On Psycho Pass:
The Internet as virtual fields dedicated to cults of personality really, really weirded me out at first. It fits the setting and serves the function of the fictional futuristic equivalent well enough, but goddamn does it represent the worst aspects of the anime subculture all too well. All those cutesy (hideous) avatars running amok shouting in their japanese schoolgirl voices. Ugh. Just...ugh.
Still, two things shone through while I was watching it. First, when I really think about it, a whole lot of Forums and other Internet posting boards are very much like that. Clusters of groupies, lurkers, and even casual posters gravitating around Super Users. And it's more than a Nerd King thing. More than people flocking to read Wil Wheaton's Blog or gravitate around the guys at Topless Robot. It's a thing that happens IRL, naturally, where certain charismatic personalities come to the fore and dominate others. But on the Internet, it isn't always about personal magnetism. Dominant personalities come in many forms for many reasons, all suited to the specific themes of the forums they occupy. Second, you were right. The show starts to pick up around 5, I think it was. I saw the revelation coming from the 1st episode, of course, but here is where we are introduced more fully to the darker psychological themes of the piece. It was brutal before but this...this was something far subtler, deeper, and altogether scarier.