“It’s Minority Report if it were an anime.”
This is the best way I have been able to describe PSYCHO-PASS to friends in a simple and clear-cut manner.
If you’re not familiar with the 2002 hit movie, the basis of the story is “apprehending criminals before they even commit the crime.” Got your attention yet?
PSYCHO-PASS is a futuristic Sci-Fi, Action anime animated by Production I.G. and written by Urobuchi Gen (Puella Magi Madoka Magica). Not many series these days go the Sci-Fi route. Many that do can hardly live up to the bar set by Ghost in the Shell. However, only a couple episodes in, PSYCHO-PASS has potential. Especially considering most other series in the past couple seasons go the route of “cute girls doing cute things.”
In this futuristic setting, all citizens have a device installed in their bodies called “Psycho-pass.” This device measures what is called their “Crime Coefficient,” which can be best easily explained as a psychological mood ring. For instance, the more cloudy and chaotic the “colors” of their Psycho-pass. This, combined with the central computer called the “Sybil System,” the Crime Coefficient is evaluated and processed through law enforcement authorities. With this information, it is possible to identify and treat, through drug and therapy, criminals before a crime occurs. However, like always, this doesn’t stop crime altogether and lethal force is still required.
The story of PSYCHO-PASS primarily follows the newly instated rookie, Tsunemori Akane as she joins the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division. This special division investigates and takes action when a target’s Crime Coefficient reaches higher levels. The ideal behind this team is “It takes a criminal to catch a criminal.” Akane, as a new inspector, is charged with supervising the hunting dogs, titled “Enforcers,” who are potential criminals. While on the field, all members of the division are equipped with an advanced pistol-sized gun called a “Dominator,” that is programmed to only shoot at those with high Crime Coefficients.
Personally, I think this is the start of a great series. Like I mentioned before, not many series these days go for the mature, sci-fi/action route. Besides, the main idea of “law enforcement” for this is rarely touched-on as well. So far, nothing in the animation and art style has steered me away. The first episode is rather full of exposition, but it basically explains the stuff I mentioned above in more detail.
So, should you check this out?
– Sci-Fi, Action that is sure to not disappoint.
– Interesting setting.
– Even more interesting mystery behind each character.
– Just me, but Tsunemori Akane’s chacter design is weird looking. But I can bear with it.
– Gets pretty heavy on exposition/dialogue at times.
You can catch new subtitled episodes of PSYCHO-PASS every week on Hulu. And Funimation has licensed the show, so expect it to release on DVD/BD sometime next year after the series has finished airing.