So we’re back with Psycho-Pass again. Ahhh how nostalgic.
The first season of Psycho-Pass was really good, it had solid ideas and suspenseful storylines, and themes that really pierced deep into the nature of society and how this supposed Utopia is closer to that of a prison. Of course, I believe that the only real characters of note were Akane, the deuteragonist, and Makishima, the villain. This is unfortunate, as all to frequently the protagonist, Kogami, came up short. There was nothing hugely wrong with him, he was just kind of a gruff, quiet badass. He merely didn’t have a huge amount of meat to him. He seems to have been ditched now thanks to the end of the first season, and now Akane can truly take the stage as a matured inspector, still trying to avoid killing the criminals she has run ins with. Makishima died, unfortunately, as he was this anime’s equivalent of the Joker, but less loony and in some respects more menacing and biting in his social commentary.
The first episode is content to simply draw us back into the world by making the whole thing one long action scene. Unfortunately, nothing really new is thrown at us as we watch the episode. It opens with the government distributing a new drug, but unfortunately it just feels like a new plot thing rather than something with actual dramatic weight behind it. And it can be painful to watch the trained specialists question how the criminal their chasing managed to commit crimes without raising his crime coefficient when a drug that can keep your crime coefficient down is being advertised everywhere. It’s even being freely distributed. It’s surprising, therefore, that anyone in power thought developing these drugs was a good idea.
Glaring plot problem aside, the script writing still seems up to snuff for the most part. It’s different, of course, as our lord and saviour Gen Urobuchi has nothing to do with this project, but the writing manages to keep characterisation consistent and avoid quoting famous authors. Thankfully, one of the last scenes where Akane lectures the criminal prove that at the very least, the monologues haven’t been lost. Yay. The philosophy seems to be mainly intact, too, just with slightly different wording. Unless I’ve forgotten something since the first season, this definitely feels like Psycho-Pass through and through. Just more virtuous.
There are two real deciding points for me, that will help me rank this against the first season. One, I hope there will be characters who are up to snuff with Makishima, villains specifically. Akane already seems to be doing fine, and the new enforcers could be interesting, but the new inspector frankly comes across as rather arrogant and dimwitted, and the show seems poised to contrast her philosophy of ‘Kill the evildoers regardless of how easy it is to reason with them and be discriminatory as fuck to my work colleagues’ with Akane’s… not… that. I hope they don’t focus on that, because such a conflict would be idiotic and completely one sided in Akane’s favour.
Second, I want the season to offer something new. New in terms of anything, but preferably thematic. When the first season ended, it seemed fairly clear that the only way such a story could continue would be if it focused on tearing down the Sibyl system. They’re pretty much the real bad guys, after all. Unfortunately such a narrative would go against the messages of the original show, not to mention its tone. Something like the Sibyl system just isn’t something you beat like a traditional villain in a traditional revolution. The season doesn’t seem poised to do that quite yet, but if it’s not going to do that, then what? Because so far all it seems to be doing is redoing Psycho-Pass. It’s not like the revelations of the first season really effected this first episode. The Sibyl system may as well just be a computer again, like it was to begin with.
I hope this season doesn’t disappoint.