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From left to right, our heroes: Shinya Kogami, Akane Tsunemori, Nobuchika Ginoza, Shusei Kagari, Yayoi Kunizuka, Shion Karanomori and Tomomi Masaoka.

A Anime franchise that began in 2012 with an original TV Series made by Production I.G., created by Gen Urobuchi of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Fate Zero fame, and with character designs by Akira Amano from Katekyo Hitman Reborn. It spans through three anime seasons (the original one from 2012, then one from 2014 and another from 2019), a movie set after Season 2 (released in 2015) plus a movie trilogy (Sinners of the System, from 2019) AND a second movie that follows the third season (First Inspector, from 2020), a Visual Novel (Mandatory Happiness, from 2016), several mangas, CD dramas and light novels, a stage play, etc.

In the future, the thoughts of the humans can be read by machines. Not only that, but they are able to read the level of likeness of a person to commit crimes based on their mental states. If that happens, well, you're likely to be arrested, even if you didn't commit any crime. There's still a chance for you, however, as it'll be seen below.

Akane Tsunemori is a novice and naive cop in her first night of work. She gets the responsibility of commanding a group of "latent criminals" that the police uses to hunt other latent criminals, nicknamed "Enforcers". The criminal in question that must be arrested, Nobuo Okura, is a man that apparently never did any wrongdoing, but easily slipped into a being truly a criminal by beating, torturing and raping a young woman named Chika Shimazu after the System decided he was dangerous and he cracked over it.

Also, it seems that this "mental pollution" can be transmitted to anyone nearby, like the unfortunate Chika. Tsunemori doesn't get this concept, and after Nobuo's threat is bloodily dealt with, she tries to prevent the terrified and maybe contaminated Chika from being killed, even to the point of non-lethally shooting the Enforcer she's working with - a rough and cynical, but ultimately good-hearted man named Shinya Kogami, who used to be an Inspector like Akane but was demoted to Enforcer due to his Dark and Troubled Past. And this is only the first episode.

Also, the first episode begins In Media Res. Meaning, it depicts something that will happen between the aforementioned Kogami and a mysterious, cruel-looking white-haired man named Shougo Makishima. But first, the viewers will have to see what led to their fight, and then follow the story to learn what will follow...



Tropes used in Psycho Pass include:
  • Action Girl: Yayoi Kunizuka, Risa Aoyanagi, Mao Kisaragi, Frederica Hanashirou, Maiko Maya Stronskaya (doing triple shift as Disabled Love Interest and Violently Protective Girlfriend), eventually Akane Tsunemori and Mika Shimotsuki...
  • 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 and Shinya deciding to trust hert judgement anyway.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 12 of the first season is dedicated to Yayoi Kunizuka, showing how people can become Enforcers.
    • The first Sinners... movie gives the spotlight to Mika and Ginoza. The second does it to Masaoka, Teppei and Risa. The third one is dedicated to Shinya.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Averted. Professor Saiga and Kougami discuss if Makishima is an anarchist, but reach the conclusion that he don't fits the classic definition of anarchist since, though he wants to bring down a central government, he also seems to want to cause total social mayhem, that is too far for anarchists.
  • All-Loving Hero: Akane, as much as it's allowed in an Urobuchi series. In fact, the girl's Incorruptible Pure Pureness is one of the reasons why both the Sybil System and Sakuya Tougane take an interest in her...
  • Anti-Hero: One could make a case for most of the heroic characters but Kogami, Sasayama and to a degree Mika are the straightest examples.
  • Apathetic Citizens: To an almost sickening degree in Episode 14. A blonde woman named Hiroko Fujii is attacked and then beaten to death in the middle of street by a killer with a helmet on his head that apparently prevents him of being detected by drones (and who turns out to be her ex boyfriend, Junmei Itou, who killed her after she dumped him in a quite humiliating manner). There's no screams of horror, nobody tries to run away, nothing like that. They only watch the murder with an empty expression or film the brutal act with their cellphones. It's explained that this happened because the people are just way too used to the Sibyl System directing and micromanaging their lives, their minds simply did not react to Hiroko being attacked since no one told them to go away or be concerned.
  • Ass Shove: A politician gets his hippocampus shoved down his anus by a serial killer after he comes up with excuses like "I don't remember" when people begin to suspect he was corrupt and was submitting false reports of his Crime Coefficient. Mind you, the hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for the memory.
  • Asshole Victim: Plenty of them: Nobuo (who kidnapped, raped and tortured an innocent woman, then got blown up by a Dominator), Mido (who killed two popular internet idols because they didn't stick to the roles thye should have in his mind and then lost his arm and was blown up by Dominators), Rikako (who killed girls and made them into statues and then was brutally hunted down by Senguuji); etc.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Finally, after 21 episodes of all kinds of literature being quoted everywhere, from Plato to Philip K. Dick, someone decides finally quote Jesus! It's the villain...
Cquote1.svg

"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."

