Psycho-Pass-Collection 1 (Blu-ray) (2012)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 21-May-2014

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-US Voice Cast x 2
Featurette-Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con Part 1 (21:20)
More…-Textless Opening Song “Abnormalize” (1:32)
More…-Textless Closing Song “Naimae no nai Kaibutsu” (1:31)
Trailer-x 4 for other films
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 251:52 (Case: 275)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Katsuyuki Motohiro
Naoyoshi Shiotani
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Kana Hanazawa
Kate Oxley
Tomokazu Seki
Robert McCollum
Takahiro Sakurai
Alex Organ
Kinryu Arimoto
Jason Douglas
Kenji Nomura
Josh Grelle
Shizuka Itoh
Lindsay Seidel
Case ?
RPI ? Music Yuugo Kanno


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The future is a big brother world where through sensors a computer programme named Sibyl is able to assess and determine each humans’ state of mind, their personalities and their aptitudes and to determine the future occupation which the individual will have no choice but to follow. Moreover, the system is also able to assess an individual’s stress levels and their inclination to commit a crime. This possibility of criminal activity is called a Crime Coefficient, and even thinking about a crime will increase the crime coefficient to high levels. Scores above a specified number result in an individual being termed a latent criminal who can be sent for remedial therapy or, for extreme scores, terminated. This measurement of an individual’s mental compliance with the law is commonly called the “Psycho-Pass”.

     Apprehending those who fail the psycho-pass is the job of Inspectors from the Public Safety Bureau who control teams of Enforcers. The Enforcers are individuals whose psycho-pass is totally off the scale but who have been allowed to exist under controlled circumstances; they live within the PSB building and are only allowed out with an inspector. They are the PSB’s “hunting dogs”, latent criminals who think like, and catch, other criminals. The teams use hi-tech pistols called Dominators which are linked directly to Sibyl and can only fire if the target’s Crime Coefficient is sufficiently high.

     On her first day at the PSB, young and naïve Inspector Akane Tsunemori (voiced by Kana Hanazawa / Kate Oxley) is introduced to a team of four Enforcers and thrown into the action in a hostage situation. The Enforcers are cold eyed killer Shinya Kogami (Tomokazu Seki / Robert McCollum), old hand Tomomi Masaoka (Kinryu Arimoto / Jason Douglas), female Yayoi Kunizuka ( Shizuka Itoh / Lindsay Seidel) and cynical Shusei Kagari (Akira Ishida / Scott Freeman). The other member of the team is female analyst Shion Karanomori (Miyuki Sawashiro / Lydia Mackay). Straight away Akane is required to make decisions which blur the line between duty and justice and she also treats the Enforcers, especially Kogami, as colleagues, rather than criminals, despite being warned against this by her partner Inspector Ginoza (Kenji Nomura / Josh Grelle).

     Akane learns that three years previously Kogami had himself been an Inspector on a baffling and gruesome series of murders, the chief suspect being a teacher at a select girls boarding school. But an Enforcer Kogami was handling was killed and dismembered, so Kogami’s psycho-pass went off the grid and he was demoted to Enforcer. But the murderer was never caught and now girls are being killed at the same school with a similar method of operation. The clues leads the team to another student, but it seems that the student, while guilty, falls into a pattern of other murderers the team have been investigating; a cunning and literate mastermind and serial killer named Shogo Makishima (Takahiro Sakurai / Alex Organ) is using technology, including virtual reality and avatars, to manipulate others into committing murders. And he has his eye upon Kogami as his next subject.

     Psycho-Pass is not based on a manga or book and its vision of a dystopian computer controlled future draws on influences as wide as Minority Report, Blade Runner, Brazil, Gattica as well as Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor and, I suspect although this is not mentioned anywhere, Se7en. It is gritty and bloody, with some disturbing images, and thought-provoking. There are conversations about immortality, free will and AI, humans playing god and, at the core, what it is to be human. This sounds heavy, and in places it is, but the series works because it is centred on interesting characters such as the young, naïve heroine Akane, who starts out believing in the system but who begins to question the infallibility of the data and results provided by Sibyl, a conflicted hero in Kogami and a serial killer mastermind with a penchant for world literature including Shakespeare and Descartes as well as Japanese masters.

     Psycho-Pass is intriguing and complex anime. The contradictions inherent in a system where detectives working on catching criminals think about crime, and thus their Crime Coefficient rises to a level where they themselves are considered criminals while a serial killer can escape justice even while in the act of murdering a girl because his Crime Coefficient remains so low PSB’s dominators are unable to fire, is only one of the paradoxes explored in the series. The visuals of Psycho-Pass match its themes and influences. In one section we get the grey and dark blue rainy and gritty streets of Blade Runner, in other scenes colour enhanced yellows and reds, in others the pristine modern environments and hi-tech world of Minority Report.

     Psycho-Pass’s vision of a dystopian computer controlled future is gritty, bloody and intelligent with stunning visuals and complex characters and themes. Definitely a Pass!

     Psycho-Pass Collection 1 contains the first 11 episodes of the series which aired on Fuji TV in Japan from October 2012. Psycho-Pass Collection 2, containing the final 11 episodes, is also available from Madman. This two Blu-ray set of Psycho-Pass Collection 1 includes episodes 1-8 on disc 1 and episodes 9-11plus extras (except for a commentary) on disc 2.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     Psycho-Pass is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The print looks beautiful. The lines are sharp and detailed. The look of the series varies considerably from dark and gritty rain swept dystopian streets to bright and glitzy pastel colours in the more modern buildings and areas of the city and countryside that look like watercolour paintings. Blacks and shadow detail are fine.

     Other than some ghosting with movement I did not notice any marks or artefacts.

     It is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate in either audio track.

     The English subtitles are in American English in a clear white font. The subtitles are burnt in when the Japanese dub is selected so cannot be removed for Japanese speakers. I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 or English TrueHD 5.1. This is another case where the English dub is 5.1 as opposed to the original Japanese in 2.0. I listened to the first few episodes alternating the audio (it cannot be changed on the fly with the remote – you must go to the set up menu).

     The Japanese is surround encoded so the rears featured music, effects such as rain, insects and running water and sounded quite sharp. The English 5.1 dub was crisper, with better separation but did not sound as enveloping as I thought it would and the voice acting certainly lacked the intensity of the Japanese. The sub-woofer was not overused.

     The score by Yuugo Kanno is very effective in setting and adding to the visuals. Extensive use is also made of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, especially when something very bad was happening, suggesting something off-kilter about the mind-set of the villains.

     I prefer to listen to the Japanese audio in anime and this is no different, despite the English being in 5.1.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The audio commentaries are on disc 1. All the other extras are on disc 2.

Commentary – Episode 5

     US voice cast members Lydia Mackay, Scott Freeman and Lindsay Seidel (the voices of Shion, Kagari and Kunizuka respectively) sit together and watch the episode. They mostly laugh and innately chat across each other, say what a cool show it was and provide little of any value.

Commentary – Episode 11

     This commentary by US voice cast members Kate Oxley, Rob McCollum and Alex Organ (the voices of Akane, Kogami and Makishima respectively) is an improvement over the other commentary and although they laugh a bit it is not overdone. They do speak about working on the series, their characters and plot points and, as they are the three main characters, parts are interesting.

Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con Part 1 (21:20)

     In 2013 executive director Katsuyuki Motohiro, director Naoyoshi Shiotani and producer George Wada attended Sakura-Con in the US. This featurette consists of some footage of the event, interviews the three gave and a panel discussion before a convention audience. The do talk about the start of the project, how they got involved and creating the story, but boy are they very serious and earnest!

Textless Opening Song “Abnormalize” (1:32)

     The opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing Song “Naimae no nai Kaibutsu” (1:31)

     The closing song without the credits.

Trailers (9:04)

     Trailers for Wolf Children, Howl’s Moving Castle, Naruto Shippuden Movie 4: The Lost Tower and Summer Wars.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Our local Blu-ray of Psycho-Pass Collection 1 is identical to the Region A US version.

Summary

     Psycho-Pass’s vision of a dystopian computer controlled future draws on a wide range of influences. It is gritty, bloody, intelligent, complex with questions about immortality, free will and AI, humans playing god and what it is to be human. The characters are good and the visuals are impressive. This one got me hooked in and is definitely worth the time.

     The video is beautiful, the audio good although the original Japanese audio is only 2.0. We get the same extras that are available in other regions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE