Psycho-Pass: The Movie

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Psycho-Pass: The Movie
Film poster for Psycho-Pass: The Movie
Main visual featuring Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami
Japanese劇場版 サイコパス
HepburnGekijō-ban Saiko Pasu
Directed by
Produced by
  • Kōji Yamamoto
  • Akitoshi Mori
  • Masaya Saitou
  • Fumi Morihiro
  • Kenji Tobori
Screenplay by
Story byGen Urobuchi
StarringKana Hanazawa
Tomokazu Seki
Hiroshi Kamiya
Ayane Sakura
Kenji Nojima
Shizuka Itō
Music byYugo Kanno
CinematographyEiji Arai
Edited byYoshinori Murakami
Production
company
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • January 9, 2015 (2015-01-09)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office$7,683,799

Psycho-Pass: The Movie (Japanese: 劇場版 サイコパス, Hepburn: Gekijō-ban Saiko Pasu) is a 2015 Japanese anime science fiction crime film that was produced by Production I.G. It features the voices of Kana Hanazawa, Tomokazu Seki, Hiroshi Kamiya, Ayane Sakura, Kenji Nojima, and Shizuka Itō. The film focuses on Akane Tsunemori, the Public Safety Bureau's Criminal Investigation Division Inspector, who thwarts a terrorism plot by illegal immigrants from the Southeast Asia Union (SEAUn), a war-torn superstate that imports the Sibyl System technology to police its population. After obtaining evidence her former colleague Shinya Kogami trained them, Akane is granted permission to travel to the SEAUn to investigate and arrest him. Psycho-Pass: The Movie premiered in Japan on January 9, 2015.

The film was directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani, the chief director is Katsuyuki Motohiro, and it was co-written by Gen Urobuchi and Makoto Fukami. The staff had the idea of Akane finding a renegade named Kogami; the idea was influenced by films such as Apocalypse Now (1979) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). The staff found the platonic relationship between the two characters appealing due to their trust in each other. The film has been licensed by Funimation; it was given a limited screening and was released on home media in English-speaking countries. Madman Entertainment and Anime Ltd released it in Australia and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Psycho-Pass: The Movie received generally positive critical responses due to building up the lore, the handling of the new setting, and the dynamic between the two lead characters, Akane and Kogami. The English-language and the Japanese voice actors were also praised for their work. The film also received criticism for not concluding the storylines presented in the first television series and for ignoring an unfinished character arc. The film won two Newtype Anime Awards in 2015 and grossed a total of US$7,683,799 in Japan.

Plot[edit]

After Akane Tsunemori and her allies fight in an operation against foreign terrorists who have infiltrated Japan, they recover images of Akane's former colleague Shinya Kogami. The terrorists originate from the Southeast Asia Union (SEAUn), a superstate that has begun to import the Sibyl System technology from Japan. Akane is granted permission to travel to the SEAUn; she is received at the SEAUn airport by a military procession under the supervision of Colonel Nicholas Wong. Wong tells Akane their guns, called Dominators, are not used in the country and that due to a lack of resources, latent criminals are fitted with collars that will deliver a lethal dose of poison. Akane accompanies Wong and his men on a military operation outside Shambala Float; during the battle, she sees Kogami on a monitor and goes to confront him. When Wong's drones endanger Akane in an attempt to kill Kogami, they are forced to flee together. Kogami takes Akane to the base of the terrorists, who are fighting to free their nation from Han's military dictatorship and the Sibyl System. Meanwhile, Wong contacts mercenary leader Desmond Rutaganda and hires his team to find Akane and Kogami.

That night, Kogami says he suspects a larger conspiracy is unfolding, due to Han's alliance with Sibyl. Kogami tells Akane the terrorists in Japan were not sent by their movement. Rutaganda and his mercenaries attack the camp, killing many of the resistance fighters. Kogami helps Akane escape before he is captured. At Shambala Float, Wong arrests Akane is arrested, who is sent for deportation but is saved when Han arrives. Akane returns to her apartment and releases "pill bug" drones to allow Karanomori to hack the Sibyl drones in the area. Akane realizes Karanomori has discovered the Sibyl System in Shambala Float has been tampered with and programmed to ignore Wong and the rest of the city's military, allowing them to act with impunity despite being latent criminals with elevated Crime Coefficients. Rutaganda has Kogami savagely beaten.