Cquote2.svg
  • Badass Gay: The Action Girl Yayoi Kunizuka was implied to be a lesbian via her interactions with Rina Takizaki, Shion Karanomori, and Mika Shimotsuki. She was in a relationship with the first in the past, and enters a more long-standing one with the second.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In Season 2 Kamui is judged and executed - but not before getting one of the things he wanted the most, aka for the System to judge itself.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil - Rape Leads to Insanity: Barely averted by Chika. Nobuo's physical, sexual and mental torture absolutely shatters her, and by the time he's blown up by a Dominator, her criminal coefficient rises to the point that she gets labeled a criminal too... but Akane, All-Loving Heroine that she is, non-lethally shoots Kougami to stop him from shooting her dead (and it's all but shouted Kougami willingly let her do so) and calms her down enough for Ginoza to simply paralyze her. The following episode states she's in therapy and will eventually recover.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The first season: Shinya finally kills Makishima and saves Japan from his bio-terrorism, but must leave the country and he won't be back for quite a while. The Sibyl System continues to exist and mocks Akane's declaration that someone will pull the plug someday, but she holds on her beliefs anyway. Two Enforcers (Kagari and Masaoka) are dead and Ginoza both loses his arm and is demoted into an Enforcer. Despite that Akane, now the new leader of her unit, does her best to prepare the newly appointed inspector Mika Shimotsuki and begin changing things around, plus Yayoi and Shion are confirmed to be a couple..
    • The second season, too. On one hand the main villains (Sakuya Tougane, what remains of his mother Misako, and Kirito Kamui) are dead and thus no longer a threat. On the other the Sibyl System is still in power, Kamui died after getting what he wanted (for the Sibyl System to judge itself and purge out its worst parts, plus getting his revenge on the people who killed his friends and ruined his life), Mika is so mindbroken by her experiences that she pretty much blocks out from her mind what she learned about the System in an attempt to protect her own sanity, Akane manages to keep her psycho pass clear even after her grandmother's murder plus she and her friends keep soldiering on, and Mizue still lives (albeit in a facility) and might have a chance after all. (And according to the manga, same goes to Kuwashima)
  • Book Ends: The first series' final scene mirrors the first: a novice Inspector arrives in a area isolated by drones to be received by a experienced Inspector that says the CDI suffers with a lack of personal, that they can't treat her like a novice, and then lectures her about the concept of Enforcers. The first novice is Akane, the second is Mika.
  • Boxed Crook: Though not quite criminals, the latent criminals are offered the chance of becoming Enforcers in exchange of, well something a littler better than living in a mental institution with the faint hope that their criminal coefficients will go down to the point they can return to society (like it happened to Yayoi). Kagari, as seen below, didn't even had that hope.
  • Broken Pedestal: Rikako Oryo can't forgive her father Rouichi for retiring from his work as an artist after the spread of Psycho Pass assessments fulfilled the role that Rouichi intended for his art: to help mankind to control their cruelty and dark desires. Then the poor man becomes an Empty Shell and dies, causing her to become a Serial Killer out of Revenge against the world that caused her father to go through a Death by Despair.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Shinya and Akane are pretty much a textbook example, with him as a rough and blunt but deep down kind Enforcer and her as the gentle, sweet but also plucky Inspector. Though at times Akane also angsts heavily over whether she's qualified enough or not for her position, and when that happens Shinya shows his gruffly gentle side to her by giving her sharp but reliable advice. At the end of Season 1, however, while he greatly appreciates her kindness and her efforts to help him catch Makishima without killing the guy... he still kills Makishima, since it's the only way to stop someone like him.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The floppy disk mentioned below and used by the Villain Of The Week of Episode 3 turn out to be important 3 episodes later.
  • Childhood Friends: Akane Tsunemori, Yuki Fukuhara and Kaori Minase. And then, Yuki is murdered by Makishima...
    • Also Mika Shimotsuki, Kagami Kawarazaki and Yoshika Okubo. Out of them, only Mika survives
    • Ginoza and Kougami met in school, and were close friends until Kougami was demoted and that shattered Ginoza's faith in him.
    • In Season 2, Kirito Kamui and the congressman Kouichi Kuwashima. It becomes a huge plot point when Kuwashima, who barely dodged going in the field trip that killed Kamui's classmates and almost killed him, joins his once friend's revenge in the name of the friends they both lost...
    • Season 3 has Kei Mikhail Ignatov and Arata Shindou.
  • Children Are Innocent: Averted. Kids are just as likely to have their minds polluted by the nearby environment as the adults. Kagari, one of the Enforcers, is one example, having been flagged as a latent criminal at age 5 with a 0% percent of chance of rehabilitation and thus forced to join the Bureau itself or be locked up forever.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: A person's Psycho Pass level is measured by how light and clear said Psycho-Pass' color is.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Shinya (Silat, kickboxing and wrestling), Shogo (Silat), Sasayama (Silat and Jeet Kune Do), Masaoka (Judo), Yayoi and Kagari (unknown styles) 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.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Basically, what Sakuya wants to do to Akane in the second season.
  • Corrupt Politician: Every. Fucking. WHERE. Especially in Season 2, where some of them go to Kamui, who can use his therapy skills to lower people's criminal coefficients, so they can commit all kinds of crimes without being caught. And even worse: 15 years ago these people lobbied for the System to stay up even when the Government planned to do otherwise, all for their own benefit. So... is it any wonder that Kamui ends up offing them?
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer: Or, in this case, consulting someone with a criminal coefficient over 300 that is obsessed with art as the killer also seems to be.
    • In Season 2, while Saiga hasn't killed anyone yet, he's still locked up in a facility due to the massive rise in his criminal coefficient after he helped Shinya in his revenge. Then, Akane pays him a visit to get help regarding Kamui...
  • Cooldown Hug: In Season 1, Rikako gives one to Yoshika after she tells her about her horrible family problems. Little did Yoshika know...
