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Anime / Psycho-Pass

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Checking out at the Psycho-pass: Kougami, Akane, Ginoza, Kagari, Kunizuka, Shion and Masaoka.

"This is a world where the mental state and personal tendencies of a human can be quantified. While all sorts of inclinations are recorded and policed, these measured numbers used to judge peoples' souls are often called 'Psycho-Pass'".

In the 22nd century, Japan is tightly governed by the Sibyl System and their enforcers, the Public Safety Bureau. The Sibyl System maintains order by using advanced technology to instantaneously analyse a person's psychological profile and calculate the likelihood that person will commit a crime. Factors such as emotional state, mental health, stress levels and criminal desire are quantified into a single number known as a "Psycho-Pass"; if this number exceeds an acceptable threshold, the target is judged a threat and sentenced to mandatory therapy. In the most extreme cases, where the Psycho-Pass is so high that rehabilitation is deemed impossible, the Sibyl System orders immediate execution.

Hunting down those deemed a threat to society is the aforementioned Public Safety Bureau, which operates through teams of two detective types: Enforcers, latent criminals whose Psycho-Pass has exceeded the acceptable level but who are called on to assist; and Inspectors, who supervise the Enforcers to make sure they follow procedure and don't escape. Called in on difficult and extreme cases, Bureau officers are equipped with Dominators, which allow the wielder to scan a target's Psycho-Pass and, if authorized, fire non-lethal or lethal rounds depending on the reading. Of course, being a social science-fiction plot, a central theme is whether or not the Sibyl System and the Bureau are worth their cost.

Psycho-Pass is a Post-Cyberpunk anime series created & written by Gen Urobuchi of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero fame, with character designs by Akira Amano, the mangaka behind Reborn! (2004), and animated by Production I.G. The series was picked up for simulcasting by Funimation. Shortly after the anime's premiere, a manga adaptation titled Inspector Akane Tsunemori began serialization in Shueisha's Jump Square. It was also adapted into a two-volume novel. Psycho-Pass is widely considered to be the anime equivalent of Minority Report, which also deals with the concept of arresting criminals before they even commit a crime based on the analysis of a central computer system.

Psycho-Pass opens in 2112 as idealistic rookie Inspector Akane Tsunemori begins her first assignment to the Public Safety Bureau. Along with her fellow Inspector Nobuchika Ginoza, she is set to supervise the Enforcers of Division 1: Shinya Kougami, a former Inspector turned Enforcer; Tomomi Masaoka, a veteran Enforcer with deep knowledge of the Sibyl System; Shusei Kagari, a flirtatious man identified as a latent criminal at age 5; and Yayoi Kunizuka, a stoic woman of few words. Following a string of suspicious crimes and unsolved cases all leading back to the name Makishima, it's up to Akane and the Bureau to solve the conspiracy threatening society itself. The series premiered in Fall 2012 on Fuji TV's noitaminA block.

On September 6, 2013, Production I.G officially confirmed that there will be a second season and a movie. The second season aired in the Fall 2014 season while the movie was released on January 9, 2015. The series composition for the second season was written by Tow Ubukata, best known for his dark Cyberpunk novel Mardock Scramble as well as helming Ghost in the Shell: Arise. Tatsunoko Production was in charge for the animation for the second season instead of Production I.G.

As preparation for the second season, a rebroadcast of the first season titled Psycho-Pass New Edit aired in the summer of 2014, with the episodes edited into 11 one-hour long broadcasts. In addition, the New Edit adds additional footage at the beginning of each episode as well as halfway through (serving as a kind of transition scene between the two original episodes it is combining together). In total, the New Edit adds almost 35 minutes of new footage to the series.

Psycho-Pass 2 begins one and a half years later, and follows the new Division One. Built up of both returning members and a few replacements, the team is joined by: Sho Hinakawa, an introverted geek and former hologram specialist; Mika Shimotsuki, a by-the-book detective who clashes with Akane's unique thinking; Sakuya Togane, a mysterious and shifty Cowboy Cop-type; and Joji Saiga, who returns to actively consult at Akane's request. When an Inspector goes missing and an Enforcer is killed following an incident, Akane leads the unit in fighting a series of terrorist attacks through the city, connected only by the attackers mentioning "Kamui" and his mysterious "WC?" graffiti. The second season aired in Fall 2014.

Psycho-Pass: The Movie was written by Gen Urobuchi and Makoto Fukami, which takes place two years after the second season's ending. It premiered in Japanese theaters in January 2015, one month after the second season ended airing.

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System (or more simply, Psycho-Pass SS) was announced as a movie trilogy continuation of the franchise and premiered in January through March 2019. Each movie focuses on certain characters: Case 1 - Crime and Punishment (Mika Shimotsuki and Nobuchika Ginoza), Case 2 - First Guardian (Tomomi Masaoka and Teppei Sugo) and Case 3 - Beyond Love and Hate (Shinya Kougami). First Guardian was also the final film appearance of Kinryū Arimoto as the voice of Tomomi Masaoka before he died in February 2019.

Psycho-Pass 3 premiered on October 24, 2019 on Amazon Prime Video. Introducing two new Inspectors, former political scion Arata Shindou and Russian immigrant Kei Mikhail Ignatov, the story takes place three years after the Sinners of the System movies and concerns a conspiracy called "Bifrost" that is secretly manipulating the economics and politics of Japan without Sibyl's knowledge. Meanwhile, several of the former Division 1 members have been recruited into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Special Action Division, while Sibyl has imprisoned Akane Tsunemori in an isolation cell for classified reasons. Tow Ubukata is in charge of series composition while Ryo Yoshikami and Makoto Fukami, who also wrote the SS movie trilogy, are in charge of the scripts. Light novel & manga adaptations are also included as part of the season, written by Yoshikami and illustrated by Akira Amano.

After the conclusion of the third season, a movie sequel, Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector, was announced. It was simultaneously released on March 27th, 2020 in Japanese theaters and worldwide on Amazon Prime Video (which is divided into three 45-minute episodes, making it 3 additional episodes for Season 3), and it immediately picks up right where Season 3 left off.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the franchise, a movie entitled Psycho-Pass Providence was announced. It's an Interquel set between the last Sinners of the System movie and Season 3 which reveals how Akane got incarcerated and what had happened to Arata Shindo's father and Kei Ignatov's brother at that time. It was released on May 12, 2023, in Japan. Crunchyroll is in charge of the movie's distribution worldwide.

Other additional materials related to the franchise include:

  • Visual Novel additions with the Blu-Ray releases which show a couple of MWPSB members who are not present in the anime.
  • Spin-off novels:
    • PSYCHO-PASS/ZERO: Monster With No Name, which is set three years prior to the TV series and later adapted into a Drama CD, focusing on the Specimen Case involving Kougami, Sasayama, and Makishima.
    • PSYCHO-PASS GENESIS, focused on Tomomi Masaoka in his days as a Tokyo Metropolitan Police officer and set decades prior to the events of the TV series.
    • PSYCHO-PASS ASYLUM, a two-volume series telling the backstories of side characters: first season villain Choe Gu-sung, Shusei Kagari, Yayoi Kunizuka & Shion Karanomori, and a young Nobuchika Ginoza starting off as an Inspector.
    • PSYCHO-PASS LEGEND: Enforcer Kougami Shinya - The Hound of Utopia, a novel revolving around a side case Kougami and Akane investigate early in the first season, with many flashbacks taking place in 2104 much earlier in Kougami's career.
    • PURSUER KAGARI SHUUSEI, a novel focusing on Kagari's life starting with his childhood.
    • PSYCHO-PASS, a two-volume novelization of the first season.
    • PSYCHO-PASS THE MOVIE, a novelization of the movie.
    • PSYCHO-PASS 3, a three-volume novelization of the third season.
  • A video game, Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness for the Xbox One at first in Japan and with the game getting an English sub release in Hong Kong for Fall 2015. It received an English release on the PS4 and PS Vita in Fall 2016. The game storyline is concurrent with roughly the first 8 episodes of the first season.
  • Stage Play Psycho-Pass Virtue and Vice, a 2019 stage play that centers on new original characters from the PSB's 3rd division. It was held at the Ninon Seinenkan Hall in Tokyo from April 18 to 30, 2019, then at Morinomiya Piloti Hall in Osaka from May 4 to 6.
  • Psycho-Pass Chapter 1 - Hanzai Keisū - , a 2019 stage play adaptation of the first season. It was held at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Stellar Ball in Tokyo from October 25 to November 10.
  • Manga series:
    • Kanshikan Tsunemori Akane, a manga adaptation of the first season.
    • Kanshikan Kougami Shinya, following Kougami's earlier days in the Bureau.
    • Gakuen Psycho Pass, a High School AU where Akane joins Psycho Pass Academy and becomes a member of the Public Morals Committee.
    • Psycho-Pass 2, a manga adaptation of the second season.
    • Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System, manga adaptations of each of the three SS movies.
    • Psycho-Pass 3, a manga adaptation of the third season, serialized at the same time the anime began.

