Just a few Similarities:
- Blade Runner - most stylistic in terms of the design and the dystopian nature backdrop. There's also the fact that both Psycho-Pass and Blade Runner are focused on the life of police officers too.
- Minority Report - the premise of this movie revolved around the prevention of crimes before they happened by being able to predict a person's actions/intent before hand. In P-P, the notion of using one's mental state/Psycho-Pass to arrest/kill/rehabilitate seems to draw from this quite heavily.
- Ghost in the Shell - perhaps most of the similarities can be found here. Various aspects/events like multiple simultaneous hackings, the use of water to disrupt sensory cloaking, the chat scenes involving Boogie, Akane, and Talisman, some of the BG music... all of them were things that happened at some point in GITS (and its sister series: Stand Alone Complex).
The above examples are merely some of the things I've noticed off the top of my head. Needless to say, there's quite a few examples of similarity between Psycho-Pass and other rather famous science fiction works.
With that in mind, a recent discussion with a friend made me start wondering:
If a series has so much similarities to another work (or works), can it still be considered a good series?
At what point do we draw the line between what's acceptable in terms of how much you can draw from another source?
The answer... well, let's say it's a complicated one.
From a personal standpoint, I dislike series that borrow off of others heavily. However, I also believe that with the sheer amount of anime that have been released (and are released on a daily basis), we're at a point where it's virtually impossible not to do something that involves some kind of similarity to another series. Thus, I give some leeway in terms of similarity—where as long as your series at least does something that doesn't blatantly rip off of other series, I won't press too hard on the matter. Notably though, I do make exceptions to this rule too. Given a series I find extremely enjoyable to watch, I could care less whether or not the whole series was an amalgamation of unoriginal content.
Granted, the latter portion sounds a bit contradictory, but it really just hammers in the fact that there is as much variance in the preferences and views of an individual as there are stars in the sky. Some watch anime purely for the sake of enjoyment. To those, it doesn't matter the amount of originality as long as it's well done and gives a return on the time investment you put into it. To others on the flip side however, series like these shouldn't even exist! Then, you have those in the middle—the people that believe some similarity is acceptable as long as the series has some semblance of originality and/or believe that exceptions can be made in certain situations.
Obviously, at this point, I'd be considered part of the middle portion. As such, Psycho-Pass doesn't really bother me that much despite the large number of similarities I've listed above. I believe that it can be a good series regardless, and it's a notion only helped by the fact that the series has been pretty enjoyable up until this point. Of course, it also helps even more when you reference from some of my all time favorites too.
And so, there you have it: a quick and dirty discussion about originality versus enjoyability, my views regarding them, and why I feel that way.
The question now is... what do you think?