Psycho Pass: Season two is a follow up to season one and is meant to delve more into the lore of the series. Tow Ubakata, from the Ghost In The Shell Arise fame, handles the writing for season two as Gen Urobuchi was focused on other projects. Season two takes place a year and a half after season 1. Akane is still working as an inspector for the Public Safety Bureau and she is still doing her best to keep the Sybil system on line because of the current state of Japan. Some of the previous characters return from the first season like Risa and Ginoza.
The season start with a case where everything seems to be going smoothly and suddenly an explosion goes off in the center of the city. The investigation leads to a group of latent criminals who have total control over their crime coefficients meaning that C.I.D will be unable to go after them since they can fool the Sybil system.
The animation was done by Tatsunoko Production, the company that owns Production I.G. and it is as almost as good as the first season. The art direction and visual style is as shadowy and brooding as the atmosphere and the background designs are very appealing to the eye. Some glaring flaws were the drop of quality in character expressions especially in episodes 6 and 7. Also, there were some scene frames being recycled over and over again.
Season two is even more violent than season 1. It is very action oriented with frequent deaths and lots of gore. But the stakes in the show feels very low and the kind of criminals that the bureau goes after falls more in the line of fanatical lunatics instead of freethinking rebels like in season 1.
Episode 4 that wasn’t aired in Japan TV due to its similarities to a real murder case but was aired through Funimation appears on the blu-ray. Season two lacks most of the plot twists that made the first season so compelling and Ginoza of all people gets demoted to just a supporting background character. Themes from season one remain but without further development and nothing new was added to provide added points of interest. The personal feeling of getting to know who each character is and how their relationships with each other forms while romance is mostly omitted the friendship dynamic takes a backseat due to the shows focus on action.
This season was way shorter than the first with just 11 episodes but pace is faster. It's hard to follow with the amount of plot points introduced and then discarded and it felt disjointed and disconnected at times. The characters were hit or a miss and they lacked the development that they had in season 1. There wasn’t anything notable about them except that one or two.
Characters in season 1 had motives and personal goals which determed their course of action but it seems as if the characters were without any strong desires. Akane is more or less as the same as in season 1. she’s just as complacent and bland as before and whatever character development she had in the first season was thrown away. Sadly, Shinya Kogami doesn’t make an appearance this season as he went rogue fighting against the Sybil system. He had a couple of imaginary appearances with Akane but that was it.
Mika was probably the worst character this season. She is indecisive, gullible and completely obedient to Sybil and she seems unable think for herself. She is petty and envious of Akane and withholds information from her. While Akane would analyze the situation and carefully think about her next move, Mika would just jump on ahead without almost thinking. Ginoza has mellowed out a lot because of the events from the last season and he is now more flexible to adapt to situations. The only character who had the most common sense would have to be Joji Saiga since he's the one who had the most level headed approach to solving cases. He has a larger presence in this season which is a bonus.
The antagonist of this season, Kamui is more of a rehash of Shogo Makshimi, especially in behavior. His personal background felt really convoluted and just messy and he is also strangely like a main character in a harem oriented anime.
Akane and Kamui didn’t had any compelling dynamics either unlike Shogo and Shinya. Kamui felt like a target of a contract killing job whereas Shogo Makshimi carried a personal undertone between him and Shinya to the point that Shinya agreed on how Shogo was right about many things of the Sybil system. Kamui’s motivations for helping people clear their hues is unknown and he was even more than a hero than Shogo Makshimi.
A lot of the other characters added in didn’t contribute much to the plot. Several good characters were killed off last season and the new characters that were introduced didn’t leave a great impression.
The voice acting and audio quality are as good as ever and the musical score was excellent but not as good as Season one. I did spot the same kind of dialogue hiccups that existed in the first season where it's supposed to be ma’am instead of sir. Not much to add in terms of special features just a trailer, commentary and textless ending and opening.
I am very disappointed in this season of Psycho Pass and I'm especially disappointed in the production team behind this.
It gets about 2 out of 5 stars.
This is a major case of why the original writing team should have stuck around instead of giving it to inexperienced people. It's almost as if Tow Ubakata and the new writing team didn’t even watch Season 1 to fully understand what made it good. In fact, Tow Ubakata admitted that he only was there to fill in the blanks and this really doesn’t justify his laziness or lack of effort to bring something new to the table.
The show was really a rehash and characters like Mika or the antagonists are examples of sloppy writing. The problems don’t stop here either as the writing was done on an extremely tight schedule and the movie was also being produced at the time by production I.g so they had to carve out certain ideas just to have in the movie.
Hopefully the movie is an improvement. Gen Urobuch is back but the damage done by the team behind this season has tainted the Psycho Pass series. Here is hoping for something close to the quality of Season 1.