    • In Season 2, poor Akane absolutely loses it in anger when she's given a box that contains her grandmother Aoi's severed ear and Ginoza has to give her this to restrain her.
  • Cue the Sun: Inverted in Season 1. Makishima dies at Kogami's hands just after the sun sets, and with him that the only hope at the moment of bringing down Sybil.
  • Digital Avatar: Used to navigate in the Cyberspace. It seems there's little to no limitation of what they can be outside of the relative space they can occupy. Cool Old Guy Masaoka struggles to understand the concept, despite the fact that the concept of avatars on the Internet would be already more than 100 years old by the time the series happens.
  • Dramatic Irony: Yoshika is almost crying while talking about the "lusting eyes" of her stepfather... while Rikako admires her clothed figure with much more cruel (and real) intentions in mind...
  • Dysfunction Junction: Considering the cast consists largely of people who have been locked up due to being deemed threats to society, this was inevitable.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Tsunemori spend quite some time admiring Kougami's abs in Episode 7, to the point he realizes and asks if there's something wrong about his face.
    • In Episode 2, when Akane met Shion, she got distracted by her Gag Boobs.
  • Empty Shell: The people who suffer Eustress Deficiency are literally referred to as this, since they stay into a sort-of serene yet comatose state until they suffer of fatal heart failure. Three known sufferers are Ginoza's mother Sae, Rikako's father Roichi, and maybe Shizuka Homura's father Koichirou.
    • Makishima mocks one of his underlings (Mido, the killer from episodes 4 and 5) by telling him that he's actually this.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After escaping of his imprisonment and refusing Sybil's offer to join it, Makishima calls Kougami and tells him that Sybil isn't something Kougami would put his life on the line protecting. It shows Makishima isn't only interested in the preservation of his personal individuality and freedom, but that he also personally despises the true nature of Sybil to the point of asking his personal enemy to no longer serve it.
    • Not only that, but before doing so, he damages Kasei's cyborg body because the one talking thorugh her was his once associate Kouzaburo Touma; Makishima did NOT like to see how someone who used to be on his side is now on Sibyl's and developed one heck of a A God Am I complex, and ended up not only destroying the cyber body but also killing the Touma personality.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Makishima (first season), Kamui (2nd season) and Bifröst (season 3) vs The Sibyl System.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Mika Shimotsuki was first seen with a Tomboyish Ponytail, but in season 2 she has a lower and more professional one.
    • In The Movie and Season 3, Nobuchika Ginoza lets his hair grow and keeps it in a ponytail.
    • Yayoi uses a very long Tomboyish Ponytail, but after she's allowed to properly return to society in season 3 she lets her hair loose.
  • Eye Scream: Two people fall victim to this, for the same reason: to have the missing eyes used in Iris Recognition. The first one is Professor Kudama, who loses both of his eyes and his life to Makishima; the second is Mizue Shisui, whose right eye is removed by Kirito Kamui.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Chika Shimazu from the first episode is a very cute young woman with a just as cute body, who's seen solely wearing cute pink underwear and a short white shirt... but she spends almost all of her screen time being victimized by Nobuo Okura, the Asshole Victim of a perp that kidnaps, beats and rapes her after snapping over being labeled as a criminal. By the time the episode's almost over, she's all disheveled and covered in blood coming from Okura being blown up by a Dominator, terrified of everyone and everything, holding on a lighter while sitting in the middle of a pool of fuel and threatening to set herself ablaze as Akane tries to calm her down...
    • Rikako Oryo is a beautiful Aloof Dark-Haired Girl who at first sight seems to follow many Schoolgirl Lesbians and Onee-Sama stereotypes: she's followed around by adoring schoolgirls, is pretty much a Yamato Nadeshiko-like perfect student, is seen comforting a very troubled and cute-looking student over her Wicked Stepfather's apparent advances, etc. Thing is, the girl is a teen Mad Artist and Serial Killer who seduces and murders her classmates at her all-girls Boarding School, then stips and mutilates their corpses to "rearrange" them in beautifully grotesque statues. The first victim, Satsuki Kuzuhara, was found with her headless corpse posed upside-down in a sort-of crucifix surrounded by red roses, her severed head in front of her body and her open mouth stuffed with more red roses. The second one, Masami Yamaguchi (the short-haired gal from Rikako's Girl Posse), had her body pretty much arranged as a potted plant of sorts in a plastic vase, her head also in front of her bare torso and her arms arranged as if she's grabbing said head.
      • At some point Rikako is seen naked in her room, talking to a girl lying on her bed and covered to her head with the bed clothes... then she pulls off the covers and one clearly sees that the kid (Yoshika, the one she comforted before) is naked AND dead. And soon her corpse, like Satsuki's and Masami's, is found transformed in a "statue" alongside that of her other best friend, Kagami, whom Rikako killed because she found out the truth...
    • In episode 11, Akane's best friend Yuki Fukuhara is kidnapped by Makishima from her own house as she was getting ready to go to bed. As such, the poor woman spends the following two episodes having to wear Kogami's oversized jacket since she's otherwise solely in a short night gown... Alas, when she's recaptured and murdered by Makishima via a Slashed Throat in front of a bluescreening Akane, the jacket's been discarded and she's just in her nightie.
