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Psycho-Pass: Part One

Psycho-Pass: Part One

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Psycho-Pass is a mix of a lot of different themes set in the future and pulls no punches when it comes to content. It’s like Minority Report meets A Scanner Darkly and Blade Runner with so many other nods to science fiction that you’ll come away with, depending on how much you know about science fiction, with a superbly giddy connection to the series. 
In the 2113 the Sibyl System is the ultimate law that can scan your mind and know what level of threat you are. This is gauge is called your Psycho-Pass hue. Some people gradually become more threatening as life goes on due to stress levels while others can be diagnosed as a threat as early as five years old. Once your threat level has been determined you can either be taken in for rehabilitation or executed on site. These type of commands are issued by an inspector or an enforcers Dominator (gun) that keeps casualties to a minimum by only allowing required force, either stun or kill, by assessing a threat level of a person. Basically either the inspector or enforcer is just there to execute the sentence and nothing more. A more interesting twist is that enforcers are pretty much former cops who’ve been deemed threats, but are to valuable as hunting dogs to just toss aside. 
Akane is the newest inspector and unfortunately her first case is a bad one. A guy has kidnapped, beaten, and raped a woman and is keeping her as a hostage. When Akane and her enforcers track him down they find him hopped up on drugs that make him near unstoppable, but with the dominator on kill it’s pretty much over. Unfortunately the victims threat level has risen pretty high and the Dominator has assessed that she is now a threat, going from stun and then to kill. 
This is all in the opening 15 minutes of the show and already I’m caught up in the genius of the show. The violence, the complex theme, the world in which the show takes place. It has this noir style to it set in a future where almost anything is possible and the line between duty and morality is blurred by the threat of becoming the villain in the snap of the fingers, all due to your stress levels. What can be more stressful then being judge, jury and executioner?
Unfortunately Psycho-Pass chooses to go the artistic route with the picture quality offering up a lot of blurred dark scenes that are clouded by the aesthetic that the world this story takes place in is not a good one. Seldom do we see fine line detail unless the animation offer some up close shots of characters. Colors get faded as well as the series tries to portray light, both real and artificial. It’s a real shame as the texture and detail of the series proves pretty awesome. In one scene for example Akane is having a conversation with one of her enforcers and you can see small pieces of dust flying in front of her hair, but it’s muddled by artificial lighting and wonky black levels. Still, it’s either going to be the fourth man artistic angle your going to have to go with or simply look at it as a blight. 
I wasn’t floored by the bonus features. BD/DVD versions seem almost moot as the picture quality in both is about level. Commentaries are there as well as textless songs, trailers and Psycho-Pass at Sakura-Con. 
A purchase is well worth it for the story but as far as it’s quality as a Blu-Ray, I really think it could have been better, but that would require cleaning up the original artistic integrity which could be seen as bad by some. As always judgment is yours. 
AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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