Tag: 2015

Robot on the Road

Robot on the Road

Robot on the Road anime short movie cover art
Robot on the Road

Short Film Background

Robot on the Road (Tabi no Robo Kara / 旅のロボから) is a short film presented as part of the Japan Anima(tor)’s Exhibition in 2015. It has a run time of about 9 minutes, meaning that it only requires a small time commitment, even when compared to standard anime episodes.

Additionally, this short film is easily found on YouTube, so the barrier to entry on this is even lower than most other anime. There’s no need to have a subscription to a legal anime streaming site, and there’s no need to visit an illegal anime streaming site if that’s something you’re against.

As for the creator of Robot on the Road, that would be Hiroyuki Okiura. He designed the characters, wrote the script, directed the film, and even did the key animation. But, why should you care about any of that? Well, you may be familiar with some of the other anime Hiroyuki has worked on.

Most notably, he was a key animator on both Neon Genesis Evangelion and Akira, among many other famous anime. He also has had multiple roles as a director, including directing the opening scene of the Cowboy Bebop movie. He’s been working in the industry for a long time and has been part of a lot of great productions.

“But what about the voice actors?” I hear you ask. Good question, dear reader. There are only two characters in this short film, and they’re both voiced by some pretty well-known voice actors: Megumi Hayashibara and Kôichi Yamadera.

If you don’t recognize their names, I don’t really blame you because I certainly didn’t. But either way, you’ve probably seen something they’ve been in, including both the aforementioned Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop.

Characters and Plot

The first of the two characters we see, but second to be named, in the short film is Robowo, the titular robot on the road. Robowo is allegedly hitchhiking to Central City to get maintenance done by Cyberdydy Corp. However, as the film progresses, it becomes apparent that he has an ulterior motive.

It doesn’t take long to realize that Robowo isn’t the most stand-up robot around. He’s very interested in girls, specifically those in their late teens and early twenties as we learn later on. And, he uses the many features built into his body to catalog the girls he meets on his travels.

His eyes are able to calculate the approximate age of women along with their three sizes. He also has a camera built into his chest which he uses to take voyeuristic photos of these unsuspecting girls in various levels of undress. Finally, he uploads these photos to his multiple blogs and writes about his encounters.

Robowo from the anime short movie Robot on the Road
Robowo

Mina is the woman who picks up Robowo from the side of the road out in the country at the start of the film. She drives an old, red pickup truck and tows a chrome trailer in which she lives. We don’t know where Mari is going, but we do know that she can take Robowo at least part of the way to Central City.

We don’t know all that much about Mina. But, the three things we do know about her are her sizes. Her bust size is 88cm (E cup), her waist is 58cm, and her hips are 86cm. Robowo acquires this information about her within minutes of meeting her.

Not all heroes wear capes; some wear a cowboy hat and handkerchief.

Should You Watch It?

Considering the people who worked on Robot on the Road, I would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the anime industry. It has great art, animation, writing, and acting all wrapped up in a 9-minute package. From that perspective, I don’t see a reason not to watch it.

However, I do need to mention that this short film does contain nudity. I don’t mean your run of the mill censored anime nudity, either. I mean full, uncensored nudity. Nothing about Mina’s body is left up to the imagination.

The reason I wanted to mention that because I know that some people may be inclined to watch this film with others or in a public setting, especially since it’s so readily available on YouTube.

Robowo and Mina in Mina's trailer from the anime short movie Robot on the Road
Robowo and Mina in Mina’s trailer

However, despite this nudity, it’s not like your traditional ecchi anime. The nudity is much more candid than in ecchi anime because Robowo’s role is that of a voyeur. And with that in mind, I would say that the nudity is more artistic and tasteful in how it’s used despite the obvious sexual aspect of it for Robowo.

To me, this short film is just a great example of a writer, director, and animator having fun with their craft. Robot on the Road isn’t going to make you think. It’s a comedy about a robot that hitchhikes around the country as a pretense to take risqué pictures of the women who give him a lift.

