In the future, a system called Sibyl presides over the country and provides order to every facet of life. It dictates which job fields citizens should go into based on aptitude tests, and can even read each resident’s mental state and predict which ones are likely to commit crimes in the future. Fresh from exams, Akane Tsunemori is beginning her career as an Inspector, a specialized police officer who works to apprehend these latent criminals and stop crimes before they happen. But not all that get caught are eliminated or jailed, some join the police force as Enforcers to provide insight into criminals’ minds, and Akane is warned not to get too close to them, as they’re considered little more than hunting dogs. Though skeptical of this advice, and Sibyl’s judgement, Akane is determined to work together with her Enforcers to protect the peace of her city and its inhabitants.
Now before I started watching Psycho-Pass I was told that it’d be similar to Death Note, which I really enjoyed, but I found that wasn’t the case. I actually think it’s closer to the Ghost in the Shell series(although I’ve only seen a couple of the movies). You’re immediately immersed in this futuristic setting that has a very noir type feel to it as well. I do see some comparison to Death Note, however, in the fact that Psycho-Pass poses a question to society as a whole and shows the very dark side of the human nature. I love these types of shows that really dig deep into the human mind. The main thing is how many freedoms are we willing to give up to be a more advanced society and how can you judge someone for a crime that they have yet to commit? Now as for the storyline itself I thought that it was a very thrilling ride that keeps your attention and on the edge of your seat the whole way. I found myself yelling at my screen and TV yelling at the characters as if they could really hear me just because that’s how engrossed I found myself. I don’t think I’m the only one that’s experienced this from Psycho-Pass. It’s very good at getting you interested and invested into it’s story. I will say that I think that the last season was a little unneeded. It showed a couple of characters in new roles and deleted some all together but other than that I don’t really think it was needed other than to try and get another season worth of revenue. I think that any of the information or storyline you got from the last season could’ve been done in an OVA. That’s really the only downside to the story though. The rest of it is flat out fantastic. If you like crime fighting stories, or mysteries then I’d suggest that you give Psycho-Pass a look.
I believe that the characters of Psycho-Pass fit it’s ambiance perfectly. They are really the type of characters that you’d expect to see in a grizzled noir crime story. Akane starts out as a bright-eyed rookie on the force who doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence and by the endgame she’s turned into one hell of an investigator. Her senior investigator Ginoza has some fantastic development as a character. He starts out as a person who keeps others at bay in order to keep himself “clear” but then tries to help others avoid the mistakes he made in his life. It’s a really nice turnabout storyline with him. The face of the franchise, as far as I’m concerned, is an enforcer by the name of Kogami. He was a former investigator who got “clouded” when his enforcer was brutally murdered. He is the typical hardass investigator who always seems to be right even when others don’t want him to be. I really found his character interesting despite the fact he didn’t have a ton of development as a character, which I usually like to see, but honestly; he didn’t really need it for the direction they took him. He accepted who he was and moved on which I really respect out of a character. The other 3 enforcers in the squad get an episode or so to really explore their backstory and what drives them which is pretty cool. It was a nice change of pace to get some episodes devoted solely to character development. Both the bad guys for the first and second season relatively had the same goal but went about it in a different way. This proved to be sort of redundant but just different enough that it didn’t bother too bad. The first villain, Makishima, sort of reminded me of Aizen from Bleach. He had that cool aura about him even when he was doing something terrible you were kind of drawn to him. I wanted him dead from the get go but I still kind of liked his character because of how quickly he makes you dislike him. The second season’s villain didn’t have that same “swag” that Makishima had but had more of a creepy vibe to him. All in all though these characters were great and I think you’ll enjoy them as well.
