Fall 2014 TV: Morganville and Psycho-Pass

Note: I was going to include my thoughts on Flash here, but they’re too long. I’ll give that show it’s own post sometime later this week.

Morganville: The Series

Genre: Supernatural/Urban fantasy

Synopsis: Based on the young adult urban fantasy book Glass Houses, the story follows college freshman Claire, who inadvertently chooses a university in a vampire town–the vampire town. Like every other out-of-towner, she’s blissfully unaware of the existence of vampires. Until she gets targeted by a local mean girl with a vampire protector and moves in with a group of humans staying out of the vampire sphere.

Or at least, that’s what Claire thinks the plot is. She seems to be the only one with that opinion.

Series: Season 1

I’ve Watched: Episodes 1-3

Verdict: Promising

Borrowed from tumblr.com

Urban fantasy author Rachel Caine’s YA series, Morganville Vampires, is being adapted into a web series by Geek and Sundry. I’m pretty sure this is some kind of milestone in media. A bestselling book series is going to be a web series. And Geek and Sundry has pulled off well-produced sci-fi/fantasy before.

So yeah, definitely surprised to hear this is happening because it’s kind of unprecedented, but it makes sense to give this to Geek and Sundry and I’m excited for it. Also, Amber Benson (from Buffy) is in it. She’s amazing. So now not only do I see awesome geek casting in Whedon projects, but also on Geek and Sundry.

Claire works well as a protagonist. She’s got a lot of personality, and the narrative makes it clear when her gestures are futile. There’s an underlying humor that still manages to respect the gravity of the situation. Not having read the books, I don’t know the story and I’m intrigued to find out what’s going on.

I have no idea what the release schedule is, but the first two episodes went up yesterday and the third one went up today. So I’m guessing we’ll get episodes pretty often.

Psycho-Pass

Borrowed from livedoor.blogimg.jp

Genre: Dystopia/Sci-fi/Seinen

Synopsis: Everyone’s psychological state is constantly monitored, to catch the potential for violence before it happens. Unhealthy psychological profiles are met with therapy, incarceration, or execution depending on the circumstances.

Last season, we got to know the world, how it affected people, and what the system really meant. We saw several perspectives on how to handle the situation, short-term and long-term. We saw where the system failed.

This season, Akane knows the truth of the Sybil system, which monitors everyone’s psycho-pass. She’s the only one who does. And a new enemy is emerging, one who’s threatening to collapse the entire system society has developed to prevent violent crime, all at once.

Series: Season 2.

I’ve Watched: 3 episodes

Verdict: Absolutely amazing.

Borrowed from tumblr.com

I love this show so much. How is it so amazing?

The beginning of season two parallels the beginning of season one nicely. Inspector Akame is still focused on saving people, understanding them, and giving them a chance to recover. She has come a long way as a character, from the unsure rookie to the experienced cop, but this core aspect of her personality remains unchanged. She’s interested in helping people instead of punishing them. And it’s a beautiful theme to open up to.

It’s also nice to see Ginoza and Akame getting along so well. In the first season, Ginoza was struggling with his own psycho-pass, but now that what he’s been afraid of has happened, he’s much more at peace–ironic, since legally, he’s considered a darker personality. It’s really nice to get to see who he is now that he’s settled into his life and accepted it. I love his character development from his introduction in season one to here.

And of course, there’s already a nice set-up for friction within the team. Akame is a very unusual Inspector, following her own sense of right and wrong before trusting in the Sybil system–she’s doing a great job of that, obviously, but it’s a very radical approach.

Her junior Inspector (Mika) is already set-up as disagreeing with her. Maybe she isn’t handling it in the most tactful way when addressing her superior, so she’s pretty lucky Akane doesn’t have anything to prove. Still, we’ll see how this goes–Mika was a minor character last season who went through a lot, so it’s not like she doesn’t have a reason to have strong opinions. I can even buy that her otherwise sheltered background and youth means she doesn’t know how to express those opinions appropriately.

Borrowed from animenauts.com

Another parallel to season one–two new team members are coming along on an overly dangerous mission for newbies, much like Akame’s first mission way back when. This time there are two new Enforcers. They seem promising. One is nervous and uncertain, a not particularly stereotypical attitude for an Enforcer. The other has an interesting philosophy, with how he joined Akane in trying to talk down a criminal. What we’re told about him by the Sybil system doesn’t quite mesh with how he comes off as a character–not that this isn’t a major point the show has a tendency to explore, or anything.

And of course, we’re all waiting with bated breath for Kogami to come back. The show is putting together some extraordinary circumstances, which seems like good first step towards paving the way for his return.

I’m so happy this is getting another season. It is an absolutely fantastic show.

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