So, that’s it huh? I swear I must be missing something, because in between the new reveals, surprising developments, and all the hints of something else to come, we get the end of the season. Sure, Psycho Pass’ third season may be receiving a movie follow-up, but damn cutting it off right here really feels like a copout. All of that time building up an enemy confirmed to have existed since before Sibyl, all the effort to tease the reasons behind one key character’s imprisonment, all the knowledge that some serious fun and games are just behind the curtain—and no satisfying conclusion to wash the harsh finale medicine down with.
Yeah, I might just be slightly annoyed Psycho Pass chose the route it did for this season (no matter the surprise appearances and shocker post credit scenes) but at least there’s the promise of more to come in the future. For everything which has been built up this season it would be a shame to simply let it all go to waste. I just hope whatever is next in store can make up for the disappointment of seeing the latest iteration suddenly cut off just as the going was getting good.
There are two minds when it comes to Psycho Pass 3. The first is simply satisfaction at seeing a sequel after all this time. After the train wreck which was season two (personal opinions notwithstanding) it was never obvious we’d receive more than the few follow-up movies, or even that if everyone’s being honest. Just getting to this point was a major surprise, but no amount of Christmas-come-early joy can cover up for the second aspect of the latest Psycho Pass: just what it could’ve been.
The main gripe I have with Psycho Pass 3 is its format. While clearly better written with a more substantive goal in mind compared to its TV prequel, a limit of eight episodes (albeit 45 minute episodes) and no desire to actually provide an ending—cliff hanger or otherwise—is a serious blackspot. Even the most rushed and chaotic of recent light novel adaptations have done better jobs of providing coherent endings (no matter the quality), especially when you factor in just how little Psycho Pass actually got done this season. Beyond basic introductions we haven’t even explored Bifrost in any serious capacity for example, or touched on the specific ties Arata has with the group. And don’t even get me started on Akane’s situation and the consistent dancing around its edges. For every answer we received three questions, and Psycho Pass did little to paper over the annoyance their lack of answers bring.
Of course the positive side is at least we will be eventually receiving information for our troubles. For all the aggravations of a sudden cut off it’s clear everything here is a setup for what’s to come as for better or worse it seems Psycho Pass’ creators intend on dragging this latest arc a good deal. A movie sequel is likely just the start, as between Bifrost, Akane, and all the fun which is a Foreign Affairs-Public Safety rivalry there’s a great deal of material to flesh out further seasons, especially if the franchise chooses to drip feed us the story. In a sense then Psycho Pass 3 shouldn’t be judged alone; it may be a letdown over what could’ve been, but if this overall story arc winds up an improvement over the second season it’s guaranteed to be a big win in any fan’s book.
It will naturally come down to what the remaining story has to offer and how well it compares to what we got before, but provided its reach doesn’t exceed its grasp, the future of Psycho Pass looks a lot better than it did before.