The soundtrack to Psycho-Pass was a pretty solid soundtrack. The first opening is called “Abnormalize” by Ling Tosite Sigure. If you’ve seen Tokyo Ghoul and liked the opening “Unravel” then you’ll like “Abnormalize”. “Unravel” was done by the male vocalist of Ling Tosite Sigure and you get to hear a lot of his vocals again in “Abnormalize”. Much like their other work, this song is very emotional and varies between soft melodic vocals to passionate screams. The lyrics are about not fitting into what society wants you to be and the struggle that goes along with it. This can actually fit with most of the characters in the series but I think it fits Makishima and the enforcers the most. The 2nd opening is called “Out of Control” by Nothing Carved in Stone. Much like the Drifters and Deadman Wonderland openings this opening is all in English. It’s a blusey rock sounding song that talks about being able to know what the person is thinking so in a sense it’s like the Sybil system. I thought it was a great addition to the soundtrack and was something you could really jam to. The 1st ending is called “Namae no Nai Kaibutsu” or “Monster Without a Name” by Egoist. I’ll admit this song had to grow on me. I didn’t like it at first but over time grew to like it. The vocals really take some getting used to as they are very unique sounding. The melody seemed to be a softer rock tune. The 2nd ending is called “All Alone With You” also by Egoist. I really liked this ending. It’s soft and emotional with a great guitar riff that enters towards the chorus. Lyrically I think it describes Akane and her attitude to Kogami and how she wants him to let her in but understands why he doesn’t. The 3rd opening is called “Enigmatic Feeling” again by Ling Tosite Sigure. It’s a very similar sound the first opening and is very well done. Lyrically it’s similar to the first opening again with the theme of being lost in the world and fighting your way out. The 3rd ending is called “Fallen” by Egoist. It’s a lot heavier of a tune than the first two endings they did. If I said what the lyrics were about it’d be a major spoiler so I’m not going to go into them. Regardless the song is well done just like every song on this soundtrack. The Music Producer for Psycho-Pass is Yuugo Kanno. His other work can be heard in Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Ajin, and Birdy the Mighty Decode.
The voice acting for Psycho-Pass was top notch. The main cast consists of Kate Oxley(Akane), Robert McCollum(Kogami), and Cherami Leigh(Mika). While Cherami Leigh’s character isn’t seen much in the first season she’s a main character in the second season so that’s why I put her as a main cast. I hadn’t really heard a whole lot from Kate Oxley going into this series other than her roles in Soul Eater and Kaze no Stigma but I have to say she was great in this role. Her acting was compelling and truly felt like she brought her character to life. As for Robert McCollum I’m pretty sure most of you know how much I love this guy’s acting. He provides another fantastic performance as Kogami and is a major reason why he’s my favorite character in the series. Even though I didn’t like the character she played, Cherami Leigh gives another fantastic performance as well. The supporting cast goes as follows: Josh Grelle(Ginoza), Linda Leonard(Chief Kase), Lydia Mackay(Karanomori), Alex Organ(Makishima), Scott Freeman(Kagari), Jason Douglas(Masaoka), Lindsay Siedel(Yayoi), Clifford Chappin(Kamui), and Chris Sabat(Sakuya). This was a great cast and the quality truly does show in the finished product. There wasn’t a bad casting decision to be found here and I think everyone played their roles perfectly. This is honestly one of the best casts I’ve seen and I think that the acting really reflects the hard work that everyone put into making this great show.
Psycho-Pass takes you on a thrilling ride that examines not only society but ourselves as humans as well. The show really gets you thinking and gets pretty deep. You get invested into the stories and characters easily and it’s a very worthy investment. The soundtrack is pretty solid and the voice acting is phenomenal. Psycho-Pass is currently 2 seasons with a total of 33 episodes and a Movie released in 2015. I honestly think that the show should’ve stopped after the 1st season and maybe just had an OVA instead of a 2nd season as it felt really unnecessary. Either way the show is still a fantastic show to watch and I highly recommend it to people who like crime dramas, mysteries, futuristic settings, and noir type stories. After much thought I’ve decided to lower my initial perfect grade a bit but Psycho-Pass still earns an excellent 9.5/10!