    • The lovely-looking Risa Aoyanagi spends the second season's episode 4 in her Black Bra and Panties... when she and other people (also stripped to their undies) are held hostage by a latent criminal in a mental care hospital. She's still like this when she's shot dead, and few later everyone else is slaughtered (due to their Psycho Passes rising to criminal levels) with Dominators.
  • First-Name Basis <- -> Last-Name Basis:
    • Kagari and Shion refer to Akane as "Akane-chan", Masaoka calls her "Young Lady", and Yuki and Kaori simply use "Akane". Everyone else calls her "Tsunemori", including Shinya. But when Akane puis herself in very serious danger to try catching Makishima at the end of Season 1, Shinya is heard screaming Akane's name in anguish...
    • Everyone refers to Ginoza by his surname, save for Shinya (who uses "Gino"), Kagari (who prefers "Gino-san") and Masaoka, who as his father, just calls him "Nobuchika".
    • Shion tends to use FNB on several people, and out of them three return the favor: Kagari, Shinya and Yayoi.
    • While Yoshika, Kagami and Mika are Childhood Friends, Mika uses FNB on Kagami and LNB on Yoshika. This signifies how she might have romantic feelings for the first girl.
    • Kouzaburo Touma is the only one who refers to Shougo Makishima with FNB. Even when in the cybernetic body of Joshu Kasei.
    • The second season's Big Bad Kirito Kamui and his Evil Genius Kouichi Kuwashima are Childhood Friends and use FNB on each other.
  • Foreshadowing: Kougami holding and using an actual revolver in the second opening. That's how he plans (and manages to) deal with Makishima in the end.
    • Kougami warns Ginoza about his own Psycho Pass at some point, telling him to not get it too cloudy or he'll end up just like him. Masaoka tells him more or less the same thing later. Ginoza eventually ends up demoted to Enforcer, just like Kougami did.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: In season 1, Ginoza has to slap Akane after she dives too much in her memories of Makishima killing Yuki to the point she freaks out.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In S1's episode 2, when Akane arrives to the Bureau's HQ, she catches Yayoi Kunizuka adjusting her uniform for apparently no reason. That means nothing in itself, but after a brief and awkward talk, Akane goes greet Shion... and sees her putting on her stockings... before lighting up a cigarette...
  • Gilded Cage: Oso Academy is this to a T. It's a Boarding School for girls from rich families that has an extremely beautiful and ample (if somewhat old-school) campus, with lots of commodities... But the girls' parents send their daughters there to keep them separated and isolated from the Crapsack World that Tokyo has become; that way their hues/potential criminal coefficients will stay low, keeping the girls "pure" and ready for "good marriages". Girls like Touko Kirino (from the CD drama and novels), Mika Shimotsuki and Rikako Oryou, are rather critical of the school's atmosphere... but while Touko simply tries to sneak out as much as she can and Mika is mostly seen ranting about it yet not daring to go much further, Rikako decides to do... more.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Shusei Kagari dies like this, grinning brightly before he's killed by Joshu Kasei for finding out what the Sybil System truly is.
    • Tomomi Masaoka sacrifices his life to save his son Nobuchika Ginoza's own, comforting the tearful man and smiling painfully, yet warmly at him.
  • Gut Punch: Until episode 11 of the first season, Psycho Pass was your typical, if very dark criminal show. Then Akane points her Eliminator at Makishima, revealing that he has a very low criminal coefficient. Even as he threatens to and ends up killing Akane's friend Yuki, his score goes lower and lower. By the end of the episode it's snowing outside, Makishima has escaped, Yuki is dead from a Slashed Throat, Akane is mentally and emotionally broken, and now the audience knows that the system has a deep flaw - a genuine sociopath can go under the score.
    • Another one takes place in episode 21, with the Heroic Sacrifice of Masaoka plus Ginoza's heartbroken reaction to it.
  • Handicapped Badass: The Badass Grandpa Tomomi Masaoka has an artificial arm, but not only he can face the much younger Makishima but he can succesfully subdue him.
    • Maiko has terrible eyesight, but when under danger she can defend herself and her husband Kei VERY well.
    • Ginoza was implied to have become this after he loses his arm and is demoted to Enforcer, but officially graduates into this in Season 2.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: Ooooooh, boy. The whole Japanese society in this series relays on the trope itself, as people's stress and crimninal coefficients must stay low and clear via keeping stress and negative emotions at bay. Those who don't manage to get this done are branded as latent criminals and, from then on, their lives are all but ruined. It's eagerly lampshaded by the name of the Visual Novel, which actually is called "Psycho Pass: Mandatory Happiness".
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Akane says this about Shinya twice, first to Kagari and then to her household AI Candy.
    • Shinya says something similar about Akane when Yuki realises he's the "troublesome" workmate that she had mentioned to her.
  • He Knows Too Much: Several people fall victim to this solely in the first season: Shouko Sugawara (for, among other things, helping out her old schoolmate Akane in regards to the guy who kills her), Kagami Kawarazaki (for suspecting the Serial Killer Rikako and confronting her) and Shusei Kagari [plus Gu-Sung Choi, to a smaller degree] (for finding out what the Sybil System actually is)
    • In the past, Mitsuru Sasayama was horribly killed as soon as found leads on Shougo Makishima’s associate Kouzaburo Touma being the culprit of the case he and Kogami were working on.
    • In the second season, it's cruelly subverted: Mika did discover the truth behind Sakuya's past and how the Togane business is linked to Kamui... but that's because he and his mother Misako, a part of the Sibyl System, intentionally allowed it to happen so they could trap her and force her to be their pawn.
