Hello there and thanks for reading! Today I will be doing an anime review of the Psycho-Pass Movie. I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this movie since I am a big Psycho Pass fan. Even despite the problems which the second season of the series had, and which we’ve all thrown out of our collective memories.
Regardless I was looking forward to the movie which had been announced the same day as season two before it came out last year. The great creative team of writer Gen Urobuchi and director Katsuyuki Motohiro would be working on it.The same team that did season one and because of this they picked another team of writer and director to do season two and we know how that turned out.
So I was excited because I expected great things from the movie and I wasn’t disappointed. For those that didn’t watch season two of Psycho-Pass don’t worry you won’t have two to watch the second season to understand the movie. Even Gen and his creative team have buried it as a relic of the past. So without further ado let us get into what makes this movie so good, but first, let me explain how this review works.
I start with listing general information regarding the show. Like the studio behind it and all the creative people involved, a synopsis with a trailer, and where you can stream or buy it legally.
After that, I start the overview which is my general review giving my thoughts and opinions on the movie. I try to limit spoilers where possible for those that have not watched the movie, but even people that have watched it already can benefit. This review is going to have a bit more spoilers than usual but nothing that will ruin some of the surprises of the movie.
This is due to me going in depth on some of the things that have been constant in the franchise theme wise and get explored in this movie. I also assume anybody reading this has at least watched season one of the tv show. So if you haven’t even watched season one spoilers for it will be in this post you have been warned.
Lastly, even though I talk a little bit about the story this is not a summary but a review and the parts have a significance in helping you understand my reasoning for some of the things that I talk about. So with that in mind have no fear.
Psycho Pass The Movie
Due to the incredible success of the Sibyl System, Japan has begun exporting the technology to other countries with the hope that it will one day be used all around the world. In order to test its effectiveness in a foreign location, the war-torn state of the South East Asian Union (SEAUn) decides to implement the system, hoping to bring peace and stability to the town of Shambala Float and keep the population in check.
However, a group of anti-Sibyl terrorists arrive in Japan, and the Ministry of Welfare’s Public Safety Bureau discovers significant evidence that the invaders are being aided by Shinya Kougami, a former Enforcer who went rogue. Because of their past relationship, Akane Tsunemori is sent to SEAUn to bring him back, but with their last meeting years in the past, their reunion might not go quite as planned.
Directed by: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Naoyoshi Shiotani
Produced by: Kōji Yamamoto, Akitoshi Mori, Masaya Saitou, Fumi Morihiro, Kenji Tobori
Screenplay by: Gen Urobuchi, Makoto Fukami
Story by: Gen Urobuchi
Starring: Kana Hanazawa, Hiroshi Kamiya, Tomokazu Seki, Ayane Sakura, Kenji Nojima, Shizuka Itō
Music by: Yugo Kanno
Cinematography: Eiji Arai
Edited by: Yoshinori Murakami
Production company: Production I.G
Distributed by: Toho
“Who What Who What” by Ling Tosite Sigure
“Namae no Nai Kaibutsu” (名前のない怪物; A Beast Without a Name) by EGOIST
Places You Can Buy Psycho Pass The Movie Physically Both DVD or Blue Ray
Blue-Ray Price: $34.98
DVD Price: $20.49
Blue-Ray Price: $26.24
DVD Price: $22.49
Places You Can Buy It Digitally Standard or HD
1.Apple Store Either Japanese Or English Dub
2.Google Play Either Japanese or English Dub
3.Amazon Either Japanese or English Dub
Three words that describe the Psycho-Pass Movie. True to form! What do I mean by that? The movie goes back to the formula and roots of what made season one of the tv show a hit in the first place, but honestly, this was to be expected because it’s the same creative team that did season one.
I’m sure some may have decided to write off Psycho Pass after season two, but there’s a lesson to be learned for the studio. Whoever you give to handle the reins of your project while you work on another part of it. You need to make sure are competent enough to do it at the level you can do it.
Simply because things will start to fall apart especially in regards to Psycho Pass is story format. Which has its own unique way of storytelling with a certain type of language and dialogue for its characters heroes and villains.
All the while presenting its themes in the background but in a way where there not blanket statements, or you’re getting preached to but flow within the story and the dilemmas of the main characters. Something which season two failed at miserably and which gets rectified in this movie.
Though true to form is not the only thing going on in this movie. A lot of what we saw in season one is expanded on and even reversed all the while giving our main lead Akane, even more, character development plus making her a bad ass.
