I LIIIVE!!!!!! After what may be the most traumatizing moment in my life, I guess I’m ready to write my 10th review. And what better way to kick it off, than to start with a marathon, or in this case compilation, of Sci-Fi reviews, and start with one of my favorite Sci-fi anime, besides Cowboy Bebop, Psycho-Pass.
After the critical success of Mahu Shoujo Madoka Magica, Katsuyuki Motohiro reached out to Gen Urobuchi as the series writer, and Naoyoshi Shiotani, as the director. He wanted to make an anime series inspired by live-action movies like L.A. Confidential, Minority Report (One of my personal favorite), Brazil, and Blade Runner, and Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor. They went as far as to ban ‘moe’ from the development of the series; going as far as to forbid anyone to mentions the word. I am a sucker for crime detective TV series, like Person of Interest, Castle, and, my personal favorite from the category, The Blacklist. So let’s start the compilation and suit up for Psycho-Pass.
Story – 10/10
I have to be honest here, the moment I laid eyes on the first episode, I was hooked. Just from the sneak peak to future events, we are already pumped for the fated encounter of our man, Shinya Kougami, and every one’s bad boy, Shougo Makishima. And then the episode cuts to present day. Just from that one introduction alone, we know that our protagonists are already embarking on an epic journey that will change, NOT who they are, but what defines them. The story has a neat way of dragging the protagonist, and by extension the viewer, into the fray. The story also does a sound job of world-building. When the team takes on a case, we, the viewer, also get to learn a little more about how the world works, and see how it fits into the case. The thing about dystopian fantasy is that it shows how perfectly flawed it can be compared to our world. Sure, it looks better, but do you REALLY want to live in a world where posting videos of cute kittens are considered taboo, and shaming a woman, who only asked for seconds, appropriate? Mr. Bumble might agree, but then again he’s not the guy getting shamed, but rather doing it *shrug*. It looks utopian, yet upon closer inspection, you might end up changing your mind. And the show portrays that very well. We don’t like it, but what other choice do we have? It’s not like there’s any other country where you can get the BEST burritos. The show also deals with stuff like revenge, individuality, independence from the higher ups when it comes to making our own choices, etc. And the best part is that the show never lets the viewer slip from its grasp. It’s engaging, and the cliffhangers are spot on, enough to make you want to watch the next episode right away.
Art – 10/10 (9.9/10)
Ah, the art. What is there to say when Production I.G. is behind the wheels of the series? They did a good of implementing CG at the right moment, the coloring and background perfectly sets the mood for the series, and characters give off a noir feel to them. The characters are designed so that they do not stand out. Which is why most of the characters are seen wearing black, white and a variety of dark colors, rather than yellow, orange or, dare I say it, pink (No detective in a dystopian setting would be caught in a gunfight….wearing pink). The show also does a good job of using color as more than just coloring the characters. No, no, no, rather they are used to convey the character’s inner ‘Psycho-Pass’, which is used to measure the individual’s mind to check for any possibility of a potential crime. For example, turquoise is calm and clear-minded, red is anger and violence, and black, is just downright bad. If you didn’t notice the readings get lower and lower as the color darkens, let’s see you name a show where colors accurately represent the emotions of a character. Now after around episode 16, the team ‘ran out of stamina’ and the animation might falter. However, I didn’t find this problem in the extended version, so you might want to watch that version. See where the 0.1 went? Overall, it isn’t that bad and the error shouldn’t faze you out of the show. I guess that’s everything. Either that or I’m too lazy and I just want to get to the Sound and Character section already.
But I’m not done yet. Let’s talk about the Dominator, the series’ signature weapon. It looks sleek; its neon blue (Who DOESN’T want a neon blue gun? Definitely not the tactical squad, that’s for sure). In the world of Psycho-Pass, it’s the very symbol of justice, which is cruel when you take a closer look at it. And there’s gore, plenty to make you beg for more, but scarce to make sure it doesn’t get boring.
Sound – 9.8/10
The OST was orchestrated by Yugo Kanno, who would later work on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and Diamond is Unbreakable. Was it good? THE GUY DID THE OST FOR JJBA, OF COURSE HE’S GOOD! The OST reminds me of the aforementioned TV series, but with a good old futuristic twist to them. Whenever they’re chasing a criminal, whenever they investigate a crime scene, when the job is done and they call it a day, or even when they’re having a conversation, the OST always does a good job of making us feel pumped, interested, relaxed, and tense, respectively. And this helps in the immersion, it’s the other reason I got hooked. Now, as for the OP…..other than the 1st one, which was pretty good, the 2nd one is total shit (Cut open my skull, really?) in the opening lyrics department, but least it’s hummable (Just censor the cut open my skull part if you’re feeling squeamish), but visually it was more deep than the 1st OP, which was more of a tone setter, so, looking back, it wasn’t that bad as I thought it too be. As for the ED, it’s a masterpiece. The ED is just great, it’s brilliant, and also does a good job of ending the episode on a brilliant note. And get this, the 1st and 2nd ED was done by, drum roll please!
