Anime: Psycho Pass: The Movie
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Retail Price: $34.98
In the futuristic world of the anime franchise Psycho Pass, something known as the Sibyl System has taken on the critical role of a law enforcement enterprise that oversees regulations on “criminals.” Through a police force and an elaborate method of observation over society, they measure levels on a biological level that can indicate exactly how much of a threat someone is considered to be. The system has consistently been a topic of conversation on what makes someone a threat worth annihilating. For two seasons the anime followed the people who enforce these laws and the consequences of being involved in something considerably dangerous. Now, after finding a large following of fans, the movie is added to the Psycho Pass world with the return of a fan favorite character into the fray.
Now that Japan has found its way with the evolving Sibyl System, the Japanese government has decided it is time to share their ideas and unusual ethics with other countries having the hopes of the technology becoming a worldwide phenomena for all law enforcement. The Southeast Asia Union (better known in Psycho Pass as SEAUn) For a portion of time, SEAUn finds tranquility after embracing the Sibyl System but like most things in life, an expiration date still holds. This leads to multiple terrorists from SEAUn showing up across Japan that have managed to surpass the establishing security protocols to make their presence known. This adds a different dimension to Psycho Pass because of integrating a storyline that takes place outside of the Japanese terrain but still requires the aid of the task force we’ve come to know.
Taking place roughly four years after the dramatic conclusion of the first season, Akane takes the reigns as the lead (similarly to the plot of season 2.) The opposing characters Akane and Shinya Kogami played a pivotal role in the first season, and during this film we see the return of the very complex Kogami after a departure from the anime that was heavily felt with a somewhat lackluster second season. With that being said, it isn’t a massive conclusion to Kogami’s story, but does give a nice touch of some occasional insight on where his life has taken him and what could be considered to be the evolution of Kogami’s character from the last few times we saw him. The plot does introduce a few new characters (such as Akane’s Sibyl System devotee) in addition to the follow up on ones we know, leaving a possibility to expand on the Psycho Pass franchise in the future.
Something that could be noticed in regards to the Psycho Pass movie is the importance of consequences that come from Akane’s decisions. The massive spread of Sibyl System technology was something teased in Psycho Pass season 2, with Akane a driving force behind the idea. It has since grown into something so much more elaborate that can suggest personal preferences in marriage as well as state of mind, also now creating specific jobs designated for those on the brink of being an established threat. The counterbalance of having Akane as a prominent role in the government regulations after initially being a meek girl, while Kogami has regressed into a man who espises the system he once gave his life to is a drastic directional change for Psycho Pass to admire and evaluate through the course of the ongoing plot reveals. The film does try to justify the Sibyl System by reminding viewers that it can be manipulated into a force of positivity for society, but the resounding doubt of the rebellion can be understood to some degree. The ending didn’t feel entirely cohesive, but the indication of Kogami’s internal struggle stemming from the Sibyl System was enough to prove that we could expand on him alone with great success in the future.
The animation of Psycho Pass is a series that relies on darker tones to show the atmosphere of the dire ongoings of the franchise. In many ways it finds great ways to animate the world of mystery and intrigue, but there are occasional CGI type of scenes that can truly detract from what is enjoyable in the film – (similarly to the first and second season.) The FUNimation English dub production is a strong attribute to the new film, with a well rounded voice cast doing their best to capture the energy of the series. As a whole, the film adds to the Psycho Pass mythos, leaves room to expand, and even occasionally makes us wonder if there is an endgame in mind or if we’re just along for the ride.
Overall Score: 7/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
-Hooray for a Kogami comeback!
-Akane may have changed over the years, but I still find it difficult to completely back her up for her actions and viewpoints.
-The entirety of the season 1 team is still missed.
-The film makes it feel like we haven’t seen the last of Psycho Pass, but only time will tell.