Psycho-Pass is a Japanese crime thriller anime series aired between 2012 and 2013. The story took place in an utopian future society where public sensors continuously scan the mental states of all citizens. Data collected through scanners represent one’s probability of committing a crime, namely one’s Psycho-Pass. Its movie released in 2015 furthered the narrative into Cambodia, a nation at war and thus ready to be regulated by the authoritarian robotic system from Japan.
The montage I made trumped the preconception I had when watching the movie. Having been a fan of the anime for 5 years, I presumed that the dominant hue would be dark blue and black, with only several discontinuities exhibiting reddish and light color hues (since there were fire scenes and scenes that took place in the morning). However, I was surprised that the montage was fairly colorful, that the reoccurrence of green, red and light blue abruptly broke the coherence of the movie’s dominant tone. This revealed the uncertain state surrounding the protagonists, since the hero and the heroine were constantly switching locations to escape from their enemies. Despite that, as was expected, the montage image is imbued with cool colors, indicating apathy, despair and mechanical sensitivity that correspond well with the anime’s context.
An interesting pattern I recognized was the stark contrast between red and blue, and how the two colors generated meanings for the scenes being played. Red represents passion, anger, sensitivity and disaster. Red was the main tone accompanying the narrative for the Cambodian anti-government party in which the hero was involved. His political beliefs and his current state were well implied by the background color to which he assimilated. Blue signifies reason, technological advancement, calmness and peace. This color often appeared when the Japanese robotic government, along with the heroine and her team, showed up in the movie. The producer of the anime highlighted the antagonistic relation between the hero and the heroine not only explicitly by announcing each of their political beliefs through numerous dialogues, but also implicitly by assigning the characters with colors that embodied meanings.
Movie montage, overall, grants us an omnipotent view which is useful for analyzing the movie in a deeper sense. As audience we are often confined by the unilateral “moments”, meaning that each frame from the movie flashes and disappears so quickly that there is no way for us to observe a moment longer, or to observe several moments all at once. Yet a movie montage violates the law of time, blurs our awareness of a timeline, and hence elevates us from human beings to some sort of high-dimensional creatures. As a result, we recognize things that are obscure and often difficult to recognize by normal spectators. For instance, the producer’s intention, scattered among different chunks of time, can only be seen clearly in a movie montage. The montage image certainly prevents us from an intimate and realistic experience with the media (the movie), but at the same time allows us to see what we usually see in a unique and broader fashion.