In the newly formed Shiniki district of Tokyo, Zen Seizaki is a diligent public prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. Assigned to a case involving false advertisement, Zen—along with his assistant officer, Atsuhiko Fumio—investigate Japan Supiri, a pharmaceutical company that had provided fabricated clinical research on the company's new drug. While investigating the file of Shin Inaba, an anesthesiologist connected to the crime, the case takes a dark turn when Zen finds a page stained with a mixture of blood, hair and skin, along with the letter "F" scribbled all across the sheet. As he investigates further, the case goes beyond Zen's imagination and becomes vastly complex, challenging his sense of justice and his knowledge of the truth.
Digging deeper into the investigation, Zen begins to uncover a concealed plot behind the ongoing mayoral election and ties to many people of interest involved in the election and those closer than he thinks. The case grows more severe and propels Zen into an unforeseen hurricane of corruption and deceit behind the election, the establishment of the Shiniki district, and the mysterious woman associated with it all.
Babylon is quietly becoming (one of) the best anime of the fall 2019 season. That’s because it’s taking itself seriously, in a way that is not pretentious or quirky. Two common traits that are recycled time and time again in psychological/thriller based anime.
One of the key themes in Babylon is the dichotomy between what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong.’ This concept is fleshed out in episode 2, when Seizaki is interrogating Ai Magase, and he agrees to answer her questions in exchange for her confession. Seizaki — a good intentioned, self-sacrificing prosecutor — discovers that his ‘firm’ beliefs, are quite
fragile upon Ai’s philosophical probings. It’s a crucial reminder to the viewer that ingrained social norms (i.e. Seizaki’s core beliefs, as he upholds the laws/ideals of a ‘good’ society) are not essential in any regard. Sure. They help to create a safe environment in which the majority can prosper, but we must also recognize the flaws of such systems, and how they disenfranchise certain individuals.
Thus, we have the introduction of the Shiniki initiative, which hopes to ameliorate the defects of the current political system. Shockingly, though, we find out that Kaika, the new mayor of Shiniki, embraces the idea of death, and with his first declaration, permits the citizens to kill themselves. Now, the resulting mass suicide where the group of people leap off the roof to their deaths, was a bit heavy handed to emphasize the ‘craziness’ of such a law; however, the concept is intriguing, nonetheless.
That being said, if Babylon elects to demonize Ai and Kaika for their ‘flawed’ reasoning, then much — if not all — of the appeal will evaporate. Morality is not black-and-white, nor should we expect it to be in a fictional work. Therefore, if Babylon can continue to challenge the resolve of Seizaki (by flipping his ideals on their head), then Babylon will be a huge success.
As a side note, the plot of Babylon is intricate, with numerous moving ‘parts.’ While it may seem daunting to keep track of all the plot threads, it gives the viewer the experience of being a member of the investigation, and the frustration that Seizaki is experiencing as he plods along. Also, the promotional poster for Babylon is a nice piece of symbolic imagery, that gives insights on future events. All in all, a nice start in what I hope will be a memorable series.
I've never seen a detective anime before and man I'm glad I gave this one a shot. I've never seen Psycho pass, but apparently the two are very similar. Babylon follows a detective on his quest to solve a series of murders which lead to him uncovering a plot bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. The series does an excellent job of addressing topics like Morality, Euthanasia, Legality, etc.
What particularly I love about this series is its mature writing, tone and direction. It is a seinen and it shows. It truly feels like you're watching a live action detective film. I can not praise
the writing and story enough.
The art, sound, character designs, etc are all top notch. Character interactions are believable and logical, going back to that feeling like a live action point. My only complaint about the series is it's on Amazon Prime so I think it will stay niche due to lack of accessibility and two, the OP is like 10 seconds long. But, I assume that's part of the Seinen mature aspect. If you're at all interested in detective dramas, law and order, those murder investigations on ID discovery, or just want a good anime to watch, check this out NOW. Join the discussions.
Edited after Episode 7:
Episode 8 will only be released on Dec 30.
This is twisted and can get pretty dark sometimes, But is a masterpiece in psychological thrillers!
If you like Psycho pass season 1, and looking for a show to fill the void of PP S1, this show is the show you need.
We have an MC who isn't useless for once, holds a mature perspective of society, Being a good guy convincingly. Also he is married? This anime has broken many generic anime themes already and feels fresh.
Although be warned it isn't a child's show. Favorite characters meet tragic fate and kind of seems like a
One thing I dislike is that antagonists are too preachy. They act as if they are better than the protagonist. I get being an officer of Justice is somewhat childish, but it is so much better than murderous assholes. I hate nothing more than villains trying to dominate a morally high ground character.
Also remember Japanese laws are different from the West. But sometimes it is just used as a story element to move the story forward.
But it is still entertaining in it's own way, and I look forward to completing the series.
It is written by the author who made "Kado: the right answer". So disappointment is a definite possibility. I will make sure to change my review. Because psychological thrillers are heavily dependant on their endings.
Since this show seems like is treating itself as a serious show with important message to convey, so I will compare it with the greats, not just an anime show. Also, this is just some thoughts 5 episodes in.
Why I think it is sub par at best (includes heavy BIAS and SPOILER of course):
-Commercialsed TV Violence
Borrowed the term from David Lynch, meaning the effects of violence in this TV show is completely shallow, just a means to an end. Let me elaborate, there are 60+ normal people and 1 very close colleague to MC died,
but they left almost no impact to the other characters.
The 1 very close colleague's death gets covered up as quickly as ice melts in a hot summer day and the MC barely thinks about him afterwards (and move on with his new hot female colleague). Also, 64 people suicide at once as a political message. Not only MC and his team never shows any strong emotion towards that, it barely has any impact on the public as well. The effects of their death are quickly skipped over and only serve as a plot device.
Here is where this show is getting weird and immature, the main villain is a lady who is good at manipulating people and can AROUSE men just by men seeing her and make them feel so guilty they want to kill themselves. This is just so dumb, are we in a superhero show all of a sudden? People can just starting to have supernatural abilities now? That aside, the part of the show that is supposed to show her manipulation skill is when MC interrogates her, but that scene is more about MC is terrible at his job than anything else. He just keep feeding her information and excuses at every opportunity he can and allowing her to derail the conversation as she like.
The art and sound are both alright. The reason why I would follow this show for a bit longer is that I want to see if this show is going a different direction than it currently is. That could be interesting.