Anime Review: Psycho-Pass


psycho-pass anime coverSpoiler warning
Psycho-Pass (サイコパス) is an anime series produced by Production I.G. with a total of 22 episodes. It aired between October 2012 and March 2013 and has already been licensed by Funimation Entertainments.
Genre:Cyberpunk, Police, Dystopia, Action
Plot: 8/10                                                   
In the future, Japan is an utopia, a place organized by a certain system, that doesn’t need humans to function. Alongside with many futuristic inventions, the “Psycho-Pass”, a device installed in every human, has a significant meaning to the functionality of this new society. This device is able to measure a person’s criminal tendency factor and in general ones personality, to judge people’s probability to commit crimes. While the crime rate decreased remarkably and the system made life much easier for most people, there are still some that don’t like the way one’s life is determined by a system they know almost nothing about.

In order to keep the crime rate as low as possible, the police is still needed, in this case a very special team of inspectors and some latent criminals, called Enforcers, who work as hunting dogs for the police. Equipped with a special weapon called “Dominator”, that can read a person’s Psycho-Pass and thus only shoots/paralyzes real criminals, we get to see this special unit of inspectors hunting down criminal after criminal to find only one man, a criminal mastermind that is determined to destroy the Sibyl system.
To be honest, before I started watching this show, I assumed that this would just be another crime solving anime, that wouldn’t leave any kind of remarkable impression on me, and don’t get me wrong, it is in fact a crime solving anime but this one I tell you is one, you won’t forget easily.  The display of the future with the many new devices, on top the Sibyl system itself was done brilliantly. While we only get to see some random criminal cases in the first few episodes, the way this new system alongside with all the new inventions work, was presented in a very clever way.
And in addition to that, from the beginning it is up to the viewer themselves to judge whether the introduction of the Psycho-Pass and the Sibyl system is really the remedy of our society or still not elaborate enough to be in use yet.
Characters: 8/10
We can divide the characters in 3 different categories, the inspectors, the latent criminals working for the police and the criminals themselves. 
psycho-pass characters

kougami shinya psycho-pass charactersKougami Shinya: As a former officer, he became a latent criminal himself after the death of his colleague and friend Sasayama. Engrossed in solving the case of Sasayama’s death, Kougami rejects the therapy necessary to decrease his crime coefficient and becomes an “Enforcers”, a criminal working as a hunting dog for the inspectors. While he is extraordinarily clever, his ability of nearly reading the minds of criminals, predicting all of their actions sometimes feels a little over the top. But I guess since he is a total badass and a crime-solving mastermind, is it somehow believable.
akane psycho-pass characters
Akane Tsunemori:Just as Kougami she is extraordinary clever, passing the exams with the highest scores, enabling her to work in many different cooperations. She decides to join the police since she, out of all people, gained the highest score, making her the perfect inspector. Joining the unit of the enforcers, she finds herself questioning her decision, despite having a strong sense of justice.
Personally I didn’t like Akane in the beginning, mainly because she was too indecisive and insecure and maybe because I think her character design isn’t that pretty, but that’s just me being superficial.
makishima shougo psycho-pass characters
Makishima Shougo: The criminal mastermind behind many quite grotesque cases of murder as well the murder of Sasayama, Kougami’s former colleague. He is extremely intelligent, always thinking one step ahead of others and has found an interest in the study of the human behavior, especially when under deathly circumstances. While he is a killer and a criminal schemer, he can’t be shot by the Dominators, since his crime coefficient never reaches higher levels. His main goal behind his actions is to destroy the Sibyl system.
Animation: 9/10
As to be expected of an action series, Psycho-Pass doesn’t make an exception and delivers some high quality animation, making action scenes look especially stunning.
But see for yourself:
                                                               Psycho-Pass Trailer
Sound and Music: 8/10
The two opening themes were nothing out of the ordinary, just what you would expect to see from a series like this. The ending themes on the other hand were remarkably great, or at least that’s what I think, but then again they are both done by Egoist aka Supercell, so that’s no surprise.
But I have to say, the background music in general is great, very fitting, making especially the fighting and chasing scenes so much more enjoyable than they already are.
Yuri: 4/10
Yuri isn’t very strong in this one, what we get is one undeniable lesbian character that is Yayoi Kunizuka and one that must be bisexual Shion Karanomori. While there is at least something going on between them, what we get to see is rather sexual intimacy than anything else. But that’s actually perfectly fitting for this anime, making it even more appealing to me. So whenever those two have some screen time together, we usually see them just after having some nice alone time with each other but that’s unfortunately it. 
  
But then again, some great fanart always makes up for the missing yuri moments in anime, enjoy:
yayoi shion psycho-pass yuri
by 休み万歳!
yayoi shion psycho-pass yuri
by possumomo

If you are interested in som Yayoi x Shion short strips, Yuri-ism has translated some, click here.

Total Enjoyment: 9/10
I loved Psycho-Pass, it was thrilling, it was intriguing, and it was done very cleverly. It’s really like a futuristic crime story with an overdose of action, crazy criminals and badass characters. If you are a fan of crime shows and especially awesome and badass main characters, be it the good or the bad ones, then this is a must watch for you.
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5 thoughts on “Anime Review: Psycho-Pass

  1. Despite having many great things such as spectacular animation, fresh idea, this anime still has the drawbacks that I feel the need to point out. In my opinion, the 3 leads (I assume it would be Akane, Kougami and Makishima) don't have interesting personalities. They all fall into the typical anime character types: stand-for-justice girl, cool guy with dark past and insane villain. In particular, I can't stand Akane at all, she's indecisive and always show off that innocent side of her.
    The next thing would be the anime failed to explore the other enforcers. I would love to know more about them because they seem to be more interesting. Yes, I know, there's an episode depicting Yayoi's past but it's just out of the blue, feel like the production crew threw it in there to avoid complain like mine.

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  2. Despite liking pretty much all the main characters, I'm feeling with you when it comes to the time this anime took to show us some more of the other enforcers.
    Yayoi's episode was a good in my opinion and of course wanted since I'm a fan of her, but I was expecting there to be something similar for the rest of the cast as well.

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  3. I'm just checking if you can see new comments for old posts or not. 😛

    I'm also doing research on your reviewing style and checking the layout of some different reviews. 🙂

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  4. I can see everything! 😛
    And don't use this review for anything, the plot was so hard for me to put into words, that this review really kinda sucks 😛

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  5. It's probably hard for you to put Psycho-Pass into words because words aren't necessary, simply one word is all that is needed to describe the series and that's dystopia. A lot of influence from Philip K. Dick novels are very apparent in the series and PKD wrote dystopian dramas (Makishima even name drops one of Philip K. Dick's best novels in episode 14, if memory serves). Ultimately, my point is that Psycho-Pass really isn't hard to describe. Incredible anime, but a fairly simple plot (which I absolutely love, don't get me wrong). You should read Philip K. Dick's short story The Minority Report (disregard the crappy movie); there's no doubt in my mind that the original concept for Psycho-Pass was influenced by that story in particular.

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