Psycho-Pass has finished its 22-episode streak of complete awesomeness, and now it is time to take a look back and judge how great the show was as a whole.
Art and Animations
This show is a AA series and it has AA quality for animation and art. There is really no surprise that a show with such a great budget and team would produce something of great quality. Psycho-Pass was made to last and to be a must watch not only for this season, and it will definitively make a stay in its genre. The show constantly had action scenes and they were fluid, realistic and beautiful. The fight never seemed repetitive and each battle was refreshing both in terms of choreography and art.
The show did have some problems in episode 18 where the quality of the art and animation dropped significantly, however the director did excuse himself for that. While I was afraid that if something like that happened for episode 18 it would keep happening in the future, I was happy to find out that I was wrong and that everything went for the best in terms of art. Because the quality drop was in a single episode, because the director apologized for it and because it will be remade for the Blu-Ray release, I won’t count that problem into my score; I’ll overlook it because we are all human and it didn’t affect the show has a whole.
A great show with great budget will receive a great rating, here is why it gets 9 out of 10 for art and animation.
This is usually the category that sets a good show from a great one. While the universe is important, while the action is important, while the story is primordial…if you can’t become attached to the characters in the show, everything is thrown out the window and the watcher will simply leave. So how did Psycho-Pass do with their characters? It did amazing, that’s how it did. We are first met with Akane; she is fresh out of school and really insecure and uncomfortable about the world she steps into, but she grew to become such a bad ass over the course of the 22 episodes and she is a prime example of how characters should develop in a good anime. Her evolution was subtle and she never seemed to be a completely new person from one episode to another; it is only with retrospective that one is able to see all the progress she did in the short time she became an inspector.
Meanwhile, she was clearly not the only character to be explored and to progress. All the Enforcers had their chance at the spotlight and so did Makishima and Ginoza. While some didn’t have much time to have any development *cough* Kagari *cough*, most characters had enough personality and were defined well enough that you could guess their backgrounds and their attitude. The characters felt real, and while I’m disappointed of the little development that Kogami had in his personality, Akane and Ginoza more than made up for it.
The constant rivalry between Kogami and Makishima was also something that gave a lot more depth to the characters. It was always a fine line to know which one was more easy to relate to; at some point the two of them seemed to be so similar, only on a different side of the mirror. Their constant struggle and interaction is what made Psycho-Pass the masterpiece it is, which means that their characters where both interesting and mesmerizing when it came to their duel. Because of those many reasons the show reaches a 9 out of 10 in terms of character design and development. I don’t give 10’s easily, and while everything was done perfectly I was not absolutely stunned by the characters, making me unable to live after the show was over.
Soundtrack & Opening/Ending
Those OPs and EDs. the show had 2 openings, 2 endings and all four were simply incredible. I must admit that it took me some time to enjoy the second ending, but in the case of the openings they were instant hits for me. The music choice was incredible and worked so well with the show; the same goes for the animation selection. The characters, the universe and the feel of the show was perfectly translated in the openings and endings and it really gave you the buzz necessary to get into the episode no matter how good or bad you felt before the episode started.
The show won a spot in all top 5 openings since it started airing, and it wasn’t for nothing. I must admit that I’m particularly biased when it comes to the openings and endings because the song styles clicked immediately with me the very first time I heard them. Then again, if you complain about my bias you didn’t choose wisely to read a review from a blog.
The soundtrack for the show was also pretty good, even though the music was a little generic if you actually paid attention to it; a midst the action it fit perfectly and really increased the intensity of the show. Because I fell in love with the openings the first time I heard them, I simply have to give Psycho-Pass a 10/10 for it. Psycho-Pass has made into into my top 10 list of favorite openings of all time.
Psycho-Pass is more than a simple detective anime; it is set in a futuristic Utopia, and that is the very reason that the show is so good to begin with. We already went to the characters and saw how their relationship made the show go forward, but the characters are only half of what makes the show good; the second half is right here in the universe and the story.
I’m a sucker for politics and science-fiction; I loved Ergo Proxy because of its political root of a distant “utopian” government and in effect Psycho-Pass follows that tangent quite well, although the story and type of government of both those shows were completely different. Psycho-Pass’ story seemed to point at a revolution. Makishima was working his ass off to make that change happen; we were shown the world and how it operated, and throughout the show it was always unclear which side the show would fall on. Sybil has been set as a villain; then again, so was Makishima. Akane is the main character, she supports the system and she fights against it at the same time. This complex stance that she holds affect our views of the show. Since it primarily focuses on her, it helps to keep a neutral stance.
This particular setting for the world view is one that is precious to the story. It is something that differentiates it from other shows of his genre, and it makes things more interesting for the viewer since it encourages him to actually make a decision and take a stance on the content that he is shown. This is what makes Seinen such a step up from other genres, since they actually encourage the reader to interpret the universe and the story in their own way, and it therefore leads to different and more personalized story depending on what the viewer thinks. This is what makes the difference between a regular story and a great one. I’ve talked to many people who were watching this show at the same time as it aired and the opinions varied a lot depending on the moral compass of the person watching the show. Some people liked the system, some people found it to be a complete dystopia; the overall opinion varied a lot and it is what kept everything interesting.
The story was not as interesting has the different perspectives it was giving, and this is not to say that the story wasn’t interesting either. For those reason I award this show a 9 out of 10 for story quality.
Overall Entertainment Value
I felt like the show started slowly at first. The first 4 or 5 episodes were definitively entertaining, but they were not as immersing as the ones that followed. When the real divide begins and we begin to learn more about the universe and the system, this is when the real fun starts. Yes, the gore and detective work is interesting, but when it comes to Seinen it is the moral dilemma that makes up the show more than the action itself. When a show makes you think and lets you make an opinion for yourself, that is when you see the difference between a Shounen and a Seinen.
Psycho-Pass was also able to make nearly every episode interesting. Even the weeks which were used for build-ups were action packed enough to make things entertaining. There was rarely an episode where things were so calm and uneventful that you were just eager for something to begin in the next episode. Because the show was really good and also managed to keep the intensity and entertainment going every episode, it made it to become not only a staple of this season, but a classic of his genre; hence why this show scores a 9 out of 10.
A show with beautiful art, amazing opening themes and a story and universe to blow your mind; this is the way I would describe this show best. The show has no weak points; it is not far from a perfect show that would become an instant classic. While I believe this show will make it as a classic in its genre, I don’t think it has what it takes to be the number one anime in the heart of anyone. It is good, it is great even, but more than that is needed for a show to make it in the temple of awesomeness. Although the simple fact that we have a show that can even pretend to reach such a stop is impressive on its own.
Psycho-Pass is great, I recommend it to anyone who loves action, detective, Seinen, science-fiction or really anyone who has good taste. Psycho-Pass made the winter season bearable, which was a huge feat to accomplish. All in all, Psycho-Pass is a show worth the watch and this is why I give it a 9 out of 10.
Final Rating: 9/10
ZeroG signing off