Wong and his men take Akane to a helipad, where Rutaganda's group arrives with Kogami. Rutaganda plans to have them both executed and then use the helicopter to stage their deaths to look like a Japanese terrorist caused them as part of a false flag operation to increase his own military power. The drones, which been reset by Karanomori to accurately detect their Crime Coefficients, turn on Wong's men and begin killing them. When the rest of Division One arrives, Nobuchika Ginoza shoots and kills Wong. In the ensuing battle, all of Wong's men are killed, along with all of the mercenaries except Rutaganda. Kogami escapes and pursues Rutaganda, urging Akane to go after Han to discover the truth about the conspiracy. Akane teams up with Ginoza to do; they leave the others behind to secure the helipad.

Kogami fights Rutaganda but he is overwhelmed until Ginoza appears. They kill Rutaganda. In Han's office, Han is found to be a criminally asymptomatic Sibyl android. Sibyl tells Akane they engineered the chain of events, creating a need for the system in the SEAUn. Sibyl manipulates Akane with information about Kogami, causing her to uncover Wong's plans and allowing Sibyl to seize control of the country. Akane confronts the system through Han, demanding Han's resignation and a free and fair election. The Sibyl System grants her wish.

The next day, Han claims Wong's failed coup has caused him to rethink his government and announce his resignation so an election can be held. Leaving the security of Shambala Float and the SEAUn in the hands of the uncorrupt military, Division One returns to Japan. In a post-credits scene, Kogami overhears a radio broadcast revealing Han is winning the election. The film concludes with a voice-over by Akane, promising that someday the value of the Sibyl System will be examined.

Cast[edit]

Characters Voice actor (Japanese)[1] Voice actor (English)[1]
Akane Tsunemori Kana Hanazawa Kate Oxley
Shinya Kogami Tomokazu Seki Robert McCollum
Nobuchika Ginoza Kenji Nojima Josh Grelle
Mika Shimotsuki Ayane Sakura Cherami Leigh
Yayoi Kunizuka Shizuka Itō Lindsay Seidel
Sho Hinakawa Takahiro Sakurai Z. Charles Bolton
Shion Karanomori Miyuki Sawashiro Lydia Mackay
Teppei Sugo Hiroki Touchi Mike McFarland
Joji Saiga Kazuhiro Yamaji Michael Federico
Dominator Noriko Hidaka Stephanie Young
Nicholas Wong Hiroshi Kamiya Jason Liebrecht
Desmond Rutaganda Unshō Ishizuka Major Attaway

Production[edit]

Conception and scenario[edit]

The director of Psycho-Pass: The Movie
Director Naoyoshi Shiotani conceived the film's idea during the final episodes of the first anime series.[2]

During the final episodes of the anime series, Naoyoshi Shiotani conceived the idea of a Psycho-Pass film. Gen Urobuchi and Katsuyuki Motohiro said the film would have to contain a scenario independent of Japan's Sibyl System society. Shiotani wanted to create the film in collaboration with the staff who had worked on season one of the series, and with character designer Naoyuki Onda and art director Shuichi Kusamori, who also worked on the series. Urobuchi believed the ideal sequel would be a film rather than a television series but wanted to stay true to the roots of the original series. In contrast to Psycho-Pass, in which the detectives' cases are mostly solved without gruesome imagery, the film's writers Makoto Fukami and Urobuchi[3] agreed the film would portray more grisly scenes using guns. The film was set in another country because the guns provided by the Sibyl System mostly paralyzed enemies rather than killing them. This later led to the idea of a scenario involving mercenaries.[2] Motohiro said despite the multiple tasks Shiotani had, he surpassed any type of problem so he believed he succeeded in the making of the film.[4] Urobuchi drew inspiration from the animes Patlabor 2: The Movie and Armored Trooper Votoms while handling the Sci-Fi mecha from the story and the tragedy they could bring upon civilization. Although he was not a part of the show's main staff, writer Tow Ubukata compared the story with the Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia due to the similarities between the fictional society and the real one.[4]

The film's setting was intended to show how a future dystopia would occur outside Japan without the Sibyl System. To make the story more realistic, Shiotani decided to have the foreigners speak English, in contrast with other films, in which they instead speak Japanese. Both lead actors Tomokazu Seki (Kogami) and Kana Hanazawa (Akane), were surprised at this proposal because they had multiple English lines. Shiotani wished to explore what happens when a confined society expands into other countries, bringing chaos rather than peace, which would make the audience further question this ideal.[4][5] Shiotani chose Southeast Asia, thinking a country working hard to further its development would be fitting for the story.[4]

