While Psycho-Pass is driven primarily by character development and story in equal measure, the settings of the episodes provide an apropos backdrop to the gritty nature of the franchise. This is seen in the often dark artwork of 21st century Tokyo for a good deal of the outdoor settings and the industrial areas and technology-laden offices of the Criminal Investigation Department, among others. Even when the setting is relatively benign, as with Oso Academy, technology in the hands of vicious-minded people turns the setting into something bizarre and haunting.
Several cases involve this public club, including the Specimen Case. It is also a place where Shoko Sugawara operates as the avatar, Spooky Boogie. The club is first seen when the Public Safety Bureau conducts a raid to find Masatake Mido, who is masquerading as Talisman. Such places are popular among younger citizens who wish to socialize in an anonymous way, using a self-created avatar to disguise their true identity.
This is the depicted home of Joji Saiga and is nearly identical to an actual structure called Fallingwater, designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in the woods of western Pennsylvania. At the time of its construction, it was considered avant garde for the way Wright built the cantilevered house directly over a natural waterfall whose presence is felt no matter where in the structure you stand. It reflects Wright's desire to harmonize man and nature, an attitude also evident in Saiga's character.
The building housing the Ministry of Welfare's Public Safety Bureau is a dark, conical skyscraper that rises like the barrel of a gun pointed at the sky. Inside, law enforcement divisions investigate crime under the guidance and rule of the Sibyl System with the aid of powerful computer banks, crime labs, medical bays, and meeting rooms. It also serves as the prison where criminals are detained, as well as the dormitory for the CID's Enforcers. It may also serve as a transportation depot and even, perhaps, where the drones, scanners, and weapons related to Psycho-Pass technology are manufactured.
The NONA Tower
When they are not working with the Inspectors on a case, Enforcers live in simple, yet comfortable apartments within the NONA Tower complex. They are not prisoners, per se, but working members of the MWPSB. As such, they maintain a semblance of normal life even if their freedom is greatly curtailed. Nobuchika Ginoza is allowed to keep his dog, Dime, which he walks on a treadmill.
- Main article: The NONA Tower
The CommuField is an ultra-futuristic version of today's online chat room, a place where individuals can don an avatar and interact virtually with other individuals in an anonymous manner. Both the dangers and benefits of such technology are explored in the series.
Several manufacturing factories are seen throughout the series. One Drone Factory, for example, shows the robotic nature of modern manufacturing with machines doing most of the work and humans simply assisting. It is perhaps the lack of autonomy and authority over oneself, in addition to the mundane and repetitive nature of such machine-serving work that drives the workers to bully Yuji Kanehara whose revenge involves murder.
Later, it is the hyper-oats processing plant where the Uka-no-Mitama Defense Virus is assimilated into the plant stock that provides the backdrop for Kogami and Makishima's final battle. There, the building itself is a dark fortress-like structure that seems impregnable, but is not; an analogy perhaps to the fallibility of technology in the face of human cunning and action.
The Streets of Tokyo
Various areas of the city are shown throughout the series. One of them is the abolitionist area where Tokyo's homeless population encamps, another is a seedy parking garage where ne'er-do-wells lurk, and lastly the underground sewers where escaped latent criminals may roam. Several areas are officially designated as Abandoned Zones, like Akihabara and Myogadani. These areas provide a safety net for society as it allows those of malintent to live and carry out their impulses without harming the Sibyl-abiding citizenry. This is ironic insofar that as advanced as society has become via technology, the humanity of society is as conflicted and inequitable as ever.
Oso Academy is an all girls boarding school for girls where several murders take place.
- Main article: Oso Academy
A distant rural area, far from the hubbub of Tokyo; it was once an industrial district before Japan ceased international trade. This is also where Kozaburo Toma and his family live their strange lives and the place from which he is rescued before coming to Oso Academy. It is where Kogami and Mitsuru Sasayama find the student Toko Kirino and first meet Toma.