Allow me to fill you in on a little bit of backstory. Psycho-Pass is/was one of the best anime shows of the past few years and maybe the past decade. It also had one of the worst second seasons a show could have in comparison to its first season. That’s another story though I’d rather not focus on the negative things so let’s talk about the Psycho-Pass movie. The movie is set after the second season but it really has nothing to do with it other than the new characters having a cameo in it. By cameo I mean that they’re just there they don’t do anything really. You can enjoy the movie without putting up with the second season.
The Psycho-Pass movie (which I saw in theaters because you gotta take advantage of every anime movie you can see in a theater) was an enjoyable experience. Seeing Shinya Kogami(the main male character of the first season) again was the real selling point of this movie. Kogami and Akane being together again almost brought back the feel of the first season. Their chemistry is still the same and even though they’ve been apart for so long it was like they never left each other. The story of the movie is that some terrorists from SEAUn(the South East Asia Union) targeted Japan because the Sibyl system was being used in the SEAUn to try to see if Sibyl could be used remotely so to speak. After someone that looks like Kogami is found out to have had a connection to the terrorists, Akane makes it her personal mission to go to the SEAUn and try to uncover what’s going on. While there, she sees how the Sibyl system is being used and exploited which means she has to down the rabbit hole to see where it leads.
Before I go into what I didn’t really like let’s talk about the good things. The animation was beautiful. It flowed so well and the fight choreography was done right. The music was amazing, which is something that has been consistent in Psycho-Pass. The movie feels like fan-service and the squealing girls in my theater cemented my hypothesis. The story, while somewhat slow, was enjoyable and if it had more time to build up the side characters and the new ones in the movie I think it could’ve made a pretty good second season. No, shots at the second season will never stop. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Akane showing her development from a rookie to a bonafide bad-ass who legitimately runs into a war zone was a sight to behold(Kogami has a new challenger for biggest badass on the block.) Akane and Kogami’s dynamic brought back memories and again, is the main selling point of this movie. The subtle nuances in the movie were done well. Showing how the Sibyl system “protects” the SEAUn without really shoving every single thing in your face was the right way to go with it. The way people can take advantage of the system is sickening and gives us another reason to root for Akane who seems to be the only one who can single-handedly take on the Sibyl system. The new team of villains were super cool and I wish we could’ve seen more from them. The movie also pays homage to films like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell.
Now while the animation for fight scenes was amazing, sometimes random parts of the movie were CGI. It didn’t really fit right with the rest of the animation and was kind of jarring sometimes. The movie feels more like a tease than a full fledged movie sometimes. The themes brought up in this movie would’ve worked extremely well if they were developed more. The main theme being Kogami and his similarities with Shogo Makishima the main villain from the first season. That alone could be a plot or subplot of a nice 12 episode Psycho-Pass series and I’d be totally on board with it.
Lack of tension was a big problem in this movie. Unlike the first season where we really didn’t know who would die. For the most part, this movie was predictable in terms of who can and who can’t die. Although the war going on in the SEAUn proved to be a better setting than I originally thought, I never felt like the main characters were in danger and that kind of brought the tension down a bit. The movie had some pretty good build up but sort of fell flat at the end.
Psycho-Pass season 1 worked so well because of the tension the show built and the writing the show had. The Sibyl system truly felt terrifying and broken in the first season and this movie does a good job trying to recreate that feeling. This movie doesn’t have bad writing at all, it’s surprisingly good but the finale didn’t really hit home as much as it should have. The movie is extremely enjoyable, full of all the action, exploding bodies and shirtless Kogami you can handle. I think the reason why I was sort of disappointed is because I was sort of expecting something closer to the first season.
If you’re expecting to feel the same satisfaction that you felt from the first season then you might be disappointed, but if you’re trying to wash the taste of the second season out of your mouth then look no further.