Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System – Case 01 “Crime and Punishment” Review

One day on this blog I’ll get to write about how much I loved the original Psycho-Pass series. It blew me away and had me hooked for the whole thing, so much so that even though I didn’t really get on with 2, the movie or 3 to varying degrees I still eagerly watched each one in the hopes it might find its form again. Well, here we are, a Blu-ray release of three stand-alone films called “Sinners of the System”. Will any of these recapture the magic? Let’s find out over the next three weeks! “Case 01” is focused on Mika Shimotsuki before she took control of the main team and also shines more light on Inspector-turned-Enforcer Nobuchika Ginoza…

Synopsis:

Enforcer Nobuchika Ginoza and inspector Mika Shimotsuki from Unit 1 fins a traumatised woman and it is quickly apparent that a drug has altered her state of mind, Akane Tsunemori’s team is directed to return her to a special experimental prison – the place where the woman worked as a therapist. Akane dispatches fellow inspector Shimotsuki along with two enforcers, Ginoza and Kunizuka, to investigate the prison while she and the rest of the team investigate the case in Tokyo.

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Ginoza makes sure the child isn’t a Replicant. … Oh wait, wrong sci-fi neon dystopia, sorry!

As a stand-alone hour of sci-fi “Crime and Punishment” does a good job of giving us a unique location and plot to chew on while also developing our central characters a bit more. When a mentally altered prisoner is captured by Ginoza and Shimotsuki the duo, along with female Enforcer Yayoi Kunizuka, are sent to the Prison where she escaped from. If you’re not familiar with the world of Psycho-Pass then its important for you know that every citizen has a “Psycho-Pass” rating based on their mental state and how likely it is that it could lead them to commit crimes, this is scannable by the Inspectors and Enforcers via their special guns and if their “crime coefficient” rating is high enough they can be executed on the spot. This is the key point in the film as the prisoners in this complex are not only being kept behind bars but all have low crime coefficientcy despite also being forced to work in mine for long shifts.

Rojion and the weird over weight smiley Doctor whose name I can’t remember pin down Yayoi.

Mika, eager to prove herself on her first big case as lead inspector, pushes forward to find out the truth of the matter when the eclectic group that runs the place are reluctant to show them the whole complex. Among them is Rojion Matsuki, who is more than familiar with the ways of Enforcer and Inspectors as a latent criminal himself and is vocal about his dislike of their ways. It eventually turns out that the woman who escaped the prison did so solely to lead some Inspectors to the prison to find her daughter who had actually been born in this insane prison. As Yayoi helps the two escape Maki finds the truth about the complex, that the prisoners were being forced to dig up old nuclear waste at the cost of their lives while being drugged to keep their P-P ratings low, while Ginoza ends up fighting Rojion in showdown involving a big mech-like vehicle and a good old fashioned fist fight. The leaders of the prison are mostly killed off when our lead Inspector wakes the prisoners up the truth of the complex and they riot.

While it had its moments of great action and animation the key here was not only seeing Maki Shimotsuki settle into a lead role but also show how Ginoza has become more carefree now he’s been demoted to Enforcer, much like his father. After the subpar writing of Psycho-Pass 2 this was nice to see better laid out, not that it compares to the original still!

The Bad:

There’s something very reminiscent of Alien in this shot… minus the alien eggs, obviously…

Not a great deal. The main villains looked overly cartoony for the series and had little-to-no personality at all beyond evil smirks, with Rojion being the exception. Obviously clocking in at just one hour long it doesn’t have a lot of time to develop the new villains alongside the other plot elements, so I can’t blame them too much.

And yes, as already mentioned, while a fun slice of sci-fi it’s still no Psycho-Pass 1…

Overall Thoughts:

Ginoza takes on the end boss who of course has a first phase in a giant machine! Classic!

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System’s first “Case” is a fun hour that develops its main duo well and has a fun climactic fight at the end to boot. The plot isn’t fantastic and the villains of the piece aren’t all that interesting, but as a quick one-hour slab of Psycho-Pass it was a good enough time, even if it joins its fellow sequels in being trapped under the shadow of the original series…

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