Psycho-Pass is a deep psychological anime thriller that asks the viewer to step inside to a world where a police state determines your complete role in life, and you can be branded a criminal for harboring thoughts that could brand you a psychopath or abnormal.
In a lot of ways Psycho-Pass is fairly similar to other works of it’s author Gen Urobochi of Song of Saya, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica fame. However, in the ways that it’s different is that in a sense it is inherently more hopeful in it’s gritty and realistic depiction of a not so far fetched future. Crime is almost completely eradicated and despite an almost complete lack of political freedom the populace seems generally content. However, under the rotting underbelly of the world criminal elements still operate and defy those who would imprison them for having high crime coefficients.
Breaking down what makes an anime particularly good is a fairly difficult task, and with Psycho-Pass it comes down to the gripping realism that this is something that could end up being completely plausible to happen in our own near future. States have an increasingly higher amount of surveillance measures and thought crimes would just be another way for nation states to police their citizens. What Psycho-Pass does right is it tries to represent the different kinds and types of people who would rebel against this system.
In an artistic sense Psycho-Pass looks and sounds fantastic and has all the necessary components to add to the gritty atmosphere, and interweaves several elements that call back to great sci-fi titans like Blade Runner, and A Scanner Darkly. As such Psycho-Pass pushes into a kind of similar cyber-noir like setting and in this way it gains it’s bearings.
The plot focuses on Akane Tsunemori, a new Inspector of Unit One—a police unit from the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division. What ends up befalling her is an adventure where she is forced to question the very society she dwells in and whether she really is acting on behalf of the good of the citizens of her nation. She ends up working as a handler for police elements whose crime co-efficient became too large and as such were faced with a choice of working as hunting dogs for the police or being imprisoned like the criminals they once hunted down.
What ended up making Psycho-Pass a particularly worthwhile foray into a depiction of the near future was the way it represented the sheer effectiveness of repression and the possible negative side effects of a society that is heavily policed and medicated. This combined with a focus on characters coming to terms with their true nature, and an ongoing plot of revenge makes Psycho-Pass a phenomenal anime that I could not recommend more highly.
I give Psycho-Pass Five Panther Heads out of Five.