It’s a short film about nothing made for a festival, and yet it looks as good and has as much character as any A-list anime movie out there. And that’s how you can tell it was a passion project that Hiroyuki made because he enjoys what he does as a creative.

Conclusion

To me, Robot on the Road is a solid 8/10, and that’s not just because Mina is the ideal female form. Sure, she’s cute and perfect in every way, but this is a review of the anime, not of her. If I had to point out one downside of this film, it would probably be that it’s so short.

I could probably watch an entire, full-length series of Robowo’s travels. There are probably a lot of stories that could be told. But at the same time, perhaps it’s better that there’s so little content. It makes the viewer long for more, which is generally a sign of a good anime.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Lupin III (2015)

Lupin III (2015)

Lupin III (2015) anime series cover art
Lupin III (2015)

Series Overview

Lupin III (2015) is the fourth part of the Lupin III series. I’m just going to keep referring to it as Lupin III (2015) though because technically just Lupin III would refer to the first part of the series. Also, Lupin III is the romaji spelling of the Japanese ルパン三世, but I’m using it over the English Lupin the Third because the English title doesn’t include “(2015)” after it.

Hopefully that all made sense. Basically this review is on the 2015 entry in the Lupin III series.

This is the first entry in the main Lupin III series I’ve seen. Before this, I watched four of the movies and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. So Lupin III (2015) was a bit different from anything I’ve previously seen. However, if you liked the movies, you’ll probably like the series, and the same is true in the other direction.

The main difference here is that the series is much more episodic than The Woman Called Fujiko Mine was. But, that doesn’t mean there’s not an overarching story at all. There were two main arcs from what I could tell: The San Marino arc and the Da Vinci arc. I’ll be discussing the differences between the two later on.

Regardless of the arc, the vast majority of this series takes place in Europe, specifically Italy and San Marino. There are a couple of episodes that take place in France, and even one that takes place in Japan, but overall this is an Italy-focused series.

I know that Lupin is supposed to be considered a worldwide thief, but I still generally associate him with Japan, so seeing him and the gang explore Italy and San Marino was cool. Also, I just think Italy and San Marino are interesting backdrops for the series.

New Supporting Characters

There were four new supporting characters introduced in this part of the series: Rebecca, Rob, Nix, and later on, Da Vinci. Rebecca and Rob are both allies of Lupin, while Nix and Da Vinci are primarily antagonists, though that isn’t always the case.

Rebecca Rossellini is my favorite of the new characters — and not just because she’s a cute girl. Though, if I’m being honest, that plays a significant role. I actually think Rebecca is cuter than Fujiko, which I’m sure a bunch of Fujiko fans will think is completely out of line.

Rebecca is just more fun and she has a better character design. That’s right, I said it.

But looks aren’t the only thing Rebecca has going for her. She’s also the heiress to some wealthy family (I forget exactly what they do). And in her free time, which is basically all the time, she does whatever she wants — including moonlighting as a thief.

Lupin and Rebecca getting married from the anime series Lupin III (2015)
Lupin and Rebecca getting married

Rob is Rebecca’s handler. He serves as her bodyguard, chauffeur, and general assistant. But arguably his most important job is to keep Rebecca out of trouble so that she doesn’t tarnish the Rossellini name by getting caught during one of her heists.

Nix is an agent working with the British Secret Intelligence Service known as MI6. He’s kind of like a more serious version of our old pal, Inspector Zenigata. Zenigata is still around, but Nix takes on the role of a more dangerous adversary.

I will say that the one thing I didn’t like about Nix is that when he was introduced he kept on giving near 100% chances of success for himself and then proceeded to fail every time. You’d think that after a few failures he’d learn that he doesn’t have a 100% chance of success.

Da Vinci is an antagonist in the second half of the series. He’s not literally Da Vinci, but rather an experiment that was being performed by MI6 gone wrong. The best way to think of his personality and abilities though is to think of Kars from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 2.

San Marino vs. Da Vinci

As previously mentioned, both halves of the series take place primarily in Italy and San Marino. However, the first half was much more focused on San Marino, so that’s what I’m referring to when I mention the San Marino Arc. And the second half, when Da Vinci is introduced, is the Da Vinci arc.

