ANIME & MANGA - Article
14:57 - 11th February 2013, by NEO Staff

Psycho-Pass

In the future, advanced technology has seeped into every facet of human existence. Some is harmless - like automated transport, and holographic guide posts. A police department using precognitive software to enforce justice before crimes occur, though? That's something to worry about.

Sibyl is watching - the Sibyl computer system, that is. Linked to the psycho-pass devices that every citizen must wear, the system monitors a person's emotional state, personality, and stress levels, using the data to calculate a 'Crime Co-efficient'. Score too highly, and you might end up with Unit One knocking on your door - an elite investigation squad, who track down perps in advance of their offences.

Akane Tsunemori is Unit One's newest recruit, fresh from the academy and thrust into a brutal first case. It concerns an otherwise normal man, who was detected by a random scan and arbitrarily labelled, who then decided to live up to that charge by kidnapping and abusing a young woman. Partnered with a group of Enforcers - latent criminals deemed adequate to function as hunting dogs - Akane finds her training woefully insufficient to deal with both the physical danger and the complex issues surrounding her new role. Would the perp have attacked at all if he hadn't been pre-emptively scanned? Is summary execution a justifiable reaction? Can she trust her teammates, when half of them are under questionable legal restrictions? And how did the mysterious Shinya Kogami go from an Inspector like herself to one of the suspicious Enforcers?

It's a shocking opening episode, but necessarily so to establish the tone for the bleak and violent world. As the series progresses, Kogami's history serves to reveal more background, while Akane's role as newcomer lets the audience share in her unsettling discoveries of just how oppressive society has become - and if it's worth fighting for.
Already one of the most intelligent and captivating shows currently airing, if Psycho-Pass can be even half as impressive as its pseudo-predecessor, it will be a very special production indeed.

This is an extract of a feature that originally appeared in NEO issue 107.

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