Gen Urobuchi (the TV script writer of this show) is perhaps my very favorite anime writer; the concepts he explores in his well world-built works like Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero are to me enough to teach a humanities or philosophy class alone. And after watching episodes 1-5, Psycho Pass is proving to be no exception.
Within its 5 episodes, Psycho Pass has already delve deep into the role of policing a society that pretty much has the ability to determine each individual’s happiness (i.e. where unemployment is not a big issue), eliminating any possible criminals with a weapon that will not do lethal action until it “reads” that the person is not mentally sound, and exploiting the hive minded mindset of social networking both online and in real life. The world building here features a clearly dystopian setting that is first very akin to Bladerunner’s, with actual numerous pop culture references such as George Orwell’s 1981 and mentions of Jean Jacques Rousseau. So far, it appears to be a case study between the concept of individualism vs. collectivism, and I believe it’ll go even more into it in the next few episodes. Asides from the overall dark mood of the story though, there are a good share of cute mascots that roam the world every now and then to lighten the atmosphere (but for that same reason, some of them are also plot points).
For those who are interested, here is the link to watching the episodes for free online on the official website. And despite having watched lots of anime with exclusively Japanese named characters before, 7 out of 8 main characters (including an antagonist not pictured here) are introduced in this first episode alone and were hard for me to memorize, so here is also a link to the character names associated with appearance.