So, this thread hasn’t been updated in 3 months…
Eh, screw it. Gotta prove I didn’t spontaneously combust and die somehow, right?
So, I watched Psycho-Pass last week. Judging by the fact that the second intro theme just started playing, that was just about the worst thing I could have done for my own obsessive tendencies. I know the anime is several years old now, but with a remake, season 2, and a movie coming before next winter’s end, there isn’t a better time to do this than now.
So, for those of us who haven’t heard of it yet, Psycho-Pass is about a team of detectives in a futuristic, dystopian Japan where a mysterious computer system called the “Sybil System” (Why is it in English you ask? I have no idea. I just tend to roll with it.) is capable of easily performing a complete and perfect analysis of a person’s psyche. Arguably the most important aspect of the final report is a single number that is a genral representation of a person’s mental state, which is called the Psycho-Pass.
I’m going to stop there, because it is my personal opinion that
- 1, the specific terminology is used so frequently that a quick background would actually help you understand it a lot, and
- 2, the character and story introduction is some of the smoothest I’ve seen in a while, and I’d hate to ruin that for anyone who decides to watch it.
So, why do I like this show to the point of writing a review directed towards people I’ve never personally met and who probably don’t particularly care? It mostly comes down to its presentation. The show is all about these people living in this dystopian world, and yet for the most part it remains a detective show. It does this by viewing the side-effects of the society through the lens of the detectives and their work. This makes the show feel a lot like what little I’ve seen of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or early episodes of Fringe, where the focus of the story is usually a single, fairly isolated incident. Even when they fully establish a large, overarching plot, they tend to chip away at it through a couple of individual incidents rather than as a single massive thing. The little bites keep the plot from getting too big to handle while keeping the story from slowing to the point of stagnation (I’m looking at you, Bleach). All in all, Psycho-Pass manages to present the story of complex characters in a complex world in a simple, easily followed manner, and that makes it a great show.
Unfortunately, so much complexity being simplified inevitably leads to some problems. Namely, an extremely variant pace and violence level. The best example of both of these is the first two episodes. In episode two, the closest thing to action you get is a main character dodging a punch or two. Not exactly yawn-inducing, but not exactly exciting either. In stark contrast, however, episode one barely gives you the names of the characters before shit makes violent contact with lots of fans, and the episode ends only just after someone literally explodes. As you are most likely capable of seeing, that level of juxtaposition can be a little rough on people.
Additionally, I feel obligated to mention that, in the first episode, there is one rape scene, and in my opinion it is handled poorly. On the upside, there aren’t really details, and the show doesn’t make a habit of it. However, this does not make the scene okay by any means, and the only reason I stuck around was because I liked the female lead and… well… (TW: Gore & Spoilers) this is him. (Hover on the link if you don’t want to look.)
So, to wrap up, Psycho-Pass, despite having pacing and violence issues, is a great show, and if you can take that you should absolutely watch it. With that, I bid you all a good day, and I hope I see you all on the forums.