I think the San Marino arc of the story was the better of the two. It was much more grounded in reality, though there were still some less than realistic features such as Nix’s superhuman hearing. Once Da Vinci was introduced, it reminded me of the Lupin movies with the superhuman assassins, and I just don’t enjoy that quite as much.

Da Vinci from the anime series Lupin III (2015)
Da Vinci

Of course, Da Vinci isn’t one of those superhuman assassins, so it’s not entirely the same. But he’s still a recreation of a historical figure who has the ability to alter reality through the use of dreams. So again, it’s pretty unrealistic. And the final episode of the series (excluding the special episodes which I also watched) really went off the deep end.

By contrast, I believe the final episode of the San Marino arc (I could be mistaken) was the one in which Zenigata finally captures and imprisons Lupin.

I thought that was possibly the best episode of the entire season. Sure, there were other episodes with better action or story, including a few with some amazing animation. But I really liked how that episode delved into Zenigata’s character and how once he’s captured Lupin, he doesn’t really know what his purpose in life is anymore.

Conclusion

Lupin III (2015) is a good anime, so it gets a 7/10. I liked some of the movies and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine a bit more, but generally speaking, this series was almost on par with them. I think if the second half of the series was more like the first, I would have liked it more.

I also have to say that I really like both the OP and ED of this series. The OP had some cool visuals, and the ED had a great song. I’m not really sure which I prefer at the end of the day though.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next part is available here.

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Non Non Biyori Repeat

Non Non Biyori Repeat

Non Non Biyori Repeat anime series cover art
Non Non Biyori Repeat

Overview

Non Non Biyori Repeat (のんのんびより りぴーと) is a pseudo-second season of the slice of life series Non Non Biyori, which I first reviewed about a year and a half ago. So to say that this review is a little late is a bit of an understatement — but I did just recently finish watching it.

The interesting thing about Non Non Biyori Repeat, or Repeat as I’ll be referring to it from now on, is that it isn’t really a second season of the series. I mean, it is, because it’s the season which came out second. But it’s not a chronological second season.

Instead, Repeat takes place over the same one year time period that the original series did. They both start out at the same point in the year, and while I don’t actually remember the ending of the original series, I assume they both end at the same time as well.

The best way to think about Repeat is that it tells extra stories which were skipped over in the original series. In that regard, both seasons of Non Non Biyori work in the same way that the Kiss x Sis TV and OVA series do — they compliment each other with an interwoven chronology.

But the important thing to keep in mind about Repeat is this: If you enjoyed the original series, then you’re going to enjoy Repeat. And the same is true for the opposite. If you didn’t enjoy the original series, you probably won’t enjoy Repeat.

It’s just more episodes of the same thing.

Difference From Non Non Biyori

There’s really only one difference between the original series and Repeat, and that’s who the “main character” of the series is. Yes, you could argue that Renge, Hotaru, Natsumi, and Komari are all the main characters of the series, and that’s right, but there’s still a protagonist.

In the original series, I’d argue that Hotaru was the protagonist. Although both seasons begin at roughly the same point, that one starts off the series with Hotaru transferring into the school. And she’s the main focus of the majority of the episodes — although the other girls also get their time to shine.

Repeat, on the other hand, focuses much more heavily on Renge. And to be fair, this is the reason why Repeat is better than the original series. Rather than starting with Hotaru’s transfer, Repeat begins with Renge becoming a first grader at the school.

Renge Miyauchi holding a bucket from the anime series Non Non Biyori Repeat
Renge Miyauchi holding a bucket

This focus on Renge also means there’s more of a focus on the other characters who are more closely associated with her. Natsumi, Komari, and Hotaru are definitely still main characters of the series, but Renge’s older sisters and Candy Shop (Kaede) play more of a role this time around.

Also, I don’t know about you, but I was never all that interested in Natsumi, Komari, and Hotaru to begin with. Natsumi and Komari’s older brother, Suguru, is entertaining for his small part in the series though, and luckily he’s still around.