    • In the third season, the Hot Scoop Yayoi Kunizuka almost falls victim to this when she begins digging a little too much on the CID and its actions, which has Azusawa arrange for a "car accident"...
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Oooooh, where to start:
    • The reason why Ginoza refuses to really interact with Enforcers and tells Akane to do the same is that an Inspector can perfectly get his or her Psycho Pass so clouded by interacting closely with them, thus they're liable to be demoted into Enforcers. Heck, Masaoka and Kougami are ex-Inspectors who worked so much and so closely solving cases that they started thinking more and more like criminals themselves (Masaoka) or were so affected by That One Case that they got their Psycho Pass irremediably damaged (Kougami), and fell victim to this trope.
    • The Enforcers fit perfectly even better into this, being latent criminals who can end up as criminals themselves.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ginoza suffers two of these in the first season. First when his Dominator is hacked by Kasei and it tries to get him to kill Kogami (with only Akane's quick thinking saving him), and later a brief but brutal one when not only he loses an arm, but his father kills himself to save him.
    • Also, poor Akane has a huge breakdown when her close friend Yuki is murdered by Makishima in Season 1. And in Season 2, she has an explosive one when she's given a box that contains her grandmother's cut ear.
    • Mika suffers a massive, massive meltdown near the end of Season 2, over not only being shown what the Sibyl System truly is by Kasei and Tougane (and only because they consider her an useful pawn, if not they would've killed her) but also fully realizing that Kasei had duped her and her actions under her orders led to Tougane's murder of Akane's grandma Aoi. When all of this sinks in, the poor girl is seen screaming "I love the Sibyl System! I love this world!" with Broken Tears rolling down her face...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Masaoka goes Papa Wolf and ends up killing himself trying to throw away an explosive launched by Makishima on a wounded Ginoza's way.
  • Hive Mind:The Sybil System is implied to be one made of supercomputers. It's actually made of brains of psychopaths.
  • Holographic Disguise: Holograms are practically omnipresent, so of course cops would use it as disguise, like pretending to be a drone to attract less attention. It becomes a massive plot point in the second season: Kirito Kamui, the season's Big Bad, has been using them for a while to hide himself from the whole world and the Sibyl System that ruined his life. In fact he already was in the story in the first season, disgused as Ginoza's therapist.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: The Enforcers. Ginoza even refers to them as “beasts who hunt beasts” at the start of the series.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The plot of episode 10 and part of episode 11 revolves around a serial killer (Senguuji) that is assigned by the Big Bad to hunt down Kougami. Also, by the trails of blood around his "hunting field", he seems to have hunted maybe hundreds of people before Kougami. Who ends up killing him, however.
    • The second season takes this Up to Eleven in Episodes 5 and 6. Lots of people are tricked into downloading a new smartphone game named "Hungry Chicken"... which turns out to be a hacking program that takes control of some of the Bureau's drones, and leads them to bloodily murder the Bureau employees in charge of said drones. Even more so - the "players" are not directly shown the murders, so they don't know they're killing real people. When Shion, Yayoi and Shou team-work to hack into the "game"'s server to stop it, they also show said "players" the truth through their cameras, and almost all of them immediately and very understandably go into "Oh Crap"and "My God, What Have I Done?" modes as they realize they unknowingly contributed to the slaughter of innocents. (And those who don't are apprehended as criminals)
  • I Have This Friend: Akane uses this kind of expression when talking to Talisman at the beginning of Season 1's Episode 4. Talisman says something about "being careful with their wording". Considering his counselling business, he probably already dealt with so many cases of that, and it don't helps that Akane is using this trick in the front of a virtual crowd, that probably also heard it before.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Toyohisa Senguji don't quite eat its victims, but the principle is the same as certain forms of cannibalism: he smokes Rikako Oryo's ashes and uses their bones to make a pipe, and affirms that the souls of his prey give him energy.
  • Implied Love Interest: Shinya and Akane can be seen as such in the first season. And at the end of First Inspector
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Akane's Hue/Psycho Pass is incredibly clear, signifying how pure and kind she is. Which, again, is why the Sibyl System and later Sakuya Togane are interested in her.
  • Indy Ploy: Akane is forced to shoot Kougami after Joushuu Kasei hacks Ginoza's Dominator and puts Ginoza under a situation where he have to shoot a defenseless and seemingly resigned Kougami lethally.
    • Earlier, she had done something very similar to stop him from lethally shooting Chika. (Though subverted in that there's the heavy implication that Kogami let himself be shot to defuse the situation)
  • In Medias Res: The very first scene shows Makishima and Kougami about to have their big fight. It finally happens in Episode 16.
  • In Vino Veritas: Kagari is a rather cheery fellow, but acts somewhat more serious when he's tipsy. This is a bit of a plot point, as he tells Akane (who's better at holding her liquor than him) some rather important info about the case that got Shinya demoted from Inspector to Enforcer.
  • Karma Houdini: Any murderer who is assimilated by the Sybil System. Sybil does affirm that they achieved redemption....by becoming part of Sybil and ruling Japan with an iron fist, that just comes as empty and biased, since they're already part of it when Sybil says that.
    • Subverted later, when some of these brains do get purged out of Sybil as Kamui gets to it and then has it judge itself.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: What makes Akane decide to side with the order of the Sybil System instead of the chaos its downfall would eventually bring. It don't comes of as a strong argument, but Akane is stuck and really don't knows any better.
