Pyscho Pass (Initial Review)

Psycho-Pass

;

The sleeper work which did what 1984, Brazil, and Equilibrium failed to.

[This is my first attempt at a review, the second attempt went much better, in my humble option (imho), but this one contains no spoilers.]

Franchise

Currently, Psycho-Pass consist of two anime tv series (of 22 and 11 episodes, respectively), and a movie which fits in right after Season 1, long before Season 2. (Actually, they are two versions of the first season, but that is another story.)

It started in 2012, but due to being busy, I hadn’t watched beyond Season 1 until recently. Since I decided to re-watch it, you get to read my piece-by-piece reviews, live (well, no, actually, quite delayed) on this blog, bajan13k.wordpress.com!

Overview

The world of Psycho Pass is a far future version of Japan, which is neither utopia nor dystopia. Holograms and useful voice-controlled artificial minions are abundant, but the freedom to choose has been curtailed, if not eliminated altogether, by the “Sibyl System”, which monitors (almost) everyone within Japan. This monitoring is used to both prevent crimes and determine careers.

However, they are problems not only with the system in concept, but with the rest of the world, which does not use the system.

Review

Season 1, Episodes 1 to 4

The first episode introduces the protagonist, who will be our proxy avatar for this world. It is her first day as an inspector for the future police, and this episode seamlessly explains how police work works in this world.

The second episode expands on the team structure, wider hierarchy, and precognitive functions of the system. It introduces the concept of “area stress” and fleshes out details of the world.

The third episode starts a brand new arc, and from here one the focus is on strong antagonists versus the team of law enforcers, and the system which they rely on to maintain public order.

[Update: It is episode four that states the new arc, not episode three. This is clarified in my next review.]

Since I have already watched the whole series… the arc which starts in episode 4 is both a call back to the past of some of the team members (which is delved into more deeply in future episodes), and the backbone of the journey into questions concerning mass surveillance, punishment versus justice, and how to handle those who do not fit into the matrices of orthodoxy.

Conclusion

You should watch Psycho Pass. It is a great series.

References

Brazil: a 1985 movie  , set in a future dystopia.  Therein, a single typographical error causes an innocent man to be assassinated by the state, being mistaken for a terrorist threat to the state of humanity.

Meanwhile, agents of free will attempt to assist those who do not have the skills to go against the rigidity of the social matrices.

Equilibrium was a 200x movie which was very successful outside of the USA domicile. However, for reasons which seem to make perfect sense to Hollywood, but to nobody with any sanity, the marketing budget was reduced to prevent the possibility of it making a loss with the “domestic market”. At a result, few people have heard of this movie, despite the fact that it invented a new style of action sequence, “gunkata”.

In any case, that movie was a dystopia which parodied many current trends, such as the excessive editing which some movies go through to get a PG-13 rating, and the need for much of the population many areas to use powerful, mood-altering, state-and-matrices approved medications.

Although discussion of the gunkatas is common, few people discuss the implications for reality of the common man, who may be pressured to “take his dose”.

1984 ( several editions) is generally interpreted as being a dystopia-based satire about overtly totalitarian government, rather than a statement about how desperately humans seek romance, even when their lifetime of conditioning, occupation, and social status make happiness of any human sort impossible.

Hence, I call that, also, a failure.

Psycho-Pass, on the other hand, shows how self-actualization looks within matrices of strong control. Several characters actualize in various ways, and some pay the ultimate price for it, whilst others go on to thrive. However, they become more complete and interesting individuals, with more effective power than those with conventional tenants of social status.

Thus, it succeeds at encouraging personal development, Gnosis, and pragmatic ethics.

Also, Funimation serves it up in either dubbed or subtitled (subbed) English, so go enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

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