EGOIST!! Yes, the same bands from Guilty Crown, who would later come back in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. If you don’t know what I mean, check it out. Although I highly recommend against that, since its best experienced when watching the show.
As for the Seiyuu, well judging from the word ‘Seiyuu’ alone, I watched it subbed. Kana Hanazawa voices Akane Tsunemori, and does a great job of portraying her role (It’s fricking Kana Hanazawa, what did you expect?) And on the topic of doing a great job of portraying their role, Tomokazu Seki voices the brooding cop with a tragic past, Shinya Kougami, and Takahiro Sakurai as the white-haired terrorist who wants to return individuality to humanity, Shougo Makishima (Well, he has been known to voice, surprise surprise, other white haired characters like Griffith from Berserk (2016), Haine Rammsteiner from Dogs: Bullets and Carnage, and Ja’Far from Magi. but he also did the voice of Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass, and Rohan Kishibe from JJBA:DiU). Everyone did their job so well, I don’t know if the dub the can top that. Now let’s lazily finish off this section so that I can move on to the next part – the Characters, which makes the efforts of everyone mentioned above well spent.
Characters – 10/10 (9.99999999999/10)
The best part of Gen Urobuchi’s work, is that the characters are the best part of it. He made Caster, from Fate/Zero, one of the most questionably likable characters (As for me, I’m on Team Lancer), and made the back story of Emiya Kiritsugu so tragic and painful. In this case, the characters of Psycho-Pass are no different from amazing. We have Akane Tsunemori, an honest woman who wants to uphold justice, Shinya Kougami, a brooding enforcer whose tragic past got him demoted to the place he is in and is now struggling whether he should uphold the law, or just say, ”Fuck it, I’m going to kill that *%^$#^%^&!!!” , Nobuchika Ginoza, Akane’s superior who does not always agree with her views on how to handle the situation, no matter how humane it is, but does it so that she doesn’t end up like ‘all the others’, and then we have the main villain, Shougo Makishima. The interesting part of this is that they represent ideological views, such as individuality, human logic and the right choice. As for the side characters, they were just as good as the main ones. Tomomi Masaoka and Shuusei Kagari are my favorites from this category, because they‘re always there when they want to take things down a notch when things get too heated and help Akane grow and adapt to the very system, that put them in the really crappy position they are in now (Who wants to be called a dog by the higher ups, let alone your own children? I thought black was supposed to be cool!?!). However, the most underdeveloped character *MEGA GASP* has to go to Yayoi, they mentioned her back story and they didn’t explore that, which was rather off-putting. At first, we see Akane as a rookie, she doesn’t have enough experience in the field and usually ends up in REALLY deep shit, but as the series progresses, we get to see her grow more as an investigator and as a character we can grow to care for. But then again, if I write one more word about her, let alone the other characters, I’ll only ruin the fun. Characters like them aren’t something descriptive, but rather, theological. So, it’s best that I stop talking about the characters before I accidentally suck the fun out of experiencing them.
Enjoyment – 10/10
It’s one of my favorite anime of all time, OF COURSE I ENJOYED IT!!! There’s always enough action to keep you pumped, enough psychological drama to keep you on the edge of your seat, and suspense to keep you wanting for more. I binge watched this series and it took me THREE days. Normally it would take around five, but I didn’t give two craps about everything else and just kept watching. It’s no wonder it still holds up today as one of the best Psychological/Thriller/Crime/Cyberpunk/Suspense anime series ever made. There was a giddy TV lover in me that came back and made comparisons to the TV shows I watched in the past. If the producers want to make a series that translated well when made into a live-action adaptation (I see Liam Neeson and Scarlett Johansson as NY investigators, in a world where New York City has embraced the Sibyl System, with Cristopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino as the director, or you can call the guys behind the Marvel movies. That’ll work), then they did an excellent job at it. However, one thing that bummed me out was the sequel, which sucked balls. It was criminally subpar compared to its predecessor. It was SO bad, that electric chair, guillotine and Batman & Robin, was not worthy enough as a capital punishment for it. However, the movie did an excellent job at doing what the sequel should’ve done, and that closure is good enough for me. HELL! There’s a visual novel out RIGHT NOW, and sadly, being where I am, I won’t be able to enjoy it. *thump thump THUMP Spludge SPLAT thump bump*
Overall – 10/10
In the grand scheme of things, do I, SirKnight007, recommend Psycho-Pass, a modern masterpie….NO SHIT SHERLOCKE!!! If you like Psychological, Crime Noir, any work by Gen Urobuchi, or TV shows and movies that I mentioned before, then Psycho-Pass will be an experience you’ll treasure for days to come. It never loses its audience no matter how long the exposition, the characters are interesting no matter how much the main protagonists shine, and the underlying theme of a perfect society and what it is worth will always haunt us no matter how many literary references you can find. If you want a show like that, then I highly recommend you give it a watch RIGHT NOW. Chances are you might finish it in three days or less.
Well, looks like the compilation is going smoothly. Do check out the next review where I cover a movie that REALLY knows how to give the best Crime/Psychological/Thriller/Cyberpunk/Suspense anime good closure.