Psycho-Pass 01: “Crime Coefficient”Posted 10:17 am on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 by Yuqi Khoo
Psycho-Pass is a new anime out this fall coming from Production I.G., and after the first episode I am definitely hooked. In brief Psycho-pass is a dystopian, cyber punk, crime series whose criminal justice system revolves around the citizens Psyche, which is monitored with the Psycho-pass system.
Immediately we are introduced to the leading pair that this series is going to be dealing with Kogami Shinya (who I am going to assume is the antagonist), and Makishima Shojo (the protagonist). This face off reminded me instantly of a lot of the classic anime shows of the 90’s and the early 2000’s, (Spike vs. Vicious, Alucard vs. Anderson, Sousuke vs. Gauron, Kenshin vs. Shishio), and in a way this series appears to be set up in that manner, where we are handed the main two adversaries, but their stories are told from the eyes of a younger more novice/naïve female character.
Then we cut straight to the introduction of the character who will be telling the story, a new young female cop, Tsunemori Ayane. Fresh out of training school, this is her first case, and our first case. Here they explain the Psycho-pass system to us in a bit more depth. Once a person’s Psycho-Pass (or Psyche) grows too muddy, they are labeled criminals and the Police and their team of Enforcers are called in to handle the situation. This is where it gets interesting, because Enforcers are latent criminals who have crime coefficients so high that they have been contracted to work for the police in helping them to capture the other criminals.
The way they are kept in check? The Dominators. The Dominators are super duper wickedly bad assly cool-and yes I fully invented some words there to get across how amazing these bad boys are. They are weapons whose safety only goes off when its pointed at a person who has been labeled a latent criminal; but, not only that the Dominator itself reads the latent criminals Psycho Pass and depending on the threat level it will change from Paralyze to Kill, which comes into play later on in the episode. Did I also mention that the controls for the Dominator are very reminiscent of how one would pilot a mecha or even the Jarvis user interface from Ironman?
What happens next is to be expected, the criminal is found and stopped—but here’s where it gets interesting. The hostage that the criminal took with him, simply because she was a hostage has also become a latent criminal because her Psycho-Pass now reads as muddy as the man that abused and tortured her. Ayane is faced immediately with the dilemma of allowing her team to save her, or kill her and already we are introduced to the heavy ideological backing and social commentary that the show is setting itself up for later.
I would DEFINTELY check this show out if you have not already. I found myself drawing a lot of parallels to the shows of the 90’s (as I mentioned above), and while the art is still a bit bishi, I loved how very much targeted at a male audience this show is with the tone, narrative, and setting all hinting at it. The social commentary, and the dystopian future as well as the heavy cyberpunk elements are all dealt with in such a mature and subtle manner, that I already feel I could spend days delving into the messages and symbolism of the first episode alone! It’s a nice break from the anime’s that have been popular lately.
If you like cyberpunk, serious stories, mature commentary on society I would check this out. I don’t expect much of a heavy love story, which I hope does not happen because I feel it would detract from the show, in fact I don’t really expect too much romance in this show at all—which would be a relief personally. I think if you were a fan of Cowboy Bebop, Hellsing, Full Metal Panic: TSR, Kenshin, I would give this a try.
I do give a heavy warning though that this is for mature audiences only. There is extremely mature content, death, graphic death scenes, rape, torture, and a lot of it is shown and not very pretty, so do not watch it if you cannot handle it. Still this series does come highly recommended.
Here is a direct link to Funimations direct stream of it.
Yuqi is a nerd, cosplayer, fangirl that alternatively goes by Moetron. She loves going to conventions, and would describe herself as being incredibly moe-moe-tsun. Her favorite western fannish things would be: Sherlock, Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Disney, and World of Warcraft.