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PSYCHO-PASS Season 1 – Complete Collection – Premium Edition (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 24, 2014 by  



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“PSYCHO-PASS” is a sci-fi crime thriller with cool characters, a captivating and also excitingly dark storyline and awesome animation from Production I.G.   And for fans of the series, if you love “PSYCHO-PASS”, then you will definitely want to check out the “PSYCHO-PASS Season 1 – Complete Collection – Premium Edition”!  Highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © PSYCHO-PASS Committee. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: PSYCHO-PASS Season 1 – Complete Collection

YEAR OF RELEASE: 2012-2013

DURATION: Episodes 1-22 (550 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080i High Definition, English 5.1 and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV M

COMPANY: FUNimation

RELEASE DATE: March 11, 2014

Chief Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro

Directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani

Series Composition by Gen Urobuchi

Music by Yuugo Kanno

Character Design by Kyoji Asano

Art Director: Koji Eto

Mechanical Design: Shinobu Tsuneki

Anime Production: Production I.G.

Featuring the voices of:

Kana Hanazawa/Kate Oxley as Akane Tsunemori

Tomokazu Seki/Robert McCollum as Shinya Kōgami

Akira Ishida/Scott Freeman as Shuusei Kagari

Kenji Nojima/Josh Grelle as Nobuchika Ginoza

Kinryuu Arimoto/Jason Douglas as Tomomi Masaoka

Miyuki Sawashiro/Lydia Mackay as Shion Karanomori

Noriko Hidaka/Stephanie Young as Dominator

Shizuka Itou/Lindsay Seidel as Yayoi Kunizuka

Takahiro Sakurai/Alex Organ as Shōgo Makishima

Yoshiko Sakakibara/Linda Leonard as Jōshū Kasei

Welcome to a world where just thinking about a crime is enough to enough to make you guilty. Bad intentions can no longer be hidden, and the police know exactly which tainted minds are about to cross over to the wrong side of the law. The great equalizer in the war on thugs is the Dominator, a futuristic weapon that can read minds and assess the risk that a citizen will turn criminal.

Cops work in teams made up of Enforcers and Inspectors. Enforcers take out the bad guys, Inspectors stop their partners from going rogue, and the all-powerful Sibyl System keeps a watchful eye on us all. Society is paralyzed by its deepest, darkest desires, and trial by jury has been replaced by the wrath of the Dominator. Welcome to the future. How guilty are you?

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In Japan,  Katsuyuki Motohiro is a respected TV and filmmmaaker.

From directing the popular “Odoru Daisousassen” drama and film series (known as “Bayside Shakedown” in Asia and the U.S.), “Udon”, “Shaolin Girl” and “Space Travelers”, Katsuyuki Motohiro was given a chance to work on an anime series.  And in this case, becoming the executive producer for Production I.G.’s series “PSYCHO-PASS”.

Working with director Naoyoshi Shiotani (“Blood-C”, “Blood-C: The Last Dark”, “Tokyo Marble Chocolate”), writer Gen Urobuchi (creator of the “Fate/Zero” series and writer of “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”) and producer Joji Wada (“Guilty Crown”, “Kimi ni Todoke”, “Robotics;Notes”, “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings”), “PSYCHO-PASS” became a popular anime series and now a sequel and a film was announced in Japan.

Here in the United States, “PSYCHO-PASS” was released by FUNimation as a Blu-ray+DVD combo with a two-set release and also a complete collection premium edition bundled with a soundtrack, decal, ID holder, keychain and slipcase.

“PSYCHO-PASS” aired on Fuji TV’s Noitamina from Oct. 2012 through March 2013 and help spawn a manga series and also several novels.

“PSYCHO-PASS” is set in the year 2113, during a time when the Sibyl System can measure a person’s mental state, personality and probability of a person committing a crime by utilizing a cymatic scan of the brain known as “Psycho-Pass”.

If the Crime Coefficient of an individual is too high, they are pursued by the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division and are apprehended or taken down with lethal force.

