Investigator Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa) heads up division one as they take on a new challenge in the shape of a mysterious figure intent on tearing society apart. Following an incident in which a fellow detective, Mizue Shisui (Marina Inoue) is kidnapped and her Dominator used to kill an Enforcer, the team uncover the villain Kamui Kirito (Ryohei Kimura), a figure who is able to keep his Hue clear while committing horrendous acts and who is recruiting others to his cause to confront the Sibyl system that controls their society. Along with the other memebers of Division One, Tsunemori faces down a sadistic foe while attempting to maintain her own unblemished character.
The first series of “Psycho-Pass” introduced us to this futuristic society where people are judged based on the colour, or Hue, of their characters, criminality being determined by a collective intelligence AI known as Sibyl. “Psycho-Pass 2” jumps straight into the action, assuming a foreknowledge of Investigators, Enforcers, Dominators, Hues, the Sibyl System, Holograms, and Drones, that are commonplace in this world. Instead Investigator Tsunemori, now more worldly wise following the preceding events, is given a new case and an intriguing mystery in the shape of Kamui. The series builds this investigation through the series, expertly introducing new clues, and delivers a series of thrilling confrontations as things progress. The script draws in elements from criminalistics, referencing Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, and philosophy, with discussions on the Omnipotence Paradox, creating a show that is both entertaining and thought-provoking about both potential futures of crime prevention and our current thinking about criminality.
The noirish shadows and sharp suited investigators not only make for a stylish crime drama, but emphasise the disconnect between a world in which crime coefficients can be calculated, in black and white, but where anxieties around a more grey morality are ever present. The series blends elements of science-fiction and gothic horror, technological advancements such as holograms and drones sit alongside the often brutal explosions of gore and terrifying moments of cruelty. The story uses these elements, contrasting primeval violence with the supposedly civilising qualities of science and progress.
Many of the ideas in Psycho-Pass 2 are carried over from the first series. The central question remains the legitimacy of the Sibyl system and its edicts on who is or is not a criminal. Again the show offers few easy answers. Despite the violence perpetrated by Kamui, there are also significant issues with the implementation of a system that applies numbers to people’s ‘criminality’. A second theme the series discusses is the notion of proxy criminality, taken to an extreme by having people unwittingly controlling deadly weapons while believing they are interacting with a harmless online game. This further highlights the problems with a society that judges only those directly involved with crime, ignoring those whose involvement is indirect, or who may unknowingly be causing harm. A fantastic follow up to the first series that delivers on all the elements that made it so enjoyable while introducing several new ideas an a complex central mystery.