Turkey day is so close, you could almost put your hands on the bird. Then comes the after turkey day workout of Black Friday. But then what? Well, how about taking the opportunity to experience Poe at Centerstage. Hometown thespian, Bruce Nelson will be living out the role of Maryland’s most haunted author until the twenty fifth of the month. And of course, in the theme of sad stories, this anime most at least come close to the fringes of Poe. This week, we cover Psycho Pass.
Psycho Pass is an anime that really reminds of the story of Tom Cruise’s Minority Report. The background of it is very similar. You have a world where people are measured by their mental states. Most people are fine. However, if your mental state passes a certain critical point, you end up being flagged by the Sibyl system. Which, in essences, are the psychics from Minority Report. Sibyl will read your mental state or Psycho Pass and determine your threat level. If you’re judged too high, people will big guns come running along and you quite literally go splat.
Now the difference between Minority Report and Psycho pass is in the story. The story circles around two main characters: Shinya Kougami and Akanae Tsunemori. The anime starts out with Kougami, and you get the feeling from the intro that he’s some kind of enforcer or something, and he’s on the hunt. You also get a brief glimpse at what can only be surmised as the series main antagonist. Then we’re thrown forward in time and we meet Akane, fresh out of the academy it seems. When we’re reintroduced to Kougami, he’s apparently not exactly as he was. He and the people he is with are what are called latent criminals. Their Psycho Pass is high enough they’re deemed a permanent threat, but not high enough to be killed on sight. So seeing as these people are pretty much walking inmates, the police force (if you can call them that) has taken it on themselves to use these potential psychos to fight these other psychos. Even with six episodes out, it’s not hard to pick up the story line from it. The story stems from the main antagonist using his influence to “set people off” and flare their Psycho Pass high enough to where they ping the Sibyl system as risks. For Kougami, it’s to get this guy and also get revenge. For Akane, it seems like she just wants to do the right thing.
As characterization goes, the characters give off a good and bad impression. Right from the jump, Kougami and whatever the main villain’s name is give off an impression of deep characters. They know what they want and do whatever it takes to get it down. Despite being quiet and an excellent detective, you can tell that Kougami is hiding some demons. He didn’t become a latent criminal by chance and the episodes surrounding him reflect that. Akanae on the other hand really doesn’t seem all that deep. It seems like she was made to seem that way, but really she just come across as the fresh out of the academey type of naïve girl with strong beliefs. After she meets Kougami, she starts thinking about things and her place in her work and her life it seems. She is essentially the leash on Kougami, and that’s all it seems like. Her character doesn’t seem to have too much difference from any other supporting female role of her type in other animes. That said, it’s only six episodes into the series and she might gain some girth to her story in coming times.
Spinning around, let’s touch base on the other aesthetics of the series. The animation for example is beautiful. Taking a person note, not sure if anyone else recognized it, but the way the females are drawn reminds of Katekyo Hitman Reborn. That aside, there’s some mixture of 2D and 3D animation in the series, especially in the way of the guns and the way they transform. A top of that, they don’t seem to hold much back in the way of the gore. People blow up and they show them bulging up and bubbling. They don’t have them outright exploding into guts and intestine, but the blood painting everything and everyone leaves a fair impression of what just happened. The opening of the series makes you hopeful in the sense that there is something major going to happen between Akane and Kougami in the way that his vengeance goes. And the music is very supportive of the ambience the scenes are trying to portray.
All in all, these series has a lot of potential to be great. And somehow at the end of it, it’s rather transparent that the Sibyl system will somehow go down. The animation and story at this junction are very good and it is hoped to see that the characters get flushed out a bit more, especially in Akane’s sense. But hey, you’re the viewer and that gives you the holy right to make your own decisions. So feel take the chance to check out this brand new anime, and judge for yourself.