Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Imagine a world where, if you get too stressed out from your job, you get a knock on your door and a high tech gun called a Dominator in your face. You'll be hit with a paralyzing effect (if you're lucky) and dragged to a therapy session in hopes of getting the color of your psycho-pass back to normal. If it doesn't recover you will be treated as a latent criminal and life as you know it will end. 

You could very well end up as an Enforcer for the Criminal Investigation Division. As an Enforcer you'll essentially be treated like a dog by the Investigators (people who don't have clouded psycho-passes) and do all of the dirty work to track down latent criminals like yourself before they can do anything too terrible. 

You'll be armed with the Dominator, a gun that will choose for itself whether to person in its sights will get to live or die. This Dominator is operated by the Sybil System and that is the system under which the Japanese people live. If pointed at you the gun could do you in, too. The only difference between you and the people you are pointing your gun at is that you are being given a second chance. 

You will have no free will despite not having committed an actual crime, but merely because the likelihood is high that you might commit a crime. 

This is your life if you are an Enforcer in Psycho-Pass. While it does sound rather disheartening, it is quite entertaining to watch. I have no shame. 

This anime began in 2012 and finished in 2013, consisting of 22 episodes (each 22 minutes long) by the time it ended. It was eventually re-edited into 11 one hour episodes, undoubtedly to help promote the upcoming second season. I really enjoyed this anime so much more than I thought I would. I can't wait for season two. 

I'm not sure how they'll be able to top this particular season, though. This anime is one of the great ones. Just run through the list of influences that the creators listed. First up we have L.A. Confidential. Then we have Gattaca, Brazil, and Blade Runner. There are also mentions of the likes of Philip K. Dick, Jonathan Swift, George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, Marcel Proust, and Max Weber, too. The anime, and certainly the source material manga which I haven't read yet, knows where its influences lie and it uses them. I even learned a thing or two. It makes me want to read Proust. 

While definitely a gruesome (at times) showcase of cyberpunk, Psycho-Pass is also an intelligent anime with strong characters, great dialog, and a fantastic finale. I would dare say that it is even better than Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. There's nothing remotely cutesy about it, either. If you are sick of moe then this should be able to cure that affliction. This is throwback anime the way it is supposed to be made. 

I especially liked the rivalry between Kogami Shinya and Makishima Shogo. There just are not rivalries like that anymore outside of shounen anime. I don't think I've seen that kind of thing since Cowboy Bebop. Sure, a lot of people throw that phrase around but in this case it is true. 

This anime was really refreshing to watch. I highly recommend it. It's a great dystopian work and it really does get better with each episode. 

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