In terms of the “Sinners of the System” mini-films this was the big one, not just because it’s the longest but because it focuses on Shinya Kogami, the co-protagonist of the original Psycho-Pass and fan favourite, showing us how he goes from wandering mercenary back to Japan. It’s got the longest title, with “On the Other Side of Love and Hate” being the reason I dropped putting the titles in the thumbnails for these films… also it has the biggest scope out of the three stories and some really great animation, so let’s take a look to see if the story matches up to it!
Shinya Kogami travels the Tibet-Himalaya region as a free-lance mercenary. He saves a bus-load of refugees from guerrillas, including a young part-Japanese girl, Tenzing Wangchuk. She asks him to teach her fighting skills so she can take revenge on the murderer of her parents. Kogami agrees, but warns her against walking down the path of revenge as he did in the past…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Awwww, a little girl about to get her first taste of revenge. So cute!
The setting of Tibet (or thereabouts) leads to some lovely scenery and some great animation, so that sticks out first thing. Secondly Kogami is once again the classic silent type “bad-ass” with a good moral code that we all love. He’s doing mercenary work but only for the right reasons and often doesn’t actually accept payment for it. He’s being led through the region by a friend of a new friend called Garcia, a man who used to be a “UN Peacekeeper” but now leads his own band of mercs. As the synopsis tells you they run into a bus under attack from guerrillas and save it, with one girl named Tenzing seeing Kogami’s skills and wishing to be shown how to be more like him so she can finally get revenge on the man who killed her whole family. We’ve seen the dynamic before, the tough bad-ass hanging out with a kid and shooting down her gleeful wish to fight alongside him in dangerous situations.
It’s also during this time we see Kogami hallucinating about Psycho-Pass 1 lead antagonist Makishima, which was fun but also just reminded me of how good that first series was, which is never a good idea really… The two of them soon encounter a Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs agent named Frederica Hanashiro who then helps Shinya out when he’s wounded hesitating to shoot a child soldier. The trio start bonding as a makeshift family while Hanashiro tries to recruit Kogami to the MoFA given his background and nationality. While he shoots the idea down Tenzing spots her father’s killer and tracks him to a secret meeting where its revealed that Garcia was behind everything all along, including an attack at an up-coming peace conference, and in trying to get revenge Tenzing ends up stabbed. She manages to struggle her way back to Kogami and tell him what happened, setting up the big showdown when Kogami agrees to return to Japan with Hanashiro as long as she helps him take down Garcia.
I’d say “overcompensating for something?” but, you know, she’s a woman so that gag doesn’t really work…
The two of them, along with Garcia’s old friend from earlier who wasn’t in on his plans (and yes, I can’t remember his name, sorry…) all assault an armoured train the betrayer in on, with Frederica using her sniping skills to take out a motorised tank drone and Kogami doing what he does best in getting badly beaten but coming out on top, killing Garcia on top of the moving train. It’s a great sequence, and it all leads to Tenzing having nothing to get revenge on any more so looking forward to a regular life when she recovers, and Kogami now a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs heading back to Japan…
Two villains have a secret meeting in broad daylight in front of a multi-coloured hut. …. Idiots.
I can’t say any of the plot or character set up felt wholly original, it’s very much a cliché story and so didn’t really surprise at any point. Now it’s a very good version of a cliché story that was great fun to watch and very nice to look at, but still, it has to be said that there were times when Kogami and Tenzing were interacting that very familiar indeed…
Kogami settling his issues with Garcia in a civilized manor.
The third and final “Sinners of the System” story is the best in that it tells a solid story with room to breathe alongside some stunning scenery and even pushes Kogami forward as a character and sets him on course to return, which he does in Psycho-Pass 3. It’s still no where near Psycho-Pass 1’s greatness and there were times when the plot became just that little bit too cliché, but overall it was a fun watch and definitely the highlight of the trio.