I suspect that the writer for Psycho Pass 2 created the script after surfing through conspiracy theorist sites written by potheads, followed by using the most hackneyed checklist of what constitutes a ‘dark, edgy thriller’: Somewhat sympathetic villain. Devoted, eye-patch wearing female accomplice in a red cleavage-baring outfit. Innocent puppies being killed mercilessly. Mutilated human faces hanging on walls. People being burned alive while ‘Nessun Dorma’ plays in the background. (No, I am not joking about the last one.)
Psycho Pass 2 is a terrible sequel. By ‘terrible sequel’, I do not mean a mediocre sequel that paled in comparison to the original but served as a solid continuation of the story otherwise. I mean a sequel that ripped out all the things that made the first season interesting, shoved the pieces up its ass, and proceeded to take a dump on its predecessor’s corpse.
Let’s start with the distinguishing factor of the Psycho Pass universe: the Sibyl System. An utilitarian system that valued the collective happiness of everyone, viewing certain strong emotions as impediments to its ideals. Although it suppressed free will and denied space for self-actualization, it was successful in creating a stable society that escalated levels of happiness. It was not evil, it simply prioritized values differently. However, the Sibyl System in Psycho Pass 2 is clearly evil. Its once cold, calculating nature has been replaced with a comically wicked persona that involves itself in all sorts of conspiracies for selfish reasons. It might as well be a maniacal, moustache-stroking dictator plucking sandwich crumbs from his beard.
The writing decision to make the Sibyl System act too human ruptured the thematic axis built up by Season One. The chaos did not stop there, the show abandoned its allegory on individual-society relationships and delved straight into a conspiracy thriller plot. The result was a mess of nonsensical conspiracies that ignored the rules established in the previous season. The writer seems to think that the more complicated the villain’s scheme, the better the story. The main villain, Kirito Kamui, is an expert programmer, hacking into several security systems, pulling convoluted tricks on the police, brainwashing people into becoming his cult followers, carrying out multiple organ transplants, and God knows what else. The twists and new details created too many logical gaps in the story to keep the viewer’s investment. It only got more pretentious towards the end with all the theories that have no substantial contribution towards the show’s themes.
As for the characters, the main Inspector Akane Tsunemori started off promising and confident. However, she displayed no real growth by the end of the series, even after all the tragedy she witnessed, after how Sybil System was revealed to be a corrupt dipshit. Her pacifist beliefs did not shake one bit, neither did she offer any new insight. The new characters were nothing interesting either, although Sakuya Tougane, the Enforcer with the highest Crime Coefficient ever recorded, had potential. Of course, he eventually descended into self-parody along with the show. There’s also Mika Shimotsuki, the new Inspector whom everyone wanted to electrocute since episode 1. It was obvious that the show was trying to make her a poster child of the Sibyl System, but her character was utilized very poorly. Lacking initiative, useless, with cow manure for brains, it is hard to imagine how she even qualified for the job. Even after witnessing violent accidents that were partially her fault, she did not come to any realizations, her behavior painted her more like a caricature than an actual person. Yet, the show continued to focus on her childishness, which only served to annoy the audience further instead of articulating any interesting points.
In regards to the art and music departments, the animation is passable, although it took a slight dip in quality compared to the first season. I’ll give extra props to the music department though, for giving us the comedic gold that was the ‘Nessun Dorma’ scene.
In conclusion, Psycho Pass 2 had me questioning if the writer paid any attention to the first season at all. In fact, the show seemed to undermine its audience’s intelligence with the sheer stupidity of its plot and made-up fictional details, every episode in the second half did a good job of destroying half of my brain cells. To put it straight: Psycho Pass 2 failed to add anything meaningful to the original. It tried too hard to be ‘deep and edgy’ by throwing in shock and violence, even though it lacked thematic resonance of any sort. It’s like trying to improve the taste of burnt buffalo wings by pouring a bucket of hot sauce on it: not only does it still taste terrible, you are probably going to end up with a bad case of diarrhea, idiot.