|Original Story||Gen Urobuchi|
|Directors||Katsuyuki Motohiro, Naoyoshi Shiotani|
|Made By||Production I.G.|
|# of Episodes||22|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
The brooding lovechild of Ghost in the Shell and The Minority Report.
In the year 2113, Japan has closed its borders and adopted a total isolationist policy. The country is now governed by the Sybil System, a powerful AI capable of measuring a person's emotional state, psychological profile, and personality to produce a measurement is known as a "Psycho-Pass". Using the Sybil System, law enforcement is able to identify and arrest potential criminals before they commit crimes.
Enter Akane Tsunemori, a naive but intelligent young woman who scored extremely high on the Sybil System's career aptitude test. Given the rare opportunity to choose a job for herself, Akane joins the Public Safety Bureau believing that she can make a difference. The Bureau is comprised of latent criminals offered the chance to help hunt down their own, called "Enforcers"; and the supervising detectives that keep them in line, the "Inspectors". As a rookie Inspector, Akane is partnered with the straight-laced Inspector Ginoza, and the rash inspector-turned-enforcer Shinya Kogami.
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Other stories by Gen Urobuchi:
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. 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.
Let me begin by saying that this is not the Urobuchi's best work. I see it as a step below Madoka and Fate/Zero. However, it was still a great story and an overall fantastic show, albeit one marred by suddenly shoddy animation and a protagonist whose character design irks me in some ways.
Somewhere around the middle of the show IG must have collectively shat themselves over some unknown incident because suddenly the animation begins to break down, and for a few episodes afterwards it remains relatively shoddy. I have no idea what happened. Aside from the strange middle section, the animation is IG's usually high quality of work and the art is really great throughout. Of particular note is the design of the Dominator pistol. It is seriously one of the most badass weapon designs I've ever seen.
Urobuchi's story was great as I said, but it really didn't reach the same heights as Madoka or Fate/Zero. It just feels like there could have been more to it. The world he crafted was an utterly fascinating cyberpunk dystopia that is even more interesting than the cyberpunk world of GitS, but I feel like he didn't utilize it to its fullest extent. However, with a second season just announced, Urobuchi may in fact deliver in that regard. In some ways it even follows the same formula of amazing tech, awesome action, and thoughtful philosophy that makes GitS such a classic, but it basses it on a very Minority Report-like premise. The characters are also really great, and especially the villains. Makishima is particularly fascinating as a character that blurs the lines between the pure villain and anti-hero archetypes. While this may not be Urobuchi's best, Psycho-Pass is a show worthy of his fame/infamy.
The Devil Tesla
My favorite Urobuchi show, and the one that feels the most distinctly his, for better or for worse. It's completely ridiculous, sort of an anime Law and Order where it keeps a serious face on while telling the campiest of stories, and the show is on some levels less of a serious sci-fi show than a dark comedy. But the jokes, from murders over someone's online brand to a final twist that is as much a punchline as a reveal, are really funny. Despite plain dialog and cliches by the dozens, the cast is really strong and each character evolves in wonderful ways. And even when it's completely stupid it always has its heart in the right place, which counts for a lot.