But Hikage, Kazuho, and Kaede are much more entertaining. There’s also Konomi, who I didn’t remember at all from the first season — she’s pretty good too.

How Should You Watch This Series?

Since Repeat doesn’t chronologically come after Non Non Biyori, there are a few different ways in which you could watch the series. So let’s start off with the ways in which I think you shouldn’t watch the series: Repeat first.

As the better of the two seasons, it may be tempting to simply skip over the first season and watch Repeat if you haven’t seen either of them yet. Or, you may tell yourself that you’ll watch Repeat first, and then if you like it, you’ll go back and watch the first season.

The problem I see with this method is that although they cover the same time frame, repeat does expect you to already know the characters and the general background of the series. So without that knowledge, I expect that you would miss out on why the characters interact and act the way they do.

Renge Miyauchi dressed as a teru-teru bōzu from the anime series Non Non Biyori Repeat
Renge Miyauchi dressed as a teru-teru bōzu

So, does that mean you should watch Non Non Biyori first, and then Repeat second? Not necessarily.

That’s how I watched this series, but I don’t particularly think it’s any better than watching the series in chronological order. The only real difference between these two orders is whether you go through the school year once in 24 episodes or twice in two sets of 12 episodes.

And just in case you’re wondering what the chronological order looks like, refer to the chart below.

Non Non Biyori Chronological Order

I Became a First Grader Season 2 Episode 1
A New Transfer Student Came Season 1 Episode 1
We Went to the Candy Store Season 1 Episode 2
We Went to Look at the Stars Season 2 Episode 2
We Got Motivated During the Holiday Break Season 2 Episode 3
I Ran Away from Home with My Sister Season 1 Episode 3
I Made a Teru-teru Bouzu Season 2 Episode 4
We Ate Okonomiyaki Season 2 Episode 5
We Made Friends With Fireflies Season 2 Episode 6
Summer Vacation Started Season 1 Episode 4
We Bravely Dove In Season 2 Episode 7
I Pretended I Forgot My Swimsuit Season 1 Episode 5
I Became a Ghost and Tried Hard Season 1 Episode 6
My Rice Crackers Turned Into Curry Season 1 Episode 7
I Took Lunch Duty Season 2 Episode 8
We Looked at the Moon Together Season 2 Episode 9
We Cooked Rice at School Season 1 Episode 8
We Tried Having a Cultural Festival Season 1 Episode 9
I Practiced Really Hard Season 2 Episode 10
I Became a Pampered Child Season 2 Episode 11
We Watched the First Sunrise of the Year Season 1 Episode 10
We Made Snow Houses Season 1 Episode 11
Spring Came Again Season 1 Episode 12
A Year Passed Season 2 Episode 12

Conclusion

Although I think Repeat is better than the first season of Non Non Biyori, I have to give it a 6/10 just like the first season. It’s an enjoyable watch, but it’s never really something I wanted to go out of my way to watch. That’s why watching Repeat took me 5 months from start to finish.

I also don’t remember the OP/ED for the first season, but I’d imagine they weren’t all that different from the Repeat OP/ED. So I’ll just say that the OP/ED for Repeat are just as good as the ones from the first season.

If you enjoyed this review, or found it to be helpful in any way, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Sound! Euphonium

Sound! Euphonium

Sound! Euphonium anime series cover art
Sound! Euphonium

Overview

Sound! Euphonium (Hibike! Euphonium / 響け!ユーフォニアム) is a drama series centered around a high school band. No, not a high school rock band like Fuuka, a high school band, band. The kind with the instruments that go toot!

And before you ask, a Euphonium is an instrument. It’s basically a tiny version of the tuba.

So one thing to mention before getting into the anime itself is that this series is animated by Kyoto Animation, which means you can already assume it’s going to be good. I don’t think I’ve seen anything by KyoAni I haven’t liked, and Violet Evergarden by them is one of my favorites.

If you enjoyed other KyoAni series, there’s a very high chance you’ll also enjoy Sound! Euphonium.