This series provides examples of:

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  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The show often mixes traditional animation with CG to emphasize the massive technological advancements and futuristic atmosphere of the world. Unlike many examples, it is done in a much smoother fashion thanks to stellar animation and designs that help to enhance the environment without calling much attention to it. What also probably helps is that Production I.G has a rather extensive (not to mention outstanding) reputation with creatively mixing CG and animation in a clean fashion.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Holographic technology is everywhere, security robots are a common sight and people's souls can be quantified. The first series takes place from November 2112 to early 2113. These can be seen thanks to specific dates that pop up on datascreens every now and then. The second season begins on October 22, 2114, and the film takes place in the year 2116. The Sinners of the System trilogy span a time period from October 2116 to November 2117, and Season 3 begins in November 2120.
  • Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits: Discussed in Episode 8, where Rikako observes that the idea of a "lady" is an archaic idea in the world of 2112, but one that still has value to rich men, so Ohso Academy still exists to teach antique virtues to young women and turn them into proper Yamato Nadeshiko to be sold off into marriage.
  • Action Girl: If you're a female Enforcer, your job is to basically be this.
    • On the Inspector side of things, Akane and Risa get to see some action as well. Mika gets her moments after her Character Development starts to really show.
    • The MFA has Assistant Officer Frederica Hanashiro, who's a competent Friendly Sniper along with being a skilled investigator.
  • Action Prologue: The beginning of the first episode shows a wounded Shinya taking on a Mook wearing cybernetic armor before confronting Shogo Makishima, a sinister looking white haired Bishōnen. The middle of the episode is dedicated to finding the perp they are after until the end of the episode where he is killed and his victim is saved by Akane's agonizing moral choice.
  • Actionized Sequel: Season 2 has more action scenes than the previous one due to opponents who employ more aggressive tactics such as bombings and shootouts. The 2015 movie and the Sinners of the System trilogy take it even further, particularly since Kougami has left Japan and is getting involved in actual warzones.
    • Season 3, on the other hand, dials it back a bit. While there is still a good chunk of action, Arata and Kei spend the majority of their time on investigative work and interviewing persons of interest. Its Immediate Sequel, First Inspector, on the other hand, bumps the action back up.
  • Actor Allusion: Yoshiko Sakakibara plays a character overseeing the actions of a public security agency, much like her role in another famous cyberpunk anime.
  • Actually a Doombot: Chief Kasei had an array of cyborg body doubles as it was first revealed at the end of episode 16. Whenever it gets damaged or destroyed, there would always be another one. But the brain residing in that body does not.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstories of other characters, such as Kagari, Choe Gu-sung and Masaoka, are in the novels. This includes Sasayama's story and the Specimen Case which is also in Drama CDs. Of course, they're all in Japanese and English-speaking fans have to rely on translated snippets from those who got a hold of them.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The PSB's headquarters of Nona Tower has been attacked by a large hostile group in the first season by Makishima, Choe, and their hired thugs.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Averted: Prof. Saiga asks Kougami what the definition of anarchy is, and his answer is that it is a denial of governing and authority, but is different from confusion and disorder. Based off of this definition, Makishima is not an anarchist because of his love of causing violence.
  • Anachronism Stew: This is a futuristic society with robot drones to help the police. They also store data on what appear to be floppy disks — a device that was dropped after the first series.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • The Enforcers are often compared to predators, specifically hunting dogs, hunting their prey when going after their fellow criminals. When Ginoza and Kougami tell Yayoi they require a nose like hers in their investigation, she compares Enforcers to dogs, since they're bound to an Inspector in order to avoid rehab or execution.
    • Akane in particular has a Jellyfish motif, which is emphasized by her personal avatar and jellyfish decorations in her room: while they may appear to be cute, harmless, or out-of place (like how most people view her and her choice to join the PSB) they can be very dangerous because their stings can paralyze or kill their victims (just like her Dominator) and can be very hard to notice because of their transparency (which fits with how often she's brushed off for being "just a rookie")
    • The people of Bifrost are compared to foxes due to their business cards having a fox on the back and their methods of sneaking around and tricking people while hiding from Sibyl's eyes. This is thrown in occassionally by the characters such as Kougami who tells Arata to "hunt down the foxes".
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: In Episode 20, the Sibyl System makes one such offer to Akane, trying to manipulate her by exploiting the value she puts on protecting the entire society while dealing justice. And she doesn't refuse!
  • And the Adventure Continues:
    • Season 1 ends with the Sibyl System still intact, Kougami on the run, and Akane still an Inspector.
    • At the end of Season 2, nothing changed: the system is still there, regardless that they lost several brains, Kougami is still nowhere to be found and Akane remains an Inspector.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • At the end, the dead include many antagonists including Senguji, Rikako, Mido, Touma and Choe; along with Akane's friend Yuki and her old classmate Spookie Boogie; Professor Kudama (who was killed in the episode he was introduced, to boot); Shusei and Masaoka. In the last episode, only one person dies, Shogo Makishima.
    • Season 2 continues the trend by killing Inspector Aoyanagi, 3 members of Division 3, Aoi Tsunemori (Akane's grandmother), Sakuya Tougane, Masoka Tougane and Kirito Kamui. It's interesting to note that Urobuchi is only supervising the script of Season 2 and amusingly said that if there are casualties, it's Tow Ubukata's doing and not him. The official website has an organizational chart of PSB which shows the status of each character.
    • Season 3 is rather tame with casualities with only a few minor baddies being killed. The only major character killed off is Kyoko Saionji. Meanwhile The Stinger of Season 3 finale shows Yayoi's car being crushed, leaving her survival uncertain until the end of First Inspector shows her recovering from her injuries. The only major character killed off in the movie is Haruki Shirogane.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • The civilians in the Psycho-Pass society are so used to the comfort and safety given by the Sibyl System that they watch a woman get beaten to death with a hammer because no-one told them they should worry about it. The murderer has a helmet that lets him avoid detection by the drones, but it still counts since the bystanders just watch the murder happen. The depicted murder was probably inspired by a real one. Shingo Minamino, a music producer from Nitroplus, was stabbed multiple times and killed in the middle of the day on an extremely busy street (the assailant also killed an old woman simultaneously). Not a single person intervened, except for a woman who called the police when she saw what was happening. Writer Gen Urobuchi most probably was acquainted with the deceased producer due to their company background.
    • The final episode of the New Edit opens with a scene where Makishima muses on how surreal it is that people are so apathetic, nobody's ever attempted to bring down the Sibyl System before him.
  • Arc Words: From the second season: "WC?" "What color?"
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: The author himself admitted on Twitter that the real life process of plastination is much more complicated than just soaking the body parts in a vat for a few days. It was originally explained that the unpatented future chemical seen in Episode 7 makes the process exactly this simple (which also better explained why the suspect had to be a scientific expert, since the chemical wasn't just rare, but completely unheard of), but the lines with the explanation were cut due to time constraints.
  • As Long as There Is One Man: Akane assures the Sibyl System that one day somebody will enter their chamber with the sole purpose of pulling the plug on the system.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Makishima quotes the Bible as he prepares to destroy Japan's food supply.
    "Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away."
  • Asimov's Three Kinds of Science Fiction: It's the Social type and the invention is the Sybil System, which instantaneously analyses a person's psychological profile and calculates the likelihood of that person committing a crime. Then any threat to society is dealt with by the Public Safety Bureau. The anime's Central Theme is whether the Sybil System and the Bureau are worth their cost since they rob people of their freedom, privacy, and security; and the former can be as narrow-minded and bigoted as the humans programming it.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Some instances, such as Rikako getting blasted in the face with Senguji's shotgun at point-blank range in season 1 and Kamui orchestrating the deaths of all the corrupt politicians who covered up the Season of Hell and kept the Sibyl System in power in season 2.
    • Though its not completely portrayed as a good thing, the men who attacked a university and started killing the students they were holding hostage for having better futures chosen for them by the Sibyl system quickly get overwhelmed and beaten to death when the students decide to fight back.
    • In Season 3, several Bifrost members get their comeupperance such as Torii, getting shot on the chest by Maiko who is actually a trained solder and Kyoko, getting vaporized into particles.
  • Augmented Reality: The world of Psycho Pass seems to operate on a combination of holograms and this, with information being fed directly to the eyes of characters from their guns for example and even hearing computerized voices in their head.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Dominator guns are incredibly powerful and can completely eliminate the target, causing them to blow apart in a shower of Ludicrous Gibs, but without a wireless connection to Sibyl they are unable to authorize action and are completely useless, so if you can't get a signal you might as well not have one. This is not just a one off problem either, it occurs multiple times in the series. And when switching to a lethal mode, the gun needs a few seconds to complete its transformation sequence. Anyone who has had to fight for their life can tell you that a split second can literally mean the difference between surviving or dying. This is most apparent in episode 11, when the "Lovecraft" attack drone nearly manages to bite off Kougami's face because his Dominator was busy first registering the target as a threat, and then transforming and then charging up a shot - calmly voicing all of its actions in the meantime.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Shinya and Tomomi are very good at reading the criminal's mind and intent. It's stated to be a case of "it takes one to know one", as only latent criminals can understand the mind of other criminals.
