Anime of the Week: Psycho-Pass

Easily one of my favorite anime; Psycho-Pass is one part cyber-fantasy crime-drama, and one part dystopian social commentary. Psycho-Pass follows in one of Sci-Fi's most enduring legacies, and it is not shy about telling you that.

Urobuchi clearly took a lot of pages from George Orwell, Philip K. Dick, Aldous Huxley, among others. Psycho-Pass never makes a mystery of its influences, content to name-drop them whenever it feels the urge. Still, Psycho-Pass is a rather interesting take on the futuristic dystopia formula. The world of Psycho-Pass itself is a compelling draw, with just enough individuality to distinguish itself from its obvious predecessors. Both the philosophical and technological ideas posed by Psycho-Pass are thought-provoking and genuinely interesting, with complex and nuanced thematic threads that tie them together. The characters are layered and dynamic, with quite a bit of development all around. Especially female lead Akane who shows a refreshing amount of growth, personality, and competency. Though the fascinatingly twisted villains almost steal the entire show. Shogo Makashima is like an amalgamation of The Joker and James Moriarty, and it makes him one of the most entertaining and enthralling villains in recent memory.

The OST is varied and always appropriate, with several remarkable tracks, and the occasionally odd Spanish guitar. The two sets of openers and closers are incredibly strong, easily destined to grace Youtube countdowns and con panels for years to come. The animation on the other hand, ranges from crisp and beautiful to disappointingly lackluster. The middle episodes especially suffer from dull composition and obviously cut corners. The 3DCG isn't integrated very well either, and looks downright hilarious during certain major reveals towards the climax.

Fumnimation's dub is a squarely respectable effort. The script is solid and flows nicely without much of the awkwardly slavish translation and confused interpretation that often comes with dubbing this kind of show. The early episodes can get pretty clunky, and some later twists may be too unbelievable for some people to take seriously.

Overall though, Psycho-Pass is definitely worth the watch if you're in the mood for dark, reasonably intelligent Sci-Fi that is unabashedly, and unavoidably, reminiscent of other works. Avoid S2 like a swarm of Ebola-ridden killer bees, though.

/r/TrueAnime Thread