Kumiko Oumae from the anime series Sound! Euphonium
Kumiko Oumae

Now, if you’ve read my review of Your Lie in April, another music-focused anime, you’ll know that one of my complaints was about the amount of music play time in the series. I felt that there was too much considering the fact it generally all sounded the same. And although this is contradictory, I felt the opposite about Sound! Euphonium.

Perhaps the second season will have more, but for an anime about a school band there was a surprising lack of music being played. We’d get little snippets of them practicing here and there, but not much more than that. Even the competition at the end of the season was largely skipped over (though I hear it was expanded upon in the recap movie).

And this next part isn’t really a complaint, but there was a lot of yuri bait with no actual yuri. You can’t just play with my emotions like that, Sound! Euphonium. But aside from that stuff, it’s the characters that make the series what it is.

Main Characters

There are four main first year students in the band who we know of. These are Kumiko, Reina, Sapphire, and Hazuki. Of the four, only Kumiko and Reina have played instruments before high school. They both played band together at the same middle school.

Kumiko Oumae is the protagonist of the series and player of the titular Euphonium. But, she wasn’t originally planning to join the band in high school. She only joined because her new friends, Sapphire and Hazuki asked her to join with them. She then saw this chance to pick up a new instrument, but was stuck with the Euphonium again in the end.

Reina Kousaka is Kumiko’s main love interest (I hope, but I don’t think she actually is). She takes playing in the band very seriously and is the reason Kumiko originally quit band after their middle school lost in a competition. Reina plays the trumpet and is known for her no-nonsense attitude.

Reina Kousaka from the anime series Sound! Euphonium
Reina Kousaka

Sapphire “Midori” Kawashima is a contrabass (bass) player. She’s the only member of the band I can think of who plays a stringed instrument, but there have to be others. There’s no way the only one is a first year who has never played before. Sapphire prefers to go by the name Midori (Green) because she thinks her given name is too haughty.

Hazuki Katou is the final member of the first year quartet. She plays the tuba, which she affectionately refers to as Tubacabura. Despite being a bit tomboyish, Hazuki is actually the least gay of all the girls, being the only one to ask a boy out.

Supporting Characters

Natsuki Nakagawa is my favorite character of the series. Her hair is always up in a ponytail, what more could you ask for? But actually, she’s a second year student who also plays the Euphonium. She doesn’t take band all that seriously, but she enjoys it so she shows up.

Asuka Tanaka is a third year student who I believe is the fan favorite. She’s the third and final Euphonium player. Asuka also serves as the vice president of the band. Though there are many, including the current president, who believe Asuka would have made a good president, she doesn’t like to be the one in charge.

Takuya Gotou is another third year student. He plays the tuba, which he likes despite only having bad things to say about it, such as the fact that it’s heavy. He’s also voiced by Kenjirou Tsuda, who I’ve mentioned in a lot of recent series reviews because he’s suddenly been in every anime for the past year. I was surprised to hear his voice in this series though.

The final student I want to mention is Haruka Ogasawara, a third year who serves as the acting president and director of the school band. She might not be the most outgoing person around, but she was elected because she has that little something that makes her a good leader. The only person who doesn’t realize this is herself.

And, of course, I have to include Noboru Taki, the teacher in charge of the band. I like Taki. He doesn’t mess around and he says what he thinks even when it’s mean enough to make high school girls cry. I think some of the most entertaining scenes of the first season came from Taki being ruthless in his feedback towards the students.

Conclusion

Overall, Sound! Euphonium was a 7/10 for me. Originally I had it at an 8, but I think a 7 is a more appropriate rating after having thought about the season for a while. It was a good anime, but this season was really just the introduction. I’m expecting season 2 to be even better, but who knows when I’ll actually get around to watching that.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, join us on Discord if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Psycho-Pass Movie

Psycho-Pass Movie

Psycho-Pass Movie anime cover art featuring Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kougami
Psycho-Pass Movie Cover Art

Overview

The Psycho-Pass Movie is a continuation of the series after season two, but that doesn’t really matter all that much. I honestly don’t remember the plot of season two, as I’m sure is the case for many people, and yet I had no trouble following along with the plot of this movie.

