The thriller series for the discerning viewer28 May, 2013 by Mus
Psycho-Pass is an anime that follows the crime-busting exploits of police inspector Tsunemori Akane. Set in a future where Japan is fully isolated from the rest of the the world, the country is run by the Sybil System which evaluates citizens based on their Psycho-pass, determining everything from their tendency to commit crimes to their career paths.
Tsunemori is an inspector in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. A high-flyer out of college, she is the awkward newbie in the department. She gets introduced to her co-workers, but they’re not run of the mill cops. After being judged to be high-risk individuals by the Sybil System, they are kept in confinement and work for the police force as ‘Enforcers’, doing the legwork and putting themselves in the shoes of the criminals.
As is usual from Production IG, the animation for Psycho-pass is top-of-the-line. There is a good mix and balance of hand-drawn and CG elements; contrary to expectations, the mixing between the two is actually quite pleasing to the eye and does not look in any way out of place. The vivid color scheme brings out the life in the animation. It also provides a good contrast background to all the blood spilled in the show.
Calling Psycho-pass a mere crime series would be a major injustice. Plot-wise, the anime is superb; the plot twists are actual twists, and more than once you’ll be left gaping at what happens in the series. For a series encompassing 24 episodes, there are more plot twists that you can shake a stick at, but it never really feels like you’re just getting jerked around.
There are many references to well-known social theory as well. If terms like ‘Michel Foucault’ and ‘Panopticon’ mean anything to you, then this anime is for you. Social scientists should find the mythos of the anime interesting. One can see quite easily that the series was written with many conflicts in mind, from the ethical issues of determining employment from young to executing criminals without trial.
All in all, Psycho-pass is very well done. Besides the impeccable quality in the animation, the plot is deep without seeming pretentious and this narrative is underlined by intellectually stimulating conflicts. Psycho-pass would be what you get if you take an anime feature film and expanded it very thoroughly, bringing forth a very enjoyable watch.