    • Aratas mentalist abilities could be used to trace a suspect's motives and thoughts through a process called "Mental Tracing".
  • Awful Truth: The Sibyl System is composed of numerous brains of criminally asymptomatic individuals (read: sociopaths and/or serial killers, who read as normal people under the System) connected to each other and the Internet, controlling every aspect of society as a collective. This revelation is enough to make Choe believe revealing this would shatter society, due to their reliance on the Sibyl System. It also horrifies Shusei.
  • Badass Crew: The Enforcers make for some badass combinations and team attacks, as evidenced in Episode 3.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The uniform for the Bureau, with slight customization for certain members.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Kirito actually manages to complete his plan of having Sibyl judge itself as to whether or not it should live
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits:
    • The second opening of Season 1 has Kougami, sitting on the floor and surrounded by bodies of his teammates which most viewers expect that this is what Gen "Urobutcher"' Urobuchi is going to do.At the end of season 1, Kagari and Masaoka were the only ones dead and the former's body wasn't even found since he was hit by Destroy Decomposer mode from Kasei's Dominator.
    • The second season's opening shows a showdown between Akane and Mika with Kougami, being tied up to a chair. That never happened in the show and Kougami wasn't physically present except in Akane's mind since he's in Cambodia as seen in the movie.
    • The third season's opening shows Kei symbolically fighting himself similar which is a Call-Back to Kougami fighting himself in the first season's openings. It sort of implies that Kei is having an internal conflict just like Kougami except throughout Season 3, he never has any issues with himself.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The woman taken hostage in the first episode is so traumatized by repeated beatings and burnings and being raped that her Criminal Coefficient rises to that of a latent criminal, to the point of lethal force being approved (until Akane manages to talk her down, and she's subsequently mentioned to be responding well to therapy).
  • BFG:
    • The Assault Dominator model in Season 2, a massive rifle with long range and shots that phase through walls.
    • Hell, even the normal Dominators are BFGs by pistol standards.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The nation of Japan is secluded from the outside world, since it's believed the society governed by the Sibyl System is close to perfection. There are cameras, devices and drones monitoring people's Psycho-Pass almost everywhere, meaning many of the series antagonists stay indoors in order to not get arrested.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Shinya finally kills Makishima but leaves Japan for good. The Sibyl System continues to exist and mocks Akane's declaration that someone will pull the plug someday. Two Enforcers (Kagari and Masaoka) are dead and Ginoza is demoted into an Enforcer. Despite that, Akane, now the new leader of her unit, might be able to help the newly appointed inspector, Mika, change things around.
    • Season 2 ends with Misako Togane, her son Sakuya, and Kamui dead. However, Kamui succeeds in forcing Sibyl to eliminate several of its brains that have high Crime Coefficients. Mika decides to forget what she's learned about the Sibyl System. Akane remains cynical of the system regardless that they have a hand in her grandmother's murder. But still, the Sibyl System continues to rule society.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality:
    • Makishima has some legitimate points about the society of Japan under the Psycho-Pass, but he's a sociopath who's out to destroy Japan's social order, and he's also sadistic for its own sake. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Welfare and the Sibyl System have brought order and prosperity to Japan, something that even Akane ultimately has to acknowledge, but it traps everyone in its "perfect society," eliminates anyone that it considers to be a potential threat, and the Sibyl System is itself built from the brains of criminal asymptomatics like Makishima and is more than willing to break its own rules and murder individuals who don't qualify for death to preserve itself. Makishima is Black, but the system he's trying to destroy is itself a rather dark Gray.
    • This dynamic reverses in Season Two. Kamui is a dark gray villain who wants to force Sibyl to judge itself for its crimes, and is willing to use any means necessary to do so, including encouraging the murder of civilians through terror bombings. The Sibyl System, meanwhile, has descended into complete hypocrisy, as it continues to seek the destruction of honest people who have done nothing but discover its secret, tries to force Akane to kill hundreds of innocents if it'll kill Kamui, and also supports the attempts of a truly psychopathic villain in the corruption and destruction of Akane, simply to validate its own purity and avoid holding itself to the same standards that it holds others.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality:
    • The concept of criminally asymptomatic individuals whose Psycho-Pass is white with a low or zero Crime Coefficient. When they commit crimes, the system doesn't register them as a target of enforcement, keeping the Dominator triggers locked. The system itself is composed of the brains of these individuals; hence, they were able to do deceptive acts in a hitch. When Akane calls them out on this in the movie which she regarded it as criminal acts, the system waves it off due to having their own understanding and definition of crime. Likewise, other criminally asymptomatic individuals such as Makishima, Touma and Masako Togane are amoral and have their own agendas regardless how their actions are morally wrong.
    • It's interesting to note that the Sibyl System and Makishima, regardless that they both have the same condition, don't agree with each other due to having their own definition of morality. Or in Makishima's case, a lack of it.
  • Body Horror: Dominator guns set to "lethal" mode don't just fire your standard bullets, no, they cause some sort of chain reaction that reduces the target to Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Season 3 ends with Yayoi being on a "car accident" which was arranged by Asuzawa.
  • Book Ends:
    • Akane's narration about Shinya and Makishima's destiny. The first time the narration finishes, the story goes back to show how Shinya got to meet Makishima for the first time in years and the first time face-to-face. The second time, is after Shinya kills Makishima.
    • Akane is a new Inspector in the first episode, dealing with a crime on her first day of the job. At the end, Akane gets ready to help a new Inspector on her first day of the job, in which she must deal with a crime. It is even raining just like the first episode, and Akane's dialogue is almost identical to Ginoza's, except she tells her rookie treat her Enforcers as people, and to not underestimate them.
    • Season 1 ends with a stinger about Shinya smoking while reflecting on Makishima as well as his friends from the MWPSB, as hinted through him reading Swann's Way, a book about longing for the past and specifically people from the past. Season 2 ends with a stinger where Akane is even further implied to miss Shinya by having her put out a cigarette, just like Shinya used to.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Senguji shoots Rikako point blank in the face with a shotgun.
  • Boxed Crook: The Enforcers are latent criminals. Episode 12 has Yayoi be allowed to leave the rehabilitation center when she agrees to help the MWPSB and join as an enforcer.
  • Bread and Circuses: Holograms, virtual worlds, psychiatric medications, high-paying jobs, Kawaisa Drones, and anything so that the masses' Psycho-Passes would be reduced. If that does not work, then either rehabilitation (which seems to be pretty comfortable as the rehabilitated were allowed to keep their cherished possessions in life) or enforcement.
  • Breather Episode: Yayoi's backstory episode comes right after Episode 11.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Shinya and Akane, while never quite becoming a couple, are set up as this. Subverted at the end, as her influence isn't enough for him to reject killing Makishima.
  • Byronic Hero: Makishima is a textbook example. Except he is the main villain, which makes him a deconstruction, showing that when you put such a character in a society which literally denies him the right to exist, his go-to solution would be to attempt to destroy said society and kill everyone who gets in the way.
  • Call-Back: It was revealed in Season 3 that Dr. Kojo Tsuchiyo, Karina Komiya's psychologist, lost his daughter during the Helmet Riots which was instigated by Shogo Makishima back in Season 1. Karina mentions to Arata that Ma-Karina, the A.I. built for her, is more like a surrogate daughter to him in place for the one he lost in the riots.
    • In Season 2, a major reason why the PSB's investigation of Kamui after the pharmacy incident was crippled was because Hinakawa emailed a report to Shimotsuki explaining that he had identified the holo-disguise Kamui was using at the scene, but she never opened the email and Division 1 found out the information far too late for it to be useful. In the 7th episode of Season 3, Shimotsuki has learned her lesson and is studiously reading Hinakawa's report of the encounter with Chris O'Brien, and the wind gets knocked out of her when she realizes that the pattern of Arata's Crime Coefficient steadily dropping, as recorded by Hinakawa's Dominator, means Arata is criminally asymptomatic.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Every major male character has some level of bishonen looks.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The helmet that Shinya picked up to stop Akane's Psycho-Pass from being copied by Makishima's mooks, is used by Akane to knock out Makishima. Later, Shinya uses it to prevent the drones from finding him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the second season's episode 2, it was mentioned that Akira Kitazawa had additional bombs ready to go before he was killed. Those bombs come back into play in episode 10 when Sibyl orders Division 3 to destroy the subway cars hijacked by Kamui and his men.
    • In the finale, rogue Inspector Shisui brandishes a detonator and is about to blow everybody up... but then Sugo uses the Assault Dominator (which had not been seen since episode 4) to shoot through multiple subway cars out of her line of sight and stun her before she can hit the trigger.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Quite a few of the minor characters in the second season. A lot of them are Kamui in holographic disguises to further his plans. These include the Public Safety Bureau's psychologist, the drone programmer at the military base, and a helpless pharmacist.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Psycho-Pass levels are categorized by Hues, with clear shades being healthy and cloudy ones indicating the need for intervention.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Shinya, Shogo, and Kagari all have been trained in visibly different martial arts, and are very good at disposing of people. Shogo is particularly proficient in the field.
    • If it can be taken as canon, the radio special mentions Masaoka sparring with Shinya, something that a (then-newbie) Kagari also tries his hand at (and gets his arm broken by Shinya). All Enforcers thus probably know of a few ways of neutralizing people with their bare hands.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: After Kei and Mao are captured by the Heaven's Leap cult when their undercover investigation failed and tortured when the cult leader, Torii, tries to extract information from about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' agents.
