I didn’t write about ep.18 because I didn’t really feel like it. Despite being good it wasn’t particularly great, plus the idiot animation made decent screenshots difficult to take.
Akane’s finally become a confident person (as we saw previously, when she shot Shinya without hesitance to save him), but now she’s looking much more alive as well. The droopiness from her eyes is gone and they show a clarity previously absent from them. I wonder if the creators did this purposely, to represent that she’s now aware of her world and is no longer one of Sibyl’s many sheep. She believes in what she’s doing, and I get the feeling she’s putting a lot more thought into her actions.
As for Sibyl itself, we gain some information about how Sibyl works. Shinya points out Sibyl’s strict immigration policies, which I do believe was a slight jibe at Japan’s own policies and attitude towards foreigners. We also find out the best way to bring down the Sibyl System, which is to attack the food source and mess with Sibyl’s attitude to outside countries.
Thanks to Shinya Makishima’s suddenly become a more complicated character. Whereas earlier he was only the guy who quoted a whole lot of literature and sometimes beat the crap out of old ladies, now he’s a guy who’s motivations stem from his alienation by Sibyl. He grew up in a world where he was taught that Sibyl judged all of humanity (okay, by humanity I mean Sibyl’s citizens, but humanity sounds cooler), so when the all-knowing system couldn’t understand Makishima he felt like something less than a human, after all he’s now an outsider and he won’t ever be able to understand other humans and vice versa. It’s one thing knowing you have no idea what the other person’s thinking, but it’s another to know that you’re completely different from them and they’re beyond your capacity because you are idiosyncratic in every way.
Don’t get me wrong, Makishima may be alone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s lonely. I don’t trust that this guy has any true capacity for emotions (yay let’s alienate him more), I mean this is a guy who has no qualms about brutally murdering innocent people while satirizing the way they resemble sheep while being butchered. Anyway this explains the interest he takes in Senguji and others. He desires to understand what makes them human and different from him. His particular fondness (if you will) in Senguji, the cyborg, may have derived from his own alienation by society and curiosity to see why a cyborg was more human than he was.
When Makishima finally sees what the Sibyls System is made of, he’s disappointed. He sought out what it was that rejected his humanity, what sort of objective decisiveness was it that deemed him different? But when he found out that it was a collection of different intellectual egos that couldn’t understand him, he recoiled. It makes sense if out of those 247 brains can’t understand 1 in a couple of million people. Makishima just turned out to be the 1. In the end what is it that makes him unique?