Psycho-Pass 2 Anime, Guest Review by Katherine H

January 14th, 2015

P-Pass_S2Waaahhhh!!!  Two event reports and two guest reviews in two weeks! And more great stuff to come in days ahead. This. Is. So. Cool. Please welcome back Okazu Superhero and our friend Katherine H of Yuri no Boke as this week’s Guest Reviewer!

Psycho-Pass 2 (streaming for free, legally, with regional restrictions on Funimation.com, as Episodes 23-33) picks up one-and-a-half years after season 1 ended. Akane is still a seasoned badass, Shion’s still the computer person, Yayoi continues to enjoy an unusually long lifespan as an Enforcer while looking good in a suit, Gino is suddenly a worrywart over Akane, there’s a new Enforcer named Shou who doesn’t matter, there’s a new Enforcer named Tougane who is an evil dick with a mother complex, and the new Inspector who joined the team at the end of season 1, Mika, is an asshole who hates Akane and latent criminals because of her backstory but has a thing for Yayoi. Kougami’s mentor Saiga also joins to help out. Besides Tougane, villainy here comes in the form of Kamui, who wants to mess with the Sybil System for his own reasons.

This season isn’t boring and has some cool ideas and scenes, but some writing and story choices made me go “??” Think what you want about Urobuchi Gen’s story choices, but his plotting is pretty airtight, and I missed that consistency this past season. I ended season 1 confident that its writers knew exactly what they were doing, which wasn’t the case this season. My software developer girlfriend complained as we watched that the Sybil System has a terrible IT department.

Yuri-wise, Yayoi and Shion are still banging away, as evidenced by that scene in episode 7, and as I mentioned above, Mika has a thing for Yayoi. Sadly, Yayoi spends most of her time as far as we see interacting with Mika even though she isn’t interested in her at all. Mika isn’t an asshole to Yayoi like she is to her other co-workers, but their interaction mainly consists of Yayoi having the patience of a saint and advising Mika to do something, then Mika ignoring it. Mika’s decisions result in horribleness and grandma-kidnapping, so clearly the real point of her character arc isn’t her serving as a dark mirror to Akane’s development in season 1, it’s that horrible things happen when you don’t listen to your lesbian sempai.

Regarding what this season ultimately contributes—it brings up why Akane has such a clear hue, goes into how Sybil was created, and gives Sybil a new ability, but is resolved in such a way that its events probably won’t impact the movie’s new story.

Story: 7 to ??
Art: Not as good as season 1’s, but good enough for an 8. The direction took a hit, though.
Characters: All over the place. Biggest plus is Akane’s badassery, biggest disappointment is that I expected Mika to redeem herself in some way.
Yuri: 7

Overall: Didn’t hate it, but I look forward to season 1’s writers making better use of the world they created in the Psycho-Pass movie, which looks like it will focus on what things are like outside the sealed off world of Sybil System Japan. Like season 1, season 2 broached that subject a little, and I’m interested in seeing it fleshed out.

Erica here: I’m still so torn about this. I want to watch the non-horrible creepy violence stuff, but was left fairly traumatized by the excellent writing of the first season and don’t think I have it in me to put myself through the meat grinder without an amazing payoff. So thank you Katherine, for weighing in and not helping me decide at all!  I’m glad Ubakata left the lesbians alone, at least. ^_^

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4 Responses

  1. Eric P. says:

    I found it really hard to believe that ‘Pscyho-Pass 2’ turned out to only be half the length of the first series, which I honestly didn’t find out until the final episode. While others had been hating or flat-out giving up on this series, I had been way more cautiously optimistic and enjoying myself, willing to give it the benefit of the doubt until the end in. But now that I know ‘Psycho-Pass 2’ is just 11 episodes, taking it as a whole–I still don’t dislike it as much as others but have to admit the story didn’t really go anywhere. That alone hurts it way more than all the little flaws that bothered the fans.

    One of the big criticisms I’ve heard against it, and one I still kind of disagree with, was Mika’s part in the story. I guess people expected her to be a reliable partner to Akane, as opposed Akane’s polar opposite with ambitions of taking over her superior’s job. I honestly found that far more interesting, adding conflicts/complications, and it would’ve remained intriguing–if the overall story had amounted to much more than it actually did.

    Like Katherine, it still had a lot of great ideas in it, I would argue it had a lot of cool moments regardless, and especially after seeing the trailer I’m still looking forward to the movie.

  2. Xan says:

    Huh… I was holding off on PP2 since I wasn’t convinced it had enough of potential plot after the first season to make it worth my time to watch. Another friend says it sucked, and this review didn’t convince me otherwise. I find characters have to be more likable to keep me around long enough if the story isn’t great. Doesn’t sound like it got better :(

  3. Mara says:

    “…horrible things happen when you don’t listen to your lesbian sempai.”

    Best story moral ever.

    Secondly:
    Just would like to point out that Gino was mean to his co-workers and he was portrayed and received as being vulnerable and sexy.

    Mika does very similar things and is portrayed and received as a blind fool.

    Third thing:
    Nearly all the scary murders in season two were almost pornographic torture. The thing that made the assault in the street in season one so terrifying was that the person being attacked could have been saved at any time by one of the many people/drones around her, and worked with the theme of the show. The very drawn out sequence in the hospital in season two by comparison, was no different than watching a child drown insects in vinegar.

    Sorry, I really made this comment too long…

    • That was exactly the thing I was concerned would happen. The street scene, was amazing and smart and awful and could happen anywhere. It happen everytime a woman is attacked in public and bystanders do nothing. My first thought was that they’d go beyond that, but loose the tie that bound it to us, and it would be merely violence fetishtry.

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