Psycho-Pass 3 - A Set up for Psycho-Pass 4

in anime •  7 months ago 


Back when I wasn't watching nearly as much anime, and only checking out a show every so often, Psycho-Pass was a show that stood out when I finally watched it and I loved it. Each of the first two seasons contained it's own self-standing story, though you still want to watch them to get the full context. Each story expands on the nature of the Sybil System that runs Japan, A Persons Psycho-Pass, a numerical measurement of the likelihood they will commit a crime, and strong themes of Privacy Vs. Safety and many other things relevant to that.

To start, the first two seasons are fantastic and you should watch them, though I don't have a way to explain the pro's and con's of Season 3 without spoiling them, so going forward this review will be written under the assumption you have seen the first two seasons of the show.

Following two new investigators, Arata and Kei, we find out that investigator Akane of the first two seasons has been imprisoned and awaiting the judgment of the Sybil System for a currently unspecified crime. This was the most interesting thing about the show at first due to Akane being the only person who knows the secret of Sybil, and Sybil having reasons to leave Akane as an active investigator despite that. The problem is after about seven hours of anime since the episodes are 45 minutes long instead of the normal 22-25 you'd expect a normal episode to be, we still don't know why she's awaiting judgment.


That starts to set up the biggest issues I have with this season, and that comes shows end I feel like it was nothing but a set up for the next season. The main antagonist, Bifrost, is interesting. The 'Congressmen' seem to be playing a game where they all try to outplay each other by manipulating events in Japan, whoever manages to win gains more shares through the 'Round Robin' game. Lose all the shares you are eliminated, though while the game goes on they cannot leave the table and have to rely on their 'Enforcers' to carry out their plan. Somehow they can operate outside the eyes of Sybil, presumably because Bifost is really an AI, and Sybil is a collection of brains and not a true AI. The justification of none of their hues clouding because they don't have a direct hand in the events is a bit of a stretch all things considered, but the core of this is more Bifrost and Round Robin itself rather than the Congressmen, so I can let that slide.

The amount of time given to have to set everything up and establish their characters is a bit frustrating, specifically because other seasons have done a better job of doing that with less time, all while managing to tell a complete story. It's not until you get an idea of what Bifrost is that you even get a feeling that this is Psycho-Pass, because prior to the fifth episode they show normal themes don't even seem to be at play, it just feels like an anime about a police investigation.

That said, once it gets going later on it does become an interesting story with all the same themes as before, with some great mysterious and more insight into the nature of Sybil and the society it runs. I wish it didn't take so long to establish, but the tone and atmosphere end up being just as good as they have always been.


Onto the characters, and this is something that starts to make the show enjoyable, even with the early episodes feeling slow. Our two new detectives have a bit of a hidden motive of discovering why those in their families died, and it's clear there is some connection to Bifrost. Their personalities are a bit at odds, and Sybil recommended they not be partners, but their particular connections allow them to work together despite that. Arata has a powerful ability to read other people, though is quite reckless and will readily put himself at risk, whereas Kei is a lot more strict and thorough. A bit of a clique pairing, but it works well. It's also nice to see one of Season 2's enforcers returning as part of their team, as well as see expanded rolls of some previous characters. The relationships between the enforcers and investigators alter and grows very organically and naturally as the show progresses, and by the end of the season, you really do have a wonderful and strong cast.

Where I get a bit disconnected is Arata himself and his 'Mental Tracing'. The show tries to say it's a skill anyone can develop, but essentially it borders on voodoo. He can put himself in the shoes of another person, and the more he knows about them the more he can follow what it is they did or would do. The thing is he is sometimes able to know what other people may have said to them as well, which pushes this past the bounds of what the show has established thus far, and can break your suspension of disbelief a bit as a result.

Something like that happened with seasons two antagonists, but at the same time, it at least gave a reason why Sybil wasn't able to follow him. Here it's not something that even has anything to do with Sybil, it's just some odd power they gave him to explain why these two seem to be the only ones able to track down anything related to Bifrost.


Season three is still a good show, but how good it is will depend entirely on season four. If the build-up is worth it, the season is fantastic. If the follow up can't live up to the build, the season feels like a waste. And considering it's not a full story, it's hard to recommend this until we have a season four to see.

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Entries need to be submited by Febuary 1st.

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