The new season of Psycho-Pass is currently underway, having aired three episodes. Already the season is showing great promise despite the tremendous difference between past seasons. This third story arc focuses on a new cast of characters other than Inspector Akane. With all the changes have come several questions and concerns from fans. In response, the three main writers of Psycho-Pass 3 sat down to answer questions as provided by Moca-News. The following interview is not associated with J-List, but rather a translation from the original Japanese news source.
Tow Ubukata served as season 3’s main writer, having worked on Psycho-Pass 2. Makoto Fukami wrote both the original Psycho-Pass lite novels as well as for the screenplay of Psycho-Pass 2 and Psycho-Pass: The Movie, and Sinners of the System (Case 2 and 3). Last, but not least is Ryo Yoshigami, who had worked on Sinners of the System (Case 1) as a screenplay writer.
Without further introduction, please enjoy comments from Tow Ubukata, Makoto Fukami, and Ryo Yoshigami.
The script for Psycho-Pass 3 is a group effort, written by three authors. How did you all work together to develop the script?
Ubukata: We received specific demands from the producers and director Naoyoshi Shiotani. This included using a whole new cast of characters and a different place in time (this series happens in 2120, 6 years after the second season). After we had the key points in mind, I assembled the series composition and Fukami and Yoshikami wrote the script.
Fukami: The combined works of Ubukata-san and Director Shiotani was fitting. It felt like the series wouldn’t be complete without either of them. The series structure that Ubukata-san assembled is very precise for what was asked. So, the first task I worked on was establishing a basis or a theme per episode based on what Ubukata-san had planned for the series. I’d take notes from the series composition and write everything down to incorporate specific elements into whatever scenario we were writing.
Ubukata: Fukami-san had thrown a curveball at me over some points. (Laughs). There were a few characters not included in the original series composition that were added later on. For example, Chiya Obata was one such character created completely thanks to Fukami-san. We had a few challenges because of it, but it was interesting.
Fukami: Given what was established for the scenario works, Ubukata-san rewrote the latter half of the series to make it more suitable.
Ubukata: It took some time and was challenging, but I think we were able to work in a good rhythm together.
Fukami: I was surprised when I read the series composition and plot that Ubukata-san wrote. It’s a brand new Psycho-Pass, no matter how you look at it between the appearance of Bifrost and the state of the inspectors. Every character is involved in the plot, little by little, and no one is aware of the real criminal. I think it’s interesting.
Yoshigami-san, you were a screenplay and scenario writer for the Sinners of the System films. However, this is your first time taking part in the TV series, isn’t it?
Yoshigami: I was in charge of the number of scenarios in the middle development stages for this series. But, since everyone steadily incorporated their own ideas and elements into the plot, the script has come to include a tremendous number of characters.
Ubukata: Yoshigami-san has a habit of that. No matter what they work on, they’ll write a great amount of material for it.
Fukami: Their screenplays are about the size of any novel.
Ubukata: I think I did the same when I started writing scripts, too.
Yoshigami: Thankfully, Ubukata-san has a lot of experience with editing the finer details as needed for any screenplay.
What kind of character is the hero, Shindou? What about Ignatov? Please tell us about these two and their key attibutes or qualities.
Ubukata: First, Director Shiotani and the producers talked about the idea of a “Total Character Change,” in which he said, “think of them as two good buddies.” I think that it was also decided from the beginning that one of the two was an immigrant and that they were childhood friends. Other details they wanted to include was a height difference between the two. From there, I thought about a combination involving the duality of psychology vs combat. I proposed that one would be the mentalist and the other be more of the military personnel type.
Fukami: When we had the first screenplay meeting (over the phone) Ubukata-san suddenly said, “I want to see Shindou and Ignatov written by Fukami-san. So, please write the first episode.” (laughs) At first glance, Shindou is rough around the edges, but also smart. He’s foolish, but finds the correct answer and runs straight ahead for it. Writing his character was difficult, at first.
Ubukata: If written badly then he’d become an unpleasant character.
Fukami: At first, Ubukata also said, “He doesn’t seem very likable.”
Ubukata: That was because he’s a character that leads conversation and steers it all in his own advantageous direction!
Yoshigami: Isn’t that the trick to being human, though? In a sense, Shindou may be the most criminal of the cast.
Ubukata: In the end, he’s a good detective who understands criminals.
Do you have any fun moments from working on the Psycho-Pass series?
Fukami: I originally had read Ubukata-san’s Marduk Scramble and Spiegel novel series. Growing up with them was very inspiring. So it was very exciting to get to work with him. It’s sort of an awkward way of saying, “I’m smart.” (Laughs). When you have a meeting with Mr. Ubukata, you have to give your full attention. After this series, I think it has been an exciting project that has changed the way I look at scripts.
Ubukata: Since working on Psycho-Pass I think that “the entire crew is crazy.” (Laughs). I mean that lovingly, of course, but Gen Urobuchi, Fukami-san, Yoshigami-san, and everyone who worked on the series definitely are not normal. I think we’re able to create something fun.
Yoshigami: I’ve loved reading Ubukata-san and Fukami-san’s work ever since I was a teenager. They both have been a great influence on me. This was a great growth opportunity for me. And as Fukami-san said, the way I read scripts has changed. Our work is something that I can proudly encourage everyone to watch. I think this series really had a talented cast of top writers for Japanese sci-fi entertainment. We’ve come together to make a really amazing TV series.
There you have it! Psycho-Pass 3 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Although this season has the shortest episode count to date with only 8 episodes listed, each is 45 minutes in length. In total, it has a longer runtime than all of season 2.
Source: Original Japanese Interview