Back for yet more Cop Craft. Yeah, I said I’d keep this review series going through the whole season, and I’ll keep my word. However, from now on, I’ll be keeping the summary section as short as possible, with just enough to give my analysis context. I didn’t set out on this project to write an episode guide, and that’s what it would become if I were to continue with the format I’ve been using. I also have to consider time constraints; I have to work as much as possible while I’m still being paid by the hour, and I can’t pay my creditors in opinions about anime (or about games or music, for that matter. If I could, I’d probably be debt-free at this point.)
Summary: Where was Tilarna headed at the end of last episode? To the club. Specifically going undercover to visit chief bad guy Elbaji’s nightclub, where the two have a confrontation. Elbaji bests Tilarna in combat and abducts her, taking her to his secret illegal fairy drug storage facility in an old stone tower outside of town where the mage Zelada plans to interrogate her. Kei is somehow able to track them down, calls for backup from his supervisor Roth, then gets impatient and storms the base by himself to save Tilarna. Tilarna, however, breaks out of her bonds on her own with magic and then kills Elbaji after Kei throws her the sword she left behind last episode.
Zelada is then put under arrest, but plot twist! Turns out Roth is a traitor. He shoots Tilarna and forces Kei to let Zelada go at gunpoint, because he’s an asshole who wants violence between humans and Semanians and so is Zelada. After trying to trick us into thinking Tilarna is dead, the show revives her (turns out Roth only shot her in the sword hilt?) and Kei uses the distraction to kill Roth. Then the pair go after Zelada, who’s about to explode that fairy Kei and Tilarna were out to rescue on top of a tall building, and we get yet another cliffhanger ending.
Analysis: Remember how I wrote last post that I hoped the animation budget wasn’t running out? Seems like I was right to be worried. Parts of the battles in this episode play out in slideshow form, and the parts that don’t have some cheap as hell looking animation anyway. I’m no expert, but even I can tell when the studio’s cutting corners. It’s really too bad, because Tilarna is a beautifully designed character, which makes seeing the lousy animation in her fight scenes all the more disappointing. Why go through the trouble of having her swordfight in a skimpy cocktail dress if it’s not going to look any good?
Speaking of that dress, it looks like Cop Craft is going to find an excuse to put Tilarna in a new costume every episode judging from the first three (I didn’t bring up her all-black funeral attire last episode, but she’s packed for every occasion.) So if you’re into fashion, this might be the show for you. I also liked the bit at the beginning of the episode where it’s clear that Tilarna is not comfortable going out to a club or wearing heels or any of that nonsense and that she’s only doing it for the sake of the mission. She’s a knight, after all. Some cute characterization there.
The plot is developing, even if this episode was confusing at times. For example, why is Tilarna suddenly able to kill Elbaji almost instantly with her own sword where she couldn’t with the spare sword she was carrying around in her purse? Presumably that has something to do with latena, which she claims is created by the emotions of the user that attach themselves to the weapon and improve its effectiveness. But then why did she fall over as though she were dead when Roth shot at her but hit her sword? Was that a feint that she choreographed with Kei? But it couldn’t have been, because they weren’t expecting Roth to betray them.
Shit, I don’t know. I have no idea what’s going on in this show. I’m guessing that we’ll soon learn more about who Zelada is, since he’s obviously a much more serious enemy than the now dead Elbaji, and also more about Tilarna’s magic abilities. Tilarna also sniffs a little latena in Kei’s pistol, so presumably that means something. What exactly is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, I’m still looking forward to what follows. Even if the animation quality’s gone off the cliff. Again, that would be disappointing, but there’s more to a series than its animation, after all. Though at this rate, maybe it would have been better if they’d just done a visual novel adaptation instead. No animation required.
Well, that’s life. See you next episode, and stay safe in the meantime.