Inspector Akane Tsunimori is once again our protagonist, and Shinya Kougami from season one has been brought back as well, albeit as a terrorist this time around. Because this movie prominently features these two over the rest of the characters, it’s more apt to say that this movie is a sequel to season one, and just happens to take place after season two.

Needless to say, that means it’s better than season two was. But, it still wasn’t perfect and I’ll be getting to my issues with this movie in a later section.

Instead of taking place in Japan, this movie takes place in SEAUn, or the South East Asian Union, which seems to be located in or around Cambodia as far as I can tell. I don’t believe it was ever explicitly stated, but the country’s flag looked similar and that’s what I’ve heard from other sources.

There’s a civil war going on in SEAUn, where the military government has recently implemented the Sibyl System just like Japan. However, all data gathered in SEAUn is transmitted to Japan for analysis by the system; there isn’t a separate branch in SEAUn.

Because of this, members of a rebel group in SEAUn went to Japan in an attempt to take down the Sibyl System and free their country from oppression. After they’re caught and their memories are ripped out of them, the Ministry of Welfare’s Public Safety Bureau finds that Kougami, a former enforcer who went missing, is taking part in the SEAUn rebellion.

Not only is he an escaped criminal from Japan, but as a former inspector an enforcer, he knows all there is about fighting against Japan’s technology, and has been training the rebels on how to do so. Because of this, capturing him is the PSBs top priority, and Akane is sent to SEAUn to do just that.

Inspector Akane Tsunemori from the Psycho-Pass Movie anime
Inspector Akane Tsunemori

Now that the general plot is set up, it’s time to go through the rest of the summary fairly quickly. If you guessed that Kougami isn’t really a terrorist, then you’d be correct, sort of. After leaving Japan, he tried to find somewhere peaceful to live, only to realize the entire outside world is full of civil wars.

He then settles in SEAUn where the Sibyl System has recently been implemented, probably because it’s something he’s familiar with, and decides that he’ll have to fight to claim a peaceful place to live. However, during the fighting he notices that something’s off about the Sibyl System in SEAUn.

Japan never issued Dominators to SEAUn, and so the military uses standard firearms instead. The issue there is that standard firearms don’t know the difference between different levels of latent criminals. Because of this, any latent criminal, no matter their hue, can be killed at any time.

Further, the members of the military never seem to have their hues clouded no matter how many innocent civilians they murder. Akane and Kougami then team up to get to the bottom of this mystery, and they learn that the military has been tampering with their hues before sending the data back to Japan.

The plot is resolved when Akane has Shion hack into the system in SEAUn and fix the scanners. Once the scanners throughout the city are working properly, the hues of the soldiers are properly read, and they’re killed by the automated weapons they had been using to kill civilians.

Oh, and there’s also a mercenary group of cyborgs in the movie as well who are hunting down Akane and Kougami throughout the second half of the movie. Other than the fact that they’re chasing them, they don’t really have anything to do with the plot.

In the end, it’s found that the military leader who took control of SEAUn and implemented the Sibyl System was actually killed and replaced by the Sybil System itself as a body double. Although it denies this, it would seem that the Sibyl System has begun it’s version of Manifest Destiny.

Issues

Before I discuss the issues with the actual movie itself, let me first mention the issues with how I viewed the movie. The version of this movie I found was only in 480p and had poor subtitles. This means that not only was I missing out on what I assume were great visuals, but the dialogue may have been a bit off as well.

The subtitles being a bit off weren’t too big of a deal, except for the fact that half of the movie was already in English and yet the subtitles were still incorrect somehow. And, that brings me to my first major complaint about the movie, the fact that half of it was in English.

You may think I’m exaggerating that, but I’m not. Literally half of the movie was in English, because apparently that’s what the creators of Psycho-Pass think the primary language is Cambodia is. I’m not going to say that nobody in Cambodia speaks English, but their official language is Khmer.