The female protagonist of the series is Akane Tsunemori, a new rookie inspector for the PSBCI and each inspector are partnered with a special team of latent criminals known as Enforcers.

One of the Enforcers that she is partnered with is Shinya Kogami, the male protagonist of the series who is a former inspector who took on the Specimen Case which somehow increased his Crime Coefficient to an abnormal level.  With the death of an Enforcer working under him during a case, the Sibyl System has demoted him and thus his limited freedom has made him an Enforcer for Akane.

But for the PSBCI, an inspector and enforcer must use a special weapon known as “Dominators”.  Weapons that can only fire at criminals with a higher-than-acceptable Crime Coefficient.

The first half of the series features Akane going on cases with the Enforcers.  Unlike other inspectors, despite passing exams with high scores, she is unwilling to see people who have been deemed as criminals to be killed. And that is what attracts Kogami in working for Akane, because of her calm-demeanor and her way of handling situations prevents him from killing anyone.

Currently, the PBSCI are trying to capture their #1 target, Shingo Makishima.  A man responsible for Kogami’s demotion, the death of his Enforcer.  But unlike other criminals and despite of his crimes, his Crime Coefficient levels never reach dangerous levels and so, inspectors and enforces can not fire at him because has has managed to beat the Psycho-Pass system.

Will Akane and Kogami be able to capture the ruthless Shingo Makishima?

“PSYCHO-PASS” features the following characters:

Akane Tsunemoto – A rookie inspector for the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division.  Top at her class in employment exams, she joined the police because of her high scores and believes she can make a difference.  But unlike other inspectors who will not hesitate to kill, she would rather give people a chance and let justice handle them than having them killed.  But what happens when she crosses paths with the sadistic Shingo Makishima?

Shinya Kogami – A former inspector of Unit One turned enforcer.  During a case, his Crime Coefficient skyrocketed to abnormal levels and due to the death of an enforcer, he was demoted to an Enforcer by the Sibyl System because of his violent actions.  But working with Akane, has made him calm.  He has trained himself, so his superiors will never have to worry about killing criminals.

Nobuchika Ginoza – A veteran inspector working with Akane and responsible for coordinating the Enforcers of Unit One.   He has a hatred for those with higher Crime Coefficients.

Tomomi Masaoka – The eldest Enforcer of Unit One.  He is responsible for guiding Akane and teaching her how the system works.  He is a former detective who’s dislike for the Sibyl System has made him an enforcer due to a Psycho-Pass done on him.

Shusei Kagari – An Enforcer of Unit One. And often seen joking or flirting with Akane.

Yayoi Kunizuka – The only female Enforcer of Unit One.  Very calm and cool!

Shion Karanomori – An enforcer and an analyst for the Public Safety Bureau’s General Analysis Division.  Her responsibility is to analyze data and evidence.

Joshu Kasei – The Chief of the Bureau.

Shogo Makishima – The primary antagonist who has managed to elude the Public Safety Bureau and has managed to bypass the Psycho-Pass and keep his Crime Coefficient down despite his murderous crimes.

VIDEO:

I think it’s a given when you see Production I.G. attached to an anime series, you expect quality!  Not only in character designs but also background art.  And once again, Production I.G. has delivered with “PSYCHO-PASS”.

The anime series is presented in 1080p High Definition but for it’s overall animation direction, there is a hint of softness which I believe to be more intentional but it’s definitely one of the more stylish anime series that I have seen released in the United States for 2014.

The character designs for the series is fantastic!  I love the character designs, the outfits and the actual shading that goes for each character.  And while this quality is a norm for Production I.G., compared to a lot of anime series, not many studios put so much into character designs and anime backgrounds and giving the overall series a high-production feel.

While the series leans more towards the darker/softer side instead of vibrant and colorful, “PSYCHO-PASS” still looks wonderful on Blu-ray!  I didn’t notice any major banding or artifacts during my viewing of the series.

