‘PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie’ Blu-ray
PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie gives audiences some closure to season one while continuing to do what this anime franchise does best: exploring ethical questions of surveillance and safety in the guise of an action anime.
Unlike other anime franchises with movies sometimes existing in their own timelines, PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie lives within the series’ universe. The plot leaves out expositional world-building, so you’ll need to at least watch season one in order to fully appreciate the world and the characters’ histories and relationships.
Japan is finally attempting to export its successful Sybil System, a biological monitoring system that instantaneously judges people’s potential for criminal activity. By using this system, law enforcement are able to remove potential criminals from society before they can become dangerous.
The first recipient of the Sybil System is SEAUn, a country currently plagued by civil war. When terrorists from SEAUn attack Japan, Inspector Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa; Kate Oxley) of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division heads to SEAUn to discover what’s going on.
Tsunemori’s investigation reveals that the Sybil System might not be working as well in SEAUn as previously reported and also brings her into contact with Kogami (Tomokazu Seki; Robert McCollum), her former colleague at the Public Safety Bureau, who is working against the SEAUn government.
PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie continues the franchise’s convention of Tsunemori pulling at the loose threads of a seemingly successful society until everything comes a part in her hands. Oxley’s performance as the unflappable, idealistic Tsunemori remains consistent from series to movie.
Kogami’s return to the franchise is a welcome sight as he acts as a foil to Tsunemori. These two strong characters are the emotional heart of the franchise. Despite Tsunemori’s ability to stand on her own in season two, these two characters and their chemistry, delivered between performances by Oxley and McCollum, is just enjoyable to watch.
Because these two characters and their differences are the heart of this franchise, it’s disappointing that their reunion was not more central to the story. Instead of putting this relationship at the forefront, PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie focuses more on the mystery and Tsunemori and Kogami’s reunion falls to the wayside.
In movie format, too, some of the nuances PSYCHO-PASS is known for are lost by telling the story in two hours instead of 12 or 13 episodes. Overall, PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie is well-written, acted, and executed, but is missing some depth it could have afforded in a series.
PSYCHO-PASS is a beautifully drawn futuristic anime. Color and design choices are deliberate to juxtapose society’s gritty underbelly against the Sybil System’s sanitized world. In 1080p high definition, these details truly benefit. This is one of these animes where the animation adds to the story, and on Blu-ray this comes through.
The Blu-ray features Dolby TrueHD for the English and Japanese tracks. The music and vocal performances come through clearly with this superior audio quality.
The extra features on this Blu-ray are slim but of good caliber. PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie features audio commentary and trailers.
The audio commentary features two separate commentaries. The first half the movie includes Zach Bolton, the ADR director and also playing Hinakawa; Oxley; McCollum; and Jason Liebrecht, who played antagonist Nicholas Wong.
The second half of the movie spotlights the production side with commentary again led by Bolton but also including mix directors Neil Malley and Nathaniel Harrison.
The insights between these two commentaries add to the enjoyment of the movie and the behind-the-scenes gems of how anime movies are dubbed. It would have been nice had they taken the time to edit the commentaries together throughout the extent of the movie, but it’s a valuable commentary.
PSYCHO-PASS: The Movie is a good addition to the franchise and neatly wraps some of the mystery left at the end of season one. The commentary only adds to the enjoyment of this movie. To make any PSYCHO-PASS collection complete, this is the missing piece and a must-have.