I adored Psycho-Pass Season 1 and looked forward to checking out Season 2, despite Gen Urobuchi not returning to write it, and sat down with the brief 11-episode show.
Psycho-Pass Season 1 had a fantastic ending that was left open but didn’t necessarily invite a sequel either, and it does very little to convince me that a sequel was good for the series. New and returning characters and the continued fight against the Sybil System and people’s faith in it still makes for an interesting plot, but season 2 does a lot to damage what season 1 worked so hard to achieve and ultimately feels aimless in the story it’s trying to tell. The story itself isn’t that good and almost completely ruins Akane’s character who was very strong in season 1 but is portrayed as a far weaker characer here – sure, new girl Mika gives Akane a hard time with Akane coolly playing it off, but Akane is nowhere near the fantastic protagonist that I knew her to be. Poor twists, slow pacing, an incapable new team and Akane’s poor character development made this a sour watch, and I’m incredibly disappointed that this sequel was given the greenlight where much of the original team weren’t even included in its production.
I’m not sure who Psycho-Pass: Season 2 is aimed at. If it being half the episodes of season 1 wasn’t enough to show that there was little confidence in the project (this is 11 rather than 22 episodes), then it leaves me to wonder why anyone bothered with this. I realise it was solely for money as Psycho-Pass was an unexpected runaway hit when it released, but this isn’t made for fans and has done a lot in tarnishing the series – good luck getting me excited for season 3 if the series is going to be treated as disrespectfully as this season has been.
Despite Sunrise not returning to take on primary animated duties, Tatsunoko Productions do a great job in re-creating the shows unique art to the point I didn’t initially realise it was from another company. I’m sure having a budget that only had to focus on 11 episodes helped to keep the quality high visually, but it’s still a fantastic looking anime. I’d argue that this season is much more violent when compared to the first season and, although there’s no gore, there’s plenty of unsettling and brutal moments that make for unsettling and hard to watch moments. New characters fit in with the established universe, some of which who were briefly introduced at the end of season 1, and I’m glad that they looked good as the majority of them are utterly useless.
The voice-acting may be the highlight of Psycho-Pass: season 2 with some of the best English voiceover work around. Characters roles were reprised with perfect casting and had they not returned here, I think I’d mark this off completely as a ‘don’t bother’. It’s a joy listening to the wonderfully talented people at work here but if you prefer to watch your anime in Japanese, then the option is there – I do encourage you to give the English version a go though because the dub is nothing short of brilliant. The first season of Psycho-Pass has some of my favourite openings and endings which, sadly, I can’t claim the same here for as the ED is terrible (it genuinely sounds like it’s a track with skipping issues) and although the first OP is far from awful, it’s also not something I think is all that great – it sounds a bit like senseless noise at times.
I’m disappointed. Sorely disappointed, and annoyed. Psycho-Pass: Season 1 is damn amazing and something that I could easily recommend and season 2 does nothing to progress the overall plot, but instead revolves around a dull and uncreative new plotline which adds nothing to the series. A blatant money grab that completely ignores what fans would’ve wanted from a second season, Psycho-Pass: Season 2 is an infuriating experience that’s a mixture of shameful, embarrassing and irritating to watch. Feel free to buy it if you’re a big Psycho-Pass fan (although it’s for this reason that you may not want to buy it), but don’t be surprised if you end up regretting it.
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