It’s time I explain myself so I’m going to start by talking about story and character and all that entails like plot, characterization, story format, character development and so on. From there I will get into talking about animation and music.
The movie starts off with foreign terrorists sneaking into Japan and Akane’s team going in to deal with them. I really enjoyed these first fifteen minutes for several reasons. As the terrorists were sneaking in we got a bigger feel for the city and environment. Something that we saw in the tv series but which I felt wasn’t conveyed as well. In the first five minutes, we got a sense of the scale of the city and really the pressures of what the safety bureau has to deal with.
The city felt like a big environment teeming with life and that’s alive. Which should be expected as it’s the home base for Sybil. Now I’m not exactly sure if this was mentioned in the tv series but the city Sybil and the Safety Bureau resides in is Tokyo. Which is why I feel the tv show was lacking in conveying the sense of what they had to deal with like when Makishima caused the riots where people were killing each other.
The city scenes weren’t a lot but it was enough, which brings me to my next reason. The Safety Bureau has adapted to growing threats or I should say Akane has become an ace inspector. As we see she uses unconventional tactics like having information brokers posted around the city to report anything suspicious. Something that seems old school post-Sybil to her junior inspector and enforcers. Though it ends up paying off because they get leads on the terrorists.
From there they go into apprehend the terrorists because how the hell did they sneak into the country undetected. Long story short they go in and a skirmish ensues. The really important thing about this is how Akane has grown and the smart tactics she uses to deal with the situation. Something that comes into play again and again throughout the movie.
It is apparent, in my opinion, that she is different but still has a good heart and believes in doing justice the correct way. It’s like she is a hybrid incorporating Kougami’s thought process and physical skill along with a restrained temperament for how she approaches situations. Looking for a moral decision amongst the options presented to her.
After apprehending the terrorists we see Sybil is still the same as always doing underhanded things behind Akane to suit their own purposes because quite frankly she can’t be controlled but is still very useful and an enigma to them.
Using the junior inspector as their lackey, as usual, they tell her to do a forced memory scoop of one of the terrorists to gain information on what they were doing in Japan. Everything about them, and where they came from. A procedure which we know from season one can be quite dangerous. They get the information but without doing some major damage to the prisoner.
Then once again we see the dynamic between Sybil and Akane of butting heads and what actions are ethical and moral. Whether Sybil is really a good thing or at least a necessary evil or plain wrong. This has always been a big theme of the show and becomes a major plot point in this movie that shapes all the resulting actions of the characters hero and villain alike.
Turns out the terrorists are from the SEAUn a country in which Sybil has built a floating city that works under their system. All with the intention of seeing whether they can expand their control and influence with people living under them. It’s quite apparent Sybil is keeping good on their promise from the tv series and of course this should be cause for concern.
Sybil informs her from the memory scoop that they’ve found out Kougami is also there and aiding in the rebellion against the dictator controlling the country. Akane requests to go over there and investigate to find out whether Kougami is sending terrorists to go after Sybil in Japan. Sybil agree’s and thus the story kicks off.
Overall the beginning was strong and doesn’t feel forced especially in regards to the movie taking the story to another location outside of Japan. The plot was tight and well scripted I honestly felt like there was no wasted part and each scene served its purpose. From the introductions of characters like Rutaganda and Wong who were the main villains of the movie. To reintroducing a character like Kougami.
The movie would move from tense moments to calm moments and back again throughout and it flowed well and didn’t seem abrupt. Though it’s time I get into some of the themes and the reversals of the first season while talking about character. In season one the main group was Kougami, Akane, Sybil, And Makishima.
The main themes were what constitutes true justice and morals. Was Sybil a good thing and a great benefit to society. Or was it, in the long run, hurting the people psychologically as well as making them slaves. Lastly was it right to bring down the system and was the way to go about it correct and the only way even if immoral?
These were at the heart of the show and the main group was an answer to each of those themes in different ways. The movie continues this dilemma but with a lot of changes and reversals. Let me start off with Kougami. Seeing him again in the movie we learn from him the state the world is in which isn’t good, but we see he has adapted well.Though he isn’t the same man he used to be obviously. Having had to kill and act brutally at times in an environment that fosters violence and where only the strong will dominate as well as survive. Even despite this he still has a good sense of justice.
Deciding to help the rebels fight the dictator of the SEAUn who has control of the country and who partnered up with Sybil gaining almost full control of the country. Something which Kougami doesn’t stand for as him and others are fighting for freedom and democracy.
It also doesn’t help Sybil has backed a faction of murderers who shouldn’t be alive under the system of Shambala Float. Something that becomes crucial later on but also plays a role in motivating Kougami to keep fighting.
