The buddy-cop non-comedy of 2019

{Spoilers for Cop craft episode 1; minor spoilers for episodes 1-4}

Cop craft is an action anime set in a universe where humans, elves and fairies are able to live together thanks to a mysterious gate open over the Pacific Ocean. It follows Kei Matoba, a gruff and sarcastic detective, teaming up with Tilarna Exedilika, a knight from a kingdom beyond the gate, who has come to San Teresa city to in order to find and rescue a kidnapped fairy.
While it’s done by studio Millepensee, mostly known for the abomination known as Berserk 2016/2017 and 9 seasons of Tekyuu (yes, exactly 9), and that didn’t get my hopes too high up, Cop craft is surprisingly good and quite interesting. Sure, it’s no Psycho-Pass season 1, but the fantasy element brings a certain spark and colour to the usually desaturated and grim “police” genre.

Episode 1 opens up with our lead Kei on the job with his partner, Rick. They are in the middle of a meet up with some criminals who they made a deal with to sell them a fairy, but before they can properly arrest them, take them in and free the kidnapped fairy, something interesting occurs.

One of the criminals starts babbling something in another language and develops super human strength. As his eyes turn white, he breaks free and kills Kei’s partner right in front of him, as not even bullets seem to be able to stop the crazed criminal. He quickly flees with the fairy, leaving Kei alone. Later on, Kei’s boss assigns him to meet a noble from the Farbani Kingdom, as he speaks the language and there aren’t enough detectives that do and refuses to let him seek revenge over the unusual death of his partner. Kei meets Tilarna and at first thinks that she’s some sort of child or a servant, but it is quickly revealed that she’s a knight there to rescue the kidnapped fairy, so she and Kei will need to work together.

Just from the first episode and Kei’s attitude towards his new partner, it’s clear that a large part of the show will be the topic of race and different races living together. At the beginning, Kei’s attitude towards Tilarna and other non-humans is calling them “aliens”, but before there are conclusions to be jumped to, it changes and quite significantly.

First of all, there is a certain character’s motivation introduced that states the want to sow hatred between humans and Semanians, as the adaption of people to them is scary and more nonsensical theories about how they will soon rule Earth. Keeping it short, Kei disagrees with that with open anger.

There are subtle signs of the duo coming to trust one another before that too, for example, Kei’s kindness towards the cat he felt guilty for indirectly causing harm to and taking care of it despite his allergy; but more importantly, his willingness to admit it to Tilarna.

What’s pretty important to mention is that both Kei and Tilarna are portrayed as equals; both are pretty good at fighting and knowledgeable in their own ways. There isn’t one-sided saving, neither is Tilarna just some damsel in distress, carrying a fancy sword, unlike how many shows tend to (later on) portray the strong female protagonists that they introduce.

Their dynamic is without a doubt the core of the show and while Cop craft is not a comedy series, it has quite a lot of subtly funny moments.
Some unexpectedly click with some patience and some are just gags, like Kei not having the patience to explain to Tilarna, a Semanian knight not accustomed to human traditions let alone most terms and practices, what is an ex.

The music in this show is quite interesting as well, it reminded me of Mahoutsukai no yome in some ways. The op and ed are quite noteworthy as well;
The opening carries a jazzy tune that instantly reminded me of Michiko to Hatchin; it’s action packed, flashy and shows off both the duo and even the side characters in action, all done in a fun and quirky way.
The ending sung by Mayu Yoshiaka (the voice actress of Tilarna), while it plays with a montage of Tilarna doing various everyday activities, is a more serious rock track with the themes of hope, going the path of life you believe in and not being alone in it, hands connected.

It’s safe to say, that I’ll keep watching Cop craft and I can’t wait to see what turn the story will take next episode.

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