Note: English is not my native language, I apologize for possible mistakes. (This review does not contain spoilers)
After the enormous emptiness that excellent villain Makishima Shougo left us and that great first season of Psycho-Pass, we finally have an acceptable sequel that tries to bring new things, new characters and similar airs, but not the same. Although of course we will always miss our dear and handsome Kougami, right? Well, at least in my case if I love it too much.
I generally liked how it was carried out this season, without making the mistakes of the second, without using protagonists of the previous season for a long time and using new protagonists, it has allowed the story to develop acceptably, something that the second season failed to start with the villain that without offending was and felt like a cheap copy of the first villain or at least I felt that, and I think a good percentage too, without demeriting the good things that the second season has, that there are.
Also something to note is that each episode at the beginning has excellent fighting scenes and animated choreographies with incredible quality, and those scenes are in almost every episode. It’s great and more considering that it lasts twice as much as the rest of the animes per week, 50 minutes per episode which was a surprise.
I can criticize things, such as the small participing of the old protagonists although I liked it, felt this somewhat forced, there are also many loose ends from the beginning, events that occurred off-screen that keep the viewer’s doubt at all times, especially when dealing with Akane Tsunemori.
The series comes to feel somewhat episodic at certain times and very detective with various cases that do not stop feeling a bit like “Normal Cases” can be said that there are too many sub-plots developing in Psycho-Pass 3, remembering the anarchist Makishima in the entire first season of Psycho-Pass, this was touches more philosophical themes, not at all compared to the most detective theme the series has had since its second season.
Here we are presented to Bifrost a criminal and clandestine organization that operates through this indirect gambling game for elitists to gain and power in the shadow of Sybil and the change of social paradigms. Makishima instead wanted to demolish social foundations and “faced Sybil” head on. However, the plots of past characters converge with that of the new ones to reach a climax, I love these kinds of stories, they do not stagnate with only one protagonist throughout the story and they explore the rest of the characters in depth to create tangles and secluded frames that are focused at the end for one thing in common.
As a personal point, I want to write about Mika’s character, I didn’t like Mika much in Psycho-Pass 2 but she’s quickly become such an amazing and funny character starting in the first Sinners of the System OVA & continuing strong throughout Psycho-Pass 3. Definitely one of more entertaining characters.
As for the animation and the OST are excellent, if there is something that stands out a lot in Psycho-Pass, it’s this incredible soundtrack which is always at the top, and as I said before its animation and especially its fight scenes are very remarkable.
Finally, I think that Psycho-Pass 3 despite having twice as many minutes per episode, needed more chapters to be able to elaborate a story at 100% conditions. You can also download Psycho-Pass 3 anime and watch online.
Although the hype around the series has died down due to the very long wait between seasons, there were definitely a few longtime fans who were excitedly following the news that Psycho-Pass was finally getting another season. As one such fan I was quite pleased that one of my favorite series was getting another expansion, even though I was worried it might be a letdown like season 2 was. However, a few things set this season apart from the prior season which led me to increase my rating for the show this specific season, although not to the heights of the first and greatest season, I will expand on these things in this review.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
The first thing I would like to mention happens to be the characterization between the 2 new main characters. It becomes fairly obvious within the first episode and even before it if the viewer watched the sinners of the system movies for Psycho-Pass, which I highly recommend one does before they watch this season, that there would be a fairly large time skip involved. One thing I did not expect however was that Akane Tsunemori would be entirely replaced as the main character by 2 new inspectors, Shindou and Ignatov. At first, I was apprehensive about getting a new set of lead characters especially since the movies hyped Kougami returning to the cast, however the 2 new characters grew on me over time. They both had great chemistry on screen, good backstories on why they joined the bureau, and their decision to partner up despite the Sybil System recommending otherwise was definitely a nice touch. There were some things I did not like such as Shindou having what appears to be borderline magical powers in recreating people’s actions and decision making and having superhuman reflexes that greatly surpass any human shown in the series thus far. However even though flaws like this existed I managed to get past my initial apprehension, and it was definitely worth it, if you are looking for strong leads with great chemistry taking over our favorite sci fi cop drama anime then you will definitely be pleased with the 2 new inspectors.
Something else the show excelled at was amazing fight choreography, all the fight scenes were incredibly fluid and the hand to hand fight choreography is definitely some of the best I have seen out of 100s of action anime. At times the fight choreography does get ridiculous, for example the characters try fighting an actual combat robot hand to hand even though their dominators should have a lethal decomposer mode and the show also has scenes where characters choose to fight hand to hand over using the paralyzer mode. Despite this the fight scenes were so good it makes it possible to not question the decision making of the characters and to overlook this bad writing during those scenes.
In regard to the sound track and music of the series, the openings of Psycho-Pass have always delivered, and this season is no exception. The OP consisted of a great song, with excellent foreshadowing visuals that that I am sure any fan pf the original Psycho-Pass would be satisfied by. Some other noteworthy aspects were careful reuse of the old soundtrack specifically when Kougami finally showed up in the show really had a strong impact. The sound is definitely a high 8 and lives up to the original series entirely.
One other thing that improved was how the side characters and antagonists were dealt with, most of the notable side characters got a decent amount of screen time, some new characters were fleshed out fairly thoroughly with the help of the sinners of the system movies and most of them got their time in the spotlight. Although the characters in the show do lack the depth of the characters in the first season, especially since there was no strong antagonist like the first season, the new antagonists and cases were still fairly easy to watch and made for a strong cop show.
As far as the story is concerned the lack of a truly strong antagonist really getting the viewer to question the system was definitely something that this show lacked, although the current organization opposing Sybil is interesting, there aren’t any particular noteworthy characters representing them. Season 1 was great because the audience was rooting for the antagonist at times and really growing to despise the system yet at the same time at the very end of the show understanding why Akane chose to preserve the system and relating it to the necessary security state many people in real life live in. This season did have moments throughout every episode where characters questioned why the system worked the way it did and if it was fair, but overall the entire show was focused on suppressing the enemies of the system and not really taking a serious look at flaws of the system itself like the predecessor seasons did. Most of the antagonists were clearly bad people who lacked any good reasons on why they are causing problems, there wasn’t any focus on the system oppressing them, in fact most of them were high up in the system. Near the end of the season there were antagonists who were acting for the greater good to some extent but the means they took were not only to extreme, they were straight up bad ideas that wouldn’t have been effective, the antagonist in the first season had considerably better ideas. The story overall is still good and definitely flowed better than most of season 2 however it still pales in comparison to season 1, right now the series is a good sci fi action show, but it is no longer a philosophical thought provoking series filled with flawed characters and ideas of justice like the original.
Production IG has outdone themselves with the art and animation of the series, the backgrounds of the city were spectacular to look at and really built up the sci fi atmosphere. All the detailed touches to the streets, buildings, waterfront, food stalls, hotel lobbies, and everything else in the background really immerses the viewer in this futuristic world that is both an exciting wonderland and at the same time a terrifying view on a society plagued by an all encompassing and dominating police state. As mentioned earlier the fight choreography and animation were great and despite the longer episodes on a weekly release schedule the animation quality remained strong throughout. Fans of the series can look forward to good visuals, good fights, fluid animation, and a variety of interesting looking characters.
Overall these improvements do vastly improve the show for the viewer in comparison to season 2, however it stills pales in comparison to season 1. If you are a big fan of this series then it is a must watch, but if you are not then it is essentially a regular solid sci fi action show, so if that isn’t really what you want to watch then you may not be into this. I would give this show a score of 8/10 as it was something that is quite enjoyable to watch, and it did not fail at delivering any important technical quality.