In my Season Preview, I labeled my anticipation of Cop Craft under the “Mild” level. As the days came closer to the show’s premiere, I actually got increasingly optimistic about it. I mean, a buddy cop anime about a detective and a magical elf girl from another world? I don’t care if this is technically a reverse isekai plot, it sounds so darn cool! It’d be a huge shame if it failed to deliver.
The show seems to be on the right track. For one, I really like the look and feel of San-Teresa, the city the show takes place in. Located near a dimensional gate, this neon-lit, urban city acts as a cultural bridge between the humans of Earth and the elvish Semanaians. It also happens to be the home of a seedy underbelly who sells fantastical items and creatures from the other world for sale on the black market.
Hence where the two main characters come in — veteran Earth cop Kei Matoba (I swear Summer 2019 is the season of Kenjiro Tsuda) and Semanian knight Tilarna Exedilica (Mayu Yoshioka) who replaces Kei’s recently deceased partner. There’s a pretty promising dynamic going on with these two. Tilarna is obviously the fish out of water with her unfamiliarity with Earthen technology but Kei also has some learning to do as he starts off pretty hostile towards Semanians, often calling them “aliens”. There’s also some clashing of morals going on, such as when Tilarna calls out on Kei’s dealings with an informant. As a noble and a knight, she’s repulsed at the idea but Kei argues it’s a necessary evil so that the police can better catch bigger crooks. The thing I’m most curious though is how each character’s abilities will contribute toward solving cases. Kei’s expertise is obvious but I wonder if Tilarna will have anything to do apart from looking cute and being a badass magical girl with a sword. Of course, the cases themselves are going to have to be quality stuff in and of itself.
Really though, the most optimistic sign about Cop Craft is that it doesn’t look awful. Listen, studio Millepensee made the Berserk reboot not too long ago. That anime was so ugly that I dropped it solely for that reason (and I tried to sit through that show twice I might add). Cop Craft admittedly benefits from not having art the likes of the Berserk manga as a source but it still stands that it looks pretty good all around. There’s some neat clashing of art styles too with San Teresa looking like a normal, modern-day anime while Semanian tech is give a grainier look as though it’s a picture book illustration. The only weaknesses it has shown so far is some reliance on CGI (guess the studio can’t escape that) and some shots of the city folk being limited in actual movement apart from camera panning.
The annoying thing is how abruptly this premiere ends. It cuts off right in the middle of Kei and Tilarna’s first fight scene. A decent cliffhanger but I think it would’ve served the show better if the first episode was double in length. You’d have a more complete arc by having Kei and Tilarna try to work together and the former come to acknowledge the latter all in one episode. I suppose that’s where Episode 2 would come in and well, I did enjoy Episode 1 well enough so I’ll check it out.
OP: “Rakuen Toshi” by Masayoshi Ouishi
Hell yeah, a Masayoshi Ouishi song!
ED: “Connected” by Tilarna Excedilika (CV: Mayu Yoshioka)
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