Review: Psycho-Pass The Movie [Blu-ray]

Release Date
Blu-ray / DVD Collector’s Edition, DVD
Studio / Publisher
Production I.G / All the Anime
Language / Subtitles
English, Japanese / English
2 (1BD + 1DVD), 1 (DVD)
Run Time
113 Minutes

Psycho-Pass The Movie, the latest entry in the Psycho-Pass franchise and a “return to form” as some are hailing it. With Production I.G and Gen Urobuchi back on board, how will this entry compare to the second season where the lack of their presence was clearly felt?

“In a futuristic Japan, the Sibyl System is charged with keeping the peace. Using extensive surveillance and biological monitoring to gauge the likelihood that individuals will commit a crime, the police are able to use weapons called Dominators to remove potential criminals from the population before they become a problem. Confident with the success of the System within their own borders, the Japanese government has begun to export the technology to other countries, planning to ultimately spread the System across the globe.

When the state of SEAUn brings the Sibyl System in to test its effectiveness, it becomes a haven of peace and safety for a time. Eventually, terrorists from SEAUn begin appearing in Japan, somehow slipping through the Systems security and attacking from within. Desperate for answers, Inspector Akane Tsunemori is sent overseas to bring the terrorists to justice. But when her investigation forces her into a standoff with an old ally, will she be able to pull the trigger?”All the Anime

I’ve seen people call Psycho-Pass The Movie a “return to form” for the franchise and I really can’t help but feel this statement is entirely incorrect. Of course, this is all subjective and it is we as fans that get to decide for ourselves. I, therefore, felt that my concerns from the trailer were confirmed, the movie doesn’t feel like a Psycho-Pass entry. It’s hard for me to say, given that Gen Urobuchi returned to pen the screenplay and I believe him to be a man of great work. The second season by this token definitely felt inferior without Urobuchi but still maintained what the original Psycho-Pass series was about. The movie, however, didn’t feel natural; it didn’t feel like a Psycho-Pass story.

One thing occurred to me during the opening sequence of the movie and it’s something that I had never thought of during the previous two seasons. This feels like a Ghost in the Shell clone. Now I don’t know whether other people have felt that Psycho-Pass and GITS were similar and in terms of world setting they are. However, I’ve never felt this way before; Psycho-Pass has always maintained a strong and unique identity that this has never crossed my mind once. It was saddening that I then spent the next 113 minutes thinking about how this is a poor copy of Ghost in the Shell and the movie didn’t really help its own case.

It would be unfair of me to say that this movie was bad but it was clearly not what I was looking for in a Psycho-Pass movie. The connection to Ghost in the Shell was not even the biggest detractor for me. The movie just didn’t resonate with me and definitely could have been at least 30 minutes shorter. The amount of crawling story progression really affected my already limited interest. It’s a shame because I was hoping for something more and certainly different from what I got. Now my experience may not be the same experience that others will have and if you’re a fan of Psycho-Pass then definitely give it a try.

If you noticed the slight visual changed that happened in Psycho-Pass 2, due to a change in studio, then you may also notice the slight shift back. I personally never felt that the changes in season two were that great to warrant any dissatisfaction and so the movie animation by extension is fine. The only thing that I noticed within the movie is there’s a much greater use of CGI and not all of it looked that great if I’m being honest. Overall the animation quality is very high; it’s Production I.G so I wouldn’t have expected any less. It doesn’t quite have the same dark tones that the previous two seasons had but the story is set outside of Japan so maybe that was a stylistic choice.

This release does feature both English and Japanese audio tracks, you should have an idea of which you prefer by now and I don’t believe any of the voice actors have changed. The Japanese do feature quite a bit of Engrish that may influence your decision the other way, though. The soundtrack by Yugo Kanno is fitting for the theme of the movie and he had worked on the two previous seasons so there’s no concern on that front from me.

Physical extras that come with the Collector’s Edition include a rigid case, digipack and a 32-page booklet. The booklet features artwork and interviews with the Japanese VA’s, character designer, writers Gen Urobuchi and Makoto Fukami and the director Naoyoshi Shiotani. On-disc extras include US Staff & Cast Commentary, Japanese Trailers, US Trailers and a selection of trailers for Funimation titles.

Psycho-Pass The Movie - Not a bad movie per se but it’s clear that it didn’t resonate with me personally and was not what I was looking for in a Psycho-Pass movie. With the identity issues and a run time that was possible 30 minutes too long, it was a struggle for me to keep my interest. That said my personal experience may not be the same experience that others will have so if you’re a fan of Psycho-Pass then definitely give the movie a try.