First Impressions – Psycho-Pass S2

You’d be a psycho to pass up on watching this one

As I wrote in our season preview, I didn’t just think a season 2 of Psycho-Pass was unnecessary, I thought it was potentially harmful to the story. But season 2 exists, which is a fact I must accept, so I might as well see if it can turn out as well as the 1st season. And so far, so good.
I had such strong doubts that Psycho-Pass would ever get a second season. Everything was wrapped up so neatly at the end that I also thought a second season would only drag things out. But here we are with a new addition to the series and I’m absolutely thrilled to jump back into this world once again.

New Beginnings

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lvlln // Doing a 2nd season of a show so based around world building like Psycho-Pass is never a simple matter, and this opening episode turned out about as well as it could have. The Sibyl system, Psycho-Pass scores, Dominators, Enforcers, and Inspectors were all reintroduced fairly organically through the course of the story, even avoiding the “Hey rookie, let me explain bit by bit exactly how these minor functions work” technique of the 1st season’s premiere. It even went over the Dominator’s ability to destroy non-human targets, which was only revealed in a later episode in season 1. All while staying right in the thick of the action.

The action had its problems, but one certainly couldn’t complain there wasn’t enough of it. If anything, there was too much, which made the episode feel rushed as the characters traversed several locations in their pursuit and capture of the terrorist in under 20 minutes. The transition from factory to the chase near Yoyogi Park in particular felt somewhat disjointed. The action sequences were done well, but I can’t say I was a fan of the super-slow-mo use for Akane blasting that robot. Slow-mo is such an overused technique that I feel any use of it now has to be justified with something spectacular. I guess they wanted to make this Akane’s big action moment.

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The lights are on, but nobody’s there.

Well, she sure is our lead again, and around her are a mix of familiar and new faces, including Ginoza in his new role as Enforcer from Inspector after the events of season 1. I’m most taken with Mika Shimotsuki, the rookie cop who appeared in the epilogue of season 1 (and who had appeared previously as a student at an all-girl’s school in a prior episode). I wonder if they hired Ayane Sakura for her voice knowing that her character would become more significant in the future, or if it was a happy coincidence that she had such a strong voice actor (or possibly they decided to look for characters to fill the role Mika would play in the story and landed on her thanks in part to the actor behind her). I hope she becomes a major character in this season as someone who appears to be a direct report to Akane. We can already see her butting heads with Akane, not unlike Akane with Ginoza back in season 1, and it should be fun to see her slowly being won over to Akane’s side like Ginoza was. That said, the show implies they’ve already been working together for a year and a half, so if she still has problems with Akane, perhaps she always will.

I have to like the episode ending with a hook for what appears to be the major plot of the season. Whereas Makishima’s Psycho-Pass level simply never went up despite his thoughts and intentions, this guy just seems invisible to the Sibyl system altogether, since that Enforcer could only register the Inspector when pointing his Dominator at him. Akane’s narration that this was the start of a significant personal journey makes me think the rest of the season is going to be more about Akane’s growth than about any large schemes involving structural changes to the Sibyl system. Or maybe I just hope so, because I still want to maintain that perfect ending of the first season that framed the Sibyl system as something that can never be conquered or even hurt, only struggled against.


New Butt-kickings

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Everyone is just Akane’s back-up now

Overcooled // Remember when Akane started off as a naive police woman who could barely hold her gun up without trembling? Neither do I. Akane has grown so much after being put through the wringer in season 1 that she’s almost become an entirely different person. There’s even a difference from the end of season 1 to now. I recall Akane being a tough lady…but not a total badass taking on bomb-laden robots without any back-up. It’s not a huge change in character since she was already running around with gunshot wounds and drinking Enforcers under the table to get info, but it’s still different. And just to be clear, I am in love with how badass Akane has become. Feel free to let her punch a robot with her bare fists and then walk away calmly as it explodes behind her. There is clearly no limit to what this woman is capable of.