As far as I could tell, the only reason English was used is because it’s a placeholder for “other” languages. By this I mean that there’s Japan, and there’s everywhere else, and to differentiate, they use Japanese in Japan, and an “other” language for everywhere else, which in this case happened to be English.

To a Japanese audience this may have been fine, but for an American audience, this really hurt the movie. Not only does the language not match the region speaking it, but it’s also all being spoken by Japanese voice actors with thick accents. This makes sense for the Japanese characters, but not for everyone else.

But, again, it all comes back to the amount of English in the movie. If there were only a few English lines, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but there was simply too much English to ignore it.

My next issue with the movie is with the concept as a whole. I understand that something different has to be done to keep the plot fresh, but due to the change in location, this movie didn’t really feel like Psycho-Pass.

The Psycho-Pass I’m used to took place in a futuristic Tokyo where everything is pristine and monitored 24/7. However, this movie takes place in a war-torn nation and although there’s still futuristic technology, it looks and feels more like a dystopia than utopia.

I don’t have much experience with the Ghost in the Shell franchise, but this movie felt like it would fit much better with that than with the previous two seasons of Psycho-Pass. Perhaps the military nature of this movie also pushed it in that direction unlike the detective nature of the series.

The third and final issue with this movie I want to bring up is that the new characters and plot don’t actually matter in any way. I already mentioned how the team of mercenaries didn’t actually have a real effect on the plot, and the same goes for the rest of the new characters if I’m being honest.

None of these characters have any sort of lasting impact, and the overarching antagonist, the leader of SEAUn, wasn’t ever an antagonist at all, it was the Sybil System playing the role of antagonist in order to spread its domain. With this in mind, everything Akane achieves in the movie was going to be achieved with or without her anyway.

In fact, we’re explicitly told that the only reason she was actually sent to SEAUn in the first place was to get her out of the Sybil System’s way so it could do its job, not to actually arrest Kougami. Oh, and Kougami is let go once again, changing nothing from the end of season one.

Free Will

Before I end, I feel that I should mention at least one thing I like about Psycho-Pass and this movie in general, and that’s how it uses the concept of free will. I probably mentioned this in my review of the series, but Psycho-Pass takes a different stance on free will than most other anime.

While there are certainly those who fight against the Sybil System such as Shougo Makishima in season one and Kougami in this movie, they’re portrayed as pseudo-antagonists instead of protagonists. In fact, Makishima was definitely the antagonist.

Usually we see that free will is something to be treasured and worth fighting for, but Psycho-Pass takes an alternative perspective by saying that free will is dangerous, everyone would be happier without it, and given the option, people would choose to remove it from the equation.

So, let’s go through each of these points as illustrated by this movie.

First, the idea that free will is dangerous is illustrated simply by Japan being the only country on Earth which isn’t in a civil war. This lack of civil unrest is attributed to the Sybil System controlling every aspect of everyday life, and because of this the people are happy and safe.

Next, not only are those who live under the Sybil System happy because of the relative safety in which they live, but the system also takes all the guesswork out of life for them. In the beginning of the movie, Akane’s friend mentions how she’s getting married to someone the Sybil System suggested would be her perfect match.

She admits that she didn’t trust the system to make a decision like this at first, and that their relationship had a rocky start, but in the end she found that the system was right all along. In the series we also had a number of similar examples, including career compatibility.

Finally, the idea that the masses would choose safety over free will comes into play in the post-credit scene of the movie. The Sybil System steps down as dictator of SEAUn and allows for an open election, only to be re-elected shortly after.

Conclusion

Overall I decided to give the Psycho-Pass Movie a 6/10, which is actually the same rating I gave to the first season. Perhaps if I watched the first season today I would rate it higher than I did originally, but I don’t have much time for rewatching anime, there’s too much to keep up with as it is.

And, if I’m being honest, other than the scene of Akane first encountering Kougami (pictured far above), the best part of the movie was actually when the ending credits began and the song Namae No Nai Kaibutsu by EGOIST started playing. So, the fact that one of the best parts of the movie was the ending credits song from season one should tell you something.

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