Sibyl System’s new developments prevent the movie from having a clouded hue.
During most of Psycho-Pass’ second season, all I wanted to see was Detective Akane Tsunemori reunited with her devious right hand, Inspector Shinya Kogami. I wanted them to team up and use their intuition and wits to outsmart their foes. Psycho-Pass: The Movie brings the duo back together, but in a superficial way. While their relationship may not have been bettered by the film, we do get the chance to see the world of Psycho-Pass and the Sibyl System in a whole new light.
Psycho-Pass: The Movie isn’t the place to start if you haven’t seen the series. If you missed the second season, you’ll still have a good understanding of what’s going on in the movie, save for a scene or two. Psycho-Pass: The Movie picks up three years after the events of the first season.
Unlike Season 2, Psycho-Pass: The Movie avoids retreading the same steps as the first season, but still maintains the essence of what Psycho-Pass tries to achieve. Sibyl is scary, unstoppable, effective, and Detective Tsunemori must find a way to make it better. Psycho-Pass: The Movie gives us a look at the futuristic world outside of Japan, and it’s a bleak one.
The anime series didn’t go into detail about what was going on with the rest of the world, and that makes the movie’s story even cooler. Psycho-Pass: The Movie mainly takes place in SEAUn (South East Asia Union), a country in the midst of civil war — and the first country to import the Sibyl System. After terrorists from SEAUn attempt to attack Japan, Tsunemori finds links between them and her former partner Kogami and is sent to investigate.
Tsunemori shines brightest in Psycho-Pass: The Movie. She’s mostly on her own, but even when she’s not, the movie continues to demonstrate why she’s a captivating lead. Tsunemori is confident and tactful, and all the detective tricks she’s learned in the show come into play. That’s probably why Kogami feels like he doesn’t really have a place in the film.
In the series, Kogami acted as a mentor and, at times, a roadblock for Tsunemori. In Psycho-Pass: The Movie he’s just a familiar face to star in most of the the action scenes. The pair’s initial reunion is cool, but the movie doesn’t utilize their bond to its full potential. Kogami primarily serves as Tsunemori and the viewer’s connection to the SEAUn rebels. After that, he quickly loses relevance to the story.
Kogami’s presence never feels like more than fan service, and that feels even more evident when his side story impedes Tsunemori’s. Psycho-Pass: The Movie makes interesting points about the Sibyl System’s effectiveness in labeling criminals, creating order in a broken country, and identifying who even wants it. However, its landing on these points in the finale is broken up by Kogami’s final fight, and weirdly enough, the credits.
There’s a crucial short scene at the end of the credits that solidifies a point the film tries to make. It’s a bit annoying that this information is hidden away and broken up by Kogami’s fight, but the points made are still mostly effective.
Issues with the finale aside, Psycho-Pass: The Movie fits well in the canon and builds on an already great dystopian world. It’s visuals don’t. The character art is the same, and if anything, more refined, but the background art is a disturbance. Many scenes have heavy CG backgrounds that feel out of place with the 2D characters. It’s especially evident in familiar spaces and small rooms, such as the Chief Kasei’s office and the Public Safety Bureau analysis lab. The scenes feel heavy, dark, and don’t match the style of the characters.