Readers who have been following my blog for a couple of years will know that I am a big fan of Psycho-Pass (possibly because I am a complete psycho.) The series won my Top Five Anime of 2014, beating the likes of Fate/Zero and Attack on Titan. After a gap of two years the time has come for me to revisit the Psycho-Pass universe courtesy of this motion picture, which is available to buy from Anime Ltd in the UK. For the record, I have yet to watch the second season of Psycho-Pass, because I hear that it isn’t up to snuff. Guess we can blame a change in writer and studio for the dip in quality. When will people learn that change is a terrible thing? As an example, it drives me potty when Facebook and YouTube periodically change their webpage layouts to an inferior design.
Psycho-Pass: The Movie begins literally with a bang, thanks to an action packed opener featuring the cutest flash grenade I have ever seen. The intro scene has Akane Tsunemori and a team of MWPSB agents taking down a group of foreign terrorists. How dare these armed immigrants disturb the peace? The Sybil System, which maintains law and order in Japan, should keep those troublemakers out by building a wall. Anyways, one quick investigation later and it is revealed that the radicals in question hail from an unstable region dubbed the Southeast Asia Union. Apparently Akane’s former subordinate Shinya Kogami, who has been AWOL ever since the events of series one, is training the country’s guerrilla faction. Eager to meet up with him (possibly because she thinks he looks dreamy topless) Akane flies off to the SEAUN hoping to apprehend the runaway Enforcer.
From there Akane tries to infiltrate the resistance, which is fighting against the recently crowned SEAUN government. The country’s administration rose to power after their leader agreed to import the Sybil System. With the aid of Japanese drones pockets of peace have been established in a nation torn apart by civil war. Tranquillity comes at a price though. SEAUN’s military elite rule with an iron fist and have relegated much of the populace to second-class citizens – who are obliged to wear collars, which are more demeaning than the ones my dominatrix orders me to wear on Saturday nights. Any inhabitants who step out of line are promptly executed by toxins contained in their Sybil manufactured chokers. Faced with such discrimination, can Akane complete her mission or will she be compelled to challenge the Sybil backed SEAUN regime?
My rating for Psycho-Pass: The Movie is a four out of five. It’s a great flick, although I will admit that I prefer the original series a smidgen more. I think that opinion is however influenced by my natural bias towards narratives that are broken up into episodes. The absence of characters I liked from season one could also be a factor, because the movie is mostly an Akane/Kogami exclusive adventure. All that said it was cool seeing Psycho-Pass broaden its horizons beyond Japan and seeing how the Sybil System functions in a young state rather than an established utopian society. The movie’s action is top notch too, featuring brawls were Kogami battles against cyborg mercenaries and gunfights were Dominators reduce lawbreakers into giblets. You probably don’t want to consume a meal whilst watching this film!
Like all good sci-fi Psycho-Pass: The Movie uses its futuristic setting to make us ponder on present day issues. Obtrusive surveillance, tampering with the politics of war torn lands and fear being used as justification to erode civil liberties are all covered during Psycho-Pass’ two-hour runtime. The artificial Sybil System acts eerily similar to flesh and blood statesmen. Unlike those we elect into the White House, Sybil does listen to feedback sometimes. Akane has some sway over it at the very least, although that may be due to her cuteness. Who can say no to that face? Whenever the diminutive inspector barks out dissent she looks just like an adorable puppy. Anyways, time will tell if the upcoming Ghost in the Shell will be any good. If it flops, like many anime live action adaptations do, fret not because Psycho-Pass: The Movie has you cyberpunk junkies covered.