Psycho-Pass promo image
Image via Production I.G

Here’s the best Psycho-Pass watch order

Here's the few ways to fall down this rabbit hole of peak dystopian TV fiction.

When it comes to futuristic dystopian anime, Psycho-Pass is a legendary title that stands out for the inventiveness of the world it portrays. Rather than being based on a single manga or novel – although the franchise has expanded to serialize these – Psycho-Pass was inspired by multiple live-action films, most notably, the original Blade Runner. The series has been around since 2012, with its latest entry appearing in 2023. However, the series’ rocky release history in the West has led to some fans simply not realizing that there is more Psycho-Pass to enjoy. 

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Here are a few ways in which one can experience the unsettling but intriguing world of Psycho-Pass.

What is Psycho-Pass about?

Psycho-Pass is set in a futuristic fictional version of Japan wherein criminal activity has become a rarity. By all means having less crime should be a positive thing, right? Well, Psycho-Pass is a dystopia for a reason, instead of introducing you to its rotten sides from the get-go, it progressively peels back the curtain to show viewers, often in brutal ways, just how rotten some facets of the society the Sybil System created and oversees really are.

The Psycho-Pass is an evaluation of a given individual’s mental stability that yields a qualitative number, the Crime Coefficient index, appraising how likely a person is to resort to crime. Sounds great in theory as a preventive measure right? Well, this wouldn’t be a dystopia if it were all sunshine and rainbows. The system that governs this seemingly peaceful society has loopholes that will find their way to sucker-punch you when you least expect.

If your Crime Coefficient is too high, you become a fugitive of the law. In the best-case scenario, your Coefficient isn’t past 299 and you’ll be arrested and thrown in jail. Worst-case scenario, your Coefficient has surpassed the 300-mark threshold and now you’ve become a shoot-to-kill target to Inspectors and Enforcers from the Crime Investigation Department of the Ministry of Welfare’s Public Safety Bureau. The majority of the story is not told from the civilians’ point of view but from that of some of the Inspectors and Enforcers as they encounter outstanding circumstances and learn more about the true nature of the Sybil System.

Available versions of the original Psycho-Pass

Psycho-pass title
Screengrab via Production I.G.

There are two versions of the original Psycho-Pass available. A regular version and an Extended Edition. This Extended Edition takes the 22-episode season and turns it into an 11-episode season, with each episode being 45 minutes long. These episodes include some new footage. They also give the whole season a visual upgrade that fixes some noticeable animation issues seen in the original, making it a perfect Blu-ray experience.

If you have access to the Extended Edition, you may want to watch that instead of the older version that aired over a decade ago. It is often hailed as being the better of the two, as the added scenes help flesh out the characters and provide a bit more context.

How to watch Psycho-Pass in release order

Akane Psycho-pass 3
Screengrab via Production I.G.

The easiest way to watch Psycho-Pass is to watch it in the order of release. To view Psycho-Pass in release order, follow this list: 

  • Psycho-Pass (2012)
  • Psycho-Pass 2 (2014)
  • Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015)
  • Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System (2019)
  • Psycho-Pass 3 (2019)
  • Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector (2020)
  • Psycho-Pass: Providence (2023)

Although the story can be experienced in this order, this would not be an entirely linear way to follow it, mainly because Providence is not the one set farthest in the chronology, but serves as a sort of prequel to the third season. Nothing is lost, however, if you decide to go this route. It will just influence the knowledge – or lack thereof – you have going into season 3.

A note about Psycho-Pass: Sinners Of The System 

Psycho-Pass: Sinners Of The System is a collection of three short films, each running for 60 minutes. Each of these films is referred to as a “Case,” and each has its own subtitle. 

The three films are called: 

  • Case.1: Crime and Punishment
  • Case.2: First Guardian
  • Case.3: On the Other Side of Love and Hate

The fandom sometimes refers to these films separately, often calling them SS Case and then the number or subtitle. These are all chronologically set before season 3, and most people would recommend watching them prior to diving into the latest season. Fans usually deem the third movie to be the best of the trilogy, in great part due to its focus on a particular fan-favorite character. Aside from Case 2 which gives backstory to a certain character before they joined the Public Safety Bureau, the Cases follow a linear chronology.

How to watch Psycho-Pass in chronological order

Kogami, Akane, Nobuchika
Screengrab via Production I.G.

Psycho-Pass had an easy-to-follow chronology, which made it easy to watch in chronological order. That is until Psycho-Pass: Providence came along – outside of its brief 2023 cinema release, the movie was, for a time, impossible to find available for streaming, likely due to the tricky nature of movie rights over TV series’ rights – which is set prior to the events of season 3, even answering some of the questions that had been left unanswered by the time skip between seasons. “It is in this untold story that the missing link is revealed.” says the last line of the official synopsis.

To watch Psycho-Pass in chronological order, watch it in the following order: 

  • Psycho-Pass (2012)
  • Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System: Case.2: First Guardian (2019)
  • Psycho-Pass 2 (2014)
  • Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015)
  • Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System: Case.1: Crime and Punishment (2019)
  • Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System: Case.3: On the Other Side of Love and Hate (2019)
  • Psycho-Pass: Providence
  • Psycho-Pass 3 (2019)
  • Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector (2020)

Where to watch Psycho-Pass

Screengrab via Production I.G.

Psycho-Pass has had a rocky release history in America. Even though the series was imported to the US, it rarely got promoted, so some fans simply don’t realize they can watch some of the newer releases.

Currently, you can watch the whole Psycho-Pass on the following services: 

  • Psycho-Pass – Funimation, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu
  • Psycho-Pass Extended Edition – Funimation (listed as a separate season named Extended Edition), Crunchyroll
  • Psycho-Pass 2 (2014) – Funimation, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video
  • Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015) – Funimation, Digital Rental 
  • Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System (2019) – Crunchyroll
  • Psycho-Pass 3 (2019) – Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll
  • Psycho-Pass 3: First Inspector (2020) – Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll
  • Psycho-Pass: Providence (2023) – Crunchyroll (all territories excluding Japan), Amazon Prime Video (limited locations)

Whichever order you decide to follow, chronological or by release date, both allow for a slightly different viewing experience while yielding the same end result: you’ll have experienced one of the most original and rich dystopian worlds in the history of anime.


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