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A 2012 Anime.
In the future, the thoughts of the humans can be read by machines. Not only that, but they are able to read the level of likeness of a person to commit crimes based on their mental states. If that happens, well, you're likely to be arrested, even if you didn't commit any crime.
Akane Tsunemori is a novice and naive cop in her first night of work. She gets the responsibility of commanding a group of "mental criminals" that the police uses to hunt other mental criminals, nicknamed "Vigilantes". The criminal in question that must be arrested, Nobuo Okura, is a man that apparently never did any wrongdoing, but easily slips into a being truly a criminal by beating and raping a woman.
Also, it seems that this "mental pollution" can be transmitted to anyone nearby, like the victim of Okura. Tsunemori don't get this concept, and tries to prevent the woman of being killed, even to the point of shooting a "Vigilante". And this is only the first episode.
Also, the first episode begins In Media Res...
An original TV Series made by Production I.G.
- Action Prologue: The beginning of the first episode shows a wounded Shinya taking on a Mook wearing cybernetic armor before confronting Shogo Makishima, a sinister looking white haired Bishōnen. The middle of the episode is dedicated to finding the perp they are after until the end of the episode where he is killed and his victim is saved by Akane's agonizing moral choice.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Averted. Saiga and Kougami discuss if Makishima is an anarchist, but reach the conclusion that he don't fits the classic definition of anarchist since, though he wants to bring down a central government, he also seems to want to cause total social mayhem, that is too far for anarchists.
- All-Loving Hero: Akane.
- Anti-Hero: One could make a case for most of the heroic characters, but Kogami and Mika are the straightest examples.
- Apathetic Citizens: To an almost sickening degree in Episode 14. A blonde woman is attacked in the middle of street by a killer with a helmet on his head that apparently prevents him of being detected by drones. There's no screams of horror, nobody tries to run away, nothing like that. They only watch the murder with an empty expression or film the brutal act with their cellphones.
- Ass Shove: A politician gets his hippocampus shoved down his anus by a serial killer after he comes up with excuses like "I don't remember" when people begin to suspect he was corrupt and was submitting false reports of his Crime Coefficient. Mind you, the hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for the memory.
- As the Good Book Says...: Finally, after 21 episodes of all kinds of literature being quoted everywhere, from Plato to Philip K. Dick, someone decides finally quote Jesus!It's the villain...
"Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away."
- Book Ends: The series' final scene mirrors the first: a novice Inspector arrives in a area isolated by drones to be received by a experient Inspector that says the CDI suffers with a lack of personal, that they can't treat her like a novice, and then lectures her about the concept of Vigilantes.
- Boxed Crook: Though not quite criminals, the latent criminals are offered the chance of becoming Vigilantes in exchange of, well something a littler better than living in a mental institution with the faint hope that their criminal coefficients will go down to the point they can return to society. Kagari, as seen below, didn't even had that hope.
- Bittersweet Ending: Shinya finally kills Makishima but leaves Japan for good. The Sibyl System continues to exist and mocks Akane's declaration that someone will pull the plug someday. Two Enforcers (Kagari and Masaoka) are dead and Ginoza is demoted into an Enforcer. Despite that, Akane, now the new leader of her unit, might be able to help the newly appointed inspector, Mika, change things around.
- Broken Pedestal: Rikako Oryo can't forgive her father Rouichi for retiring from his work as an artist after the spread of Psycho Pass assessments fulfilled the role that Rouichi intended for his art: to help mankind to control their cruelty and dark desires.
- Chekhov's Gun: The floppy disk mentioned below and used by the Villain Of The Week of Episode 3 turn out to be important 3 episodes later.
- Children Are Innocent: Averted. Kids are just as likely to have their minds polluted by the nearby environment as the adults. Kagari, one of the Vigilantes, is one example, having been flagged as a latent criminal at age 5 with a 0% percent of chance of rehabilitation.
- Combat Pragmatist: Shinya, Shogo, and Kagari all have been trained in visibly different martial arts, and are very good at disposing of people. Shogo is particularly proficient in the field.
- If it can be taken as canon, the radio special mentions Masaoka sparring with Shinya, something that a (then-newbie) Kagari also tries his hand at (and gets his arm broken by Shinya). All Enforcers thus probably know of a few ways of neutralizing people with their bare hands.