  • Lethal Chef: According to the CD dramas, Akane. Ginoza and Kagari can barely eat the food she makes for them (poor Kagari even passes out!), and only Kogami can do so without problem.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Just like his father, Ginoza loses part of his arm, replaces it with an Artificial Limb and goes from Detective to Vigilante/Enforcer.
  • Luxury Prison Suite:
    • While the cells in the rehabilitation facilities tend to be pretty empty or simple, Professor Saiga's is pretty much a small library with a living room attached and he's even allowed to wear normal clothes rather than standard robes, plus brew coffee for Akane when she drops by.
    • To a smaller degree, the Enforcers' individual quarters can potentially be this. Each one gets a pretty nice and seemingly rather ample studio apartment and they can outfit it as they wish (ie, Kagari has arcade machines in his flat, Masaoka's is very simple but has some space for his painting hobby, and Ginoza's has enough space to bring his adorable dog), but they can't ever leave them without having an Inspector as a monitor.
  • Mad Artist: Rikako Oryo is a Teen Genius artist who paints and draws beautifully... but with the sponsorship of the Big Bad, Shougo Makishima, she also creates deranged sculptures made of the corpses of the classmates she kills. She's so skilled at this that some people at first don't even think they're seeing a corpse, though they do call it "realistic".
    • Subverted by Rikako's father Roichi, a famous artist who created lovely but very disturbing paintings of girls (which Rikako later uses as models for her... artwork), but other than that was a rather kind-hearted fellow with a very strict morality. In fact, he intended for his art to be a warning to society as a whole. He was still subjected to a Sibyl System-approved treatment that pretty much rendered him an Empty Shell until his death; seeing her dad fall victim to a Fate Worse Than Death and later a Death by Despair was Rikako's Start of Darkness.
    • Three years before the series took place, a Serial Killer named Kouzaburou Tohma used methods similar to Rikako's and was also sponsored by Makishima. He did such things to a politician, his own sister, an Italian lawyer who lived in Japan and not only was the father of a girl named Touko Kirino but had saved him years ago, and to Kogami's friend and Enforcer Mitsuru Sasayama.
    • Kogami's informant Koichi Ashikaga is a latent criminal who's also very knowledgeable about art, and his body is covered from head to toe in tattoos.
  • Master of Disguise: Played straight and subverted, somehow at the same time. The Arc Villain of episodes 4 and 5 (Masatake Mido) has the ability to pass off as the virtual avatar of several persons but, as Kougami deduces, this don't comes off from an ability to truly imitate a character, but to act as a fan of said character expected it to act. His first victim [Kimihito Hayama aka Talisman) seems to have been killed just after trying to gain some more money of her counseling business and dropping in popularity; the second (Shouko Sugawara aka Spooky Woogie) died because she decided to whimsically aid Akane (a policewoman) with the case for personal reasons, despite being known as an anarchist type. All of this implies that the killer saw them as sell-outx that "betrayed" the image that their fans constructed about them, and eliminated them for that... Fan Dumb taken to a gruesome extreme.
  • Meaningful Funeral: A flashback features Yuki's Buddhist-inspired funeral.
  • Mind Rape: Both versions show up here:
    • In episode 11 of the first season the Big Bad Makishima deals such a brutal Break Them by Talking speech to Akane that he briefly all but destroys the poor woman's self-worth with words alone. And then he completes this mundane mind rape by killing her friend Yuki in front of her.
    • The Memory Scoop is a helmet-like device fitted to intricate machinery that, through yet-unknown technology, is able to visualize a person's memories by reading them directly from their brain waves. Problem is, since it makes the user relieve memories that are usually VERY traumatic, it can potentially have a mind rape-like effect instead. When Akane uses it in episode 12 of the first season to get an accurate image picture of Makishima after every single visual record of the person were wiped out, she also relives how he applied the above mentioned "mundane mind rape" to her and killed Yuki and begins to freak the fuck out, Mind Control Eyes and all. It eventually becomes so bad that Ginoza first screams at her to stop, then slaps her out of her trance to make her react.
  • Nom De Mom: Nobuchika Ginoza should actually be called Nobuchika Masaoka, but he uses his mother's maiden name instad.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough:Though that was about also saving himself, after Kougami kills Senguji, Makishima takes Yuki away from a severely injured Kougami ands ends up killing her after a confrontation with Akane.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The chief of the factory of Episode 3 lets his employees get away with bullying as long it reduces their criminal coefficient and gets in the way of the investigation in the fear that the productivity will be affected if they investigate the deaths happening on it as a murder. And then, one of the bullied employees snaps...
  • Oddly Small Organization: Justified and deconstructed. The Public Safety Bureau has a very small number of employees for the area that takes care off, but that is why very little crimes are committed under the vigilance of the Sybil System, and basically their work is "filling the gaps". However, when Makishima distributes around a kind of helmet that prevents is user of being watched by the Sybil System, the small number of personal makes the Bureau practically ineffective against the chaos that soon ensues until Shinya and Akane manage to defeat and capture him..
  • Official Couple: Shion and Yayoi, in a Friends with Benefits way.
  • Order Versus Chaos:Sybil vs Makishima.
