Anime of Tomorrow
Psycho-Pass Ep. 1
Autumn 2012 to winter 2013 (22 episodes) (synonym – Psychopath) (more info)
Imagine a world where people’s mental state can be measured—quantified. To know that someone is in the mindset to commit a crime and be able to sequester that person before harm can be done sounds dangerously Orwellian, but I’m intrigued by the very different tone of Psycho-Pass. It’s a setting that people want to live in voluntarily and to be happy. Being told what’s best for you and having your life micromanaged by a computer algorithm is certainly totalitarian. But if you are enjoying your life more for it by avoiding unnecessary struggle, never getting lost and being at the height of productivity is it really such a bad thing?
I have a lot of confidence in Psycho-Pass at this early stage because of one name—and it’s not who you think I’m going to say—Kana Hanazawa. Nearly every anime in which she portrays a leading lady has been among my top titles and she’s already showing a fantastic performance as Akane Tsunemori. This is a young woman whose aptitude meant she could have had anything she wanted in a world where most people have their futures decided by tests and AIs. But she chooses the challenging job of being a police enforcer and all the innocence, confusion and shock of a newbie in a sink-or-swim situation is conveyed impeccably by Hanazawa’s skill. I’d expect nothing less of the voice actress who has starred in stunning roles in top-tier anime like Bakemonogatari, Durarara, Angel Beats and Black Rock Shooter.
I know plenty of people will have contentions with what I’m about to say, but I feel that already in the first episode of Psycho-Pass Gen Urobuchi is making amends for the mistakes of Fate/Zero. Where Fate/Zero took forever to get the ball rolling and relied heavily on the fans’ prior knowledge of the setting and source material, Psycho-Pass is already in the thick of things and feels very sure of the story it wants to tell. Combine that with an absolutely beautiful and distinct aesthetic and everything adds up to the possibility for something awesome. I’m calling this the must-watch anime of fall 2012.