- Consulting a Convicted Killer: Or, in this case, consulting someone with a criminal coefficient over 300 that is obsessed with art as the killer also seems to be.
- Cue the Sun: Inverted, in purpose.Makishima dies just after the sun sets, and with him that the only hope at the moment of bringing down Sybil.
- Digital Avatar: Used to navigate in the Cyberspace. It seems there's little to no limitation of what they can be outside of the relative space they can occupy. Cool Old Guy Masaoka struggles to understand the concept, despite the fact that the concept of avatars on the Internet would be already more than 100 years old by the time the series happens.
- Dramatic Irony: Satsuki Kuzuhara almost crying while talking about the "lusting eyes" of her stepfather, while Oryo admires her clothed figure with much more cruel(and real) intentions in mind.
- Dysfunction Junction: Considering the cast consists largely of people who have been locked up due to being deemed threats to society, this was inevitable.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Tsunemori spend quite some time admiring Kougami's abs in Episode 7, to the point he realizes and asks if there's something wrong about his face.
- Even Evil Has Standards: After escaping of his imprisonment aand recusing Sybil's offer to join it, Makishima calls Kougami and tells him that Sybil isn't something Kougami would put his life on the line protecting. It shows Makishima isn't only interested in the preservation of his personal individuality and freedom, but that he also personally despises the true nature of Sybil to the point of asking his personal enemy to no longer serve it.
- Evil Versus Evil: Makishima vs The Sibyl System.
- Fan Disservice: Depending of your preferences, Satsuki's dead and naked body will come off as this.
- Foreshadowing: Kougami holding(and using) a revolver in the second opening. That's how he plans(and manages to)deal with Makishima in the end.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Ginoza has to slap Akane after she dives too much in her memories of Makishima killing one of her friends to the point she freaks out.
- Gut Punch: Until episode 11, Psycho Pass was your typical(if very dark) criminal show. Then Tsunemori points her Eliminator at Makishima, revealing that he has a very low criminal coefficient. Even as he threatens to and ends up killing Tsunemori's friend, his score don't changes. By the end of the episode, Akane is broken and now the audience knows that the system has a deep flaw.
- I Have This Friend: Akane uses this kind of expression when talking to Talisman at the beginning of Episode 4. Talisman says something about "being careful with their wording". Considering his counselling business, he probably already dealt with so many cases of that, and it don't helps that Akane is using this trick in the front of a virtual crowd, that probably also heard it before.
- Heroic Sacrifice:Masaoka ends up killing himself trying to throw a grenade launched by Makishima on Ginoza away.
- Hive Mind:The Sybil System is implied to be one made of supercomputers.It's actually made of brains of psychopaths.
- Holographic Disguise: Holograms are practically omnipresent, so of course cops would use it as disguise, like pretending to be a drone to attract less attention.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: The "Vigilantes".
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The plot of episode 10 and part of episode 11 revolves around a serial killer that is assigned by the Big Bad of hunting Kougami. Also, by the trails of blood around his "hunting field", he seems to have hunted maybe hundreds of people before Kougami.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Toyohisa Senguji don't quite eat its victims, but the principle is the same as certain forms of cannibalism: he smokes Rikako Oryo's ashes, and affirms that the souls of his prey gives him energy.
- Indy Ploy: Tsunemori is forced to shoot Kougami after Joushuu Kasei hacks Ginouza's Dominator and puts Ginoza under a situation where he have to shoot Kougami lethally, and Kougami is pratically defenseless.
- In Medias Res: The very first scene shows Makishima and Kougami about to have their big fight. It finally happens in Episode 16.
- Karma Houdini: Any murderer who is assimilated by the Sybil System. Sybil does affirm that they achieved redemption....by becoming part of Sybil and ruling Japan with an iron fist, that just comes as empty and biased, since they're already part of it when Sybil says that.
- Lesser of Two Evils: What makes Akane decide to side with the order of the Sybil System instead of the chaos its downfall would eventually bring. It don't comes of as a strong argument, but Tsunemori really don't knows any better.
- Like Father, Like Son: Just like his father, Ginoza loses part of his arm, replaces it with an Artificial Limb and goes from Detective to Vigilante.
