The Fall anime Season is finally upon us, and I couldn't be happier. I was overjoyed to hear that Production IG was going coming to the table with another sci-fi big budget series, I couldn't stay away. Naturally when I saw the mechanical designs for Psycho-Pass's guns, I was all over it.
With a huge budget, and an amazing team behind it, would Psycho-Pass fall victim to the overhype, like last year's Guilty Crown? Or, would Psycho-Pass embrace its Western influenced gritty sci-fi roots and deliver something unique? The first episode has a little bit of both. Hit the jump to see why I jumped all over this one.
From the opening moments you can see a lot of potential. Big rock song and battle sequences get me hyped. What was nice here was how understated things were, almost awkward. Our supposed hero, Shinya Kogami is fighting in a cool looking tower for control, not quite overwhelming the nameless cyborg, and in fact, looks struggling with his weapon. Good sign? We are also introduced to his nemesis Shogo Nakashima, which I couldn't help to compare to Cowboy Beebop, but we'll have to wait and see if this comparison holds true.
One of the things I really like was the quick switch to the point of view to Inspector Akane Tsunemori, I newly graduated Monitoring Officer. She is thrown right into the fray of a situation, chasing down a criminal with a High Crime Coefficient. Think a mixture of Minority Report, Judge Dredd, and Demolition Man, and you have the layout for Psycho-Pass. Bad thoughts, mental issues, and desires are controlled by chemistry, and people emit a signal called their Psycho-Pass, which is rated by the city's central computer system.
All this data is then processed and people are judged on the spot. The job of the Monitoring Officer is to control their team of Enforcers. They are basically a bunch of convicted criminals used by law enforcement to excuse the judgements that computer systems makes. That's where the star of the show comes in. The "Police" are issued Dominator guns at the scene of the crime, in which all they do is point at the perp, and the gun makes the decision. It communicates to the specially authorized holder of the gun, and self initializes either a "stun" or lethal" model, with no choice of the two left up to the wielder. If the Monitoring Officer doesn't like what the Enforcer i s doing, they will simply use the Dominator on them to stop them. Also, depending on what's going on the victim, the computer system may change its judgement.
Of course, this all ads up for some gritty dystopian sci-fi situations, especially when you mix morality and human judgement into it. I'm assuming this is why they have chosen criminals to be the ones to carry out the orders. It's pretty obvious that Shinya is going to be the main protagonist of the show, but it was nice to see him at the wrong end of the barrel for the first episode. I'm wandering how the character dynamics will pan out. They've laid out a pretty interesting mix of a crew, all with some obvious anime stereotypes, but they kept things nicely understated.
The show itself was well detailed and animated, with lots of nice emphasis on the technology. The violent parts of the show ere over the top, and gave some truly shocking moments. Like I stated above, I really liked the parts where the Dominator didn't quite work correctly. It looks slow to use, and its logic isn't perfect. Just what I like to see. The show also features the continuation of the band Egoist, Ryo''s version of supercell, born in last year's Guilty Crown. I wonder if the band themselves, with Inori, may somehow make their way into the storyline. However, I'm guessing that's some really wishful thinking. The music, production, art, and animation all are top notch. I'm hoping they can keep things consistent through out the season.
I'm pretty excited to follow this season. I'm naturally a sucker for these kinds of shows, so perhaps I won't be the most critical viewer. No matter what, we all eager to see what the next episode will deliver. Hopefully things don't work quite right.
[Grab your Dominator over at Funimation]
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