Passing on PSYCHO-PASS 3

You may have noticed that there was no review for PSYCHO-PASS 3’s first episode. That’s no accident—after watching most of the double-length episode, I decided I wasn’t going to be picking up the show this Fall. There are three primary rationales for that decision:

1. Timing

Sometimes once I’m in a season groove, even a show I was planning to watch falls through the cracks simply because it was the last one out of the gate. I’m not sure why PP3 aired 3-4 weeks later than all the other shows, but I only tend to review 3-4 shows a season, and I’m content with the four shows I’ve already got—SAO:A-WU, Fate/Grand Order ADF-B, No Guns Life and Vinland Saga.

2. Substance

Don’t get me wrong: PP3 is one of if not the overall best-looking shows of the Fall season, with little expense spared in upping the futuristic setting and all of the fancy societal technology. But as I watched the show, I became more and more aware of the fact that the show didn’t really have that much more going for it than the occasional eye candy.

I’d normally give a show another week or two to prove my initial impressions wrong, but again, we’re now technically four weeks into the season, and this was a double episode (as all eight episodes will be), and often felt sluggish and even tired, as if this whole Psycho-Pass thing might just have run its natural course.

3. Akane

This might be the biggest reason I’m not moving forward. As you can probably tell by my avatar, Tsunemori Akane is one of my favorite anime characters, just as Hanazawa Kana one of my favorite seiyus. I enjoyed watching the character evolve through two strong seasons and a movie.

I had reservations about a threequel when I learned it would focus on neither Akane nor Mika, but on two new male characters. When neither of them stood out as anything special whatsoever, those reservations were validated.

Anime needs more characters like Akane—not fewer, and her virtual absence from this episode felt like a massive void in the proceedings. She certainly deserved better than being consigned to voice-over exposition duty at the beginning and end of the episode—she doesn’t even speak out loud!

Mika is the new chief now, but I never liked her as much as Akane, and it looks to be a minor role for her in PP3. Will Akane (or Mika) actually end up playing larger roles in the next seven episodes? Perhaps, but I doubt it; Akane isn’t even on the promo art, where Arata and Kei are front and center while Mika’s off in the background.

This isn’t to dissuade anyone from watching the show; I’m not trying to go all #NotMyPsychoPass here. I respect the show’s desire to go in a different direction with some new points of view—I’m just not going to be following them down that particular road.—Braverade