  • Confess in Confidence: Averted for psychiatrists. It's mentioned that Ginoza's psychiatrist has a duty to report if Ginoza's Crime Coefficient trends too far up.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Several characters would usually discuss philosophy and societal issues with others or among themselves, most especially in the New Edit. Makishima is the biggest offender of this trope.
  • Corrupt Politician: Season 2 introduces several, such as Representative Masuda who is also working for Kamui. We find out a group of these people have been regularly coming to Kamui to reduce their Psycho-Passes while they commit horrific crimes against illegal immigrants to indulge their sadistic desires. These same politicians also ensured that the Sibyl System stayed around 15 years ago when the Japanese government was on the verge of shutting it down.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Inspectors are this compared to their Enforcer counterparts. Inspectors behave a lot like chaperones to the Enforcers. As such, while Enforcers are allowed to round out their skills with self defense, Inspectors can’t without risking their coefficient. This pretty much restricts an Inspector’s ability to exert authority to their gun, that’s controlled by a remote AI. If the gun fails to respond accordingly, its easy for an Inspector to get overwhelmed by even inexperienced assailants.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Makishima gets one in his final moments.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The unsolved Specimen Case where people were cut to pieces and went through plastination. Rikako uses the same method to kill some of her classmates for the sake of "art".
    • Getting hit with the Dominator in Lethal Eliminator mode results in copious amounts of blood and flesh.
  • Cue the Sun: Inverted, just before Makishima dies the sun sets.
  • Cyberpunk/Post-Cyberpunk: It straddles both categories without falling into one entirely. The society built around the Sibyl System is a Totalitarian Utilitarian state where people are imprisoned or killed based on their likelihood of committing crimes rather than on anything that they do. However, the system generally seems to work pretty well (except where it doesn't), to the point where people are more likely to die from too little stress in their lives than from criminal activity.
  • Cyberspace: Commu-Fields take forums to their natural conclusion. People seem to dive into the cyber network in the form of their avatars.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Done literally. Kōgami has black hair and dresses in mostly dark colours.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Yayoi spends the first half of the series in the background, until Episode 12 focuses on her Backstory.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Rikako Oryou (and Kozaburou Touma before her) specializes in this, turning her victims into works of grotesque art and leaving them in public places.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Several of the people that Kamui impersonated happened to be those who died in a plane crash which he was a victim of. Other identities of the victims were also used by his followers to avoid detection from the system.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Well, it's more like Judging the Unjudgable but Kirito Kamui in season 2 successfully figured out a way to force the Sibyl System to judge collective identities, like Kamui himself, which in turn means he can judge the Sibyl System.
  • Defective Detective:
    • Most of these Enforcers have a lot of emotional baggage which is why they're latent criminals in the first place. Inspectors are not exempted from this and when their Psycho-Pass goes high due to the amounts of stress, they'll eventually get demoted.
    • Due to the nature of Psycho-Hazard, this is Inherent in the System. An actual detective, who understands the criminal mind, will themself become a latent criminal. Akane is the exception, due to her immense reserves of Heroic Willpower. Even after all the horrors of the Kamui case including her grandmother's death, her Hue remains crystal clear.
  • Digital Avatar: Everybody has one while diving into Cyberspace. There are even parties where they cosplay as them.
  • Dismembering the Body: Tōma Kōzaburō was a Serial Killer who dismembered his victims, turned their body parts into plastic via plastination, and arranged them for his "art". One of his victims is Mitsuru Sasayama, an Enforcer under Kougami who was an inspector at that time. When Kougami discovers what remains of Sasayama, this causes his Psycho-pass hue to go dark, leading to his demotion as Enforcer. Despite Touma being apprehended, his modus operandi is inherited by a high school student named Rikako Oryo, who butchers her classmates, uses plastination on their body parts and assembles them to mimic her father's paintings.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: What's the one thing Akane notices about Shion Karanomori? It's her cleavage.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Kasei decides to reveal the entire conspiracy to Mika. By this point, the agent realized she dug too deep, and tries to abort going further. At this point, a male bends her over a desk and pins her, while Kasei ‘forces’ her to learn the truth. It’s even cut short via discretion shot.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Everyone, regardless of hair color, is depicted as vampirically pale. The only exceptions are the occasional black person and people “outside” the system.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Kougami either genuinely views Akane only as a friend, or his deeper emotions get his tongue tied, as seen on his "farewell" letter to her.
  • Engrish: Gino's digital avatar has the word "Liverty" written on it. A bottle of water has the words "ANTERCTIC DOROPS" written on it.
  • Everything Is Online: The Sibyl System relies on online communication to function. This is discussed in the drone robot factory in Episode 3. As the boss says, not using online connections in the factory is the best way to prevent hacking.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • Shougo Makishima versus the Sibyl System. The second season continues this theme with Kirito Kamui versus Sibyl.
    • Season 3's gubernatorial election pits two independents against each other with the backing of two political parties. The Affirmation Party are avowed racists, isolationists and xenophobes, whereas their opponents, the Eugenics Party, don't care as long as their genes are "strong". Subverted by Karina, the AP candidate, who doesn't feel the same way, but is still happy to use the populace's fear for her own political gain.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The ending credits update and change some details depending on the episode. This is easily visible in Episode 6, where the usually bored Akane gets replaced with a more vivid illustration.
    • The second season's opening slowly becomes more static-y and glitched out with each passing episode. This video is a comparison of the 1st and 4th episode openings.
  • Failsafe Failure: Dominators can only be used against people with high criminal coefficients. However, they are completely useless against criminally asymptomatic people, or people that the System simply does not recognize.
  • Fair Cop: The majority of Division 1 cops are very pretty. The males are exceptionally Bishōnen. Even middle-aged-to-old Masaoka still keeps the rugged good looks from his youth.
  • Fan Disservice: Pretty much anything involving Rikako and lesbian subtext, since right from the beginning it's obvious she's up to no good so scenes that would normally be Les Yay fanservice take on an unsettling vibe. Then we see her naked in bed with another girl only for it to be revealed that the girl is already dead.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: In Season 3, the influx of foreigners from wartorn countries migrating to Japan is one of the societal issues in the show where the Japanese public feels intimidated by their presence. For example in Episode 3, an old man complains to the hospital's receptionist about waiting in line and when he sees Kei and his wife, he insults them for being immigrants and tells them to get out. Even after Kei shows him his PSB badge and warns him not to cause trouble, the old man still insults him and complains about foreigners taking over the country.
  • Film Noir: Has a few elements of this. Just watch the second version of the second opening song, it's probably the most noirish anime opening you'll see. Masaoka is pretty much a stock Film Noir type detective.
  • First Day from Hell: Lampshaded by Masaoka when Akane's first case involves tracking down a man who kidnapped and raped a woman. It all ends with Akane paralyzing her Enforcer, Kougami, who is about to execute the woman due to her cloudy Psycho-Pass rate. The day after that, she feels pretty bummed about it.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • The plot summary for the movie confirms that the Sibyl System will not be brought down.
    • Thanks to the movie trailer which was released when episode 8 of Season 2 aired, several characters are shown to be alive and well. This includes Mika, whose fate at the end episode 8 showed that she's confronted by Togane and the Sibyl System and yet, she'll make her appearance in the movie.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Kogami warns Ginoza that if he tries too hard to think like a criminal, the Sibyl system will brand him as one. Guess how season 1 ends?
    • The nice trick Masaoka did to counter Mido's architectural hacking (by spitting fire to the sprinklers)? Holograms react that way to droplets of water, as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in Episode 1 (when Akane first came to the crime scene, presenting her ID to a holographically-concealed drone in the rain) shows you.
    • The second version of the second opening has Kougami holding an old-fashioned revolver. At the end of Episode 18, Kougami went into Masaoka's warehouse after leaving the MWPSB where he finds and fixes the revolver which he would use to kill Makishima later on.
    • The disembodied eyes in the second opening refer to how Makishima would remove Kudama's eyes in order to get past the biometric security at the virus lab in Episode 20.
      • They also serve as a nice visual metaphor for the Dominators being Sibyl's "eyes". They literally are Sibyl's eyes, as the voice on the Dominator is a representative of the collective system announcing the judgement of someone.
    • The book Makishima is holding in the second opening is the Bible he reads from when he is planning to sabotage Japan's food supply.
    • The Stinger of Episode 13 foreshadows the true nature of the Sibyl System.
    • The opening for the second series features Chief Kasei lifting a dominator in front of her face, only for the image to change to that of new Enforcer Sakuya Togane holding the dominator, with one glowing eye. Turns out, Togane is Kasei's son, and he is downright evil.
    • In the Season 3 finale, the CCTV footage of a construction site where Yayoi is driving foreshadows her car accident where a fallen beam has dropped on her car.
    • The Season 3 opening has Arata and Kei pointing their Dominators at each other. Episode 8 shows the slow deteriotation of their frienship with Maiko's abduction and Kei joining Bifrost.
      • Also in the last scene of the opening, Arata's eye color is red while pointing his Dominators at the viewer. This indicates him as criminally asymptomatic.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend:
    • Averted with Shusei and Masaoka, but played straight with the death of Choe, which emphasizes Makishima's Lack of Empathy.
    • Kagari and Masaoka weren't mentioned in Season 2 though Ginoza makes a reference of the latter. Meanwhile, the former is seen in Akane's flashback. Aoyanagi was killed in episode 4 and her death haunted Ginoza and her former Enforcer, Teppei Sugo, who is the one who pulled the trigger. But later episodes mentioned her in passing.