Influences and development[edit]

The staff's main idea was Akane finding the renegade Kogami, which was influenced by the original video animation series Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team and the Western films Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan. The explosions in Apocalypse Now had a major impact on the film. Akane's search for Kogami was influenced by these films because the staff believed this scenarios would appeal to both genders; Shiotani also wanted adult viewers to be able to enjoy it. Shiotani was confident because Urobuchi was writing the script; he believed Urobuchi was skilled at creating these kinds of scenarios. The non-romantic relationship between Akane and Kogami was viewed as appealing by the staff because of the trust they have in each other. The duo was stated to resemble Sumire Onda and Shunsaku Aoshima, the lead characters of the Japanese police comedy-drama Bayside Shakedown.[4] Because it happens in the previous anime series, Akane's character was changed so she could fight on her own.[5] The staff felt Hanazawa portrayed her character well in the film.[4]

Kana Hanazawa and Tomokazu Seki, the Japanese actors who voiced Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami, respectively

Because the voice recording for the 2015 film started at a later time, members of the cast were afraid Kogami had been killed off-screen. Only Hanazawa and Seki had information about the film during its conception. For the second anime, Psycho-Pass 2, the recording cast left an empty chair in the studio for Kogami; after this, Akane's actor said Seki should return to record his part for the film, which was Kogami's official return. Seki felt Kogami became less brooding than he had been in the first series because he is no longer attached to the idea of revenge. Hanazawa said her character had changed after the two television series.[4]

The reunion between Kogami and Akane was one of Seki's favorite scenes because the characters interact by smoking a cigarette without talking, showing their deep relationship. Seki was impressed by the film's premise because it explores the difficulties of handling the Sibyl System in another area. Because Hanazawa felt Ginoza also had a different characterization, she looked forward to an upcoming project that would focus on him. Urobuchi had a similar opinion regarding Ginoza because while he was written an unlikeable character after his introduction, in this film, Ginoza is more sympathetic toward both Akane and Kogami.[4] When the film project was announced, the cast were relieved Kogami survived after his disappearance in the first series. Shiotani wanted Ginoza to have a different hairstyle to highlight his changes since his debut.[2] Makoto Fukami wanted the action scenes to be depicted as appealingly as possible in the film.[2]

Previews and marketing[edit]

In September 2013, it was announced on the official website of Noitamina that a second season of Psycho-Pass and a new, original, theatrical film project were in development.[6] The film was rated R15+in the U.S. due to its scenes of violence, which include murder and damage to the human body; Nitroplus president Takaki Kosaka was relieved it was not rated R18+.[7][8] On September 2014, it was announced that the film's release date would be January 9, 2015, and that it would be run in over 100 theaters in Japan.[3][9],[10] A 30-second trailer showing Kogami, Akane, and Ginoza was streamed on Nico Nico Douga on September 5, 2013.[11] A two-minute trailer, the second promotional video for the film, was released in September 2013; it contains footage from the original anime television series.[12] The film has a running time of 113 minutes.[13]

The film's theme song is "Who What Who What", which is performed by Ling Tosite Sigure.[14] The song was released as a single on December 19, 2014.[15] The ending theme is "The Monster With No Name" (名前のない怪物, Namae no Nai Kaibutsu) by Egoist, which is also the first ending theme of the television series.[16] The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Japan on July 15, 2015.[17] A novelization written by Makoto Fukami was released in Japan in March 2016 by Mag Garden.[18]

In February 2016, Funimation released a preview of the English-language dub version of the film and announced it would be run in over 100 theaters in North America and Canada.[19][20] Psycho-Pass: The Movie had a limited theatrical release in the United States on March 15–16, 2016.[1] The film was released on home media formats on June 7, 2016.[21] In the United Kingdom, the film was released both as a regular version and in a "Dual Format" package in October 2016.[22][23] Madman Entertainment released the film in Australia on August 3, 2016.[24] In May 2019, Funimation streamed the film on its channel, FunimationNow.[25]

Reception[edit]

Box office and sales[edit]

Psycho-Pass: The Movie was released in Japanese cinemas on January 9, 2015. The film was ranked 4th in its opening weekend, when it earned ¥136,899,100 yen from 93,164 admissions. It then grossed ¥247,582,300 (around US$2 million) from 171,545 admissions in four days.[26][27] The film subsequently grossed over US$7 million (¥850 million) at the box office,[28] with a total of $7,683,799.[29][30]

