Psycho-Pass premieres with a psychotically modest first episode – nothing is particularly spectacular on an individual basis, yet everything is certainly respectable, and serves to make an immersive experience.
Sights and sounds account for the first impression when starting the episode – and all goes well in that respect as both are definitely above average, yet that’s accounting for the fact “average” means little to nothing in today’s standards. Nonetheless, Psycho-Pass certainly proves itself solid in both respects – utilizing the two sensory realms quite unusually. Being of a notable higher quality, they’re delivered in such a manner that one can recognize their general aura of excellence – however, the series seems to explicitly refrain from going all out.
Indeed, whilst an opening chapter of an animation may often boast all to its name in order to set an example of expectation – Psycho-Pass seems to simply keep itself leveled and operating on the fate that it has enough to engage viewers elsewhere, and it admittedly does. The series makes its appeal through a “best has yet to come” approach.
The fair aesthetics and audio are integrated with what is a similarly reputable plot – and interestingly, the story is unveiled in an unconventional manner as well. This episode provides us with nearly zero in respect to the main premise – yet it does introduce us quite heavily to the various characters and their respective personalities.
First we’re given a single point – a scene is shown to us which while seemingly irrelevant and disjointed in some ways, is quite integral and successful in giving a certain character, our male protagonist, a prominent role before the rest of the episode unwinds. It’s a display of the male lead standing in a heated encounter with the white-haired antagonist – although no calamity unfolds, merely tension.
Subsequently, the remainder of the episode from here is an introductory one-time event which makes no contribution to a grander plot – the whole scheme feeling oddly much like a tutorial level in a videogame.
A cute bishoujo is new on the job of law enforcement and she’s given her objective, equipped with a firearm, and endowed with the authority to go after a criminal as she see fit. Joining her unit, a few “latent criminals” who are said to be restricted to doing nothing else besides catching other “latent criminals” – individuals supposedly no different than themselves.
One of these “criminals” explains the basics of her new occupation to her – guns measure Psycho-Pass, and are made to be used solely on a certain transgressing few whom the gun identifies as having a certain level of psyche. Geared with knowledge, our heroine experiences first hand the gristly world she lives in – and it truly pushes her spirit. The cost of saving one seems to be inevitably at the price of another – and she’s, in fact, nearly left with no choice in this regard.
Her colleagues are seemingly apathetic – yet our heroine is quite intent on the basis of heroism, and this leads to conflict of interest. Unfortunate as such occurrences may be however, this is what takes us to a defining moment – or actually, two whole separate aspects accounting for such impact. The first being that, if necessary, our heroine will take responsibility for one life at the expense of another as one will see – and secondly, the tear in her heart from the fragility of these lives she wishes to protect will certainly show.
In respect to our heroine firing her gun, the outcome is ultimately minimal – although it does seems to leave her recognized as no ordinary newbie amongst her workforce. That said, her relationship with coworkers and criminals feels more so the start of something which isn’t truly threshed out just yet of course – and this is merely an entry into angles of story to be developed as we continue on, now with an enhanced idea of the sort of person our heroine is.
Physical events aside, it is our heroine’s reactive appearance which marks the true awakening into Psycho-Pass – prior to firing anything at anyone, it will be impossible not to notice our heroine’s expression. She looks as if trying so difficultly to grin – forcing a friendly smile from underneath a river of anxiety on the verge of flooding.
At that point, Psycho-Pass asserts its powerful storytelling capabilities, that it present emotions so complex, in but a single moment – and so it garners our attention to another level. The first episode doesn’t show much, and it doesn’t make the effort to – yet it does do all with no notable flaw, and to a degree appreciable. With that alone, it wouldn’t have much definition – although that is where the heroine’s final act and expression come in, they’re unshakable and linger on the mind, leaving one to realize, this series has managed to captivate with one hardly realizing it.
Assuming the series capitalizes on the promise of this opening encounter, escalating the main story whilst further building characters, success is essentially inevitable and guaranteed.