  • Gatling Good: The Military Drones in the second season have gatling guns mounted on them as their main weapons. Sugo and Ginoza manage to jury-rig a gatling gun of their own after Akane lures all the drones into one warehouse and use it to destroy most of the renegade drones.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Akane tries to do a Memory Scoop in order to get an image of Makishima, she got too deep into her memories, reliving the time when Yuki got killed, until Ginoza slaps her back to her senses.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Inverted. The usual black = evil / white = good is flipped with Kōgami and Makishima.
  • Good Is Not Nice: There appears to be a pattern concerning this trope among the main characters of Division 1. It seems the more one is dedicated to following the Sibyl System then the less of a nice guy he is. For example:
  • Gorn: Shooting someone with a Dominator in Lethal Eliminator mode turns them into Ludicrous Gibs. Shown in full detail from the first episode.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't actually see Makishima slashing Yuki's throat with a razor. Instead, it shows a close-up of his razor with specks of blood flying as Makishima moves for the kill. Then, the next scene pans to Masaoka, looking very concerned and alert when he heard Akane's screams.
    • We also don't see the murder of the female pharmaceutical worker a few episodes later, though we get a good view of the death of her male colleague. We cut to black after the killer stabs a pin into the woman's leg and the camera cuts to her pained horrified expression; we only hear him doing something with the pin. When next we see her, we see her body from above from a distance but can't really make out what happened to her (though it appears that the killer gouged out her eyes). The only closeup shots of her body we get are obscured. In a show this graphically violent, this time, they decided to play Nothing Is Scarier.
  • Gratuitous English: A specific example in Season 3: the members of Bifrost address each other with English titles for an unknown reason, with the three main members being called "Congressmen" despite not being politicians (and Japanese politicians would be called "Dietmen" in any case). Their henchmen in the field are called "Inspectors" (again in English, not using the PSB term of kanshikan which although the subtitles call it "Inspector," is closer to meaning "surveillor" or "watchman").
    • Also from the same season, the Heaven's Leap cult uses a number of English terms, such as "bottoms" for their lowest-ranking members, "doctors" for their elite, and "Eternal White" for the state of total bliss they seek to achieve. The last is actually an artificially induced eustress deficiency coma that the leader Torri is using to remove dissidents against him.
  • Gut Punch:
    • Although the show starts off very dark, after Akane not being able to save her close friend Yuki, and watching Yuki get her throat slit is definitely a disturbing moment which helps not only enforce Anyone Can Die, but the tone of the show as a whole becomes even darker afterwards.
    • Later on, Masaoka dying to save his son, Ginoza, who lives but loses his arm. Masaoka dies telling his son he loves him, and Ginoza only manages to call him Dad after Masaoka died.
  • Hand Cannon: The Dominator pistols are massive, easily the size of a small submachinegun or shotgun by real-world standards. It may be that being made from lightweight, futuristic materials and firing low-recoil energy beams rather than bullets makes them slightly more practical than they first appear, though.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: A more subtle example. A person's Hue can be clouded by any pervasive, negative emotions as well as homicidal urges. The Sibyl System keeps people in a state of permanent contentedness, lest they be branded as latent criminals. For example: immediately after discovering that her friend was murdered, Mika breaks down in grieving tears—Yayoi tells her to cry while she can before it starts to affect her Hue.
  • Heel Realization:
    • Happens to Akane after she discovers the true nature of the Sibyl System. She hates the Sibyl system but still goes along with it because she can't see a better alternative for maintaining order in the society. She even tells the Sibyl system that, someday, someone will pull the plug on it for good.
    • Another one happens to Ginoza. By the end of the anime, he no longer trusts the Sibyl System and stops being a Jerkass.
  • Hero of Another Story: In Season 3, the members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Special Actions Division (which is composed of three former members of PSB's Division 1 under the leadership of Frederica Hanashiro) are also investigating the case regarding Bifrost offscreen. They also have to deal the Pathfinders with some of them have some unfinished business with Kougami.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A major theme. One of the Enforcers comments that high Criminal Coefficients can be contagious, which is why it is so important to remove latent criminals from society. This can also apply to the Enforcers themselves, who basically admit to being latent criminals with a badge and gun. The abyss line is quoted by Tomomi in Episode 4 in regards to Akane wanting to know more about Kougami; he tells her that wanting to understand Kougami will lead to her becoming like him, and that Kougami stared too long into the abyss. Further demonstrated in Episode 9 where the mere act of learning criminal psychology could cause your criminal coefficient to skyrocket. This was a huge problem in the early days of the Sibyl System which led to the adoption of Enforcers.
  • Here We Go Again!: The end has a Naïve Newcomer join the force, and having to deal with a crime on her first day of the job, just like Akane did in the first episode. But Akane introduced the enforcers as 'humans just like us', whereas Ginoza said 'don't think of them as human beings'.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mika goes through one at the end of the second series when she has her world view shattered upon learning what the Sibyl System is; and also that her actions ordered by Chief Kasei were illegal and allowed Akane's grandmother to be killed. She screams through tears that she loves the Sibyl System, in a Shout-Out to Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In Episode 21, Masaoka saves his son Ginoza, at the cost of having a dynamite explode in his hand, killing him. Masaoka does get to tell his son he loves him though before he dies.
    • Akane repeatedly shows her willingness to face stress and horror, even if it means becoming a latent criminal and being demoted to Enforcer, to get the job done. She's safer than everyone thinks she is.
  • High Turnover Rate: Despite being a small organization, the Public Safety Bureau tends to lose a lot of workers due to Enforcers being killed in action or before going rogue and Inspectors being demoted to Enforcers for their cloudy Psycho-passes:
    • By the end of Season 1, Division 1's roster changed after Kagari and Masaoka were killed, Kougami's desertion and Ginoza's demotion to Enforcer. To make up for them, Shimotsuki, Tougane, and Hinakawa join the team in the season finale.
    • In Season 2, Division 2 Inspector Aoyanagi lost three Enforcers throughout the show and her partner, Shisui, went missing afterwards. After Aoyanagi gets killed, Division 2 is dissolved and the two remaining Enforcers joined Division 1. Then, another one gets killed due to recklessness. By the end of the season, Shisui and Sugo are the only members from the defunct division still alive.
    • After appearing in three episodes, three members of Division 3 are decimated by the drones and the Dominators used by Kamui and Shisui.
    • In Season 3, almost everyone from Division 1 is gone, the only old faces remaining being Shimotsuki, Hinakawa, and Karanomori, with Tsunemori having been placed in an isolation block. We find out in Episode 2 that at least Ginoza and Sugo have joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Operations Division, along with Kougami who is back in Japan. The Stinger in Episode 3 also shows that Kunizuka is now a freelance journalist which means she has managed to keep her Hue clear and get her Crime Coefficient down to below 100.
  • Hobbes Was Right: The main characters are pretty much the only individuals who might attempt to be heroic, but usually they’ll be opposed by another team member. If there’s another agency with any character development, they’re practically guaranteed to do something wildly inhumane, with absolutely no dissent within their ranks. If its a villain, betting the bystanders will react a certain way, the bystanders will do exactly that.
  • Hologram: Holograms are a common sight and fulfill various uses. Akane's apartment has a cute jellyfish avatar that controls the systems in it, and holographic technology is used to cosplay as a Digital Avatar in parties.
  • Holographic Disguise: People can change their clothes on a whim with their handheld computer. Also, the robot/mascot disguises worn by Akane and Tomomi in Episode 2.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Averted throughout the whole series, except for Kasei being able to play this trope straight, due in part to being the Sibyl System. All major hacks pretty cleverly exploit known flaws in the system. When the coefficient helmet makes its appearance, in a lot of shows, they’d hand wave the reason because “amazing hacker.” No, the helmet actually copies the stress level of a bystander and reports it as the wearer’s own. This bypasses any need to actually try breaking Sibyl’s security. This captures the indirect nature of real world hacking pretty well.
  • Hope Spot: After Akane received an ear in a box which belongs to her grandmother, The Stinger shows that said grandmother is still alive but locked in a car trunk. When the trunk opens, she looked relieved that one of Akane's colleagues is going to rescue her... except that it's Tougane who proceeds to murder her with the Dominator.
  • I Have This Friend: Akane does this at the beginning of Episode 4 when talking to Talisman. The way he warns her to be careful with her phrasing implies that he gets this sort of thing frequently.
  • Infectious Insanity: People with high Criminal Coefficients can raise the aforementioned on other people by interacting with them. This phenomenon is referred to as Psycho-Hazard.
  • Informed Flaw: Invoked in-universe with latent criminals. They are people who have a high criminal coefficients and thus, are seen as a threat by the Sibyl System. Due to this, they are unable to get proper jobs, society views them as outcasts and some of them are forced to live in secluded rehabilitation centers so they can lower their Crime Coefficients and become acceptable members of society. One of the main characters was even labelled as a latent criminal at the age of 5 despite the fact that he has never had the urge to do violent or criminal stuff even until adulthood.
  • In Medias Res: The first scene of the series. It shows Shinya fighting someone with a helmet that makes their Psycho-Pass too low to shoot them with a Dominator and then meeting Shogo Makishima to the first opening theme song. It then cuts to the title and to a case that takes place far before Shinya meets Makishima or the helmets are made available. It takes all the way to Episode 16 for us to see how Shinya got to this moment.
  • Internet Mimic: Two well-known online personas, Talisman and Spooky Boogie, are forcefully replaced by another user.
  • Irony: Quite a few examples.
    • The crime coefficient, the whole idea being that a lower one makes you a good person and a higher one a criminal. Inspectors have much lower crime coefficients than enforcers, but the enforcers in general seem a lot kinder, compassionate and overall human than their 'more socially acceptable' superiors. Indeed, Ginoza becomes a much kinder person after he is demoted to enforcer.
    • Makishima talks with Senguji about how even though the society they live in has some of the most advanced medical technology available, human lifespans as a whole have actually decreased. The reason being that with the Sibyl System, stress management is so important that many people experience far less stress than what humans of the past used to, and as a result the body begins to break down faster because of a lack of external stimuli to keep people alert and fresh.
    • The Sibyl System was said to be a supercomputer that was superior to human thought for moral judgment, so the public would accept it. It is actually a computer that governs society controlled by a collection of human brains, specifically criminally asymptomatic human brains.
      • The Sibyl System even acknowledges that some of the brains belonged to people who did things far worse than what Makishima did.
    • Chief Kasei is a Cyborg in which criminally asymptomatic brains from the Sibyl System sometimes use as a body to influence the Ministry of Welfare and Public Safety Bureau. The irony is that when this is revealed, the brain inside her at the moment is Touma, a Serial Killer from the Backstory. That's right, a Serial Killer is the Chief of Police.
    • The Sibyl System considers themselves to be better than the majority of society, due to being individuals who don't do whatever society tells them to and follow their own individual beliefs and morals. Yet, they have turned themselves into a Hive Mind. Makishima notes the irony of this with an allusion to Gulliver's Travels.
    • The name of the last episode, "Perfect World". The world of Psycho-Pass is anything but.
      • Alternatively, this might not be intended as irony but as a statement that the Sibyl System, in spite of its flaws, has created the closest thing yet to a "perfect society".
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Makishima kills Yuki in front of Akane after she failed to shoot him in order to test if she can kill by means of free will instead of relying on the Sibyl System's judgment.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The Dominators are effectively this. They measure a person's Psycho-Pass, determine whether they're in need of therapy or unsalvageable, and enter the appropriate mode. Their wielders, however, who are the ones deciding when to pull the trigger, are not.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Downplayed in the second episode of Season 3 where the Public Safety Bureau nearly got in conflict with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Operations Division. Though this is Played for Laughs on Mika's case because she sees them meddling domestic affairs which is the bureau's area and several of the members are her former teammates in Division 1.
    • Then it's played straight in the sixth episode of Season 3. Frederica warns Mika not to get involved in the investigation of the Heaven's Leap cult because her agents are there undercover. Except it's already too late because Mika already authorizes Kei and Mao to go on with their undercover investigation which failed and they are both captured and tortured.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Sybil System is effectively this. A perfectly innocent person can be executed on the spot if the system so much as bugs out on their profile.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: In Episode 15, there are mass riots due to Makishima's helmets giving people the ability to commit crime without being found out while wearing them and normal citizens fight back against them, eventually becoming just as violent. However, this is just a distraction and Makishima's real goal is to enter the building with the Sibyl System while all the police are dealing with the chaos.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: Akane uses this gambit while threatening the Sibyl System into agreeing to spare Kogami's life in exchange for Makishima's live capture. If the Sibyl System didn't agree, it could shoot her...but it'd have to find another pawn, and it didn't really want to do that at this point.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Rikako makes her classmates into plastinated "works of art"... then her bones get used as material for beautiful, ivory-like smoking pipes.
  • Left Hanging: Season 3 ends with a lot of storylines unresolved such as the events behind Akane's imprisonment, the mystery behind Bifrost and the unsolved case of Akira Ignatov and Atsushi Shindo's deaths. It doesn't help that the final episode only spawns more loose threads such as the upcoming showdown between Azusawa and Arata, Kei's recruitment as the Thirteenth "Inspector" of Bifrost and Yayoi's fate after her "car accident". First Inspector resolves most of it except with Akane's confinement and Akira and Atsushi's deaths.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Once Akane realizes the Awful Truth about the Sibyl System, she starts seeing it as this. While she hates the Sibyl System (and hopes that, someday, it will be replaced with something better), she also goes along with it because she sees the order it imposes as something far better than the chaos that Makishima has to offer.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Episode 20 is the episode where Akane comes into her own and reveals The Ace that she'd been made out to be from the beginning, as Kogami has gone rogue and Division 1 is without an ace detective, causing her to step into the role. Ginoza even sees her as Kogami for a second.
  • Lighter and Softer: Downplayed. While season 3 still has its fair share of dark moments regarding Bifrost and Arata's past, it's a lot less darker than season 1 and 2, with more criminals actually getting arrested instead of gibbed, more humorous moments, and a helluva lot less major deaths.
  • Light Is Not Good: Done literally. Makishima has white hair and often dresses in mostly light colours.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Ginoza loses his left arm in Episode 21. Masaoka had lost his since a long time ago and had it replaced by a prosthetic. Also Ginoza is now an Enforcer with an artificial limb after the two month Time Skip in the final episode.

