I’m sure you already know this but the systems presented in Psycho Pass are great and all sit together well. The Sybil System and Dominator among other things are all clearly explained from the get go and it isn’t convoluted or hard to understand in the slightest. What makes it work is that all the facts are given to us quickly with one simple explanation. Anything that isn’t said with words is shown through action and by the end of the first episode you’ve seen everything the universe has to offer. The reason this is a good thing is that the rules can’t change half way to accommodation poor writing, everything conforms to the in universe rules and that means nothing is ever hidden from the viewer. When these rules are broken both the viewer and the character question this in the same manner which helps immersion.
Sadly the immersion is constantly broken by gimmicks of the genre that feel very out of place. You have two glaring issues tainting an otherwise great idea. The first is the obvious comically useless police force which consists of 90% “Kawaii” robots which haven’t once taken down a single criminal and prove as nothing but eye candy. A serious villain in this society laughs at the robots and moves on without any sense of them hindering him whatsoever. The second issue is the lack of creativity in the villainous behavior and the acts of criminals (Excluding the main villain) let me give you some examples of this. A girl with daddy issues is driven to murder to create art…. A cyborg man hunts for fun. Both these reasons lack depth but aren’t the sole reason the alarm bells are ringing for me. I like dark themes just fine but I don’t want to see the following: Lady bashed on street for two minutes with a crowd of onlookers recording it on their phones, A man brutally bashed with fire extinguisher and a lady doused in fuel and set ablaze. All of these acts were committed without motivation and it sickens me to think that the writer could write this crap and think it’s going to be entertaining to the viewer because it’s not. Hook me in with clever criminals which take effort to take down not this rioting bullshit.
Makishima, The main villain contrasts this crap so well that you’d think his parts of the story were written by someone else entirely which redeem the entire anime. His grand scheme is highly secretive and his motivations seem real so when he is placed in the same room as common thugs I feel his frustrations. Maybe it’s just the mysterious demeanor he has going for him but there is that aspect about him which makes you curious and keeps you coming back for more.
Am I crazy and thinking too much into this or is there a serious problem with the way this anime is trying to cater for an audience that likes kawaii things and a different audience which likes hyper violence? It’s doing both poorly and should probably not stop and focus on it’s main genre which is action/mystery.