|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
This second season of Psycho-Pass introduces a new villain in the form of Kamui who is trying to shake things up with the current society in place being ran by the Sibyl System much like Makishima did in the prior season. Akane has a mostly new team of Inspectors and Enforcers to assist her in this case as she tries to figure out Kamui's motives and origins as he manipulates others to join in his cause. |
Unlike the first season, Psycho Pass 2 is quite a mess in terms of writing and the amount of time it has to explore things. The first season took its time with exploring the unique problems that plagued Japan with the Sibyl System running society, fleshing out its cast and unveiling the true nature and motives surrounding Makishima and the Sibyl System. The 22-episode count for it was enough time for you to think about and feel for the problems facing the major characters and those living within the so-called utopia that the Sibyl System provided.
For this second season though, the writing for the plot isn't as well thought out as a good number of the plot twists and revelations revealed regarding Kamui's origins and his plans in defying the Sibyl System are rushed through and the series relies on infodump expositions at points to fully reveal its story instead of fully showing you what happens. In addition, the majority of new characters introduced in this series either get little fleshing out or are so incompetent that you have to wonder why they were allowed to fill character space. Having this season at 11 episodes greatly limited the amount of time the series could have to explore its plot and characters. Plus unlike its first season, it didn't seem like this series had a clear focus on what it wanted to explore as subjects such as Akane's mental state and the Sibyl System running into some sort of omnipotence paradox are brought up yet either don't get properly developed or they get poorly elaborated on thanks to the show's rushed pace. It seemed like whomever was responsible for directing this season of Psycho-Pass was more focused on highlighting the spectacle of the series instead of the themes it explored from the first season.
About the only genuine praise I can give this second season to Psycho-Pass is its visual presentation. It isn't much different from the first season meaning the high quality animation is retained here with its highly detailed scenic shots and character designs, fluid and intense action scenes and nicely rendered CG animation used for patrol bots, vehicles and Dominators. For as much of a mess as the story was, Psycho-Pass 2 is still one of the year's best titles in terms of visual quality.
But putting aside its animation, Psycho-Pass 2 is still among one of this year's biggest disappointments as a follow-up to its excellent first season. Its storytelling was a mess and the 11-episode run of it limited how much time the series could get into with fleshing out its plot and characters without having to resort to info dumping. Will have to see if the upcoming movie for this will be any better than this pitiful sequel to it.
Last updated Thursday, December 18 2014. Created Thursday, December 18 2014.
(Six episodes watched):|
The original Psycho-Pass had been a fairly novel and interesting Sci-Fi series, so I signed on for PP2 without much reservation. Episode one seemed to be largely about refreshing our memory about how the Sibyl system works and introducing new characters (or had they already appeared as minor characters in PP1 and I had forgotten them?). There were so many new characters in PP2, and the character designs are relatively undistinctive, that I was having a hard time telling them apart. One thing I wanted to know was whether Kougami, the male protagonist from season one (IIRC), would be back; but apparently the answer is no. I probably ought to rewatch the final episode of that series. This initial episode was OK but didn't thrill me; for one thing, it wasn't made clear just how much Akane knows about the problems with Sibyl, so I was always wondering if she was doing her job the way she does with a secret plan to deal with the system someday, or if she was just ignorant. The final scene made it clear that something funny is going on, but I was left confused about what exactly it is; like, what 'trick' was used to deceive an Enforcer. If I hadn't watched season one, I might have been left even more confused--or would I have wound up less confused, because I wouldn't have noticed all the changes since then? I wish episode one had crystalized what exactly the fundamental problem is better. I read that this sequel has a different director than the original series, which might explain some things.
I found myself becoming frustrated with this show, and I think the reason why is at least partly because the original series never really explained why people could evade the supposedly infallible Sibyl system, and I get the feeling that this second version is giving me the same runaround. Sibyl is supposed to be perfect, yet so many people can gleefully dance around it that it is in danger of being reduced to a joke, and I doubt if the plot of PP as a whole could survive that happening. There has to be some resolution to the basic problem that despicable criminals play an essential part in the operation of the system that is supposed to guarantee law and order, but I didn't see any sign of that happening. Also, PP2 wasn't all that novel. We seem to get the usual behind-the-scenes genius using ordinary petty criminals to do his work theme, just like in season one. Progress towards an explanation of what's going on is slow, and given the way PP1 wound up I can't help feeling we may never get one anyhow--or, if we do, that it won't be worth the time that I have invested in watching. Fool me once, shame on you, etc. The violence is disturbing, yet the show feels melodramatic and even corny at times. I don't like the way this Kamui person is being painted as a cool anti-hero, much like the villain in PP1. This guy can fuck around with Sibyl at will, and apparently I'm supposed to be thrilled by that, but I don't want another subordinate villain, I want to know what the dark secret behind how Sibyl itself operates is. I was frustrated by a certain stunt which was employed in episode six and how when Akane finally had a chance to nail Kamui, she couldn't bring herself to do so. The team seems to be fighting with one hand--sometimes it seems like both hands--tied behind their backs, and that annoys me. Was I the only person who felt this way? I almost felt as if PP2 was laughing at me, and enjoying how much it could string me along without having to deliver any really high quality material. A highly violent but nonsensical battle made me so angry that I decided to ditch PP2. The original series had set a fairly high bar for PP2 to jump over, and it finally dawned on me that it couldn't do it.
Last updated Thursday, March 26 2015. Created Wednesday, October 15 2014.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://psycho-pass.com/index.html|