OP: 「Enigmatic Feeling 」 by 凛として時雨 (Ling Toshite Sigure)
「正義の天秤 <299/300> 」 (Seigi no Tenbin <299/300>)
“The Scales of Justice <299/300>”
It’s back! My favorite anime from the past two or so years is finally back with a sequel! I’m excited beyond belief and this post is going to sound like a mix of fan girls and overhype so you’ll have to give me the benefit of the doubt for this premiere at least. I hope everyone was an anxious as I was to finally get some PYSCHO-PASS back into our lives. Let me know how you enjoyed this episode because I think I might be
a little biased.
After two years, PSYCHO-PASS brings us directly back into the world of Tokyo’s dystopian future where everyone’s state of mind can be quantitatively measured by a system called Sybil. I’m going to write a quick backgrounder for those that are either new to the series or simply don’t remember much about the original; you can skip this paragraph now if you just want to read my impressions. Our main character, Tsunemori Akane (Hanazawa Kana) is a part of the police force that uses advanced guns (called Dominators) to read someone’s Crime Coefficient. Your Crime Coefficient is an indication of how dangerous or unstable you are and the Sybil deems someone as dangerous if your reading is over 140. At this point, a Dominator can paralyze you but if your reading is over 300, the gun will kill you (and you blow up!). Akane works with one other officer by the name of Shimotsuki Mika (Sakura Ayane) and a group of Enforcers – Ginoza Nobuchika (Nojima Kenji), Kunizuka Yayoi (Itou Shizuka), Tougane Sakuya (Fujiwara Keiji), and Hinakawa Shou (Sakurai Takahiro). Enforcers are previous criminals that have agreed to work with the police in order to track down others. They all have high Crime Coefficients so yes – you can technically shoot them. In this episode, Akane and Mika work with another Division in order to capture a criminal that has been recently creating bombs and setting them off to upset the Sybil system.
I believe that everyone needs a backgrounder when they’re just jumping right back into this story and for one that’s as intense as PSYCHO-PASS, there are a lot of details that even I don’t remember. The question I ask myself is, is this a direct sequel to the original PSYCHO-PASS? Can you watch this without having seen the original? Right now, I would say that the premiere actually did a good job not alienating new viewers. With some thought, I think my backgrounder above could have been deduced easily – especially if sci-fi is your thing. At no point does the show reference the previous season (except for the spoiler-ish opening) and it properly introduces all the characters again. For now, I’d like to think that PSYCHO-PASS is starting a whole separate story that doesn’t link back to the previous season too much. If it chooses to in the future, they might play some flashbacks or summarize the events for new viewers. Overall, the episode did a great job capturing the new antagonist, while still demonstrating what the world of PSYCHO-PASS is like and I think that’s what makes for a fantastic premiere. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember or don’t have prior exposure, it’s still a great standalone start to the season.
For those of us that do remember or rewatched the PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit) recently, I have to say that the episode did an even better job at bringing back all the things that I loved about the original series. Personally, I didn’t catch up to the entire PSYCHO-PASS (New Edit) but just from a comparison against the initial first few episodes, you can see what a long way Akane has come. She’s transformed her outlook on Sybil but still works with the system in order to save people from dying due to their high Crime Coefficients. Her demeanor reflects all that she’s been though in the first season and can I just say, she is so much more kick a** than I remember. I think my girl-crush of the season, will be her. On the other hand, you also see fellow returning Enforcers like Nobuchika and Yayoi that indicates how things… haven’t changed at all since we last left off. The relationship between Nobuchika and Akane has turned into one of mutual respect and I love seeing how Nobu still watches over Akane and trusts in her decisions. It has taken a while to get here and I like seeing that development play out in the after math. I think the best returning character that people may not recognize is Mika. She appeared twice in the first season both as a victim of one of the serial killers in the first half and then again in the epilogue of the final episode. And by victim I mean… her best friend was killed by a psychopath who mutilated her body. Anyway, Mika has changed a lot too since the first season and she’s no longer the quiet girl that I remember her to be. I think her role will change drastically in this second season as she interacts with Akane more and learns what the Sybil System really is. In the final split seconds, she also comes across as someone that doesn’t believe in the same ideals as Akane and I wonder if she’ll end up playing the opposing force, or if she’s going to get a heck of a lot of development time. Only time will tell.
This is turning into a massive post but my final thoughts are to conclude with the production value of this series. It’s no longer being produced by Production I.G, but Tatsunoko Productions instead. A lot of people seemed to have gripes with this and they’re not wrong on their predictions – the 3D animation is definitely an eyesore and doesn’t blend well with the 2D animation. However, in terms of continuity of character designs and the atmosphere that the show possesses, it’s still all there. Perhaps it’s because I also haven’t recently seen the first season of PSYCHO-PASS but I am not disappointed by this premiere and it has met my (high) expectations. The OP and ED songs are also done from the same artists that wrote the first season’s and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Definitely a great way to start the season for PSYCHO-PASS 2 and I hope it keeps up with the high deliverables. In terms of plot, I can foreshadow a lot of events based on the opening sequence alone, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I hope the antagonist ends up being someone different than Makishima though because right now, it looks like they have the same ideals of “changing” the system. Also, they both read low Crime Coefficients which is supposedly an anomaly. The only person that I’m looking for right now is Kogami… obviously. Where are you?
Full-length images: 09.
ED: 「Fallen」 by EGOIST