Psycho-Pass depicts a dystopian future for Japan where a computer system called the Sibyl System regularly monitors the mental states and conditions of the citizens to determine the likelihood of any of them committing a crime. If their mental state gets to a high enough point, they get labeled "latent criminals" and are isolated from society to either receive treatment at mental facilities (that many have little chance of even getting out of) or become Enforcers tasked with hunting down other criminals who are active in committing various crimes. The Inspectors and Enforcers of the Public Safety Bureau are tasked with hunting down latent criminals that commit crimes against the populace.
Psycho-Pass makes use of its setting to explore the extremes of a strictly-regulated society and human free will. In the case of the show's society, Psycho Pass explores the flaws of heavily entrusting technology to service human society at large as the Japanese human populace have left the Sibyl System to control and influence just about every element of society at large that includes media control, terminating criminals without putting them through a judicial process, and deciding career paths for a person that best benefit society. This could also be seen as a criticism of Japan’s collectivist society, as the series depicts the Sibyl System being made in mind mostly to aid in servicing and benefiting society while overlooking human factors of the individual such as desire and morality. This especially becomes prevalent in later episodes when some pretty shocking secrets concerning the true nature of the Sibyl System are revealed.
The exploration of free will's extremes come in the form of the title's main antagonist, Shogo Maskishima. Throughout the series, he is depicted as a humanist with extreme beliefs in free will where humanity gives into their darkest desires with no hindrances, as he is shown to be the major influence behind the criminals that the Enforcers and Inspectors of Unit One confront in the show's earlier episodes. While knowing how flawed the Sibyl System is, Makishima appears to believe that there should be no regulatory body that exists to allow one to truly express themselves. Obviously, this mentality is flawed in that man will descend into chaos without some sort of order to keep humanity's darker impulses in check.
Moving on from breaking down themes, Psycho-Pass does do well in taking its time to explore its plot and characters. The first half of the series is focused on Akane and the members of the Public Safety Bureau dealing with several criminal cases that are eventually linked to Makishima and the second half explores the group trying to halt Makishima's activities with the mentioned shocking secrets on the Sibyl System eventually being revealed. The show takes the time to explore the backgrounds and relationships between characters within the Bureau, even including how the Sibyl System effects the mentalities of many within the group. Akane gets some considerable development throughout the series as her character gradually changes as she becomes exposed to the realities of both being an Inspector and the reality of the society that she is supposed to protect.
In terms of mood, the series is consistently depicted as a dark and violent one thanks to the heavy themes that the series dabbles into and the intense violence the show shows at points, which is especially notable when the Dominators used by Enforcers and Inspectors come into play to reduce criminal targets to a gory mess. The show's not even afraid to kill off civilians and even Bureau members thanks to the shady characters seen throughout the series. As a result, this will certainly not be appropriate to show to younger audiences.
The show does have a few minor issues for me. While an interesting villain for the series, I did feel Makishima was more a symbol of the mentioned free will theme than a character as he never got any fleshing out for why he behaves as he does and why he believes in his extreme humanist beliefs. In addition, the series appeared to have an incomplete feel as life goes on with the Sibyl System controlling Japan and the fates of a few major characters are left unclear.
Visually, Psycho Pass made for one of the better animated titles I seen from the early 2010s. There is plenty of detail shown in the Tokyo city landscapes and character designs with darker color tones made use of to emphasize the dark mood and themes of Psycho Pass. Character designs are diverse with each character having differing facial designs and clothing styles to complement the type of person they are. A good amount of CG animation was made use of in the designs of vehicles, robots and the various technologies used in the future world of the series, which does stick out prominently at many points in the series. Movements in Psycho Pass were very fluid for the most part with characters walking or running at a natural pace and there are a good number of engaging fight scenes that take place throughout the show between Unit One and other criminals, through either hand-to-hand or use of weapons.
Overall, Psycho Pass may very will be one of the best titles I seen from the early 2010s with its excellent look into a dystopia future for Japan that has affected the populace on an individual and societal level and the engaging developments that members of the Public Safety Bureau face with their personal morals and confronting latent criminals throughout the series. If you don't mind a dark story with graphic violence depicted at points, then Psycho-Pass is a definite watch to look into.
Rating: 9 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Taka: Never saw the original. I should after seeing the other one. People said Blood+ was the better one.
Oct 8, 2021 3:23:33 GMT
Old Man Dream: Look on Tubi. The whole series is up on it and yes, it's the best of the Blood anime that have been made. The movie adaptation, Blood: The Last Vampire, and later spinoff, Blood-C, don't hold a candle to it.
Oct 8, 2021 9:32:37 GMT
Master Menos: Seen them all actually, and I loved Blood+ the best, too. Would totally re-watch.
Oct 8, 2021 14:27:06 GMT
Taka: I remember watching Devils' Line. I can't remember any issues I had. I have to look at my comments.
Oct 13, 2021 2:07:17 GMT
Old Man Dream: One of those familiar vampire stories in a modern setting where the male lead hates himself because of his vampiric nature and is in love with a human woman. The execution of the whole story is pretty clumsy and from what I gather, the anime is...
Oct 13, 2021 9:20:17 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...rushing through 40 chapters of manga material to fit into 12 anime episodes. Definitely shows with how quickly it's creaming through events, with the main couple being bland between angsty male vampire and the human female devoted to him.
Oct 13, 2021 9:21:50 GMT
Old Man Dream: Besides that plot, said male lead's involved with a secret government agency tasked with controlling vampires that give into their bloodlust.
Oct 13, 2021 9:22:42 GMT
Old Man Dream: And adding more insult to injury, the new Injustice animated movie is a big mess.
Oct 14, 2021 1:39:37 GMT
Taka: I read through my comments. Bloodlust and rapes along with innuendos. The romance I never mentioned of - with the details you mentioned - I remembered now it was pretty bad.
Oct 14, 2021 4:39:16 GMT
Old Man Dream: I'm thankfully pretty far in the series. Just have 3 more episodes, which I should get taken care of by tomorrow evening. Kind of regret thinking this would be a good title to dabble into for Halloween.
Oct 14, 2021 9:17:57 GMT
Taka: Didn't catch the Injustice movie. Waiting for it to be digitally available. That's a shame.
Oct 15, 2021 1:57:55 GMT
Old Man Dream: The movie got leaked online a week early before its release date. The negative reception to it, especially with how regarded the comic book and video game versions of Injustice are, got me curious to see how bad it was. I won't spoil things unlike most...
Oct 15, 2021 9:18:08 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...folks are unfortunately doing. But I'll just say that it both tries cramming too much into an 80-minute film and alters things rather heavily compared to the game and comics.
Oct 15, 2021 9:19:07 GMT
Taka: That is a shame considering they split Long Halloween into two parts. I guess with Injustice, you are appealing to 3 groups: the video game folks, the comic book folks, and then the new fans.
Oct 16, 2021 5:59:49 GMT
Old Man Dream: It sounds like you're assuming the games and comics run separate stories. The video game series serves as the main story of the franchise, while the comics serve as prequel or interquel to expand on and fill in the details on events that weren't...
Oct 16, 2021 12:33:54 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...elaborated on within the video games.
Oct 16, 2021 12:36:18 GMT