  • Madness Mantra: In Season 2 episode 10, Mika starts repeatedly muttering, "I'm not at fault" when Akane goes back to work with her grandmother still missing/kidnapped by a killer. How her Psycho Pass remains even remotely clear is beyond comprehension.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident:
    • The method of killing used by the man in Episode 3. He made it look like his victims had been killed by a malfunctioning drone, whereas in reality, he had equipped the drones with a program to murder them.
    • This is one of Bifrost's modus operandi. They arrange accidents to draw authorities away from suspicion and to get rid of other members who don't their job well.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • The corrupt politicians involved in the Season of Hell, who preyed on illegal aliens while they were vulnerable and demeaned them to the point that they were driven to suicide.
    • The three "Congressmen" of Bifrost manipulate the events in Season 3 to ensure the progress of Japan and for the benefit of the group. Even some of the Inspectors such as Koichi Azusawa are very good at it, making them ideal candidates to fill the position of "Congressman".
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: There are two. Jouji taught Shinya, and the two of them taught Akane, in profiling and psychology. Ginoza mentored Akane as an inspector, but when he got demoted to Enforcer, Akane became Mika's mentor.
  • Mauve Shirt: Several named characters who made prominent appearances such as Inspector Risa Aoyanagi and Enforcers Shusei Kagari and Hasuike Kaede were gruesomely killed off by Dominators, no less.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The manga is published in Jump Square, a monthly magazine for the older part of the Shōnen demographic. But there is also a number of publications (linked to the anime) in Otomedia, a magazine aimed at females (including yaoi fangirls). So the franchise appears aimed at an audience best described as "young adult" of both genders.
  • Morph Weapon: The Dominators' lethality shift depends on the target and their Crime Coefficient.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kougami is shown training shirtless every now and then.
  • Never Found the Body:
    • Nothing remains of poor Kagari after he was shot with the Dominator's Destroy Decomposer mode.
    • This is the fate of Kyoko Saijoji, one of the Bifrost "Congressmen", after she receives enforcement from the Roundrobin for breaking the rules. Unlike the Dominator's Destroy Decomposer mode, the Roundrobin's enforcement vaporizes her into particles, leaving no trace of her.
  • New Media Are Evil:
    • Played with, Makishima thinks e-Books lack character. Makishima is the Big Bad and he didn't say e-Books were evil.
    • On the other hand, in New Edit Episode 10 (which is the original Episode 19/20), there is an added scene where Akane and Yayoi discuss the nature of history and the difficulty of looking up information on the Internet. Yayoi says looking things up online is tough because everything is so disorganized or redacted and that this is intentional on the part of the Sibyl System. Akane then realizes this is probably why Kougami prefers to read books written on paper, where information is organized together in a coherent, understandable manner and requires more effort to alter than just the push of a button.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • One of the main problems with Sibyl's crime prevention system is that by treating people like criminals before they've actually done anything, it can often lead them to the exact circumstances which would cause them to become criminals in the first place (like a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy). The first episode's target, for example, was a perfectly normative, law-abiding citizen until a scanner exposed him as a "latent criminal". Now no longer capable of keeping his job and knowing that he'd be soon arrested, stressed and feeling like he's got nothing to lose, he decides to go out in a bang by raping a woman...
    • In the first episode of Season 3, Irie and Tenma's actions of waving their Dominators in front of immigrants, causing Kei to defuse the situation and stun one of the immigrants with his Dominator. Unfortunately, this provided Azusawa and Obata some ammunition to increase the public's anti-immigrant sentiment which prevents Maiko's release from the rehabilitation facility and drives Kei to take Homura's offer to accept the Bifrost "Inspector" position in order to secure her release.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Kamui's actions on the Sibyl System at the end of Season 2 just made things worse: forcing them to trim down their defective brains with high Crime Coefficients didn't seemed to give them the ability to judge humanity as a collective; it made them smarter, more powerful and more dangerous as seen in the 2015 movie where they manipulated several people such as Akane in order to gain total control of SEAUn and possibly the whole world. Too bad Kamui isn't alive to see what he had done.
  • No Mere Windmill: Ginoza never really believed Makishima existed as the evidence related to him was extremely sketchy at best, until Kougami finds the audio clip of his voice after the Ouryou Rikako case. In the New Edit episode 5, there is an extra scene where he even apologizes to Kougami for doubting him.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: The fashion is still the same as the 21st Century fashion. Apparently, the show's merchandises include Shinya's winter jacket and the PSB jacket which are sold online.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Kougami spends two entire episodes protecting Yuki from Senguji, only for Makishima to come in and kill her right after.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The boss of the drone factory overlooks the bullying of his employees because it allows the bullies to relieve stress. He also prevents Nobuchika from investigating the deaths of his employees as anything but accidents because it would cause the loss of time and money.
  • Oddly Small Organisation: The MWPSB consists of only 7 Inspectors & 13 Enforcers total, according to the show's novelization.
  • Official Couple: Shion and Yayoi. Well, official sexual partners, at any rate.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In episode 3, Akane expects that Shinya will handle the perp whose Psycho-Pass color is yellow-green. What she didn't expect is Shinya yelling and kicking at him which exposes the perp's true nature.
    • In episode 8 of Season 2, Mika submits her report of Kamui to Kasei with full confidence and expecting that Togane and Akane will be removed from the bureau. But her expectations fall flat on the face when Kasei reveals that she stumbles on something which she's not supposed to know and Togane happens to be in the room, who happens to an agent of Sibyl.
    • Later in episode 9 of Season 2, when Yayoi scans the ear in the box which Akane received from one of Kamui's colleagues, it turns out that it belongs to Akane's grandmother.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Shinya and Masaoka, who are more experienced in the field, are usually paired with the rookie Akane, despite her position as an Inspector. But Akane interacts with Shinya the most due to his acknowledgement and respect for her actions during the first day on the job.
  • Order vs. Chaos: The Sibyl System vs. Makishima. Specifically, Lawful Evil vs. Chaotic Evil.
  • Over Drawn At The Blood Bank: People killed by the Dominators explode into absolutely ridiculous amounts of blood and viscera. But holy shit is it cool.
  • The Paralyzer: This is one of the three modes of the Dominator. Subjects that elicit this reaction from the Dominator are incapacitated and taken into custody to receive therapy. However, if the target is qualified to be too dangerous, a less-friendlier mode comes into place...
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Akane's response to the Sibyl System in the final episode is that humans are better than it thinks they are, and that some day some human will come up with a better system than they've got, and come to shut them down.
  • Peace & Love Incorporated: The Sibyl System-controlled Japan definitely fits this, though instead of a Megacorp, it is a government that has spread its facade of "peace and love" to all of society.
  • Private Military Contractors: The "Pathfinders" in Season 3. Two members work for Azusawa as his private mercenaries, and the group as a whole is the main target of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' investigation. It is hinted that the Pathfinders are the remnants of the Peace Monitoring Group from Sinners of the System as they hold a specific grudge against Kougami.
  • Pop the Tires: Akane shoots the tires of a big truck that the culprit Makishima is trying to make his get away in, while clinging to its' side. This works really well, especially since trucks are hard to turn, and he couldn't shake her off.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: There's some of it in the series, though the show mainly focuses on crimes so it is much more Cyberpunk. Some examples are that holograms are incorporated into everyday life providing numerous people access to an Unlimited Wardrobe and there are advanced online chat rooms allowing people to live out digital lives in a vast digital world. There's even cyborg technology sold by a company to help replace limbs or let some people become full-body cyborgs. Though the person in charge of the cyborg limb company is a psycho.
  • Precrime Arrest: People who have a high "Psycho Pass", but haven't committed any crimes, are called "latent criminals". They generally have two choices: arrest, or work for the police.
  • Product Placement: Episode 12 prominently features a bag of Ernie Ball 2223 Super Slinky electric guitar strings. It's an exact replica of the real-life product, so the company was actually acknowledged in the credits sequence. Apparently, Ernie Ball Inc. is still active in the 22nd century and exporting its products to Japan from the U.S.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Many viewers were skeptical at how a man could get away with beating a woman to death in the middle of a crowded street with nobody attempting to help, citing it as unrealistic. However, there a number of recorded cases of this happening in real life, and it is the result of an actual social psychological phenomenon called the Bystander Effect. Also see the murder of Shingo Minamino, music producer of Nitroplus, an event that most probably inspired the murder depicted in the show.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: The Enforcers who are latent criminals hired by the MWPSB to do the actual detective work due their capability in understanding the criminal mind and to act as stand-ins for the Inspectors who are required to keep their Psycho-Pass rate clear.
  • Redshirt: Inspector Shisui's two Enforcers in the second season premiere don't last very long. The first guy died before we could even learn his name when he walks into a bomb that Kitazawa set up. The second guy, Enforcer Yamatoya, gets gibbed by episode's end.
  • Redshirt Army: Division 2 as a whole is this throughout the franchise. In Season 2, it loses so many members that the Division is actually dissolved and the few survivors are moved to Division 1. It is eventually reformed and takes part in some action in Season 3, but in First Inspector, Division 2 again gets completely wiped out by the Pathfinder mercenaries.
  • Reused Character Design: Akira Amano, know for her Reborn! (2004) manga, reused the designs of her characters from her manga for the characters in the anime.
  • The Reveal: The Sibyl System is a collection of disembodied brains of criminally asymptomatic individuals controlling a super computer as a Hive Mind.
    • An early reveal: Masaoka is Ginoza's father.
    • Season 3 and its sequel, First Inspector reveal several things about Arata which is being criminally asymptomatic and being the very first character who knows what the Sibyl System is made of.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The corrupt politicians which Kamui makes use of.
  • Rock Beats Laser: When Shusei enters an area that blocks all wireless signals, his Dominator essentially becomes a piece of junk since it can't establish a connection to the Sibyl System. He's forced to steal the nailguns the criminals are using.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Makishima and the Sibyl System show what happens when these philosophies are used without empathy for others, and applied on a societal scale. Makishima is romantic, and loves bringing out peoples' individual dreams, but enjoys chaos to the fullest, even the darker side of chaos, like destruction, hence he enjoys making people act on their cruelest impulses. The Sibyl System is enlightened, but forces their views of a perfect society on others without care for what they feel or think, and has no qualms about killing those they feel are not beneficial towards the whole or could upset the status quo. Shinya, on the other hand, shows a balance of romanticism and enlightenment, being a Knight in Sour Armor who has both ideals and cynicism as well as showing bursts of emotion but also logical thinking. And finally, Akane is an Enlightened figure who supports the society of the Sibyl System and can't deny the order that it has brought. However, Akane also rejects its ruthless utilitarianism, and dreams of the day that she can finally pull the plug on it and replace it with a better world.

