Monday, 22 October 2012

Psycho-Pass - Episode 2

In case you're wondering where I've vanished too over the past few days, the answer is Scotland Loves Anime 2012 - I'll probably make a separate post outlining all the screenings I reviewed while I was there, but for now rest assured that I'm back!  Until Friday when I'm away for the weekend again, at least...

Anyhow, after delivering arguably the autumn season's most compelling opening episode, this second instalment of Psycho-Pass takes us to the morning after the night before for young Akane, as she continues to fret after a sleepless night about whether her actions during her first ever mission were correct or not.  Luckily for her, the rest of her life proves to be decidedly easy thanks to modern technology, and she also has friends who have no qualms about talking down any doubts she might have about her choice of career path given her aptitude and mental fortitude no matter what life throws at her.

Come that evening, the time for any doubts to be put to one side arrives as Akane takes on her second shift, and no sooner does it begin than she finds herself called to another incident.  This time around, Akane's frustration proves to be less about her actions and more about her inaction, as she finds herself outsmarted and outpaced by her Enforcer team-mate Masaoka, who can spot a would-be criminal a mile off without any reliance on technology.  So, is Akane really in the right job, and can she really make a difference to anything in her current post?  It's the recipient of her unique sense of justice last time around, Kogami, that persuades her that she might have what it takes - perhaps now she can move forward with a new-found confidence...

After that intense opening instalment, this week's Psycho-Pass is a much quieter affair that prefers to hand out huge gobs of exposition via its dialogue (Akana is effectively a genius, we get it already!) while building up its main characters a little more.  Sure, some of it is decidedly ham-fisted, but thankfully I'm still fascinated by the show's world itself and its pondering of how the justice within that world works (or more importantly, how it doesn't work).  My main worry at this point (clumsy dialogue aside) is that the series is going to find sufficient ways to explore these ideas to fill the whole series - having flagged the flaws in its system right from the off, I'm curious about how the show's story is going to move forward.  Hopefully those gobs of exposition will turn into gobs of potential and allow Psycho-Pass to live up to the hype.

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