Letting Akane be the star of just about everything makes it clear that she’s going to remain in the spotlight for the rest of the series. I think this is a very good sign. She may have finished most of her character development, but she’s still a hell of a lot more interesting than the newbies. Trying to replace her with a new face would be a horrible mistake. I cringe when I think of what would happen if they made Freckles the main character. She’s so against criminals and Enforcers that it almost seems like they neglected to give her a personality, and instead breathed life into a walking and talking foil to Akane’s personal beliefs. Convenient for the plot, yes. Not so much for creating an engaging character who does something other than bitch and moan.

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Curly hair is the hot style of the season

But back to Akane being amazing! I’m glad she’s the leader of this ragtag gang of new recruits. It makes it easier to keep track of all of these new faces when you have a couple of familiar ones to ground you. It’s particularly nice to see the chemistry between Gino and Akane after an entire season of the two of them being bitter rivals. It’s incredibly satisfying. Some of the new Enforcers also look like promising characters,  judging by all the edgy imagery in the OP. The real question here is…will the new villain be as charismatic as Makishima? It’s inevitable that I’m going to compare a new villain to him, unless they skip out on a villainous character altogether. I can only hope the story progresses well, because this first incident did an extremely poor job of getting me interested in the story.

I feel as if this episode was created with the purpose of refreshing our memories, as opposed to being good. It’s like the tutorial before the main game. For example, most of us are going into this wondering what the new “conflict” will be for season 2 and that’s answered within the first few seconds as we see people selling Hue-correcting drugs. Right out the gate they’re shouting in our faces “what’s this show about? DRUGS IS WHAT IT’S ABOUT, DAMMIT.” The rest was a half-hearted attempt to recapitulate literally everything about Psycho-Pass ever. The entire bombing crime wasn’t very interesting, and I think it was just designed so Akane could give a speech about the merits of living in a Sibyl System-controlled world. I’m the type who hates repeating the same thing over again, so the crash course refresher made this first episode rather unmemorable.

However, that doesn’t mean I’ve written off season 2 as a dud. The action is lively and exciting, and I imagine we’ll get some much better crimes than some depressed dude blowing stuff up to rebel. So maybe the first episode wasn’t the best thing ever, but I have faith in the strength of the concept, the core characters, and the pure “cool-factor” of the action we saw this week. There are so many good things going for this show. Next week is where the real fun begins~

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The new face of pure evil…


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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39 Responses to “First Impressions – Psycho-Pass S2”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    CAUSE I FEEEEEL! Welcome back, Psycho-Pass! I was wondering when the post would finally arrive! Overcooled has also come back to her calling 😉 I apologize in advance if this becomes a wall of text.

    Great to be back in the world of latent criminals and more Akane Tsunemori is always a pleasure. Our girl has come a long way from her green horn status. That she can stand badass and confident on her own makes you want to cheer. While idealistically, the first season alone is good, I’m happy to see the events continue due to business left unfinished. Specifically how it burned me that after the Sybil system revealed itself, it blatantly rubbed it in Akane’s face that even though she knows the truth, she can’t do anything about it and laughed at her.

    Apparently the staff decided to get right down to business throwing us into the story a year and half after where the first season left off and we get slew of new characters.

    Mika Shimotsuki was a thorn in the side here but I’m giving some leniency as what she went through was most likely what embittered her. For those who don’t remember her, her classmates were killed by Rikako last season between episodes 6 and 8 and the last one that died was her best friend whom she sent over to Rikako because the friend wanted advice on something. So Mika felt as though she killed her herself. I won’t find it surprising if that also brought some self-loathing. After that, she probably painted all latent criminals with the same broad brush so she doesn’t agree with Akane’s point of view. And anyone wondering why she seems close to Yayoi, it’s because Yayoi was consoling her at the crime scene when they police found the bodies.

    The OP needs to stop showing potential spoilers in its visuals. At first, I was under the impression Sakuya Tougane (Keiji Fujiwara) was an idealist who ended up an Enforcer due to unfortunate circumstances, especially when assisted Akane in calming their target down. But it looks like he’s going to be trouble later on.

    Where this will go is anyone guess but I feel something will happen. The series’ synopsis is ominous and foreboding. “Having learned the true nature of the Sybil System, Akane Tsunemori chose to obey the system, believing in both humanity and the legal order. She’s part of a new police section and spends her everyday life facing down criminals. Unbeknownst to Akane, however, a monster who will shake the system to its core is about to appear before her.” And whatever develops, we already know it ends in a cliffhanger.

