What’s it about ?
Minority Report, the Anime.
Tsunemori, the newbie cop fresh from the police academy, here to be heavily traumatized by the harsh reality in the trenches. At this stage she’s obviously mostly a device to explain how the setting works, although the plot is sadistic enough to put a new spin on this well-worn police drama cliché.
Masaoka, the grizzled old veteran who explains everything to the n00b. The twist is that he’s a “potential criminal” (or so the omnipresent computer system has decided), and thus part of a group of “hounds” on a short leash who help track down the currently-at-large other potential criminals. So it’s the newbie who’s in charge of him, and can pull the trigger on him at any moment. (The special-gun-that-only-works-on-potential-criminals fortunately has a “stun” setting, although all safeties are off if the target gets too unbalanced.)
Kougami, the other hound she’s in charge of, looks like male lead potential (complete with an albino archrival !), although he mostly stays in the background this episode.
Ginoza, her senior partner, supervises his own pair of hounds (the hard woman and the joker), and has no time to babysit her. And he’s slightly disappointed she’s showing some humanity and doubts about the fairness of the system.
The case of the week demonstrates the dystopian quality of the setting with the subtlety of an anvil. The perp is just a guy who failed a random street psych scan, is now hunted down for being a potential criminal, and decided that he’s going down he might has well commit a vile crime while he’s at it. And let’s not even get into his victim’s case, who gets so traumatized that she’s now failing psych scans too…
Of course, one can play devil’s advocate for the system and say that this dude was so unbalanced already that he would have done something horrible at some point anyway, and that our protagonists’ first response is always to bring their targets down non-lethally if they can so that therapy can be done properly. Still, that’s assuming the system actually works and the computers are trustworthy. Has this ever happened in this type of story ?
Very good. While not as gorgeous as K, this clearly has a high budget, and maintains perfect clarity despite the heavy grit filter. Nice soundtrack, too.
There’s clearly a heavy Ghost in the Shell influence at play here, from some of the directing and aesthetics to the blatantly gratuitous camo-suit scene in the beginning.
Do be warned that Gen Urobuchi is involved in writing this series, with all the deliberate cruelty and gore this entails.
What did I think of it ?
Hum. This episode is so busy with making its premise crystal clear that it becomes a bit clunky. There are even jokes acknowledging how exposition-heavy it is !
Still, there’s nothing wrong with the premise… wait, no, of course the premise is very wrong. But it’s a decent starting point, and I trust Gen Urobuchi to do more interesting things with it in the next 21 episodes. I’m giving it at least a few more episodes to find its feet.