Anime for the Critical Thinker: Pyscho-Pass

Anime is considered by many, incorrectly, to be a genre and the domain of gamers, nerds, and otakus. in reality, anime is a medium like any other art form. Because of this, the stories told using anime as a medium reach virtually every genre, political ideology, and sphere of interest. 

 

Psycho-Pass is the property of Funimation Inc.

Today I’d like to introduce you to the series known as Psycho-Pass. Psycho-Pass to this point is a collection of 2 seasons of anime, a movie, a manga, and a game for the Playstation 4 and PC. Psycho-Pass takes place in a future Japan and explores themes such as extreme government overreach privacy, and the results of a Progressive society. In this dystopian future, Japan has become a reclusive society where every aspect of a citizen’s life is controlled by an autocratic government via a supercomputer known as the Sibyl System.

The Sibyl System serves a variety of functions including deciding what jobs one can fill, which citizens can reproduce, and even whether law enforcement can fire their weapons at a suspect. Every person in this alternate Japan has an ID known as the titular Psycho-Pass. This card monitors the psychological health of an individual in real time which is displayed on a scale via colors. If one’s mental state reaches a predetermined state they can be arrested and sent for treatment. If that mental state reaches a point of no return, the citizen is executed on site by law enforcement.

The show follows the experiences of a new recruit in law enforcement, Akane Tsunemori, and her colleagues. It is definitely rated mature and includes many scenes of graphic violence as Akane faces off against some truly sadistic criminals. Its at many times shocking but also thought provoking with its sci-fi setting that is just familiar enough to be potentially prophetic in the not too distant future. Its well worth watching as long as you go into it knowing that its not a Disney Cartoon and is definitely not something to share with the kids.

Psycho-Pass can be viewed on a variety of Streaming Services including Hulu, Funimation, and Crunchy Roll. Its game, Mandatory Happiness, will be available on Steam on April 24th, 2017.