The single "Who What Who What" was ranked 6th in the Oricon charts and 4th on Billboard, and it sold 17,792 units.[31][32][33]

After its home media release, Psycho-Pass: The Movie sold 24,000 units in its first week and topped Japan's Blu-ray sales chart. The DVD version was ranked 3rd with 6,000 units sold in the weekly DVD sales chart, becoming the top-selling DVD in the franchise.[34] On January 22, 2019, the film premiered on Fuji TV, earning a rating of 0.9%.[35]

Critical response[edit]

Psycho-Pass: The Movie was well-received by critics. On Yahoo! Japan, it has a score of 3.82 stars out of 5.[36] Multiple writers enjoyed the dynamic between the two main characters, Kogami and Akane.[37] Jacob Chapman of Anime News Network said "Gen Urobuchi [had] unleashed all his most potent excesses back into the world of Psycho-Pass, for better and worse"; Chapman found the interaction between the lead characters, the fight scenes, and the visuals appealing.[38] In anticipation of the film, IGN writer Miranda Sanchez expected to see more interactions between Kogami and Akane because these are absent from Psycho-Pass 2, and enjoyed the final fighting scene despite its being mainly focused on Kogami.[39] Kotaku reviewer Richard Eisenbeis praised the settings to which Akane and Kogami have to adapt, in contrast to the Sibyl System explored in the first television series. The reviewer also commended the film's climax, in which supporting characters from the television series appear and are more likable compared to their earlier incarnations. [40]

Alexandria Hill of Otaku USA praised the first interactions between Kogami and Akane for being action-filled because they contrast with the heavy use of dialogue at the beginning of the film.[16] Chris Beveridge of The Fandom Post praised the film's handling of multiple themes such as the military, society, and politics, through the actions of Kogami and Akane. Satisfied with the film, Beveridge said he looked forward to more Psycho-Pass media in the future; he felt the film surpassed the first Psycho-Pass television series, which he had enjoyed.[41] Reviewer "IncendiaryLemon" of Anime UK News said the film was well-received because Urobuchi returned to write the script, unlike the second series which had been created by a different writer. The reviewer said the film does not have the appeal of the first series.[42] UK Anime Network praised the scenario for showing the chaos other countries suffer in the new, futuristic dystopia instead of focusing again on the Sibyl System, making the story stand out.[43]

Critics also questioned whether Psycho-Pass: The Movie provides a conclusion to the storyline from the main series; Kotaku had mixed opinions about this.[40] Chapman criticized the scene in which Kogami's hallucinates and talks with the dead Shogo Makishima but he enjoyed the character's portrayal and the moment Kogami quotes the writer Frantz Fanon.[38] Asian Movie Pulse referred to Kogami's and Akane's appearances as the best parts of the film and called it a "solid" addition to the series despite the narrative's lack of complexity.[37] IGN regarded the film as a form of fan service to Kogami because while his character arc is explored, his conclusion to the events from the first series is not revised. According to IGN, the bond between the two lead characters was not fully expanded, in contrast to the way the characters worked together in the first television series.[39] The Rice Digital website expressed disappointment at the film's lack of closure, stating while it is more appealing than the second television series, it fails to live up to the status of the original Psycho-Pass because it does not explore the Sibyl System.[44]

Reviewers also commented on the cast of Psycho-Pass: The Movie. UK Anime Network enjoyed the performances of the Japanese voice actors, most notably Kana Hanazawa due to the stronger tone she provides for her character in comparison to that of the previous works; Hiroshi Kamiya's role was also regarded as appealing.[43] The English-language voice acting was well-received. Despite negative comments about the film, Rice Digital praised the use of animation and the voice acting.[44] Anime UK News also enjoyed the English-language voice acting, stating McCollum and Oxley offered good performances as the two leads.[42] Anime News Network also praised Funimation's actors, saying they performed well, especially in scenes that include substantial violence.[38] Otaku USA liked both the Japanese and the English-language performances, saying the accented English dialogue is occasionally difficult to understand but makes the story feel more realistic.[16]

Accolades[edit]

Year Name of Competition Category Recipient Result
2015 5th Newtype Anime Awards[45] Best Picture (Film) Psycho-Pass: The Movie Won
Best Screenplay Gen Urobuchi Won
2016 Japan Sci-Fi Con's Seiun Award[46] Best Media Psycho-Pass: The Movie Nominated
2nd Sugoi Japan Award[47] Animation division Psycho-Pass: The Movie Nominated

References[edit]

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External links[edit]