The Series (5/5)
It seems that that even when Philip K. Dick isn't being adapted to the big and small screen his influence can be felt in all manners of visual sci-fi media. Of course, having 44 novels to one's credit including well over 100 short stories give the various forms of media plenty of influence to run on. Psycho-Pass the 2012 anime series by Production I.G. as a follow up to their Ghost in the Shell cycle seemingly takes it's primary influence from Dick's Minority Report and/or Steven Spielberg's film.
Psycho Pass is set in the year 2112. Society is now measured by an entity/computer system known as Sybil through a device known as a Psycho Pass. Each person's emotional state is measured on this device, and they are made sure to be kept in an average or serene state. However, if a person’s temperament begins to rise to a point where Sybil deems them a potential danger to society or a "latent criminal", the Public Safety Bureau sends a criminal investigation team to track them down, arrest them, or worse if they are deemed an extreme danger to society.
Psycho Pass mainly follows rookie cop Akane Tsunomori. The series begins with her thrust right into the center of action in her first case trying to stop a latent criminal in a seedy urban district. Alongside her assigned "Enforcer" (a latent criminal used to track other latent criminals). Shinya Kogami. The situation is resolved in an unsatisfactory manner, and causes issues in the department for a while. Into their existence comes Makishima a person whose emotions manage to stay low even when he is committing angry and violent acts. He has a mission to destroy the Sybil system, and to this end he begins to create riots and acts to get closer to it.
I had an awesome time with the first season of Psycho-Pass. For starters and on a surface level the animation and design work for the series is gorgeous. I love the Blade Runner-esque future that they have setup for the series, and just opening up the series like they did in a sleazy future urban center had me interested immediately. The main character of the series Akane is sort of in line with other popular rookie cops in anime, but overall the characters were decent enough cyphers to spend a series with. Also, thematically the series touched on some interesting concepts on how much freedom should be restricted in favor of security. The action throughout the series is handled quite well, and is enjoyable to watch.
Funimation have done a wonderful job bringing Psycho-Pass: The Complete First Season to Blu-ray. The series is presented 1:78:1 with a 1080p AVC encoded. Colors are well reproduced with deep blacks, and excellent line detail.
There are 2 audio options on the disc. The English dub is Dolby True HD 5.1 while the Japanese mix is TrueHD. I stuck to the Japanese track for most of the run time, but both tracks were solid. The dialogue and score came through nicely and no issues could be detected on the track.
Funimation have provided fans with a few episode specific commentary tracks, and a 2 part featurette recorded at Sakura Con.
Psycho-Pass is a thrilling, Philip K. Dick inspired sci-fi anime. The Blu-ray from Funimation looks and sounds fantastic and comes with some decent extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.