Psycho-Pass only just missed out on a place in our list of anime that should have ended sooner, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some redeeming features. Case in point is Enforcer Shinya Kogami, one of the main protagonists of the first season of the show as well as the film. He brings a lot of Spike Spiegel to the table, but with more of a renegade twist to him that becomes more apparent as the show goes on.
For this week’s Humpday Husbando, we take a deep dive into what makes Shinya Kogami so appealing and why Psycho-Pass just isn’t the same without him.
Who is Shinya Kogami?
The opening of Psycho-Pass gives you a lot to take in. It is a futuristic Japan, where an organisation known as the Sibyl System can read mental health indicators at a moment’s notice and determine how likely someone is to commit a crime. Those with Crime Coefficients that reach dangerous levels are arrested, even if they haven’t done anything wrong yet.
Those who make these arrests are Inspectors, but they themselves are put under incredible strain and exposed to some of the worst that society has to offer, impacting their own mental health. When their Crime Coefficients are too high, they are given a choice. They can either go to prison as a latent criminal or they can become an Enforcer and continue to assist the Inspectors while living under restricted freedoms.
At the start of Psycho-Pass, Kogami is one of these Enforcers, paired with rookie Inspector Akane Tsunemori. Much of the plot of the first season revolves around their relationship and how he attempts to push her to embrace her instincts as a police officer and not rely blindly on the Sibyl System. He is driven and serious, willing to take bold risks and follow his gut in an effort to solve the case.
Why we love him
Shinya Kogami is a good example of a renegade cop working outside the law at times. His role as an Enforcer means that he is viewed by many in the department as a wild dog on a leash, but he proves repeatedly that he is one of the best detectives they have. He relentlessly follows leads and takes risks in an effort to uncover the truth — something that most Inspectors and Enforcers are unwilling to do because of the risk to their own Crime Coefficient.
Much of the first season’s appeal lies in the relationship between Kogami and Akane. Though she is stern and dedicated to upholding the law, she also sees the value in his approach to solving cases. Akane might be the ranking officer, but she still values Kogami’s input and chooses to learn from him in order to make herself a better detective.
The two have a mutual respect and admiration without it ever turning into a romantic interest. Their relationship is so crucial to Psycho-Pass that I barely had any interest in subsequent seasons after Kogami was no longer part of the main cast.
Why you’ll love him
We all love a bad boy sometimes and Shinya Kogami is exactly that. He does what is necessary to get the job done and is willing to risk himself and his freedom to see justice served. He’s an excellent fighter, both armed and unarmed, and is capable of developing and adapting strategies on the fly. When paired with Akane, he becomes more playful, subjecting her to harmless teasing at times — but he never forgets that he is subject to harsher laws and punishments than anyone else. When it becomes clear that he will not be able to change the system for the better from within it, he acts outside of it instead, like a true rebel.
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