In a nutshell, morality pertains to widely accepted principles that govern what’s right and what’s wrong. But there are instances, of course, that blur the lines between what’s supposedly “moral” and what isn’t. Such moments are sometimes captured in anime, too, and here are just a few examples of when what happened in an anime definitely questioned our moral senses.
Psycho-Pass – The Sibyl System Judges People Based on Their Potential To Do Crime
Released in 2012, Psycho-Pass is an anime that might just be ahead of its time. It’s a police/military genre, but it features a female protagonist, Tsunemori Akane. The story revolves around Akane’s journey to become a good officer in a society governed by the so-called Sibyl System, a program that measures a person’s potential to become a criminal. Bound by her duty to preserve peace, Akane’s main duty is to catch and kill anyone whose criminal coefficient levels exceed the standards for a normal individual. Those who are caught are immediately dealt with a final blow; the guns they use are especially designed to blast off the targets.
Soon, Akane realized what’s wrong with the Sibyl System. Thanks, of course, to some of the supposed villains who opened her eyes to reality. What does a “criminal” mean, really? Is it right to kill someone just because a machine recognizes the future possibilities of them doing crime? Does this society, after all, creates criminals because it’s imperfect?
Death Note – Light Yagami Thought He Was God
Without a doubt, Death Note is among the most controversial shows that made its audience ask themselves who was doing the right thing. Light Yagami, with the help of the notebook, initially purged petty criminals using “Kira” as a pseudonym. One can say that not all criminals are bad, and it totally isn’t right to just kill them off without giving them the chance to change themselves. It’s hard to estimate how many people Kira and his followers killed, but it’s safe to assume it was in the thousands. Light believed the world is tainted, and it should go back to being pure by ridding itself of criminals who do bad.
Light, in a way, wasn’t inherently cruel and ruthless. At the very least, he didn’t have selfish goals (for the most part, of course). There are instances when he used the notebook for his personal goals, like when he wanted to kill L and when he wiped out the cops who were trying to capture him. In the end, the anime answered what Light was. He died right in the middle of the stairs, and the scene can be interpreted, that although Light’s goal was noble, his ways weren’t, so he was judged as neither good nor evil.
Tokyo Ghoul – A Lot of the Ghouls Were Just Trying to Live
The world of Tokyo Ghoul is a complicated one. Ghouls, creatures that can only consume human flesh and coffee, are trying to live among the common people. Being the “prey,” humans have no choice but to fight back and prevent themselves from getting killed. Not all humans are good, just as not all ghouls are bad. Humans experimented on ghouls to create weapons; meanwhile, some ghouls tried to live in seclusion and only eat flesh from dead humans.
It’s hard to see which group is right and which is wrong. After all, both of them are just trying to survive. On the one hand, ghouls cannot change their physiology over night and become creatures that don’t feed on humans. But on the other, humans are just trying not to get themselves killed.
Shinsekai Yori – There Used To Be Two Kinds of Humans
Shinsekai Yori is a dark fantasy anime about people who have telekinetic powers. It was a rather peaceful world, governed by a seemingly benevolent leader. But the “peace” everyone is experiencing is built from the cruel deaths of thousands if not millions or former humans. The main characters of the story began exploring the truth behind everything. Why do queerats, a species of large rodents, seem to be sentient and are intelligent enough to hold conversations? Is it really peace if a sentient species, like queerats, are being killed off for revolting?
Parasyte – Migi Was Just Trying Not To Die
Everything went haywire when parasytes descended down to Earth and captured living human hosts. Those who were controlled became monstrous creatures who look like humans at the first glance but can shapeshift and prey on other humans. Migi, a parasyte, wasn’t able to control his host and was instead just living on his host’s right hand. The two of them have developed a rather cordial relationship: Migi helps his host at random tasks, while the host, of course, let’s Migi live on his right hand.
Their relationship was testament that humans and parasytes can indeed co-exist, and that parasytes, given enough time, will eventually let go of their insatiable appetite. Since this is the case, was it right for humans to rally and kill them off, even if it means killing their human hosts, as well?
Comment Your Favorite Morally Gray Shows!
There are plenty of other anime shows that will definitely question your morality. Drop some of them in the comments section, and let’s have some discussion! #