    The teaser video for the movie slated for January 9th 2015 has already been streamed showing a much older Akane, who seems a bit physically developed, holding a hand gun instead of a Dominator. Meaning shit’s getting real.

    We also have a few returns as well. Ling Tosite Sigure helming the OP and EGOIST with the ED. I’m slowly becoming a fan of Ling Tosite Sigure after hits like “abnormalize” (Psycho-Pass S1), “unravel” (Tokyo Ghoul) and now “Enigmatic Feeling”. Even Takahiro Sakurai is back even as a new character. The red haired Enforcer Shou Hinakawa. It’s going to painful hearing that voice and not associating it to Makishima.

    • Overcooled says:

      I feel like this anime was made for me =w=

      Akane is going to be fun to watch because she knows so much about the Sibyl System…but can’t do much about it. Plus, she’s become quite the fighter lately. So much for Enforcers being the brute force here.

      Yeah, I’m glad lvlln pointed out we’d seen Shimotsuki before because I honestly had completely forgotten about her. Interesting that they chose her to be the one to bring back as an Inspector…

      This season looks intense. I almost wish they would stop with all the teasers and hinting though, because now my eyes are going to be glued on this Tougane Enforcer dude.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I wish I could feel more sympathy for Mika, but she’s not really helping herself. I keep thinking that her attitude about Sybil and that Akane is “wrong” is going to get her in trouble and may lead to her being manipulated by the wrong parties, or that her actions to “correct” Akane may lead to the death of someone in the group, or to her own demise.

      I thought the OP showed too much too, but we’ll have to see how it unfolds and if there’s anything in there that they haven’t shown yet. Interestingly, nothing of our villain is shown in the OP, so maybe there’s something there?

      I’m glad to hear there will be a movie, though I don’t like when they tease it so early. I had actually thought Akane might die this season, but now I know she’ll be completely fine. I kind of takes all the tension out of it to show future events so soon.

      • Overcooled says:

        It’s hard to like Mika when she’s clinging to ideas that really do feel “Wrong.” Everyone we saw who thought like her in season 1 was taught to overcome that rigid mindset. NOW WE HAVE TO TEACH SOMEONE NEW THE EXACT SAME THING.

        Curious about what the movie will be like…Although it may be a while before we see it properly subbed.

        Wow, Akane dying would be intense! But it’s possible…Anything is possible for this show, really.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I had such strong doubts that Psycho-Pass would ever get a second season. Everything was wrapped up so neatly at the end that I also thought a second season would only drag things out. But here we are with a new addition to the series and I’m absolutely thrilled to jump back into this world once again.

    And FUNimation is simulcasting again. It seems almost every series you’ve blogged ends up on their rights list, OC. Attack on Titan, Deadman Wonderland, Mushishi Zoku Shou (Will be licensed eventually as they’ve already dubbed the first season), Psycho-Pass S1, Red Data Girl, Shiki, Steins;Gate and Tokyo Ghoul. FUNi must be keeping tabs on your resumé. 😀

    • Highway says:

      And it’s such a shame that Funi’s sub style is so horrible. CR’s subs have gotten so much better, and they are able to differentiate between background speech and foreground speech, and different characters having conversations. Funi just piles the same text style up with bad timing. It was atrocious trying to follow the main conversation with the PA system in the back in this episode.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I agree. The subs are mess to keep track of because not only they don’t use both the top and bottom of the screen between who’s talking in background and foreground, they don’t use colored text to separate multiple people in a conversation. I sometimes would have to pause the video because there was a huge wall and had to read it out.

  3. JPNIgor says:

    Aaaah, the OP has so many spoilers!!! Forget it, forget it goddamit!

  4. Foshizzel says:

    DUDDEEE AKANE WHEN DID YOU GET SO BADASS?! WOW I loved her BAMF moments <3 <3 <3

    I don't like the new OP as much as the other two, but I guess it wasn't too bad! So I heard this is going to be just 11 episodes? That makes me a bit sad! Then again at least there is a movie coming soon right? I just pray it isn't a recap one...

