Psycho-Pass is an anime television series that was produced by Production I.G, directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and Katsuyuki Motohiro and written by Gen Urobuchi. The series was aired on Fuji TV’s Noitamina programming block between October 2012 and March 2013.
Psycho-Pass originated from Production I.G.’s interest in making a successor to Mamoru Oshii’s achievements. The series was inspired by several live-action films. Chief director Katsuyuki Motohiro aimed to explore psychological themes in society’s youth using dystopian storylines. Multiple books and movies influenced Psycho-Pass with the most notable being the 1982 American science fiction film Blade Runner.
The series was licensed by Funimation in North America. A second season began airing in October 2014, with an animated film released in January 2015. A manga adaptation has been in serialization in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine and several novels, including an adaptation and prequels to the original story, have been published. An episodic video game adaptation called Chimi Chara Psycho-Pass was developed by Nitroplus Staffers in collaboration with Production I.G. New novels and another manga were serialized in 2014.
The first anime, Psycho-Pass, was received generally positive in both Japan and the west with critics praising the characters’ roles and interactions set in the dystopia. The animation has also been praised despite issues in latter episodes which required to be fixed in the DVD volumes of the series. On the other hand, the second series, Psycho-Pass 2, received mixed critical response stemming from its heavy use of gore as well as the villain.
The plot focuses on Akane Tsunemori, a new police Inspector at Unit One of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division. Akane is ashamed of shooting Shinya Kogami, an Enforcer under her watch during her first mission when she judges him a threat to an apprehended criminal’s life. Kogami thanks her for intervening in what could’ve been a murder, which influences Akane to stay. She is accompanied by veteran Inspector Nobuchika Ginoza, a strict man who looks down on Enforcers; Tomomi Masaoka, a middle-aged Enforcer who used to be a detective; Shusei Kagari, a carefree young man who was marked as a latent criminal in childhood; and Yayoi Kunizuka, a former musician turned into a latent criminal stemming from a relationship with a terrorist. Over the course of Akane’s early investigations, the group uncovers the works of Shogo Makishima, a prolific criminal mastermind. Makishima is a Criminally Asymptomatic – he is persistently assessed as having a low crime coefficient by the Sybil System in spite of his actions and plans, thus protecting him from Dominator shots.
A novelization of the series by Makoto Fukami has been published by Mag Garden in two volumes released on February 4 and April 4, 2013. Shiotani said the novels were more violent than the television series. A prequel titled Namae no Nai Kaibutsu (名前のない怪物, lit. “The Monster with no Name“) was written by Aya Takaba, who worked on the television series. Before the novel was released, it was first published on the “Noitamina Novel” page on Noitamina’s official website. The novel was released on February 4, 2013.
A new series of novels focusing on four characters by Ryō Yoshigami began publication in the August issue of Hayakawa Publishing’s S-F Magazine on June 25, 2014. After the serialization ends, Hayakawa Bunko JA revised the novels and published them in October 2014. Other stories will focus on Choe Gu-sung, Shusei Kagari, Yayoi Kunizuka and Shion Karanomori. Hayakawa Bunko JA also published the Psycho Pass Genesis book in December 2014, which revealed the origins of Sybil and Tonomi Masaoka’s involvement.
Interactive visual novels titled Chimi Chara Psycho-Pass, which feature chibi versions of the series’ characters in original stories, were included with Blu-ray Disc volumes of the anime and are playable on any Blu-ray playing device. In May 2014, it was announced by Anime News Network that a video game based on the series, named Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness, was being developed by 5pb. for the Xbox One; with a PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 port announced in December 2015. The game features an original story written by Urobuchi, which takes place during the time period of the anime’s first six episodes and focuses on a new set of protagonists confronting a new enemy on a remote island. NIS America is localizing Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness for the PlayStation 4, Vita and an exclusive PC version via Steam for Fall 2016. The Xbox One version of the game will not be localized.
The story takes place in an authoritarian future dystopia, where omnipresent public sensors continuously scan the mental states of every passing citizen. Collected data on both present mentality and aggregated personality data is used to gauge the probability of that citizen committing a crime, the rating referred to as that citizen’s Psycho-Pass. Authorities are alerted whenever excessive ratings are detected, and officers of the Public Safety Bureau are dispatched with weapons called “Dominators”, energy pistols that modulate their power in response to the target’s Psycho Pass. The story follows Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami among other members of Unit One of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division.
A manga adaptation illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi, titled Inspector Akane Tsunemori, began serialization in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine from November 2, 2012. Its first tankōbon volume was released by Shueisha on February 4, 2013. In November 2013, it was announced that 380,000 copies of the manga were shipped in Japan with three volumes.
Another manga titled Psycho-Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami premiered in the August issue of Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Blade magazine on June 30, 2014. Natsuo Sai is illustrating the series and the story is written by Midori Gotou and Production I.G.