  • Sacrificial Lamb: Yuki, a minor character who was introduced as Akane's friend outside the Public Safety Bureau, is used to lure Shinya in one of Senguji and Makishima's "hunting games". While she and Shinya manage to kill Senguji, Makishima captures her and shortly after kills her in front of Akane as punishment for the latter's inability to shoot him.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Shusei Kagari in Episode 16. Then in season 2, Risa Aoyanagi in Episode 4.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Season 3 has Kei and Arata, who are notorious for toeing the line an ungodly amounts of times to get justice. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of pissing off Mika - who became Chief Inspector of the CID - though she allows it if it gets results.
  • Secret-Keeper: There are only a few people who knew what the Sibyl System is made of. As of First Inspector, those living characters who knew about it are Akane, Mika, Arata, Azusawa and Homura.
  • Sentenced Without Trial: Because of the implementation of the Sibyl System, the Public Security Bureau members are authorized to judge latent criminals on the spot using their Dominators which can paralyze them and send to therapy or neutralize them, depending on how high their crime coefficient is.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • With the exception of one major incident (the city-wide riots) and the finale, the first season focused on individual murders. The second season ups the stakes by starting off with a string of terrorist bombings across Tokyo, and introduces an antagonist who is even more dangerous than Makishima. In just two episodes of season 2, more people are killed than the entirety of season 1.
    • Season 3 introduces a secret cabal, Bifrost, who are gambling over the progress of the Japanese society while hiding from the Sibyl System. The crimes presented in the show ranges from individual murders to terrorist bombings which are all connected to Bifrost and to further complicate the conflict, there's also the immigration issue which the native Japanese citizens are against.
  • Sequel Hook: "The chain of justice—the system—never ends... Sibyl still continues..."
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Episode 4 of Season 2. After being held hostage along with many others by an insane man who had been beating them to death one by one, Aoyanagi gets the upper hand on him and opened the closed emergency doors and was planning to shoot him with her dominator, saving the remain hostages. However, her and everyone else's psycho-passes had escalated greatly during situation, and the team waiting outside killed her and all the hostages, making everything she did pointless.
  • Sherlock Scan: Professor Saiga performs one on Akane in Episode 9. He immediately deduces she's a girl who was close to her grandmother and that her parents opposed her joining the Public Safety Bureau.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Small amounts of it for Shinya and Akane throughout the series. Particularly in Season 2 where Akane lights up Spinel-brand cigarettes and lets the scent of it fill her room. These are the same brand of cigarettes that Kougami smoked. S2E7 also showed she had one in her hand during her Fantasy Sequence where she was imagining Kougami walking her through the Kamui case. Gets ramped up even more in the ending of First Inspector when he is the one to pick her up after Sibyl releases her from confinement and she asks him to take her to lunch.
    • Season 2 seems to be providing this for Yayoi and Mika. However, after the season is over, it pretty much evaporates in all the franchise's future works. Most likely because Yayoi swore she would never forgive the person who leaked the location of Akane's grandmother and got her killed, which was Mika herself.
    • Also in season 2, there's loads of this between Kamui and Shisui. From the almost-erotic way he makes her bite his finger, to the moments when they hug tight and whisper into each other's ears, capped off with her line "I don't mind if you use my body in any way you see fit" which can't be anything but Double Entendre. Not to mention that starting with the second half of the series, they're always seen together.
    • An enormous amount in Season 3 between Arata and Karina. He saves her from Enomiya's assassins in Episode 4, and after she wins the election, she meets him incognito at a Ferris Wheel and tells him to stay in touch. In Episode 7 he again saves her from a suicide bomber by assuming her identity, and then in Episode 8 he is assigned as her bodyguard, during which she gives him a gift of cologne. In First Inspector the cologne turns out to be crucial to saving Arata after Azusawa captures him.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Akane's friends she's seen hanging out with are some of the only recurring characters who aren't directly tied to the plot and serve as moments of levity. Then one of them gets kidnapped and killed and the last time we see the other is at her funeral.
  • Small, Secluded World: It becomes clear in Season 2 and in The Movie that Japan is the only true country left. Several mentions are made that every other country is in the middle of a war or a war-torn nation, struggling to pull itself out of the rubble. This is further confirmed with the Sinners of the System movies, particularly Case 3 where the whole Himalayan region is engulfed in a three-way war spanning Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet.
  • Sock It to Them: In Episode 15, this is mentioned as a possible weapon for defense.
  • Social Circle Filler: Akane's two friends, Yuki and Kaori, who first appear in Episode 2 are completely ordinary and serve to show us a bit of Akane's everyday life outside work. As of Episode 11, however, Yuki is killed.
  • Society-on-Edge Episode: Psycho-Pass shows the Sibyl System controlled Dystopian Japan to be a society where most people don't think too much about how bad their society is, due to believing they are always safe since the Sibyl System can even monitor people's thoughts and "take care" of anyone who would commit a crime. Then comes Episode 14, in which a man kills a woman in front of numerous people in contrast to the other crimes shown up to this point in the series, which were hidden from the public. He is able to do this due to having a helmet which allows him to be undetected by the Sibyl System while wearing it. Although the criminal is caught, Episode 15 shows people discussing the crime, the internet is flooded with footage of the crime and people worrying that the Sibyl System does not protect them anymore. Worse, numerous criminals get helmets like the one in Episode 14, and riots begin. The citizens have to fight back against those with helmets to survive, and soon violence and crime sweeps over the country that once had very few people ever worry about crime.
  • Sound-Only Death: In The Stinger of Episode 9 of season 2, Tougane kills Akane's grandmother with the dominator.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • Ode to Joy is played four times in four episodes. At first, it revolves on Rikako's motives. But in the end, it eerily fits Senguji who enjoys hunting and the chorus is played on his last moments in Episode 11 right before Shinya kills him with the Dominator.
    • The final episode has very calm and serene music playing while Shinya executes Makishima, bringing their blood feud to a close and exiling himself permanently from society. And the song's title is "Rakuen", which is Japanese for "Paradise."
    • Episode 9 of Season 2 has Koichi Kuwashima burning down the building where Kamui murders the corrupt politicians that propped up the Sibyl System 15 years ago, and then Akane discovering her grandmother's ear to the magnificent tune of Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma."
  • Smart Gun: The Dominator with its many functions.
  • Spoiler Opening: Both the first and second openings foreshadow/outright spoil some key moments in the series.
  • Starter Villain: Nobuo Okura, a Salaryman who snaps and takes a woman hostage after he gets a bad scan one day.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • After two seasons, it seems like everything remains the same: Sure, the roster of Public Safety Bureau has altered, but the Sibyl System still rules society and any attempt to rebel against the system despite coming close to success has failed.. Except for one major aspect: Sibyl has now gained the ability to judge collectives of humanity instead of being limited to individual judgments.
  • The Stinger: A few episodes have a short scene after the ending credits.
    • Series 1, Episode 13: Chief Kasei somehow operating a computer by herself, pulling up Makishima's record, and claiming that "we've identified you," foreshadowing The Reveal of the Sibyl System.
    • Series 1, Episode 17: Makishima calls Kougami, letting him know that he's found the true nature of the Sibyl System. Kougami then calls Ginoza demanding to know how Makishima escaped.
    • Series 1, Episode 18: A mid-credits sequence shows Kougami arriving at the safehouse loaned to him by Masaoka, as his farewell letter to Akane appears as a voiceover.
    • Series 1, Episode 20: Makishima arrives at the grain facility and starts up the machinery within it.
    • Series 1, Episode 22: The final episode has a shot of what appears to be Kougami hiding out somewhere (with a copy of Marcel Proust's Swann's Way, and a cut to the words "The Chain of Justice never ends—the system— never ends. Sibyl still continues..."
    • Series 2, Episode 1: Inspector Shisui gets captured by Kamui.
    • Series 2, Episode 9: Akane's grandmother is captured and murdered by Sakuya Togane.
    • Series 2, Episode 11: Similar to the final episode of the first series, Akane puts out a cigarette in a manner identical to how Kougami is shown doing it, while alone in her apartment.
    • Series 3, Episode 1: Mika is in contact with Ginoza, who is no longer a member of Division 1, doing a secret mission.
    • Series 3, Episode 3: Mika introduces Yayoi, who is no longer an Enforcer and is now a freelance journalist, to the current Division 1 team as an investigative consultant.
    • Series 3, Episode 7: Mao has Kei to meet on the rooftop and plans to confess her sins to him.
    • Series 3, Episode 8: A construction beam drops on Yayoi's car, critically injuring her. Then, Azusawa passes by in his motorcycle, saying goodbye to her.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Kougami asks Tsunemori's friend Yuki to take off her clothes in Episode 10. She initially thinks he's some sort of pervert, but he has in fact realized that what he needs to escape the dungeon they're trapped in is in her clothing.
  • Technology Porn: Very evident. Aside from the Dominator, we see the wonders of holographic technology where you can change your room design or change your clothes anytime and anywhere, automatic cars in which the driver doesn't need to actually operate the steering wheel and virtual reality social environments.
  • That One Case:
    • The unsolved Specimen Case which involves the gruesome death of Sasayama, an Enforcer under Shinya's care when he was still an Inspector. This is what resulted in Shinya's demotion to an Enforcer.
    • The case that resulted in the murder of Kei's brother, Akira Vasily Ignatov, and the suicide of Arata's father, Atsushi, who happens to be the suspect involved Akira's death. Both Arata and Kei are determined to find out the truth about what exactly happened. So far, the case is related to Bifrost due to Atsushi's business card being similar to the business cards of the people connected to Bifrost (such as "Congressman" Homura and "Inspectors" Asuzawa and Enomiya) and it turns out one of the "Congressman", Kyoko, knew about Akira.
  • There Are No Therapists:
    • Averted. The PSB has their own therapist who helps inspectors from being stressed and latent criminals to lower their crime coefficient. But again, it's up to the clients if they want to continue the therapy which is Truth in Television.
    • Played straight with Kirito Kamui. Once he realized he was becoming invisible to the Sibyl System and that he was, in effect, becoming an Unperson, he tried to find help from various doctors and counselors, but they all turned him away since associating with someone not recognized by Sibyl could cause them to doubt the system, which would in turn cause their Hues to darken.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: Despite the anime being set in the future, there's always a disclaimer after the end of the credits:
    "This story is a work of fiction. The name of all individuals and organizations that appear in this show are fictitious and any similarity to those in existence in the real world is purely coincidental."
  • Throw the Book at Them: In Episode 17, Makishima throws a book at Kasei/Touma as he explains his refusal to join the Sibyl System.
  • Time Skip: There is one in the final episode of two months before the epilogue.
  • Tron Lines: The container holding the Dominators lights up with these upon opening. Also, the Dominator itself does this when changing modes.
