From the Archives: Psycho-Pass Review

 93800 Title  Psycho-Pass
Episodes  22
Released  October, 2012
Genre(s)  Action, Cyberpunk, Dystopia, Law and Order
Studio  Production I.G.
Reviewer  Chris
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NB: This is a review that has been ported over from the old blog for posterity purposes. The original publish date of this review was 14th August, 2013. The writing style and depth of detail may have changed a lot since this time, and a revisit is always possible.

The Story

Psycho-Pass is a near-future anime set in a cyberpunk world, where society has advanced to the point where it is possible to predict an individuals state of mind, and their likelihood of performing a crime, before they themselves are even aware they could become a criminal. This is done by taking a measurement of two things, a persons “Hue” or a gradient of color that represents their state of mind. And secondly, a “Crime Coefficient”, which is a numerical value. Upon reaching a high enough number, you are considered a latent criminal. And are subject to on the spot enforcement action.

The enforcement is carried out by police teams that consist of Inspectors, and Enforcers. Or as they are commonly referred to in the show, “Handlers, and Hunting Dogs”. The name fits, as Enforcers are actually latent criminals, who upon reaching a crime-coefficient deemed too high to exist safely in society, offer themselves to protect the exact society they have been shunned from. And in return, they are left to live a relatively simple life, while under the constant supervision of the Inspectors of course.

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There is a system that determines peoples crime co-efficient, called the “Sibyl System”. This can be best described as a huge network of monitors through the city, which are constantly scanning peoples crime-coefficients. And if a high number is detected, the Enforcers are dispatched to eliminate the threat – before it even becomes one.

The investigators and enforcers carry special weapons, called Dominators, or “Sibyl’s Eyes”. They can take readings of the targets crime co-efficient, and Sibyl itself will change the weapons firing mode to one that befits the situation. There are three modes, Non-Lethal Paralyser, Lethal Eliminator, and Destroy Decomposer.

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The story follows a new Inspector, strait out of training and thrown into the field. She has a number of Enforcers under her command, and the show follows her investigations into numerous crimes. Some much worse than others.

The Characters

Akane Tsunemori – The protagonist and lead female of the show. Recently assigned to work in the Public Safety Bureau. An overly polite woman, who as the show goes on proves to be a very talented inspector, despite her shortcomings in the earlier episodes. As a lead she has great development through the show.

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Nobuchika Ginoza – The senior inspector that works along side Akane, he is very strict, and stubbornly refuses to have any close relations with the enforcers under his command, for fear of clouding his Hue. Similar to Akane however, he develops a great deal through the show, and becomes quite likable towards the end.
Tomomi Masaoka – A senior Enforcer, Masaoka is laid back and tends to accept things as they are, great amounts of Maturity are displayed in this character, and his ability to see reason in almost all situations is an admirable trait.
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Shinya Kougami – Kougami is a very talented enforcer, his ability to keep a level head, and what can best be described as Instinct, allow him to solve the most difficult of cases, other enforcers are both impressed and concerned, as the methods he takes are sometimes very risky.

Shuusei Kagari – A young enforcer, flagged as a latent criminal at a very young age, Kagari has known no other life besides the one he is currently living. Despite this though, he is very carefree, and loves to joke around with his colleagues. Kagari is my personal favorite in this show, he has a great outlook on life.

Shogo Makishima – The main antagonist of the show, Makishima is a man hopelessly in love with cruelty, and takes great pride in the suffering of others. He has his own idea of an Ideal World, and will stop at nothing to achieve this. Cold and intelligent. Ruthless and cunning. He was fantastic to watch. As antagonists go Makishima belongs up there with the best.

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Sound and Animation

Both the OP and ED music may seem average at first, however after watching them a few times they really grew on me. Turning them from better than average to ones I will remember for a long time, particularly the second opening.

Multiple band’s contributed to the soundtrack to this show, with the lead titles being;

Opening 1 – Abnormalize, by Ling Toshite Shigure
Opening 2 – Out of Control, by Nothing’s Carved In Stone
End 1 – Namae no Nai Kaibutsu, by EGOiST
End 2 – All Alone With You, by EGOiST

The backing music played through the show consisted of some great rock tunes, and addictive guitar solo’s. The fight music complimented the action greatly, making it very entertaining to watch.

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Production I.G did a great job matching the art and animation with the theme of the show. The art style of the show is quite dark, and can even come across as depressing at times. Which was in no doubt deliberate, as the subject matter of the show is very dark. Animation quality is very nice, particularly the 3D style used on the Dominators, every time one of those things changed its mode was exceptionally pretty to watch.

Overall

I really enjoyed my time with Psycho-Pass, this one goes on the “Mature” list, as it definitely takes itself very seriously, and with good reason, some of the crimes presented in this show can be quite disturbing, definitely not one for the younger audience.

That being said, I loved every episode, the pacing was great, the characters were presented very well, and the setting and story in general were really entertaining.

This is two thumbs up from me, it deserves a spot in your collection.

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