    It feels good to have Psycho-Pass back in my life I just hope they can tell a good story! Also I hope we get some engrish like SPOOOOKY BOOOGIEEE~

    • Overcooled says:

      Me tooooo.

      I’m not digging the new song as much either even though it’s by the same dude. But maybe I’ll get used to it.

      I guess we’re only getting 1 cour since they don’t want to go TOO in-depth with another new story. It’s kind of sad, but I think it might be better this way to leave it short and sweet.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Maybe it’s only one cour to build anticipation. We already know the movie is set to release in January 2015.

  5. Namika says:

    I thought this day would never come <3 Finally, I can't believe it!
    Akane is one of my favorite female characters of all time. Just because she's a MC and she's very well developed. (btw, anyone noticed that she started smoking??? :3 look at the op) And another thing I love about her is how well they showed that she grew up. That she's not that naive little girl she was in the first season. I just love it!

    What bothers me is Shinya's presence in this show. He will be in it in one way or another, I'm totally sure. But how??? And of course, the villain. As you said, OC, he will inevitably be compared to Makishima, and I'm afraid he will seem dull or uninteresting in contrast with Shougo. Because he was an amazing villain. The one that you respect, even if you hate him.

    I didn't notice that the girl is the one from Oso(?) academy. ^^" ah well. She kinda irritates me already anyway. New enforcers look more interesting than her. The red head more so, than the other one. Because he seems quite docile and kind and stuff, but he's a latent criminal. :3

    • BlackBriar says:

      And another thing I love about her is how well they showed that she grew up. That she’s not that naive little girl she was in the first season. I just love it!

      Everybody’s got to grow up sometime.

    • Overcooled says:

      Akane has gone through 26 episodes of development and it really, really shows. She’s everything I’d want from a female main character!

      I feel like Kougami will pop up too…but I have no idea how. Probably only for a brief moment though.

      I think it’s adorable that one of the new Enforcers is kind of sheepish and docile. It shows that having a high criminal coefficient can manifest in many different ways. I’m curious to see if he has anxiety issues or something.

      • Irenesharda says:

        But isn’t that the redhead that’s voiced by the same guy who did Makishima? What if his docile nature is nothing but a red herring (pun intended) and he happens to have more in common with our white-haired bishi psycho than first meets the eye? o_O

      • Namika says:

        Yeah, she’s really badass 😀

        I feel like characters that seem the most calm and adequate turn out to be the creepiest, craziest ones.
        Like Ozaki from Shiki. U remember what he turned into in the later episodes? 😀 Or a cheaper example, Reiji from Diabolik Lovers. He was the neat freak kind of charater but he was the most sadistic of all the brothers.
        So I wonder, what kind of roaches roam in the redhead’s little criminal soul 😀 I really hope we’ll get some backstories on the new enforcers.

        Yeah, something tells me he might not have his place in this story but at the same time he’s too important to ignore completely.

        • Irenesharda says:

          Ozaki? Was that the doctor? I’m not so good with the names in that show.

          And yeah the way he is now would make most ignore him, I know I practically did. However it would be interesting if he had a lot more to do in the story.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Ozaki? Was that the doctor? I’m not so good with the names in that show.

            Yeah, that was the doctor who tortured and experimented on his wife.

            • Namika says:

              That was really messed up. And coming from me, it does mean a lot.

            • BlackBriar says:

              It’s one of two reasons I never forgave him. Watching that was too much.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I like Akane too, she’s one of few female MCs that have a very developed character arc and you can see everything that made them as they are today.

      Let’s see how the the new villain matches up, he’s off to a good start though. However, because this season is so short, I don’t know if he’ll have time to build up the same kind of menace and presence that Makishima did.

      • Namika says:

        Well, everything is possible if a pen is in good hands. Though there’s a lot to squeeze into this season, so the probability that they’ll cover everything is unlikely.. meh. TT^TT

  6. Kyokai says:

    A good return episode, these are always hard when you have a big hype to live up to. I think they did okay in introducing the world and getting to the thick of things even if the case wasn’t too interesting. Freckles was grating on my nerves, she better cheer up or else she’s going in my hate-list.

