out to the consumer. The spine is a display piece in my collection and yet it often seems neglected. Book lovers weep!

When looking at the above spines, there doesn’t seem to be any good reason behind the changes. All of these books came out within the last two years.

Looking at the first Avatar the Last Airbender book, the Dark Horse logo appears at the top. The next two move it to the bottom and it looks consistent but then the rest of the spine is a mess neither matching each other or the first book. Card Captor Sakura they almost got right but botched the logo placement. I find it a real shame with the Sakura ones since they are beautiful omnibus collections.

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