With the Summer 2019 anime season while I enjoyed El Melloi II Case Files I found it somewhat lacking as a mystery or detective series and had hoped that Cop Craft would make up for that. Cop Craft executes its Urban Fantasy BuddyCop story well from a narrative standpoint but less so from an animation standpoint. Cop Craft is based on a series of Light Novels written by Shoji Gatou the author of Full Metal Panic and illustrated by Range Murata the character designer and artist behind Last Exile and Serial Experiments Lain. The series is set in the island State of Kariana Island in the city of San Teresa. About 15 years prior to the start of the series a magic gate opened between our world and the fantasy realm of Semania with the people from that realm being called alternatively Semani or Semanians. After some initial hostilities relations between Earth and the Semani have settled down complete with Semani immigrants coming to settle in San Teresa with a slew of tensions coming off of that. Cop Craft itself follows Kai Matoba a vice detective in the San Teresa police department. When a drug bust goes horribly wrong due to the involvement of a kidnapped fairy that multiple gangs are after Kei is partnered up with a magical knight from Semania Tilarna Exedilica. Where Kei is a hardboiled detective in the classic Chandler mold Tilarna starts out by comparison as something of a Lawful Asshole Elven Paladin or a Bladesinger depending on which edition of DD and how you interpret the character. After this case resolves Im not going to spoil how Tilarna decides she wants to stay in San Teresa and be Keis long term partner. Or if you want the short form version Cop Craft is Miami Vice meets Red Heat with Arnolds character being from Toril instead of the Soviet Union and is an elf played by Summer Glau instead of being played by Arnie. The world itself is fairly well thought out for example the Semani dont have photography back home so a plot involves smuggling ordinary perfectly legal here pornography i.e. Hustler Penthouse Playboy through the Gate. Similarly a supporting character in one of the episodes is a Semani immigrant who has gotten really into photography. That said the descriptions of the immigrant experience here are clearly from someone who doesnt have much knowledge of the experience and how it exists in the US bureaucracy. For example the San Teresa PD has no Semani translators on staff we dont see a Semani family insistent that their kids speak Semani at home. Most of the Semani we see speak basically English like natives and have assimilated very well. Maybe this is executed better in the novel but it doesnt come up that much here. I dont know how well this compares to Bright but on the other hand Bright was written by an American author Cop Craft wasnt. However all of those things are dependant on the source material. Its up to the animation studio Millepensee to bring it to life. Unfortunately thats also where it all falls down. Now most of your general cop procedural sequences are animated very well Tilarna playing with Keis cat conversation scenes interrogations which from an animation standpoint are very different from a regular conversation etc. Its when we get to the action scenes where things fall apart. There are several major sword fights where we really lose all sense of geography. In the case of one of them its in a subway tunnel where the third rail can and does come into play. Consequently from a choreography standpoint we need to keep track of that rail as its both an asset and a threat for our protagonist along with incoming trains. Unfortunately with how the scene is blocked it becomes hard to keep track of until out of the blue its back. Ultimately Cop Craft is a show that left me wishing the novels would get a US release instead of hoping that the show got a second season or if it did it got animated by someone else.
70 /100
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