The Seasonal Anime Draft: Cop Craft, ep 4

Welcome back to the hard-boiled sci-fi cop drama Cop Craft.  If I had any doubts about this series up until now, this episode got rid of them.  The first three episodes were just fine (janky animation in ep 3 aside) but they feel like a mere prologue now, because this is where Cop Craft seems to really get going.

The climactic final fight with the bad guy that isn’t a final fight at all and ends around minute four of the episode

Summary: The battle on top of that skyscraper gets resolved when Kei and Tilarna manage to (literally) disarm the powerful mage Zelada, who leaps off of the roof to his supposed death, but we know how these things work out.  Meanwhile, it’s revealed in a flashback that Leahyah (the fairy trapped in the bomb) helped Tilarna out in the past and that they’re friends, and then Leahyah somehow saves both Kei and Tilarna by sacrificing herself in an extremely confusing scene.

I really like this shot. Would be more touching if we knew more than ten seconds of backstory about Leahyah and Tilarna’s friendship, though.

Leahyah is dead, our heroes are alive, and their mission is now over because it basically ended in failure.  The one-time partners say goodbye to each other at the San Teresa docks, and Tilarna sails back into the sunset.  Except not really.  After a montage of Kei putzing around town for a while, he returns home and finds Tilarna lounging on his sofa watching TV.  Turns out she decided to stay in San Teresa and has officially joined the police department as Kei’s full-time partner.  And also as his roommate, because she never settled her dispute with that hotel from episode 2.

I didn’t expect the creators to write something that bears a resemblance to a real employment contract, but they did. Not bad!

We then get another montage of Kei and Tilarna on the job doing cop stuff, and then they discover the stolen corpse of a Semanian woman that comes to life with evil magic at the end of the episode and attacks Kei’s ex Cecil in the morgue.  But since Cecil and Tilarna bonded earlier that day over how much of a stubborn heartless jerk Kei is, Tilarna is there to save her new friend from the zombie.  And there’s yet another cliffhanger ending.

Analysis: Cop Craft tricked me into thinking it was going to be a show all about the conflict presented in episode 1.  Instead, it’s apparently going to be a sort-of-episodic cop show with sci-fi and supernatural elements, which I am extremely okay with.  I can see some viewers being disappointed by this turn — after all, the whole illegal fairy trade and mind-control plot wasn’t all that fleshed out before it was resolved (?) and neither was Tilarna’s relationship with Leahyah, so ending it so abruptly is a bit weird.  To me, though, what we’re getting now is just as good, if not better, than what we started with.  Also, big bad guy Zelada is almost certainly still around.  You know the rule when it comes to villains like him: if you don’t see him actually die, he’s not dead.  Tilarna herself even doubts that he’s dead, so we should keep an eye out for him.

This is how Tilarna answers the suspect’s invocation of right to counsel.

I’m also in love with Tilarna.  She’s both cute and terrifying.  Her partnership with Kei seems to be working out pretty well too, especially since this episode clued us in to the fact that Kei has some kind of magical connection with his pistol, like Tilarna has with her sword.  Though Tilarna’s total disregard of the suspect’s constitutional rights might cause the pair some problems, especially with their new supervisor.  The lawyer side of me took over halfway through this episode to try to add up exactly how much trouble Tilarna should be in after beating the shit out of a suspect to get him to talk, and also after cutting another guy’s finger off during a police raid.  Also strikes me as weird that she’s just living with Kei now without them even having to talk about it.  Do detective partners also usually shack up together?

Tilarna gets pointers from Cecil about how to deal with Kei.

I also really like Cecil.  I have to admit that I’ve never been as friendly with an ex-girlfriend (or ex-wife?  I never had one of those, but again, not clear which one Cecil is) as Kei is with Cecil, so good on both of them.  I hope she survives next episode.  I need more banter between her and Tilarna.  That zombie can eat her shitty lazy assistant though.

So I’m very positive on Cop Craft right now.  Again, I can see how some viewers might be annoyed by the sharp turn the show seems to have taken, but I’m happy with what we’ve got so far.  The animation quality is back too, so that’s another plus.  I guess it was just on vacation for episode 3.  Hopefully that was just a hiccup.

Really, as long as we get more Tilarna getting pouty about not being appreciated for her brutal approach to justice, I’ll keep watching.

Once again, see you next episode, and stay safe as always.