    The male addition is however very satisfying with Gino leading without glasses (this is the first time I’m happy about a dude losing his meganeko status), Keiji Fujiwara voicing Curly and Takahiro Sakurai voicing Reddo. The latter is going to be quite strange because he voiced Makishima so I really have no idea what the staff was thinking in this effect unless there is an actual connection here? I’d like to think so.

    No Tomokazu Seki on seiyuu list makes me cry but I hope Kougami blazes across our screens one fine episode.

    • BlackBriar says:

      No Tomokazu Seki on seiyuu list makes me cry but I hope Kougami blazes across our screens one fine episode.

      I think Kougami will be there but the studio may be trying to avoid an official confirmation but keeping him out the list. Pay closer attention to the visuals from the OP. Look at the parts when Sakuya Tougane (Keiji Fujiwara) shows up and who’s sitting while tied to the chair before being spattered.

      • Kyokai says:

        Yes, yes, I’ve seen him in the OP and the reason for me calling out the production team for not going back on their bait. 😛

    • Overcooled says:

      I actually want Gino to put his glasses back on. GLASSES ARE EVERYTHING! …My love for megane is mighty strong.

      Freckles, Curly and Reddo…haha, what a team! And I have no idea why they reused Sakurai when his voice is so so recognizable. There may be a good reason though, as you said.

    • Irenesharda says:

      It would be really cool if there was a connection to Makishima there.

      I like Gino with or without glasses, attraction-wise I think he looks better with them, but because they have a reflection on his character arc and his connection to his dad, I’m okay with him leaving them off.

      As for Kogami, isn’t he in like two different shots in the OP? I’m thinking he’ll show up eventually.

  7. Irenesharda says:

    Well, I’m really glad that I binge-watched the entire 1st season in 2 1/2 days so that I could be ready for this.

    It is so great to see Akane all grown up and leading her team. This new intro to this old world is less gritty and dark than before, but that’s simply because Akane is able to lead her team to have hope and keep faith in spite of, rather than simply going with the norm. She’s so strong now and stalwart in her beliefs that she will go against protocol if it means doing what she thinks is right.

    It’s a revisiting of both old friends and new ones. I like how Gino has learned a lot from when we first met him in season one. He’s more like his dad and is proud of it. The other girl is still in the background (still can’t remember her name ) but it was nice seeing the new characters. I like the black haired Tougane, he sounds cool. Though the OP indicates some very ominous things going on with him. The red head doesn’t seem very sure of himself so we’ll see about him. Mika’s annoying the crap out of me right now, but I’m sure she’ll get some development as it goes along….either that, or she’ll die or be corrupted. Either way, it’s fine with me. I had absolutely no idea she was the same girl who was involved in all the “body art”, I would think she would be a little nicer to the enforcers after that, but whatever.

    Also, we have our new villain mastermind as well. He seems interesting and it will be fascinating to see what they do with him. For a guy to be completely invisible to the system is a new change. Makishima left huge shoes to fill, so we’ll see.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Also, we have our new villain mastermind as well. He seems interesting and it will be fascinating to see what they do with him. For a guy to be completely invisible to the system is a new change. Makishima left huge shoes to fill, so we’ll see.

      Indeed. It will be interesting to see how this enemy operates against the Sibyl. Makishima was criminally asymptomatic so he was able to antagonize the system head on but this new guy can suppress his presence.

      The studio made quite a choice casting L-Elf Ryouhei Kimura as his seiyuu. He, I feel, has the chops for it. Though some people may like his name for it might bring an unwanted memory: Kirito Kamui.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I had heard his name was “Kirito” and he’s a brunette? Maybe this is what happens when the world of SAO is just too much for Kirito-sama, the all powerful Gary Stu of the world, and he just had a psychotic break and became a killer psychopath? 😛

        • Overcooled says:

          All I could think about was *that* Kirito as well. A girl finally refused to join his harem and he took it the wrong way…It’s always the perfect ones that become psychos!

  8. SherrisLok says:

    That was a good episode and I’m relieved that a studio change studio did not have a negative impact on production values. As for the story, we’ll see. I have high hopes in Jun Kumagai and Tow Ubukata.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, the change in staff members was worrisome at first. But I think it should be fine. So far it doesn’t even feel different from S1.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Neither was there a different feel with Log Horizon S2 and studio DEEN is heading that.

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