Featured Articles

Psycho-Pass Influences

Ever wondered what influenced director Naoyoshi Shiotani to create the incredible world of Psycho-Pass? Come find out!

by mikemettal88
Aug 27, 2015 3:44 AM | 3,303 views


Psycho-Pass season one unit 1 Akane Tsun

The incredible world of "Psycho-Pass" feels fresh yet strangely familiar. Why? I found a relevant answer directly from the “horse’s mouth” director Naoyoshi Shiotani stated that his influences were Blade Runner, Minority Report, Gattaca, and Brazil, chief among them being the first and the least influential of those mentioned being Brazil.

The Aesthetics of Psycho-Pass. A Possible Source.

psycho pass city

The visuals from Psycho-Pass are similar to those from Blade Runner; the overall look tends to be dark, much of the action takes place during the night, and the uniforms worn by the special task force are simple black and white suits indistinguishable from modern-day clothing, their armament is composed of black guns. All of this contrasts with the strong light fired by the guns when in lethal eliminator mode. The cities represented in both mediums are composed of high skyscrapers, all of which appear to be black, with only the lights from the windows being distinguishable. Unlike Blade Runner, which borrows much of its aesthetics from the 1940's, late 70’s and other past decades, Psycho-Pass is tamer, the character designs are not highly elaborate, and most of them dress much like we do now. However, even if we don’t get the same feeling of the past being projected in the future, all of the characters from Psycho-Pass have a deep respect for the past.

Anomalies and How to Deal with Them!

Psycho-Pass Unit 1 team season two Mika Shimotsuki Kamui Kirito Sho Hinakawa

Blade Runner, Gattaca, and Minority Report share the common motif of the anomaly. Such a person can only exist in a highly corseted society, in which the government or other controlling forces have complete power over the most important aspects of an individual’s life. The anomaly in Blade Runner is represented by the replicants, in Gattaca by the non-bioengineered humans, and in Minority Report by the people who are judged for crimes before they even commit them. Psycho-Pass closely resembles Minority Report; its anomalies are also people who are deemed potential criminals.

While it is mostly society that restricts the lives of non-bioengineered humans in Gattaca, it is the state who eliminates anomalies in both Blade Runner and Minority Report. Psycho-Pass takes the lead from Minority Report. People who are considered possible murder suspects are detected by precogs in Minority Report, while in Psycho-Pass a human brain-powered server known as “Sybil” is used to determine who has latent criminal tendencies using a Psycho-Pass value. After detection, the job of eliminate potential criminals the job of eliminating potential criminals falls into the hands of PreCrime in Minority Report and Unit 1 in Psycho-Pass.

Technology Knows Best?

sybil system

Something else that was taken from Gattaca was the idea of technology deciding for us what is in our best interest. In Gattaca, the protagonist, a non-genetically engineered individual, struggles to survive in a world in which genetic engineering dictates what people can and cannot do, there’s no place for the genetically unaltered. The situation is even grimmer in the world of Psycho-Pass; the Sybil system is essentially a tyrannical God which decides the direction of a person’s life, what they should study, where they should work, and even has power over life and death. All attempts at modifying the prescribed life end tragically.

Final Thoughts

In spite of all of these influences, Psycho-Pass manages to create its own universe. The anime contains strands of DNA from multiple movies, but the particular way in which these are combined creates a world that is dark, corrupt and neurotic. The uniqueness of Psycho-Pass is in its depth of character, people aren't just good and evil, in fact the very nature of morality is questioned. As viewers we never know what's going to happen, the story itself is highly original, unpredictable and constantly challenges our understanding of human nature.

Related Articles

Naruto vs Goku: Battle of the Minds

Naruto vs Goku: Battle of the Minds

Goku comes from a race of space warriors who place heavy emphasis on brute force. Naruto is the vessel for a dangerous demon and also a ninja, people who place heavy emphasis on battle strategy and adaptability. In a battle of Naruto vs. Goku, who would come out the winner?
One Punch Man Hero: Why is Saitama the Ultimate OPM Superhero?

One Punch Man Hero: Why is Saitama the Ultimate OPM Superhero?

Saitama of One Punch Man is a hero unlike any other. But why? What separates him from all the other One Punch Man heroes in the series? Let's take a deeper look into our favorite animated superhero as well as his "pretty strong" colleagues to find out!
Death Parade: A Look into Life, Death, and Humanity

Death Parade: A Look into Life, Death, and Humanity

This time last year, Madhouse brought us the continuation to Death Billiards - Death Parade! In it, we're given a deeper look into how the afterlife is run and a more thorough look into the processes which go into delivering judgements. But are humans really that easy to sort into good and bad?
Film Noir Anime: Take A Trip On The Wild Side!

Film Noir Anime: Take A Trip On The Wild Side!

Are you getting tired of the same old anime? Perhaps it's time for a change, and you'd prefer to watch something more mature, edgy and bizarre. Here are a few rock solid film noir anime from the 90's through to the present day.
Madoka Magica and Sailor Moon: Not All Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Madoka Magica and Sailor Moon: Not All Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

When we think of magical girl anime, we think of cute high school girls worrying about schoolwork and boys in the day and transforming into heroes at night. But not all magical girls' lives are so carefree. So get ready to explore the magical girl anime Sailor Moon and Madoka Magica more closely!

Related Database Entries

Anime: Psycho-PassPsycho-Pass 2
Manga: Psycho-Pass
People: Shiotani, NaoyoshiMotohiro, Katsuyuki