- Mad Artist: Rikako Oryo kills people to turn their corpses in "art monuments". She's so skilled at this that some people don't even think they're seeing a corpse, though they do call it "realistic".
- Master of Disguise: Played straight and subverted, somehow at the same time. The Arc Villain of episodes 4 and 5 has the ability to pass off as the virtual avatar of several persons but, as Kougami deduces, this don't comes off from an ability to truly imitate a character, but to act as a fan of said character expected it to act. His second victim seems to have been killed just after tried to gain some more money of her counseling business and dropping in popularity, what implies that the killer saw him as a sell-out that "betrayed" the image that his fans constructed about him. Fan Dumb taken to a gruesome extreme.
- Not Quite Saved Enough: Though that was about also saving himself, after Kougami kills Senguji, Makishima takes Yuki away ands ends up killing her after a confrontation with Akane.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The chief of the factory of Episode 3 lets his employees get away with bullying as long it reduces their criminal coefficient and gets in the way of the investigation in the fear that the productivity will be affected if they investigate the deaths happening on it as a murder.
- Oddly Small Organization: Justified and deconstructed. The Public Safety Bureau has a very small number of employees for the area that takes care off, but that is why very little crimes are committed under the vigilance of the Sybil System, and basically their work is "filling the gaps". However, when Makishima distributes around a kind of helmet that prevents is user of being watched by the Sybil System, the small number of personal makes the Bureau practically ineffective against the chaos that soon ensues.
- Order Versus Chaos:Sybil vs Makishima.
- Proper Lady: What the Oso Academy is supposed to make of its students, all girls, solely for the purpose of a "good marriage". Rikako don't like this even a little, but let's just say that what she wants to do with the young girls there is far worse...
- Revenge Before Reason: Kougami becomes so completely obsessed with bringing down Makishima that he completely ignores Makishima's warnings and the fact that he almost was killed by a Dominator that clearly changed modes when Kasei touched it, preferring to concentrate in persecuting and killing Makishima.
- Shout-Out: In Episode 3, a floppy disk with a Johnny Mnemonic label can be seen.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Relatives of people with high criminal coefficients can be discriminated for that.
- Something Completely Different: After 11 episodes focusing on Tsunemori, Episode 12 is a flashback about Yayoi, who until then was practically a background character.
- Take Off Your Clothes: Kougami asks Yuki to take off her (already not much) clothes in order to get whatever is there that could help him to get away from or eliminate Senguji, once he figures out her true role in the trap meant only for him.
- That One Case: The Specimen Case, that drove Kougami's Criminal Coefficient higher enough for him to be demoted to Enforcer after the killer killed his friend Sasayama.
- The Dragon: One for each main villain:
- Gu-sung Choe for Makishima;
- Of all people, Akane serves as this for Sybil in the last episodes, being the only one of her servants to have direct communication with.
- The Stinger: Some episodes have this after the credits, including the final one.
- Title Drop: The titular Psycho Pass is the very measure of "mental pollution".
- Token Good Teammate: Akane.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: The number of citations to classic and modern literature is insane. Some elements are explained in detail, others not.
- Villain Has a Point: Makishima puts up a convincing argument that the Sibyl System is fundamentally flawed, and it's actually causing humanity to regress rather than advance.
- Villain Takes an Interest: Again, each main villain:
- Makishima becomes very interested in Kougami after he obtains a brief video and audio clip of him and learns he was involved in the Specimen Case three years ago.
- The Sybil System becomes very interested in Akane because of her seemingly perpetual low criminal coefficient(but no signals of sociopathy as them), and recruits her as The Dragon in order to retrieve Makishima so he can become part of its Hive Mind
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never explained what happened to the anarchists of Episode 12. We know by Foregone Conclusion that they never brought down Sybil, but what exactly happened it's not even hinted.
- What Would X Do?: Akane's last few actions on the plot are moved by the train of thought of what Kougami would do to catch Makishima or, in the worst case, let the Bureau capture Makishima.
- Wild Card: After it becomes clear that the system of law will never bring Makishima to justice, or he will never be allowed to murder him while he is a Enforcer, Kougami defects and tries to bring down Makishima by himself.
- X Meets Y:Equilibrium meets Homicide: Life On the Street. Or any criminal procedure that you may think of, really.