Calling all philosophy, social anthropology, psychology, and social theory lovers out there (or anyone who loves Law and Order, sci-fi, or a good thriller!) I have a show you need to try! From writer Gen Urobuchi, known the cult favorite series Madoka Magica, comes the new anime series Psycho-Pass. If haven’t seen an anime show since Pokémon (I know you still know the theme song) or you are laboring under the misapprehension that anime is all fanservice and giant robots. Watch this series! Urobuchi’s work is infamous for its twists and turns and Psycho-Pass does not disappoint. He not only creates a thrilling story but he also systematically destabilizes the world in which all the action is taking place. What starts out as a seemingly simple police procedural grows exponentially in depth as the series progresses.

Set in an alternative and slightly futuristic Japan society is now governed by a infallible computer system called Sybil. Sybil continually monitors citizens’ mental states creating an open society where other’s inner worlds are made both visible and quantifiable. In this world crime is rare. Our protagonists are part of a small police force that take care of crime before it happens by judging  mentally unstable citizens via the Sybil system. Sound like Minority Report to you? Well, no, it isn’t. Its so much more. The show examines the many different angles of human society and makes a point of confronting the moral and ethical gray areas inherent in any social system. It questions everything from judgement, styles of law enforcement, defining humanity, how social structures impact individual psyche, identity, personal responsibility and even the use of pharmaceuticals. Its a crash course in social theory!

For all you academic nerds out there (me, me, pick me!) philosophical and literary allusions abound. You’ve got Titus Andronicus, Minority Report, The Most Dangerous Game, the Bible, Descartes, Heart of Darkness, philosophical skepticism, Proust, panopticism, William Gibson, José Ortega, Logan’s Run, and Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep to name a few and that’s just in the first season! But if all that theory is not your thing not to worry. This series is action packed so you won’t spend all your time pondering which allusion went where.

As I mentioned before there are several good twists. And fair warning there is some dark stuff herein. But don’t let that dissuade you! Those scenes are expertly used to drive the plot and further destabilize the social structure. The show does an excellent job of navigating the fine line of exploring the dark sides of human nature without causing me to feel bogged down in darkness (unlike some other shows I know. Yeah, Attack on Titan…I’m talking to you).

So if you want to watch a show that’s a riveting combination of a thriller and a thought experiment plus its filled with some of the most compelling antagonists you’re likely to come across (step aside Moriarty) check out Psycho-Pass! (I strongly recommend watching the subbed version for both seasons. They are available on Season 1 Netflix and Funimation, Season 2 Hulu.)

Apropos of nothing, tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that Chief Kasei looks like Miranda from Devil Wears Prada.

Additionally Psycho-Pass the movie just came out in theaters in Japan. So keep your eyes peeled for the film once it is distributed in the US. (Don’t watch the linked trailer to the movie if you intend to watch the series because there are some major spoilers…you have been warned!)

Shut Up Lets Go!

You know when you love something so much that you are afraid to tell other people about it because it’s so precious to you that you don’t want people to shatter it into a thousand pieces. But it’s so good that you have to share it because your love is too big to handle on your own and you just have to talk about it…or you might explode. Actually, you will definitely explode. No? Well, that’s how I feel about the Korean television series Shut Up, Let’s Go (aka Shut Up Flower Boy Band). I gotta spread the love.

Where to even begin? I started watching this show the first night I moved to Boston. What began as the innocent thought “Hey, I’ll start a new show before I go to bed” turned into me staying up all night with my head under my covers and my nose to my computer screen. Yep, that’s right. I watched all 16 episodes in one go. I’m not proud of it but my binge watching is a testament to this show’s power (and not just my TV habits).

So what is this amazingness about anyway? Well imagine The Outsiders set in modern day Korea with rock bands thrown into the mix and you’ll have an oversimplified idea of the plot. It’s a series that evokes the romance of punk rock and youthful rebellion without straying away from the rawness of growing up. This series has all the elements of your typical drama: rivalry, fame, rebellion, adversity, and romance. So I thought I had a pretty good handle on where things were going. But no. I was so wrong. This show consistently breaks the stereotypes that it presents (just wait until episode 3 and you’ll know what I mean). The writers are so self aware that they often use side character’s dialogue (I’m looking at you Jo Deo-mi) to contrast typical drama tropes with this grittier but perfectly poised plot.

Storyline aside (cause I can’t talk about it too much without major spoilers) the real driving force of the show is the friendship of our main characters. It is their chemistry that pervades the show and lends it its ineffably addicting aura. Their friendship feels both unaffected and sincere. And it had me completely invested from the start. I wanted to hang out with them! All the characters face real adversity and the show doesn’t give fairytale answers. In fact I have never finished a show and felt so completely satisfied with the ending. It is so spot on that it still boggles my mind. I don’t understand how they manage to address every character so well in just 16 episodes. Ahhh its perfect.

I also have to mention that the music in the show is killer. Most of the main actors are also musicians and it really adds depth to their performance (I’m sure all ye kpop fans are aware that L from INFINITE is an actor but several other actors are also members of lesser known indie bands). All of the songs had me jamming in my seat. Once I looked up the translation of Jaywalking’s lyrics I loved the song even more.

I could go on forever about this show: the complex subtle strength of Su Ah’s character, men being able to cry, how to deal with social convention, Sung Joon’s fabulous micro-expressions, growing up with dignity, the philosophical implications of being an artist… so just take my word for it before I blather on ad nauseam. Watch this now. (Find it on Hulu and Dramafever.) Please? Then we can start our own indie rock band and live lives of heartfelt music and friendship.

I call guitar!

Get. Set. GO!


What are you still doing here? Get thee to the internets! Oh, you’re still not convinced? Try this. Scroll down. Look into Kim Myungsoo’s eyes. Take some deep breaths. Let all that doubt and tension go…You will watch this…This is an excellent show…You want to watch this…There…That’s better.

Jedi Mind Tricks


Part Step Up, part West Side Story, and part Jet Set Radio the traditional star crossed lovers storyline just got a dystopian update with the new animated series Urbance.  Created by French Canadian company Steambot, Urbance gained massive support through Kickstarter (which is where my awesome brother found it and passed it along to me.) From the character design to the animation style this show lives and breathes the essence of cool. And makes me wonder…am I cool enough to watch this? Hopefully I am because between the visuals, the soundtrack, and the choreography I’ll definitely be keeping this one on my watch list.

Check out their slick official trailer and the story description below. Hopefully their pilot episode will be slated to come out soon!


In the crumbling inner city, sex kills. The urban landscape is split in two — men on one side, women on the other— opposing each other. COEVO seems to be the only hope: a government medical treatment developed to cure every single citizen except that those wearables haven’t produced the expected results yet… Born among this lost generation of frustrated gangs, Kenzell and Lesya live each day as their last, defying anyone who stands in the way of their union. Like modern avatars of Romeo and Juliet, they will have to choose between love or their kind, Passion VS Reason, Deadly Eves VS Neo Blasterz… In their flamboyant relationship lies the premises of a revolution against the authorities, the vicious Mediators and their mysterious separatist laws. Rebels can change the world…