  • Papa Wolf: Tomomi Masaoka is the Team Dad for the cast and especially to Akane and Kougami, so he's plays this straight more than once., ie., when he feels that Ginoza has crossed the line reprehending Akane for a serious mistake she committed, he not only tells him that he's getting "too sinister" but grabs Ginoza from the back of his collar with his artificial arm to pull him away from her. Considering they they're father and son, it can be also considered as him disciplining his kid even when he's an adult.
  • Plucky Girl: Akane and Yayoi. Holy shit, Akane and Yayoi.
    • Mika tries to be this, and in fact she's introduced as one, but she can't really hack it until quite later.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Ginoza actually has good eyesight, he uses his glasses because he doesn't really like how his eyes look. Fittingly, when he goes under Character Development and his father dies telling him how Ginoza's eyes resemble his own, he ditches the specs.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Nobuo kidnapped and raped Chika in the first season's start, and got blown up by a Dominator for his bullshit.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Kougami becomes so completely obsessed with bringing down Makishima that he completely ignores Makishima's own warnings and the fact that he almost was killed by a Dominator that clearly changed modes when Kasei touched it, preferring to concentrate in persecuting and killing Makishima.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Shinya finds out that the man behind his That One Case (where several people including his partner and Enforcer were given horrifying Cruel and Unusual Deaths, and as a consequence he was demoted from Inspector to Enforcer) is back to Tokyo, he begins a quest to bring him down and, as said above, it progressively evolves into this.
    • The second season is basically made of the trope: Kirito Kamui, the Big Bad, is a man who was horribly wronged by the Sibyl System when he was young, and now wants to judge it himself.
  • Sailor Fuku: The girls from Oso Academy (Rikako, Kagami, Yoshika, Mika, Touko and others) wear old-school ones with white blouses, red scarves, light brown collars and skirts, black tights, and brown loafers or Mary Janes.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Akane gets asked twice if she likes Shinya. When Shuusei does it, she laughs it off. When her holographic housekeeper Candy does it and even starts planning what she believes is a date between them, she resets her to forget she ever asked.
    • Later, when Akane's close friend Yuki meets Shinya as he tries to rescue her from Makishima and get both of them out of his henchman Senguuji's "hunting grounds", she identifies him as the "troublesome colleague" that Akane told her about before and tries to pry a little on their deals. Due to the very difficult circumstances they're in, Shinya quickly cuts her off.
  • Shout-Out: In Episode 3, a floppy disk with a Johnny Mnemonic label can be seen. And that's just the start.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: While Yuki Funahara and Kaori Minase aren't exactly Plucky Comic Relief material, they are Akane's friends featured in more light-hearted scenes from the first season. But after the plot slaps them across the face by killing off Yuki, they completely disappear. Though Kaori does show up again in The Movie.
    • Later, things get EVEN MORE serious than they already are when Kagari is murdered.
    • After Akane is directly targeted by Kamui in the second season, she has to move out and get rid of her Genki Girl-like household AI Candy.
  • Ship Tease: While there's no Romance Arc for anyone, Kougami gets quite a bit of this with Akane, and a little with Ginoza. Additionally, his and Makishima's rivalry can easily be seen as Foe Yay.
    • It's implied that Shuusei Kagari has a crush on Akane, referring to her as "Akane-chan" despite her being an Inspector and him an Enforcer, and openly saying he finds her cute. Pity he's murdered halfway through the first season
    • Ginoza himself has it with Akane and with Risa Aoyanagi in Season 2, and arguably with Mika Shimotsuki in Season 3. Pity Risa was also killed...
    • There's also Yayoi Kunizuka and either Rina Takizaki, the aforementioned Mika Shimotsuki, or Shion Karanomori. She used to date the first, and then hooks up with the third.
    • In Season 3, Inspector Arata Shindo has some with the also new Governor of Tokyo, the ex-Idol Singer Karina Komiya. Especially when he's her bodyguard.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Relatives of people with high criminal coefficients can be discriminated for that. In fact, that's what broke Masaoka and Ginoza's relationship.
  • Snow Means Death: When Makishima murders Yuki in front of Akane in the sewers, it's snowing outside...
  • Something Completely Different: After 11 episodes focusing on Akane (and to a smaller degree Shinya), Episode 12 is a flashback about Yayoi, who until then was practically a background character.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Nobuchika Ginoza was bullied at school over his dad being a latent criminal, and in fact he and Kogami became friends when Kogami fought the bullies for Ginoza's sake.
    • The girls from Oso Acedemy avert this as long as one knows. The school itself was founded so the rich would sent their daughters there to keep them "pure" and with their hues clear so they'd be ready to marry well, so it makes sense. And then the School Idol, Rikako Oryou, turns out to be much worse to some of her classmates than an Alpha Bitch would ever be...
  • Take a Third Option: Discussed by Masaoka and Ginoza, as Kasei puts pressure on Division 1 so they'll capture Makishima (unbeknowst to them, so Sibyl can force him join it). He warns Ginoza that the situation's like a ball game between dogs and their owner, and then tells him "become the ball". Few scenes later, the trope is played completely straight: Kasei hacks on Ginoza's Dominator by touch to force him shoot Shinya lethally... but Akane steps in and uses her non-hacked Dominator to paralyze Shinya, rather than let Kasei kill him through Ginoza or have Ginoza refuse and have his career destroyed (or worse, be killed over it).
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Kougami asks Yuki to take off her (already not much) clothes in order to get whatever is there that could help him to get away from or eliminate Senguji, once he figures out her true role in the trap meant only for him.
