Dec 18, 2014
Tsuzanagi (All reviews)
TLDR: Inverted Parabola. Starts out all right, gets better towards the middle, crashes and burns at the end.

Psycho Pass made a huge splash in 2012 as a successful Urobutcher series. Its creativity, style, and execution flowed into an enjoyable and imaginative show - albeit with some missteps. Without Urobuchi at the helm, Psycho Pass 2 tries to take his universe and tell a unique story and, honestly, fails pretty hard.

If you've seen the first season, you probably wonder where the plot for this dystopian thriller could go. After all, much of the original Psycho Pass was an introspective exploration into the world it created. Where, given all the plot developments of the first seasons, could this new series explore?

Well, as it turns out, nowhere. Striking similarities to the first season become quickly apparent and there's an overlying feeling of deja vu throughout the entire series. The story revolves around the same conflict debated in the first series and doesn't add anything new. As the plot progresses further, it desperately tries to distinguish itself through forced and melodramatic plot twists that ultimately amount to a bizarre and nonsensical finale with a confusing, out-of-left-field take-home message.

Most annoying is the lack of continuity from the initial series in characters. In some ways, Psycho Pass 2 doesn't feel like a sequel so much as a parody of the first series. Development seems to only really carry over for Akane; she is the only one in the cast who feels right. Ginoza, the other main protagonist from the first series, takes a backseat role. No, not like the backseat of a car; if Psycho Pass 2 was a Boeing 747, Ginoza would be sitting in the rear flight attendant's area. His developments from the previous season are ignored and he receives something like...15 lines of dialogue?

Instead, Psycho Pass 2 introduces Shimotsuki, one of the most infuriating characters to watch on screen. Her backstory is left unexplained and viewers are left to decode the infinite mystery that is her decisionmaking logic. Tougane, on the other hand, exhibits the makings of a good character and is certainly the most entertaining aspect of Psycho Pass 2. Unfortunately, the last few episodes don't really capture the potential of his character, instead bogging him down in the far less interesting main story.

Kamui, the main antagonist, is a washed-up recycle of Makishima with essentially the same character traits and demeanor. These similarities make it incredibly difficult to appreciate him as a stand-alone character. While he may have had some distinguishing features, the resemblance to Makishima in both his methods and his goal detract from an otherwise decent antagonist. Psycho Pass 2 tries to throw in some twists to make him more interesting, but the show can't escape the shadow of the first season.

All in all, a much weaker cast than the original Psycho Pass, which wasn't even that great to begin with.

Of course, the animation and sound of Psycho Pass 2 reflect the budget. Animation more or less matches the original show - perhaps slightly better given an 11-episode length compared to 24-episodes. The soundtrack is good, but worse than the first season. Ling Tosite Sigure offers a serviceable opening; however, not nearly as catchy as their work in Psycho Pass's first OP and Tokyo Ghoul. The ending song is my easily favorite song of the show and accents the ending of each episode nicely. The removal of the "Dominator" insert song brings down the score a full point, however.

I really wouldn't recommend watching this show if you've seen the first season. Even if you haven't, just watch the first season instead and leave it at that. Episodes 1-6 build up suspense and anticipation that Psycho Pass 2 fails to deliver on. Everything you'll see about the Psycho Pass universe occurred in the first season; Psycho Pass 2 doesn't offer anything dramatically different. It's simply a less interesting version of the first season that leaves you with questions like:

"What the fuck is wrong with Shimotsuki?"

Story: 4/10
Character: 3/10
Art: 9/10
Sound: 7/10
Enjoyment: 5/10