During this time and throughout the movie we see he has become a mentor and leader to the rebels who look to him for help and hope. In what could only be called a twist of irony he has become like Makishima in a sense even though he is more moral.
It’s undeniable he shares some of the same traits. A taste in classic philosophy and literature as well as a penchant for speaking well quoting famous intellectuals and literary writers with a charisma that draws people. Not to mention the fact he is trying to topple down the current government and uses unconventional tactics.
It was quite a reversal and one I enjoyed because the question always loomed from season one would Kougami become a criminal like Makishima. Kougami obviously is aware of this and hates the attributes he shares but the movie goes out of its way to show the differences between them. I will leave it up to you when you see the movie whether you think Kougami is heading down a right path.
The next reversal is of Akane becoming like Kougami to a certain extent. As she has the mind of an enforcer but somehow has a resiliency not to let that overwhelm her or cloud her Psycho Pass. She has adopted some of his habits like smoking and is a strong fighter in hand to hand combat like him which is shown well in their reunion on the battlefield.
She has become the go-to person for getting the job done and is a bad ass. She’s strong and has really grown in her assertion of will and her sense of justice. She has had excellent development and I’m glad because they could have made her a damsel in distress from season one but she grew, and they continued and evolved that. Something which was one of the saving graces of season two and which has been brought to the movie.
Sybil still acts the same way but has also evolved with their interest in Akane. Her being prone to their secret she challenges them in a big moment which shows how she deals with them from her last altercation with them in season one. Resulting in a moment in which I don’t know whether is really arrogance on Sybil’s part or a reaction to validate in a way that Sybil is correct and will conform.
Even if they look down on Akane mockingly as if her philosophy is flawed. A question which we as the viewer has to consider. Standing in forMakishima are the two villains Rutaganda and Nicholas Wong. Rutaganda being, in my opinion, a poor man’s imitation of Makishima who has no real good honorable motivation but is a clear psychopath. Thriving in a world of chaos where the blood of evil and innocent people are spilled constantly.
He quotes a real book by Frantz Fanon The Wretched Of The Earth several times throughout the movie. Which is a discourse on the afflictions of colonization and imperialism on countries who were colonized in our world, and the actions that should be taken by the oppressed as a result. Nothing more dangerous than a man quoting intellectuals and revolutionaries perverting their ideology to suit his purpose.
Nonetheless, he is a man Kougami decides to make sure he takes down. While Wong is Akane’s foil even though he is a generic villain seeking power but in a twist using Sybil as support to manipulate and take control. Within all this, the themes play out and once again the show doesn’t take a particular side. As if saying such things as morality and justice are complex. That there are gray areas and Sybil may be justified.
The one difference is that both Akane and Kougami are on the side Sybil is no good. Though the movie counters this as we see the brutal life in a world outside Japan even if its one small part of the world. This is reinforced by characters like Wong, the dictator over him, Rutaganda, and Kougami himself.
The story is well written and formatted. In regards to character development, the main one is Akane as she is the hero and centerpiece of this movie. Kougami has evolved but I think it’s more a case of him becoming who he always really was. Unfortunately, we don’t really get to see the other members of Akane’s team until the end which I won’t spoil.
Now it’s time I talk about the animation and music. The animation is quality considering this is a movie and even way better than season one. My only gripe is the CGI which isn’t bad but still sticks out. Thankfully they only use it for things like the planes, cars, some buildings, and the denominators. So it’s forgivable regardless the movies shines in the regular animation. Showing crispness and fluidity in even calm moments.
One thing that was a highlight with it was the fights. We get a series of various fights throughout the movie using hand to hand combat and weapons. They all flowed really well and were on par with the Makishima and Kougami fight for season one.
The music was slightly different here and there in the soundtrack as it had more orchestral scores this time around. With some more regular compositions here and there. Though they did recycle some of the old osts from season one. Adding slight variations to some of the ones that a lot of Psycho-Pass fans came to love but it works overall. Here is the entire movie soundtrack down below for your listening enjoyment. Just select whichever track and the full opening and ending song are also included.
Overall all the individual elements of the movie came together to make something good and worth watching.The movie was good in Japanese and English Dub so whatever your preference you will enjoy it. Psycho Pass has come back to form and we can all be glad about that. Hopefully, there will be more to come from the franchise in the future. I give Psycho Pass The movie a nine out of ten.
Down below are some clips to give you a tiny feel for what I was talking about enjoy and until next time bye.