2012 saw the release of a few popular shows, one of which of course was Psycho-Pass. I thoroughly enjoyed this anime, a great crime Sci-Fi thriller set in the not too distant future where ones state of mind, emotional well-being, desires and criminal tendencies are gathered and processed. This is done by a system known as ‘Sibyl’ which governs the mental state of individuals throughout their lives by means of an issued psycho-pass.
Gradual and drastic changes in their states of mind are flagged and usually addressed through therapy. As with any society, order has to be maintained ,which is the duty of the Supervisory Division and its enforcement officers which is where the show is centred.
“..enforcers predominantly serve as judge, jury and executioner..”
The main protagonist is enforcement officer Kougami and his supervisor Tsunemori. They’re tasked with keeping order in a society where they are now starting to question how and why the system has come to be when faced with some unusual and unexplainable crimes.
What I really enjoyed about Psycho-Pass is that it addresses many of the questions that spring to mind when watching the show, leaving very few unexplained plot holes. It indirectly asks questions, that if I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself.
The characters mainly operate within the underbelly of society, presented with situations that affect each one of them differently and in turn their psycho-pass. The role of enforcer and supervisor creates an emotional separation from the crimes they investigate as enforcers predominantly serve as judge, jury and executioner with the supervisors serving to keep them in line.
The overall pacing is just right, if a little slow to begin with, but that servers to put things in place, just like the finishing touches to an elaborate cake waiting to be devoured. Some episodes however did seem random and unnecessary.
The show does draw influence from other notable series such as Death Note, Ghost in the shell and movies like Minority Report and gladly that’s all there is. It doesn’t try to be something other than itself or shy away from those connections. Unlike many other popular anime, I don’t have to wait an eternity for something to be revealed or for that matter have it left to my imagination and just hope it’s addressed in the next season (that’s if there is one).
The writer is great at making the story come full circle. The setting is dark and melancholy; with thought provoking questions about humanity, free will and society. This psychological anime contains quite a bit of violence, gore and some disturbing scenes which may put off some viewers. If you want light hearted anime to watch and turn off to, then perhaps Psycho-pass isn’t for you.
On the contrary if this is your type of show then you’re in for a treat. It’s an entertaining anime with some pretty cool characters. Although the setting is dark, there is a splash of colour here and there. It’s one of the better shows of 2012 and definitely a must watch.