Thursday, January 22, 2015

Psycho-Pass 2

Psycho-Pass 2; animated science-fiction crime series, Japan, 2013; D: Kiyotaka Suzuki, S: Kana Hanazawa, Kenji Nojima, Ryohei Kimura

After she grudgingly accepted the Sibyl system as at least some sort of order in the society, Inspector Akane Tsumenori is now in charge of a new unit, but still works with Ginoza. However, a new threat shows up - Kamui, a lad who cannot even be registered and is thus "invisible" to the automatic crime system. Kamui manipulates people into committing crimes in order to highlight the flaws of the Sibyl system, bring it down and thus liberate the society. It turns out he cannot be registered because he is assembled out of 184 body parts from children who died in a plane crash over a decade ago. He is also sought by Togane, an artificially created human who obeys all the orders by his mother Misako. Kamui and Togane kill each other, while Akane warns Sibyl that "future is not decided by the society, but by the people".

After a high impression achieved with "Psycho-Pass", the authors made a disappointing two step backward march with the 2nd season. Comparing "Psycho-Pass" and "Psycho-Pass 2" is like comparing "RoboCop" and "RoboCop 2" - they tried to forcefully imitate the first story, but only all wrong things, which resulted in a story that is part banal, part overcomplicated and muddled without a point, as well as full of cheap splatter violence. Unlike the intelligent storyline of the 1st season, that unravelled slowly, layer upon layer, here the story is simple, but without that philosophical touch, whereas main villain Kamui seems like a pale copy of the first bad guy Makashima, and a lot of things about him were left unexplained, which makes this confusing (for instance, why would they experiment by implanting 184 body parts into him? Just saying that they liked to do "strange experiments" is not enough of an explanation, nor how he managed to escape from them as a kid). The supporting character of Togane is pointless - again, why would they create an artificial human who is just there to slaughter little puppies as a kid? Unfortunately, even the main heroine Akane seems lifeless in this edition, just like pretty much every character who either an extra or a shooting target. Several moments reach almost disturbing levels of cruelty and violence (the police shooting randomly at hostages emerging from a store, causing dozens and dozens of exploding bodies, or the fire in episode 9). Even more grey and humorless than "Ghost in the Shell", this is a mess of a season and an unworthy anime sequel, proving that a lot more care should have been given to the story, though at least Akane scores once again in her last monologue of the last episode, which proves that even in this "wrong" edition "Psycho-Pass" had its small crumbs of pleasure.


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