Well, Psycho Pass is over and watched. Time to talk about it.

Psycho Pass is a brilliant show brought to us by who may be my favorite writer in anime, Gen Urobuchi. He’s the one who brought us Fate/Zero and Madoka. He has a distinctly cerebral flair with hints of nearly eldritch darkness that reminds me of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Indeed, his subversion of the common tropes of ‘magical girl’ and detective fiction have rekindled, in a fashion, my love of anime as a near literary art form. Enough boot licking, lets talk about Psycho-Pass.

Psycho-Pass is a character drama with detective fiction, horror and action mixed in at a perfect balance. First the character drama, we have a ‘distant rivalry’ between the antagonist and villain Makishima and Kogami. Akane follows along as main character, connected to Makishima and Kogami, her story is actually one of development and realization of strength. Horror comes from Sybil. Not only is the system a very eldritch THING, it also serves as a secondary antagonist (not villain) to Akane under Makishima. Action comes in a truly magnificent scene with what I shall call: “The Most Dangerous Game Arc”, where Kogami is hunted by a mad soldier.

Why should you watch Psycho Pass?


A good picture, you get a feeling of Akane’s natural frenetic panic

Writing: The writing is top notch. Everything is in balance. Peaceful and intense sequences interspersed properly. Climaxes for each episode, arc and eventually, the grand and beautiful series end are things of wonder and nearly without fault in my eyes. The dialogue is spot on. You can tell who every character is, usually, by their words and style of speaking. The twists are handled with care, so that you are genuinely surprised, but not so twisty that your brain throws up it’s hands and gives up. This has the best writing of all non-comedy animes for the last two seasons.

Characters: Each character is a wonder of distinct backstory and quirk management. Few people realize how hard it is to keep so many characters together, interacting and consistently relevant while having the dialogue be fresh and not boring. Several anime series avoid this by keeping the character interactions comedic (Little Busters…) and serious (LITTLE BUSTERS!) in double measure, so that there are few ‘human’ moments. These human moments, when no character is under emotional duress, are the single greatest tool that a writer can used. It is nothing to break an unestablished character, but when you drive a developed character beyond anything that has been established before… the results are magnificent. The final scene for Kogami and Makishima is beautiful because it is the culmination of their story, and it was done so that you are on the edge of your seat even though you know how it will end day 1.


The main, non-villain characters.

Animation: For the animation snob, I’m sure you can find flaws and errors, but I don’t give a damn about that, I’m here for the design. And what design it is. Makishima and Kogami are obviously made to conflict with each other, but their designs keeps them separate. Ginoza is every inch the self-possessed authoritarian and Akane looks and feels the rookie. The cities and technology are well designed as well, with that future feel that doesn’t seem too far off. The lines are clear and running on some new architectural style that both looks like an evolution of several styles in the past, like Barhaus and several unknown name (to me) japanese styles. The entire world seems believable and within reach, which is what the best science fiction does, even the works of Larry Niven.

DETAILS DETAIL DETAILS: Can I not say this enough?

Pacing: Let me say this again, the balance of the story is a mastery and the arcs never ‘go on too long’

Philosophy: As a writer I LOVE it when authors reference things. It’s a fetish, but addiction is a powerful thing. Several characters reference philosophy. It gives another layer to characters without causing the pacing to slow done uncomfortably. In fact, in many cases it was the best thing that could be done. The characters need outlets that can’t be had by ultra-violence or just by talking.

I wish I could say more about it, but the spoilers are pretty intense if I dare say it. Point is, I worry that now that I know these spoilers will I want to watch again? But it falls under the same category of Bioshock. You know what’s happening, happened and will happen, but you still play/watch because it’s just that awesome. You will enjoy the ride. You may enjoy the ride multiple times.


Akane and Kogami.

Psycho Pass is a grade A+ show that really will make it worth your while to buy. WILL BUY

One last note: I love the dominators. I love small guns with big impact. I love it when the drama is built up and up and then there’s that sweet climatic release and the blood is everywhere and it’s just so awesome.