Yuki Kano has it all: fame, wealth, the world at her feet. There's also something very wrong with her... from time to time, she's totally unable to sing (which, for a pop star, is not good). Enter Bosujima, a "psycho diver" with the capability to enter people's heads and straighten out what's wrong with them. Well, most of the time, anyway.
From what I know of "Psycho Pass", watching Psycho Diver might not make the premise look as unique as it once seemed. While "Psycho Pass" seems to have technology in it that reads and detects a person's psyche wirelessly to see if they're sane, Psycho Diver features technology that also allows one to more literally see another person's sanity, but without such instantaneous results and instead by reading into another person's mind. The device is similar looking to the machine in "The Matrix". It's a relatively interesting idea for future technology, or just plain science fiction, that could lead to some interesting stories while in another's mind. Maybe it would be a mysterious unidentified man with an unknown past, the Psycho Diver reading in to learn about him. Maybe the Psycho Diver learns too much or something that will be so astounding as to change his priorities in life. There could be some heavy psychological aspects to the story and it could even work well in a setup that's limited to around forty minutes. However, what we have here isn't that and is something quite different. While there's that element of science fiction, Psycho Diver is much more of a light psychological and supernatural series. That would also be more supernatural than science fiction.
Psycho Diver has a fair art style that keeps things in good proportions for the most part. There's a tad bit of lacking animation and a bit too many stills for what you'd expect in the mid-90's, but the art style is moderately detailed. The direction is also pretty good with some interesting scenes, but it does fluctuate throughout the OVA. The sound has some slow and ominous electronics that are at the level of keeping the atmosphere intact, but not to the level of making it that much immersive. However, the sound as a whole is not exactly good for the english dub. I couldn't find a subbed version, but the english voices themselves are actually not too bad. What's not that appealing, however, is the english vocalized songs. The background to them is alright, but the vocals themselves are quite distasteful. The thing that makes it even worse is that the story acts like the music is "amazing" and that the viewers are supposed to be impressed. To be fair, there are many series that come to that predicament and I am usually lax to that aspect as if the song was really that good, why would it be in an anime and not all over the radio? But in this case, this song isn't even average and definitely not something I would seek out afterwards. The songs the vocals are over is R&B, so at times there will be attempted rap singing. It's not too enjoyable and actually, near the beginning, there's basically a music video of the singer (not live-action, but the anime character) singing it. She sings it in a prison and throws up some nasty gangsta' signs, but I can't say I was convinced. It was almost cringe-worthy as you couldn't be sure if it was supposed to be a music video at first or just some artsy direction (which would have been horrible), but when it was known it was literal I could breathe a sigh of relief.
So the more superficial aspects of Psycho Diver are somewhere above average, but there's still that premise it has going for it. First of all, let's weigh the science fiction of this OVA to the supernatural. There's a lacking genre listing of supernatural no doubt, but I'd like to argue that this is actually more of that than it is of the sci-fi that it does have listed. So, what's science fiction about Psycho Diver? Is it set in the future? It may be set in the future, but everything appears much like modern day or more to the time this OVA was released. The only thing remotely science fiction is the laboratory that's shown at the beginning, and the mind-diving device which would be the only clearly science fiction aspect to be had. To the supernatural, however, we have something very similar to Elfen Lied and maybe a bit of Akira. The story's actually much like a tamed and a bit more intelligent Elfen Lied, minus some of the horrendous gore (which isn't a good or bad thing). It'll be up to the person to weigh whether a machine is more important to the plot than the addition of the supernatural. If the machine had a more persistent role in the OVA, however, than I may have even joined the latter side in supporting the impact of science fiction over the supernatural.
The lack of relevance of the premise was the greatest wast of potential to be found in this OVA. The device is only used twice, and those periods are brief. We don't get to explore the way the device works much and it's mainly served as a tool for the supernatural element of the plot. It's a shame that the supernatural aspect takes the lead, simultaneously taking away most of this OVA's uniqueness. What's even more of a disappointment is the addition of rushed romance in attempts to add more purpose to everything, but mostly the main character. With the limited time available, it was a bad idea to use a decent amount of it for that purpose, as it would take at least half of the entirety of the OVA to make the relationship impactful or believable. To be honest, no character here made an impact or settles down enough for the viewer to care much for them. The entirety of Psycho Diver was rushed at a slightly fast pace. If the OVA got its priorities set and didn't take on too many more-or-less useless elements to the story and just focused on a few instead, the pacing they had may have actually worked out fine. That isn't the case though, and the premise for Psycho Diver soon becomes an after-thought while the under-cooked love and unexplained, transcendental fundamentals move forward.
Psycho Diver can be seen as a possible motivation towards Psycho Pass in its premise, while on its own feet Psycho Diver doesn't seem to have felt confident enough in the variable uniqueness it had going for it to develop on it. It should have been psychological in reasoning and to the mind, but only becomes so when one considers the unexplainable supernatural that exists within it. There isn't any mind games that go on and that's why it should be considered as a light psychological. The art and direction are workable, but there was definitely too much for this OVA to chew on to make any single facet interesting. The english voices could've been better in many places, while the english singing could've easily been better than it was. Psycho Diver would've worked much better as a series than an OVA with the story it wished to go through with. The title also makes it seem as though this specific story that the OVA tells may have not been the main story of the premise, but just a setup for this OVA that might spur more content down the line. If this was an OVA with the desire to become a series, it really went down the wrong route with its story. It should've showed what the premise had to offer and not stick with things that can be found in many other anime. Overall, Psycho Diver is disappointing, but still may be worth the watch as there are some interesting moments.read more
I was very surprised when I purchased this after only watching the trailer. Usually, it's been about 50/50 when I do this, but this one is very hard to find in eng dub. I thought it was very good. Older anime style from 90's with good, original story. Pretty gorey violence that was typical of the Akira, Ninja Scroll type. Short 50 minute OVA, but worth watching. The main character dives into people's brains and tries to stop them from commiting crimes or to get info. It has nothing to do with deep sea diving. It's sorta like a cop drama, almost like Jonny Mneumonic (keanu reeves). Check it out if you like cyberpunk too. I would not call it a cyberpunk anime, but similiar in animation.read more
Watched with eng. dub. Was a 7-8 rated movie for me. Very Impacting with their message(the main song)
This anime was hard to rate. On one hand: the story kind of made sense; did allow for revisits to better understand the movie; great art considering time frame it was made. In the other hand: art was not current with life to date, there was still some confusion with the ending at least for me.
To better appreciate this movie i suggest reading on the back story of some actors like the person who played Paige in the TV charmed.
perhaps after viewing the movie and getting some inside on some celebrities you will better appreciate your life. I know i did.read more
its sad that this ova is such an anigma,when it really deserves praise.I watched it many years ago on the former action channel and its still awesome.for an ova that is less than 50 mionutes long ,it is filled with so much quality.Its about a guy who by his profession is called a psycho diver because he dives into peoples mind to uncover any mental trauma or disorder and remove it.one day he is force to come out of retirement after getting a special case of a singer who is suffering from a serious disorder,he later finds out that this case took the life of his close friend.the entire plot is sorounded with deception and intriqe.The animation is wonderfully done with the dark colours suiting the mood and feel of the anime very well.a very good watch go check it out.read more