  • That One Case: The Specimen Case, that drove Kougami's Criminal Coefficient higher enough for him to be demoted to Enforcer -- after the killer (Kouzaburou Touma) murdered his friend and Enforcer, Mitsuru Sasayama, in an absolutely brutal manner.
  • The Dragon: One for each main villain:
    • Gu-sung Choe for Makishima;
    • Of all people, Akane serves as this for Sybil in the last episodes of the first season, being the only one of her servants to have direct communication with. She does her best to not let it corrupt her, however, even threatening to kill herself at some point to force the System to listen to her.
    • In the second season, Kirito Kamui has the Face Heel Turned Mizue Shizui .
  • Team Dad: Tomomi Masaoka fits in perfectly during Season 1. After he dies in the line of duty and his son Nobuchika Ginoza goes through Character Development, he picks up the mantle through Season 2.
  • The Three Faces of Adam: Shusei Kagari (Hunter - the youngest and more cheerful of the men in Division 1, kind of a Manchild at times), Nobuchika Ginoza (Lord - serious, snappy, deeply hurt and conflicted in regards to his ties to the team and his own past), Shinya Kogami (another Lord - cynical, impulsive at times, quite the Blood Knight when motivated enough), Tomomi Masaoka (the Prophet - a wise Team Dad who has Seen It All and that's why he ended up as an Enforcer)
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Akane Tsunemori (Child who wants to be the Wife - she's the newly assigned Inspector who knows very little about the Bureau, but wants to do what she believes is right and treats the Enforcers kindly when few people would), Yayoi Kunizuka (Wife, with splashes of Seductress - quiet, reliable Action Girl who always keeps her cool and had a rather turbulent past that led her to be a latent criminal) and Shion Karanomori (Seductress, with tiny touches of Wife - very much a Ms. Fanservice who flirts with several people, is the team's Mission Control rather than a direct fighter, becomes Yayoi's Love Interest)
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Several latent criminals take this attitude when Sibyl targets them, as seen in the first episode.
  • The Stinger: Some episodes have this after the credits, including the final one.
  • Title Drop: The titular Psycho Pass is the very measure of "mental pollution".
  • Token Good Teammate: Akane.
    • Even more so, Shizuka Homura.
  • Took a Level In Kindness: Ginoza, in season 2. The Sybil System, in Season 3 and First Inspector.
    • Also in Season 3, Mika.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Right before Makishima kills Yuki, he mentally tortures the girl further via using a shaving knife to cut strands of her hair as he deals Akane a brutal Break Them by Talking speech.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Son: Masaoka is not a Gonk, but he's quite older than the rest of the cast and it shows. His son Ginoza, on the other hand? One of the most beautiful men in the cast.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The number of citations to classic and modern literature is insane. Some elements are explained in detail, others not.
  • Villain Has a Point: Makishima puts up a convincing argument that the Sibyl System is fundamentally flawed, and it's actually causing humanity to regress rather than advance.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Makishima becomes very interested in 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 Sybil System becomes very interested in Akane because of her perpetual low criminal coefficient without signals of sociopathy, and recruits her as The Dragon in order to retrieve Makishima so he can become part of its Hive Mind. Akane accepts but also makes the System swear that it will NOT have Shinya executed for going rogue, threatening to kill herself to prove how serious she is.
    • In the second season, Togane develops this towards Akane too, and wants to corrupt her enough to turn her clear hue into pitch black
    • And in the third season, the System also is interested in Arata Shindou because he's the only Inspector who qualifies as criminally asymptomatic.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In the first season Akane throws up after using the Memory Scoop but nothing is seen since she bends over the border of the surface she's been lying down on.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never explained what happened to the anarchists of Episode 12's first season. We know by Foregone Conclusion that they never brought down Sybil, but what exactly happened it's not even hinted. Rina shows up in one of the novels, however.
  • What Would X Do?: Akane's last few actions on the first series' plot are moved by the train of thought of what Kougami would do to catch Makishima or, in the worst case, let the Bureau capture Makishima.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Even when Ginoza and Masaoka are extremely distanced after Masaoka got demoted to Enforcer and that severely harmed Ginoza's fatih in him, deep down Ginoza still desires his father's approval. As such, he comes to resent Masaoka's closeness to Kougami and, near the end of the first season, he even tells him that to his very face as they track down Makishima together, accusing Masaoka of not having any faith in him and not being convinced when the old man answers it's best for him to forge his own path.
  • Wild Card: After it becomes clear that the system of law will never bring Makishima to justice, or he will never be allowed to murder him while he is a Enforcer, Kougami defects and tries to bring down Makishima by himself. It works, but at a VERY high prize.
  • X Meets Y:Equilibrium meets Homicide: Life On the Street. Or any criminal procedure that you may think of, really.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: In the first season this is what Ouso Academy is supposed to make of its students, all of them girls from rich families, solely for the purpose of a "good marriage". The concept is discussed and heavily criticised: the school itself is a Gilded Cage-like Boarding School that seeks to keep the girls pure and unspoiled by the Crapsack World outside the school and shape them all into YN's... but it's solely for the sake of their families, who want the gals to be like that to pretty much "sell them off" to their future husbands. This is all but shouted to be one of the reasons why Rikako, who's IMMENSELY cynical about this and loathes society for what it did to her father, starts seducing and killing some of her classmates...
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Makishima tells this to his subordinates, like Mido and Rikako, as soon as they don't provide him "entertainement" anymore.
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