AUDIO:

“PSYCHO-PASS” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0.  And as expected, the English dub track has a better dynamic range and is much more surround driven because of its 5.1 soundtrack.  But overall, both soundtracks are well-acted, especially the Japanese soundtrack for the more emotional scenes.  Dialogue is crystal clear, as with the music on both lossless tracks.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“PSYCHO-PASS Season 1 – Complete Collection” comes with the following special features:

  • EPISODE 5 COMMENTARY – Featuring audio commentary by Scott Freeman (voice of Shusei Kagari), Lydia Mackay (voice of Shion Karanomori) and Lindsay Seidel (voice of Yayoi Kunizuka).
  • EPISODE 11 COMMENTARY – Featuring audio commentary by Kate Oxley (voice of Akane Tsunemori), Rob McCollum (voice of Shinya Kogami) and Alex Organ (voice of Shogo Makishima).
  • EPISODE 13 COMMENTARY – Featuring audio commentary by Zach Bolton (ADR Director), Jason Douglas (voice of Tomomi Masaoka) and Josh Grelle (voice of Nobucika Ginoza).
  • EPISODE 18 COMMENTARY – Featuring audio commentary by Zach Bolton (ADR Director), Stephanie Young (voice of Dominator) and Linda Leonard (voice of Joshu Kasei).
  • Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con Part 1 – (21:20) Featuring interviews with Executive Director Katsuyuki Motohiro, Director Naoyoshi Shiotani and Producer Joji Wada.
  • Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con Part 2 – (20:17) Featuring interviews with Executive Director Katsuyuki Motohiro, Director Naoyoshi Shiotani and Producer Joji Wada plus coverage of the PSYCHO-PASS cosplayers at “Sakura-Con”.
  • Textless Opening Song and Closing Songs
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “PSYCHO-PASS”.

Read our J!-ENT 20th Anniversary 575-page special issue with our article with the creators of “PSYCHO-PASS”!

Prior to watching “PSYCHO-PASS”, the mere mention of Katsuyuki Motohiro’s name was enough for me to want to watch this anime series!

Having seen the impact and being entertained by his live action drama and movie series “Odoru Daisousassen”, it was an instant given for me that I have to watch this series because of his focus on characters but also the conflicts that police officers often are under, especially against a major criminal.

And in the case of “PSYCHO-PASS”, the collaboration between Katsuyuki Motohiro and Production I.G. was a win-win!

Having watched the series from beginning to end, what makes “PSYCHO-PASS” so captivating is its characters and storyline.  We get to see the characters of Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami grow throughout the series and because of its number of characters, there are episodes that are strong in character development and showing the viewer how various people became enforcers, also seeing Akane being tested for her demeanor and being analyzed via Psycho-Pass especially when Akane comes across the antagonist Shogo Makishima.

By episode 15, things go into full-swing as the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division pursues Shogo Makishima and more revelations of the Sybil System are revealed.

Without spoiling the series, I will say that I look forward to season two as there are many twists and turns throughout this series but fans who love sci-fi (especially in a “Blade Runner” type of way), will no doubt enjoy “PSYCHO-PASS” for its strong storyline.  It’s important to note that this series is not for the timid as there is a lot of violence and it was one of the major criticisms in Japan was because of its graphic violence.  But to show how sadistic the antagonist, Shogo Makishima is… and so, the series definitely hooks people as a crime thriller as well. But definitely, not an anime series for the kids or those who do not like to see violence.

It’s important to note that FUNimation has released two parts of “PSYCHO-PASS” season 1 for those who are not interested in the premium edition.

While I am reviewing primarily the discs, the premium edition does come with awesome swag which include the soundtrack CD’s, a Criminal Investigation Division Logo Decal, a Criminal Investigation Division ID holder and a Criminal Investigation Division Business Card Case and Keychain, all housed in an exclusive chipboard artbox.

Overall, “PSYCHO-PASS” is a sci-fi crime thriller with cool characters, a captivating and also excitingly dark storyline and awesome animation from Production I.G.

And for fans of the series, if you love “PSYCHO-PASS”, then you will definitely want to check out the “PSYCHO-PASS Season 1 – Complete Collection – Premium Edition”!  Highly recommended!






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