Ever wondered how technologically-assisted crime-fighting might look like in the future? PSYCHO-PASS is set in the year 2113 within a seemingly utopian society governed by an entity called “The Sibyl System” which measures each individual’s mental state and emotional disposition by conducting a ‘cymatic’ scan on the brain. Using this so-called ‘Psycho-Pass’ the system calculates a person’s propensity to commit crimes, or “Crime Coefficient”. Should a person’s Crime Coefficient exceed a predetermined threshold, they would be tagged as a “latent criminal”, hunted down and dealt with as such.
The plot revolves around Tsunemori Akane, a young noob Inspector in the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division. Akane’s unit is tasked with hunting down latent criminals and apprehending them or executing them, depending on their level of threat to public security. Each unit is paired with a special group of latent criminals known as Enforcers whose sole purpose is to get their hands dirty so that the Inspectors do not have to. Enforcers, being already tagged as latent criminals, have their Psycho-Pass clouded and are able to fully carry out their duties without inhibition. Both Inspectors and Enforcers are equipped with a special handgun called a “Dominator”, designed to activate only when aimed at a person above the Crime Coefficient limit, after which things get pretty messy.
Akane’s unit is particularly concerned with a mysterious person by the name of Makishima Shogo, the mastermind behind many of the crimes plaguing this society. Makishima questions the existence and true identity behind The Sibyl System and works towards its destruction. However, Makishima — being the one pulling the strings and never committing the crimes himself — is considered ‘asymptomatic’, a term describing those who maintain a low Crime Coefficient despite their twisted mental state. Through investigating a string of gruesome crimes, Akane’s unit finally come face to face with the one and only Makishima Shogo. Akane is then forced to make some difficult decisions, both for herself and her fellow Inspectors and Enforcers.
The artwork of this anime series is outstanding. There is a certain sharpness to the animation that sets it apart from other similar series in the anime industry. Being a sucker for Sci-Fi and the crisp artistry of Japanese animation, I fell in love with Psycho-Pass from the get-go. Every episode left me craving for more, wanting to find out how things would develop and progress. I even enjoyed the slick, well-edited opening and closing preview sequences which set the expectations for what was to come, without giving too much of the plot away.
Character development is deliciously gradual as characters face increasingly difficult moral challenges; question the concept of justice and how it should be upheld; and make often irrevocable decisions over a generous span of 22 episodes. The plot features several mindblowing sequences that constantly left me wondering, “did that really just happen?” or just straight up stunned, “Are you serious?” After one plot twist after another, I found myself anxiously anticipating the series finale, which I believed would be nothing less than epic.
Psycho-Pass does not disappoint and was definitely worth every minute of my viewing time. If you’re into the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre of anime, why not give this series a shot? It is a pretty crisp work of art by Production I.G., though it does get a little gory so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. One final note: If you’ve decided to watch Psycho-Pass and really enjoyed it, don’t worry I’ve got your back: Psycho-Pass 2.
Still not convinced? I’ll just leave this teaser here for you: