Mental trace (メンタル・トレース, mentaru torēsu) is a special A-class mentalist skill that allows a person to cross another individual's mental borderline through extreme empathy.
Based on circumstances, reasoning, and statistics, the mentalist assumes the target's persona, enabling the user to understand the target's state of mind. In doing so, the latter's Hue is also adopted by the mentalist. Because of this, the mentalist who practices this skill may become a target for enforcement depending on the person being traced.
Mental trace can also control or manipulate other people to an extent more effective than counseling, which is known as psychic driving (サイキック・ドライビング, saikikku doraibingu).
Risks and Side Effects
While mental trace proves to be an invaluable asset that allows a mentalist to peer into other people's state of mind, the skill exposes the user to a number of side effects, which are mostly negative and may make one vulnerable to physical and mental distress.
If a mentalist goes too deep into a mental trace, there is a risk that the mentalist may not be able to return to their original identity. As seen in Arata Shindo's case, unmonitored use of mental trace — that is, without another person watching over him — causes him to sometimes dive too deep into his visions, making him collapse and be rendered unconscious. However, Kei Mikhail Ignatov (his "lifeline") is able to call him back into his senses, typically without administering medical intervention such as an anxiolytic.
Though part of the mentalist's skill is to avoid consequences, such as being enforced, an external force may aid in preventing a spike in the mentalist's Hue and possible enforcement. As shown in many cases, whenever Shindo utilizes the skill, Kei Mikhail Ignatov monitors his Hue (specifically his "mental color") and halts Shindo when his Hue reaches a certain point beyond acceptable parameters. Afterwards, Shindo's Hue reverts back to his pre-trace level.
Using mental trace also lets the mentalist experience a similar physical condition being felt by the person being traced. For example, while using his mentalist ability on Kurisu Kyoji O'Brien at the moment that the latter's arm is being severed by some men, Shindo also feels the painful sensation of his own arm being torn apart. Depending on the experience felt, the side effect may last for quite some time, as Shindo experienced during the aforementioned incident.
Known Mental Trace Incidents
Shindo has performed mental trace on a number of people during and beyond work-related cases:
- Rick Fellows
- Airplane crash videographer
- Kojo Tsuchiya
- Karina Komiya
- Haruki Enomiya and Koichi Azusawa (through their calling cards)
- Kurisu Kyoji O'Brien
- Theresa Shinogi
- Koichi Azusawa
- His own memories (while tracing Azusawa)
- An anthropomorphic red fox (recurring vision)
- When Shindo is young, Atsushi Shindo seals away his memories using the same trigger words he utters when beginning a mental trace ("The rain is falling").
- Though he claims that he would never manipulate others using his mentalist skill, Shindo admits manipulating Ignatov once as a push for him to hasten his marriage proposal to Maiko Maya Stronskaya.
- Laelaps' Calling
- Arata Shindo on Psycho-Pass 3 official site
- Herakles and the Sirens
- Political Strife in the Colosseum
- Rainy Day, and
- Teumessian Sacrifices
- Caesar's Gold Coins
- Political Strife in the Colosseum
- Don't Take God's Name in Vain
- First Inspector - Act Two
- Agamemnon's Offering
- First Inspector - Act One