Cop Craft – Anime Preview
Synopsis: 15 years ago, a hyper-dimensional rift appeared above the Pacific Ocean linking Earth with a magical world. San-Teresa City became a melting pot of cultures and species, but despite peace on the surface, there’s always an underbelly. That’s where Detective Kei Matoba and knight Tirana come in—partners with different perceptions of life and law, working together to keep the city safe. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Cop Craft sees two detectives from totally different worlds forced to work together in order to solve crime. If this sounds a lot like a typical Buddy-Cop Movie then you know exactly where this is going. Cop Craft is basically Rush Hour, or Lethal Weapon, really any Buddy Cop movie. But Cop Craft isn’t just your typical buddy cop story, it feels a lot more specifically like the 1988 Drama/Crime movie Alien Nation (It’s probably also like the Netflix film Bright, but I never watched that.) Like Alien Nation, Cop Craft begins with the death of a police officer, partner to Detective Kei Matoba, who ends up resigned to work with a Knight from a fantasy world and the two very quickly end up butting heads. If you’ve seen Alien Nation, Lethal Weapon, Rush Hour, etc. you can pretty much guess where Cop Craft is going to go. But unlike the three movies I just listed Cop Craft doesn’t do anything to set itself apart. It basically takes the most typical ideas of the other films and TV that have come before it, and reproduces them in the anime medium (Or Light Novel since that’s what all this is based on.)
Linny: Not only is Cop Craft predictable, but it doesn’t have the best writing as evidenced by how poorly it utilizes the death of Kei’s police partner, Rick. All Kei ever says in describing his loss is that he lost his partner, Rick, of four years. He says this same line twice, as if their bond goes no further than length of time served together. Kei makes a huge deal about how he is going to tell Rick’s now widow but then does it all over the phone. Surely if he was so close to this man, he would have had the decency to go tell her in person. (Heck it’s made worse since we see her pregnant and all alone at home with her two kids.) It’s clear from how Rick’s death is utilized that Cop Craft’s writing is surface level, introducing elements more so meant to drive the story, than flesh out the world and its characters. On the plus side, and perhaps because the writing is so thin, Cop Craft moves fast. Yes, the writing is predictable and filled with popular tropes aka mismatched people forced to work together, the new fantasy races being loathed for being different/alien, etc. However, when it comes to pacing itself, the episode breezes past making it easy to sit through. Events don’t drag on for too long and developments are doled out at a decent pace.
Tom: Cop Craft isn’t bad, it’s just generic and predictable. One thing I feared going in is how the show holds up in today’s political atmosphere. Like 1988’s Alien Nation, a big plot component is the amount of crime that’s sparked from so many illegal immigrants crossing over into the city. It feels a lot like The Rising of the Shield Hero in terms of wanting to use controversial elements and ideas, but just for kicks/to make things more interesting. There’s no attempt to handle the concept of illegal immigrants with grace, and if that’s a hot topic for you then you might want to stay clear, as Cop Craft doesn’t seem to have any intention of actually tackling that hot button issue. In all honesty you could do a lot worse this season, but if you’re not a Buddy-Cop lover, and have seen at least one fish-out-of-water buddy cop film, you’ve probably seen all that Cop Craft really has to offer.
Linny: Cop Craft might be worth a look in if you enjoy odd couple buddy cop stories. The art is decent for the most part, save a single sequence of our protagonists traveling in a car where the CGI stands out garishly. And for what it’s worth, the female protagonist isn’t sexualized to insane levels, though that may be because they’re going for a more chibi/loli look for her given her diminutive stature and youthful appearance. The show does depict the fairy creatures in its universe as completely nude minus graphic parts so that might still be something that bothers some. Overall, Cop Craft could use better writing for its story but thanks to its fast paced action, it should still be enough to impress a handful of viewers.
Cop Craft is available for streaming via Funimation.com