Akane Tsunemori is the protagonist of the cyberpunk SciFi anime Psycho Pass. She is our POV character in Season one of the show.
Through Akane’s eyes, Psycho Pass explores the ideas of free will and humanity in a futuristic, technologically advanced Japan. The show’s central conflict is between Shinya Kogami and Shogo Makishima, both representing extremes ideals on the opposite ends.
Akane provides a more balanced and realistic perspective on things giving the show a much needed middle ground. Let’s explore the final chess piece of the intense philosophical game that is, Psycho pass.
*Spoiler warning for Psycho Pass Season 1*
Akane is a petite young woman with short brown hair, brown eyes and a pale complexion. Her outfits change a lot throughout the show. She’s seen being mindful of her appearance before going to visit Kogami recovering in a hospital on one occasion.
Her uniform in Season 1 consists of a white blouse, dark grey blazer and a thigh-length skirt. She adds a PSB jacket over her work attire with WPC and 103 emblazoned on each arm when in the field.
Akane starts out as a naive, idealistic somewhat awkward young recruit at the CID. She respects the law and sees helping and protecting people to be her duty as a PSB Officer. However, unlike the people around her, Akane trusts her own judgement over anything else, even the Sibyl System.
In the very first episode of Psycho pass, Akane refused to follow Sibyl’s orders and shoot Kogami, her subordinate. As the show progresses she is revealed to be quite intelligent, insightful, compassionate and insightful.
She is able to maintain a clear psycho pass despite witnessing several traumatic events. This is a testament to her mental fortitude.
The Philosophy of Akane Tsunemori
For Akane, the ends do not justify the means. She makes decisions that wouldn’t just cause the most amount of good but also the least amount of harm. She represents somewhat of a middle ground between Makishima and Kogami’s extremes.
Akane has a strong sense of justice, just like Kogami. Like Kogami, she too loses her best friend at the hands of Makishima. But unlike our brooding hot vigilante, justice comes before revenge for Akane.
She is unable to kill Makishima on two separate occasions. Yet, she continues to try to catch him alive, as that would be the more just thing to do instead of exacting revenge.
Like Makishima, she comes to see the flawed reality of Sibyl. She even detests how the Sibyl system works, perhaps more so than our criminal mastermind. However, she chooses not to rebel against the system and destroy it. Instead, she decides to work within the system to create a future where Sibyl will no longer be required. She often goes directly against Sibyl and forces its hand to her will. In that sense, Akane is the only character that is able to exercise free will, independent of everyone else
In the world of Psycho pass, people are either puppets without free will in any meaningful way or moral extremists like Makishima and Kogami. Akane Tsunemori gives us, the audience an ideal and practical way of living a somewhat meaningful life.
She is constantly searching for her place in the world and trying to do the right thing, no matter the circumstances.
She manages to create a difference in the world she lives in without compromising her personal identity. That is something we can all aspire to be. Hopefully, we won’t have to fight Psychopathic criminals and evil AI overlords to find our life’s purpose!