Over the past couple of months, I worked on short fan dubbed/abridged clips playing the role of Akane Tsunemori. It pushed me to re-watch the first season of Psycho-Pass.
From the moment I watched Psycho-Pass from its beginning to its final episode, Akane grew on me. Her character development starting out as a
fluffy cutiepie marshmallow rookie detective to a bad-ass independent police woman was a fascinating journey of a passionate individual who is always determined to do the right thing for everyone else’s sake.
In my experience of acting in fandub projects, I’ve spent the most time studying Akane because I wanted to develop a clearer sense of her personality, her motivations and thought process in relation to the anime’s plot. As a dark science fiction police drama, Psycho-Pass is heavily philosophical when discussing a futuristic society’s justice system and ethics.
Up to this point, I’ve done mainly comic dubs and abridged one-shots (or mini-series) where the subject matter is (mainly) lighter in tone and/or comedic in nature. The characters written in these works were at times always exaggerated, so my voice and acting were more anime-esque or cartoonish.
In fandubs, I mainly imitated the original voice actor.
When I first recorded Akane, I concentrated on both performances of her voice actors in the Japanese and the English dub, Kana Hanazawa and Kate Oxley respectively, and tried to blend them together. It didn’t feel right after numerous takes because I realized that I was only mimicking voices. I wasn’t doing Akane justice. I wasn’t connecting with the character because my memory was finicky with details of Akane’s journey.
In developing Akane, there wasn’t anything to be exaggerated. The voice I gave to her was natural and light, just up until the point where she learns about the truth behind the Sybil system. From that point on, I thought to make her more determined, with a slightly lower but not heavy tone.
I had a lot of fun playing Akane for a number of reasons. All of these reasons revitalized my love for her and made me appreciate Psycho-Pass more.
Akane is an all-around relatable and kind person
Fresh out of school, Akane rushes to her first day on the job. Wet and out of breath, Akane is told… Say what?
She has to chase down a kidnapper in dark alleyways without any instructions (save for, just do what I tell you and go do X) while carrying a giant gun connected to the city’s automatic judgement system?
From the first episode, Akane is thrown outside of her comfort zone and isn’t completely immune to feeling slightly panicky and lost. I know that I’d have a little panic attack and have been super lost trying to figure shit out, even with experienced Enforcers to back me up.
So, kudos to Akane for remaining calm and being able to react during the whole operation and subsequent ones too!
Akane is a kind person as well. She’s the type of person who will treat others with respect and is willing to build relationships with her co-workers. The “distinctive line” separating the Inspector and the Enforcer roles is blurred out with Akane.
Another thing about Akane that is relatable to me is how she ponders about her existence to learn more about herself because life is never truly set in stone and we never really know what will or could happen. Humans are able to make choices but they don’t have full control over every little thing that occurs in their life.
In the world of Psycho-Pass, Akane lives in a technological world where it’s easier to test, evaluate and research possible futures and let the system decide a future for an individual. However, Akane’s decision to join the MWPSB as an Inspector stems from her desire to understand her purpose in life. She made a choice based on her abilities and what she can bring to the world by doing work that only she can do.
With that kind of self-awareness about the world and knowing her potential, I find myself being a little jealous of Akane. She knew that she didn’t have to fit into a particular mould to be happy and didn’t let any fear or pressure stop her or push her to second-guess her decision concerning her future.
Akane is hella adorable
She’s not a cutesy girl in any way. In fact, most of the time, Akane’s facial expressions and body language are nuanced. She’s pretty level-headed.
It’s in moments prompting an emotional reaction from Akane that she becomes charming. For instance, when prepping to go on a “date” with Kougami, she refutes the idea of the date having a romantic nature and laughs at the thought. She dislikes being pestered or made fun of and will blush and huff in annoyance.
I also think her charm comes from her character design as well. Akane’s wide brown eyes droop slightly which emphasizes her naivety and shyness. Despite having short brown (slightly boyish) hair, her fashion is sweet and feminine.
Akane’s passion for justice and law makes her human
I admire Akane for her unwavering spirit. She has a strong passion for law and justice. Despite Makishima and Kougami’s philosophies and the failure of the Sybil system that challenged Akane’s beliefs, she did question herself but never strayed away from her own values.
As Tomomi Masaoka put it, Akane is the type of person who forgives society, acknowledges its flaws, but accepts it.
When she believed the victim in her first case was innocent and did not deserve to be punished due to her cloudy crime coefficient, she forced her Enforcers to heel. Hell, she shot down
McSexy Abs Kougami in that first episode.
When she had the opportunity to take revenge on Makishima for his crimes twice, she didn’t because she trusted in the justice system to decide his fate.
Despite how Akane is betrayed by the imperfect Sibyl justice system, she doesn’t hate it. When she has the chance to expose the system for what it is, she chooses not to because she believes in Sibyl that establishes laws ensuring the safety and happiness of the people that live in it. Akane knows that Sibyl is crap but acknowledges it for maintaining justice and order in society.
Akane is a determined go-getter.
Akane is viewed by Masaoka as a risk taker who isn’t afraid of her crime coefficient. Akane is the type of person who trusts in those she works with rather than following blindly and doing everything by the book when working on a case.
She doesn’t let rules strangle her freedom to act and enforce the law. Her healthy Psycho-pass is her greatest strength in the series. She’s able to accept things as they are and doesn’t let her emotions overwhelm and stress her out.
And once she has a set goal in mind, she’s determined to attain it with a well-thought out plan.
(Credit for the Featured animated gif by twotheleft @Tumblr.)
What are your thoughts on Akane? Let me know down below!