Psycho-Pass

kougami shinya

Publishing Studio – Production I.G
Aired – 12/X/2012-22/III/2013
Genres – Action, Sci-Fi
Episodes – 22
Psycho-Pass is licensed by FUNimation, and the release of the dubbed version is planned for Spring 2014.

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One of Production I.G’s latest works, Psycho-Pass came out in October 2012 and instantly gained watchers’ interest, mainly because the person behind the story was famous Urobuchi Gen, who also worked on Fate/Zero and Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica.

Psycho-Pass is set in the future, where it is possible to calculate anyone’s mental state. Based on that information, people get assigned to jobs they’re most fit to, etc. and a person’s crime coefficient will give away anyone, who has some not so kind deeds behind their backs. This sounds like a Utopia, a perfect place for every person who wants to live in peace. But is it like that, really?

Psycho-Pass really takes that concept of a perfect society and spins it around, turns it upside down and inside out in front of our faces, and that’s one of the best things about this show. At first you won’t even notice anything bad, but as the show goes on, it really breaks down the concept behind the Sibyl system, pulls it apart and then puts it back, while also providing quite strong arguments that prove the very existence of a system like that a mistake, but at the same time prove it’s importance to the society. As the anime goes on, at some point it becomes like a interlocutor that a watcher can argue with and actually get a valid response. This anime gives you something to dwell on, something to argue about, and it’s not something trivial, unimportant or irrelevant to our lives. You can actually learn something and that’s such a rarity in anime.

The storyline was executed well. Of course there were some minor flaws, but that’s only natural. The important fact is, that Psycho-Pass did well at keeping the watcher interested. Even during the first episodes, until the main storyline came into action, lets say, you wouldn’t get bored. In first several episodes the pace really is slower than in the rest of the show, but that can’t really be considered a flaw, just something to keep in mind.  However, after a certain point it starts to get better and better. So, keep that in mind as well. I don’t want to be spoilerific, so I won’t say anything else 😛

BGM was respectable. The composer for Psycho-Pass anime, Yuugo Kanno hasn’t worked on many animes, and I’d dare to say that this is the most popular anime he has worked on. However, I’m amazed at how well the soundtracks fit the show. You notice right away, that Psycho-Pass has a very distinct and a fairly strong atmosphere that just reaches out  from the computer and pulls you into the action. That atmosphere is created by the harmony of graphics and sound, but if you ask me, sound plays a lot bigger role in capturing the watcher’s attention. I can’t say enough about OSTs for Psycho-Pass. Yuugo Kanno balanced out orchestral music with techno very well, and even used opera singers(I don’t know how to put it, really) here and there. First you may here electronic rock with a leading guitar, but it can swiftly incorporate several violins and sound damn chilling. Then there are a couple of piano solos that also sound nice, and above all, unique and characteristic. The only downside is that you will hear the same melody played different ways in several tracks. I can’t really say that it’s a definite flaw. From a certain point of view it’s very good, but from another – it can get a little repetitive. I’m planning to write a review about OST albums for several anime and Psycho-Pass will be one of them, so I won’t go on with the details. In conclusion, Psycho-Pass BGM is very, very well made. It sets the mood perfectly, and is unique and memorable. The opening and ending sequences were also respectable, however the openings definitely outranked the endings, in my opinion.

Opening themes:
“Abnormalize” by Ling Tosite Sigure
“Out of Control” by Nothing’s Carved in Stone
Ending themes:
“Namae no nai Kaibutsu” by EGOIST
“All Alone With You” by EGOIST
 

Some of my favorite tracks – Psycho-Pass, Sono Juukou wa, Seigi o Shihai suru, Inochi no Arikata, Kami no Ishiki, Makishima Shougo, Hou to Chitsujo.

Visuals of Psycho-Pass are almost equally amazing. Color palette leans more to the dark side, colors are intense but not vibrant. Backgrounds are very beautiful – detailed, eye-catching but not overwhelming. While I heard some people complain about the character designs, I don’t think they’re all that bad. They’re a little bit unusual, but I like it. Especially because they don’t use a ton of details to make characters look different from each other. I admit, some of them didn’t really look their best, and I would personally change a couple of hairstyles, but it’s not something that effects the show in any way, positive or negative. Animation was great, on most part. Usually it was normal, very clean and nice. Though it smoothed out, when needed, and it looked damn amazing. I have to note the fighting scenes right now – they were managed beautifully. Characters weren’t just mindlessly hitting each other, or just shooting wherever, those scenes were thought out and the moves were very realistic. However, after a couple of crucial ‘battles’ the quality of the animation decreased a little bit. But the amount of scenes where you could hear what was going on but were looking on a bookshelf, or on a cup of coffee increased. However, you won’t really notice that, unless you’re used to watching anime and are picky when it comes to visuals, so that’s not something to worry about. The show still looked amazing. And my most favorite part was that when you look at the scene in Psycho-Pass, you perceive it as a whole, you don’t just notice the background, or just the characters. It happens a lot in anime, when you really notice only the characters and backgrounds are there only to make them stand out. No, Psycho-Pass is a whole different deal. You notice the backgrounds,as well as the characters and perceive the scenes integrally, and that’s a simply amazing experience. As expected from Production I.G, they’re doing an amazing job! See for yourself:

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And lastly, about the characters. That’s another strong point of this show – well developed characters. Of course, not all of them were unique and memorable, but that was a respectable bunch, nonetheless. None of the secondary characters could be considered annoying, unpleasant or whatnot. They tie into a group very well, and interaction between them is also put together very well. I think the most notable presence out of the secondary characters is Masaoka. Kougami takes second place, while the first place is shared by our heroine, Akane and our villain. Throughout the show, Akane was changing, and the watcher could really see the changes and development of her character. She’s one of the best, most well developed characters I have encountered so far, and she’s a girl, at that, which makes this even more amazing. If you lingered in the anime world for a while, you know that a strong, respectable female lead in an anime is a rarity. And when I look back and recall everything that happened to Akane and how she had dealt with those things, I feel proud. However, I can not decide, which one I like more, Akane or the villain. To be honest, the main villain of Psycho-Pass is also one of the best I have ever seen. He’s complete, he’s very cruel, cold-blooded, calm and smart, yet he’s still very, very likeable. No matter what he does, you will either hate him or love him more, but either way, you will feel respect for him, and that’s amazing. But the most beautiful thing about him is something I can’t tell you about, actually. *trollolo* You just have to watch the show and see for yourself.

Final Verdict

Art & animation – 8.5/10
Music – 9/10
Plot & characters – 9/10
Overall – 8.7/10

Personally, I enjoyed this anime a LOT. I would recommend it to more mature people, or those who just like to think, as they watch. Who like more serious anime, with less humor and more serious busyness going on. Keep in mind that this is Gen Urobuchi’s work, so don’t expect any cliche relationships, happy ends….. just don’t expect that Urobutcher will go easy on you or any of his characters. This anime is rather realistic, and quite dark, so throw any naive hopes away before you go into this anime. I’m not saying that it’s tragic, not at all. It’s just very…. real. If you’re fine with all this, and you haven’t seen Psycho-Pass yet, may this be a warning! Because you’re missing out on some awesome shizz. 😉

Thank you for reading my review, please, comment below if you’ve seen that show, or if I inspired you to watch it, I would be very glad to chat! Jaa ne~

Please, share your thoughts with me!! ^_^

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