  • invokedTrue Art Is Angsty: Implied in-universe. Artists often register higher Crime Coefficients. Given that the Sibyl System adjusts crime coefficients based on how mentally agitated a person is, it is likely that the System views the world with this trope.
  • Twisted Christmas: Episodes 10 and 11 take place on December 24, 2112.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: As of Season 2 episode 5, we have two plot lines going: the main case to find Kamui, and Mika's private investigation of Enforcer Tougane, who is much more than what he seems.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The logical conclusion of the clothes-altering technology. Anyone can wear pretty much anything they imagine.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Season 1 tends to mention philosophical and literary references, most especially when Makishima is involved. Just before the first actual physically confrontation between him and Kogami, the latter even repels the former's quote of Blaise Pascal with a quote from Ortega y Gasset.
  • Villain Has a Point: Makishima puts up a convincing argument that the Sibyl System is fundamentally flawed, and it's actually caused humanity to regress rather than advance.
  • Villain Takes an Interest:
    • Makishima becomes quite intrigued with Kougami after he obtains a brief video and audio clip of him and learns he was involved in the Specimen Case three years ago.
    • The Sibyl System reveals its true nature to Akane and forms an alliance with her, and keeps it even after she fails to save Makishima, because her outside viewpoint has proven incredibly valuable to it. Later in Season 3, they are also interested in Arata due to being criminally asymptomatic and plan to have him join them.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Sybil System has a blind spot, where some individuals have a flat, positive score that won’t meaningfully change regardless what they do. Those who exploit it in a villainous way, automatically becomes this.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot:
    • Akane loses her lunch over the bedside after reliving a horrifying memory through the Memory Scope.
    • In episode 5 of Season 2, Mika goes to the restroom to vomit after she witnessed the hostages being blown up by the Dominators.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Dominators fire off very deadly beams. How dangerous they are depends on the target's Crime Coefficient.
  • We Are Everywhere:
    • In Season 2, when Kamui's surgeon is captured, he hints at this trope and minutes later, the MWPSB finds out that Kamui has numerous operatives working for him including people that the MWPSB thought they knew.
    • In Season 3, the people of Bifrost can be anyone such as an underground leader to a leader of a religous group. One of the former Inspectors investigating the case warns Kei that there are "foxes" within the bureau.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: Averted. When Kogami takes a few rounds of buckshot to the side and arm, Masaoka administers first aid treatment (stops the bleeding, gives him blood), but says it would be best to let actual surgeons remove the bullets, lest he risk nicking an artery.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Quite a few of the new Enforcers in season 2, due to a rather high body count. Special mention goes to Hasuike Kaede, he was around since the first episode, but viewers didn't even learn his name until episode 5, and then he died in episode 6.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 11 reveals that Makishima has a pure Psycho-Pass rate and his Crime Coefficient continuously goes down to zero when he does something sinister. This becomes a big problem for the MWPSB because the Sibyl System can't judge him as a latent criminal.
    • Episode 14 has Makishima giving helmets to criminals that allow them to trick the Sibyl System into believing they have clear Psycho-Passes by copying other nearby Psycho-Passes. A criminal kills a woman in the street while everyone looks on, and this is uploaded to the internet, proving that the Sibyl System is not reliable to at least some of the public so far. The problems can only get worse, since Makishima says the worst is yet to come and what happened was "nothing".
    • Episode 17 gave us a revelation about the Sibyl System which is made out of the brains of individuals who are criminally asymptomatic (e.g. Makishima). They also encouraged Makishima to join them but the latter refuses and escapes.
    • Episode 20 has Akane learning the truth behind the Sibyl System, as well as being forced by the Sibyl System to try to bring in Makishima alive to spare Shinya; and Makishima finally arriving at the location he needs to be at to destroy Japan's food... with Shinya right behind him, and the rest of Division 1 not far behind.
    • Episode 4 of Season 2 has Kamui manipulating Division 3 into slaughtering numerous innocents who temporarily got their Crime Coefficient raised due to being held hostage, including Inspector Aoyanagi. Potentially worse than that, Kirito Kamui makes it clear to Divisions 1 and 3 he can easily make anyone's Psycho-Pass any color he desires through drugs and social engineering and lets it be known that he's planning to do much more in the future.
    • Episode 7 of Season 2. Kamui's operatives have been hiding in plain sight right beside the team. In every investigation of the season, natch.
    • Episode 8 is the biggest Wham Episode of the entire series. Kamui's body is composed of various parts from the other 184 children who died in the plane crash. The Tougane Foundation's technology is responsible for the existence of Sibyl. Tougane is a Designer Baby who is the personal assassin of the Sibyl System, and Chief Kasei's resident brain at the time is Tougane's mother, Tougane Misako. And they're about to reveal the truth of Sibyl to Mika.
    • Episode 2 of Season 3 reveals what had happened to several of the original cast: Ginoza and Sugo joined Kougami to be part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Operations Department under Frederica. Likewise, Hinakawa is still in contact with Akane who is imprisoned by the Sibyl System and Frederica and Mika are working together to hunt down the "foxes" evading justice.
    • Episode 6 of Season 3. Kei and Mao are captured by the Heaven's Leap and the leader of the cult happens to be the son of one of the "Congressman", Kyoko, who knows about Kei's brother, Akira. Then, the medical staff who happens to be Heaven's Leap members kidnap Maiko.
    • Episode 7 of Season 3. Arata is criminally asymptomatic and Akane assigns him as an Inspector to prevent him from falling into the hands of the Sibyl System who are interested in him. "Congressman" Kyoko is vaporized by the Roundrobin for violating the rules of Bifrost, leaving Shirogane and Homura as two "Congressmen" left for Division 1 to face.
  • Wham Line:
    • Episode 11:
      Shogo Makishima: My Psycho-pass has always been pure white. It has never been clouded in the slightest, not even once.
    • Episode 13: The very well-done, subtle reveal of Masaoka as Ginoza's dad, if you hadn't figured it out already, putting all of their interactions in previous episodes in a new light.
      Ginoza: Instead you made mom and me pay the price when you gave up. When you stopped believing in the new order.
    • In the ending of Episode 16:
      Kasei's Dominator: (pointed at Kagari) "Enforcement mode: Non-Lethal Paralyzer. Aim calmly and subdue..." *warps into Destroy Decomposer Mode*
    • Episode 17:
      Joushuu Kasei: You know us all as the Sibyl System.
    • Episode 19:
      Akane's Dominator/The Sibyl System: "Inspector Tsunemori Akane... I will now tell you the truth about everything."
    • Pretty much the entire ending of Season 2 Episode 8, though one line in particular:
      Kasei: AA stands for a priori acquit. It's about having a criminally asymptomatic constitution by nature, which is Sibyl's biggest secret. Now, how should I deal with the girl who deviated from the investigation and devoted herself to collecting data like this?
    • The Stinger of Season 3's Episode 8 left a mighty Cliffhanger:
      Asuzawa: "So long to the legendary lady detective."
  • Wham Shot:
    • The end of episode 16 shows Kasei, being a cyborg and aiming the Dominator at Choe.
    • At the end of episode 5 of season 2, Mika went to Togane's room and found photos of Akane with circles drawn on her eyes, ears, and mouth in his drawer.
    • Episode 7 of Season 2 reveals that one of Kamui's holo-disguises is the Bureau's therapist, who was also Ginoza's counselor in the first season.
    • Episode 7 of Season 3 shows Arata's Crime Coefficient on Hinakawa's Dominator scan decreasing and the trigger lock which reveals Arata being criminally asymptomatic.
    • The Stinger Episode 8 of Season 3 shows Yayoi's car crushed by a fallen beam and Yayoi herself, critically injured.
  • What Would X Do?: In the Episode 21 showdown, Akane realizes that she's made the wrong call about where Makishima would be because she figures that Shinya was better than her, and if he'd come to the conclusion that Makishima would be in the control room, he'd have gotten there first.
  • Wicked Cultured: Makishima is rather fond of classical music and is very well-read. He also has been shown to enjoy formal meals and taking tea in a high-society-esque manner with his criminal companions.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: This is one of the streams of logic the Sibyl system operates on. Enforcers for example, have the freedom to learn self-defense, and pick up recreational habits, but they’re kept on a tight leash administratively. Considering mandatory passivity exists for all other citizens, the Enforcers effectively control a lot of the use of force within society. They’re also effectively prisoners on parole. Just breaking routine is enough for the system to justify “shoot on sight orders.”
  • Women Are Wiser: Women in this series, generally speaking, tend to behave in a calmer and more rational manner than men, though both have an equal chance of becoming latent criminals. By the end of Season 1, the girls of Division 1 are still sane and Akane is still an Inspector, while two of the boys are dead, one is on the run, and the last suffered a CC spike and subsequent demotion to Enforcer. This continues into Season 2, as Inspector Aoyanagi is shown to keep her cool while in the middle of dealing with a brutal terrorist attack. Even outside the Public Safety Bureau, Makishima's only female pupil, Rikako Ouryou, retains her composure almost flawlessly while her male "colleagues", Okura, Mido and Kanehara, were nervous and paranoid wrecks every second they were on screen. However, this trope is zigzagged a bit when it's shown that behaving outwardly calm does not prevent either gender's Hue from clouding when they genuinely are stressed, nervous, angry, etc. even if they're doing a good job of covering it. For example, Rikako never lets her nonchalant facade slip in public, not even when the school is being investigated for her murders, but Shinya's Dominator reveals her CC to be 472, high enough to trigger Lethal Eliminator mode.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • The block the criminal ran off to in the first episode has no relays (meaning the police drones can't go in there) and supposed not to be inhabited (meaning it's full of homeless people and possibly criminals). And it is pretty sizable.
    • Season 3 reveals that these blocks are managed by the Sibyl System where latent criminals are clustered and monitored easily. These areas were not rebuilt because of cost-cutting and to give the people outside some space. It's specifically noted that if Sibyl really wanted to destroy these places, it could do so easily. They only exist because Sibyl allows them to.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The very first episode of the series featured a criminal who was shown clearly on Ginoza's information screen to be 39 years old with a birthday of April 20, 2074. However, the series begins on November 4, 2112. If he was 39 years old, it would have to be 2113, which means that either the man's age or his birth year is incorrect. Then a moment later they get Akane's data right, as her birthday is April 1, 2092, and her age is 20.
  • Written by the Winners: The talk about history that Akane and Yayoi have in New Edit Episode 10 has Yayoi revealing to Akane that information on the past found online is heavily edited by the Sibyl System in order to present a version of history where a system like Sibyl would have been inevitable. Any lines of thinking that society could possibly function without Sibyl have been redacted out. Keeping this historical fiction true is also why Sibyl keeps Japan as a closed society that maintains no foreign relations.

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Video Example(s):



Should a person's Crime Coefficient exceed 300, the Dominator enters Lethal Eliminator mode, and when fired at that person, results in them being turned into red mist.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / CruelAndUnusualDeath

Media sources: