Psycho-Pass-Collection 2 (2012) (NTSC)

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Released 21-May-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-US Cast and ADR Director x 2
Featurette-Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con Part 2 (20:17)
More…-Testless Opening and Closing Songs
Trailer-US Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 251:17 (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
Kenji Nomura
Josh Grelle
Kinryu Arimoto
Jason Douglas
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Yuugo Kanno


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, at the end of episode 22

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

Plot Synopsis

"A safe and perfect society is just an illusion"

     Psycho-Pass Collection 2 contains episodes 12 – 22 of the series which aired on Fuji TV in Japan from October 2012. The first 11 episodes were released as Psycho-Pass Collection 1 which I reviewed here.

     In this future world, maintenance of public order rests upon the people’s acceptance that the computerised Sibyl system, used to assess and determine each humans’ state of mind, their personalities, their aptitudes, their future occupation and their inclination to commit a crime, is perfect. This measurement of an individual’s mental compliance with the law is their Crime Coefficient, commonly called the “Psycho-Pass”. On the streets, Inspectors and Enforcers from the Public Safety Bureau are the police teams who 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.

     However, the cunning and literate serial killer Shogo Makishima (Takahiro Sakurai / Alex Organ) is living proof that the Sibyl system is flawed because even when Inspector Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa / Kate Oxley) caught him in the act of murdering her friend, his Crime Coefficient remained so low that her Dominator was locked by Sibyl and unable to fire. Akane cannot understand Makishima was able to keep his psycho-pass clear while committing such a horrendous act. As well, individuals with special helmets which negate Sibyl’s sensors are appearing on the streets and committing murder with impunity. In one case where a victim was being beaten to death by an attacker with a hammer, the PSB police drone intervened only to caution the victim that her psycho-pass reading was excessive and she needed treatment; as the attacker’s psycho-pass did not register as high he was allowed to continue the brutal murder.

     Akane, her partner Inspector Ginoza (Kenji Nomura / Josh Grelle) and their team of Enforcers Shinya Kogami (Tomokazu Seki / Robert McCollum), Tomomi Masaoka (Kinryu Arimoto / Jason Douglas), Yayoi Kunizuka ( Shizuka Itoh / Lindsay Seidel), Shusei Kagari (Akira Ishida / Scott Freeman) and female analyst Shion Karanomori (Miyuki Sawashiro / Lydia Mackay) are convinced that Makishima is orchestrating these crimes but their Bureau Chief refuses to acknowledge that Sibyl is flawed, as this would cause panic and destroy the ordered society Sibyl has created. As more and more helmets appear on the streets society starts to unravel and chaos, violence, murders and panic is rampart. With their Dominator weapons useless, the team needs to look at other, more old fashioned, police methods to bring Makishima to justice. Yet, who or what is the real enemy of mankind?

     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. It is gritty, bloody and thought-provoking. The serial killer and master manipulator Makishima is an intriguing villain; he is charismatic, likes real books as opposed to electronic ones on tablets, quotes world literature including the Bible, Shakespeare, Descartes, Swift and Pascal, and his ideas about the dangers of a world where humans have abrogated their free will to be voluntarily controlled by an unseen computer programme are rational. Indeed, his views make a lot of sense and if he was not a cold blooded serial killer we could well take him to be the hero of the story! However, he is not the only interesting character – Akane, Ginoza, Kogami, Masaoka, Yayoi and Kagari all have individual character arcs that are nicely developed in this second set of episodes.

     Psycho-Pass gathers momentum as it moves toward its climax. The series is well written and well constructed so that events, characters or themes introduced do pay off seamlessly many episodes later. Even a major revelation in episode 16 which seemingly changes the ground rules is not really a surprise. The visuals of Psycho-Pass mirror its themes and influences. In one section we get the grey and deep blue dark, rainy and gritty streets, in other scenes colour enhanced yellows and reds dominate, especially the fields of golden grain towards the end.

     Psycho-Pass’s vision of a dystopian computer controlled future is gritty, bloody, intelligent and complex with questions about immortality, free will and AI, humans playing god and what it is to be human. In a world increasingly dominated by computers and AI, these questions are not new, but they are certainly topical. Yet at the end of this series the answers it suggests may not be those which we expect.

     This two disc DVD set contains episodes 12-18 on disc 1 and episodes 19-22 plus extras (except for commentaries) on disc 2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Psycho-Pass is presented in NTSC in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print looks beautiful. The lines are sharp and detailed. The look of the series varies considerably from dark and gritty rain swept streets and derelict buildings to the blues and beautiful yellows of the countryside that look like pastel watercolour paintings. Blacks and shadow detail are fine.

     There was some ghosting with movement evident and on disc 2 at 62:57 the authoring struggled with the red / yellow of a flame against a dark chequered background, producing some mild macro blocking. Otherwise I did not notice any marks or artefacts.

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

     The English subtitles are in American English in a rather blocky white font. 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 2.0 at 192 Kbps or English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps. This is another case where the English dub is 5.1 as opposed to the original Japanese in 2.0. I listened to a few episodes alternating the audio.

     The differences between the two streams are more noticeable on the DVD than they were on the Blu-ray of the first collection. The Japanese is surround encoded so the rears featured music, effects such as crowd noise, weather effects and cars and sounded quite sharp, with some bass provided by the sub-woofer. However, the English 5.1 dub was sharper and crisper, with better separation and more dynamic bass so it was more enveloping.

     Dialogue was clean in either dub. This is a hard one to call. The Japanese original voice acting was more intense and just sounded better, but the 5.1 English provided the better enveloping experience. I did still prefer to listen to the Japanese audio but this one is a closer call than normal.

     The score by Yuugo Kanno is very effective in setting mood and adding to the visuals.

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

Extras

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

Commentary – Episode 13

     US ADR director Zach Bolton and US voice cast members Jason Douglas and Josh Grelle (the voices of Masaoka and Ginoza respectively) sit together and watch the episode. This is reasonably light-hearted, but not over the top laughing and there are pauses, and they do discuss their characters, the series’ themes, voice acting, technology and other projects they have been involved in.

Commentary – Episode 18

     US ADR director Zach Bolton and US voice cast members Stephanie Young (the voice of the Dominator) and Linda Leonard (PSB Bureau Chief Kasei) sit together watching the episode. There is a bit about the character of Kasei, influences on the show, casting voice actors but there is not a lot of useful information and too many inane comments.

Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con Part 2 (20:17)

     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 and interviews the three gave where they talk about the themes of the series, designing the Dominator and American fans.

Textless Opening Song “Out of Control” (1:32)

     The opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing Song “All Alone With You” (1:32)

     The closing song without the credits.

US Trailer (1:16)

R4 vs R1

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

     Our local release of Psycho-Pass Collection 2 is identical to the Region 1 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 and 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. Top drawer anime and definitely worth the time.

     The video is beautiful, the audio good although the original Japanese audio is only 2.0. There is a range of extras and we get what is available in other regions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, July 08, 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

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