Aug 11, 2018
AnimuMessiah (All reviews)
Nice eye candy, but NOT as good as the original series! Not even close.

I know that movies can never be quite as deep as shows due to the time constraints, but the Psycho-Pass movie was a big step down from the original series and I'm still trying to determine whether it damaged the series as a whole in my eyes.

**spoiler zone**

Let's start with the most important aspect -- story. There were two things that I really enjoyed here. One was the initial few minutes of the story, with foreign terrorists attacking Sybil-controlled Japan which I thought was just really cool. The second main thing was the idea of Sybil attempting to expand outside of Japan, and the setting of the movie outside of Japan. I thought it added a new angle to the whole Sybil thing that wasn't explored in the original, which was a nice touch.

As for the bad, well, I'd say most of the issues were in the latter half of the movie. Possibly the worst part was the ending, where Akane discusses morality with the Sibyl body-double version of Chairman Hang. It was a repeat of the ending of season 1, but less novel and somehow infinitely less interesting: Akane convinces the soulless Sibyl system (yes, again) to alter its way of thinking through a few generic arguments you'd hear in an Ethics 101 class. This whole theme of Akane being such a pure and righteous waifu that Sibyl itself has to change itself to meet her standards is/was kind of interesting in the first run, but left a bad taste in my mouth in the movie not just because of the deja vu but because of the nature of the argument itself:

Sibyl: We had to start taking over this country because people are in a civil war, so we kinda installed a puppet government through this fake dictator body thing.
Akane: People want to decide stuff for themselves!
Sibyl: Oh, we never heard that one before even though we're made up of thousands of human brains... let's change the plan.

While the original series struck a more careful balance to evaluate the pros/cons of Sibyl, this movie focused much more heavily on the cons making it less realistic and more... generic I suppose. The philosophy just wasn't there this time.

The movie also dropped the ball when it came to characters. It wasn't so much the members of the original Unit 1 that were the problem, as they pretty much stayed the same. It was the lack of decent villains, most noticeably the lack of Makishima Shougo (except for the hallucination scene) that really made me realize how important he was to the original Psycho Pass. And if Sibyl itself can be considered a character (I personally think so), I think the aforementioned issue I had with the ending subtracted a lot of brownie points from this score as well.

Having criticized the movie enough, I want to give a round a applause to Yoshikazu Iwanami for an excellent job at the soundtrack. And to the animators at Production IG, some scenes looked amazing and you drew Akane really well (And I'm not just saying that because of the two -- yes, two! -- prolonged scenes of her in the bathroom) but there were definitely some choppy moments that were noticeable. And yes, I know it's not their fault, it's obvious that the team was rushed near the end of this movie.

Enjoyment? 6. Despite being an action movie, I always felt that Psycho Pass shined the most with its philosophy and ability to explore interesting dilemmas that aren't available in other shows. As a result, I feel like we got style over substance.

I felt bad about giving the movie a 5 after giving the original show a 9, but it had to be done. Psycho pass season 1 was THAT much better, even accounting for its significantly longer runtime. Maybe they should have kept the setting in Japan, as the scope of this movie was probably too big for its length and it resulted in a sloppy story and ending.