Cop Craft Episode 1

Cop Craft Episode 1

Cop Show, Witch Craft

Before the Summer season began, Cop Craft was actually my pick for hidden gem anime of the season. It seemed weird enough to be overlooked by most viewers, and yet original enough to be something worthwhile. And then, when I went to watch episode 1 today, I saw the MAL rating of it.

As of the moment I’m writing this review it has a 6.5/10. And if you know anything about how the general population of MAL rates things, that’s essentially a 2/10 in real people ratings. However, after I watched the episode for myself I noticed that the 6.5/10 rating was made up of only eight users.

I ended up giving this episode a 7, but seeing that MAL rating got me thinking, “is the 6.5/10 the true rating of this episode?” Surely the only people who have seen and rated it so far are those like myself who figured it was worth the watch and actually care enough to rate using the full 10-point system. And if so, I can accept that rating. But if it has the same score after a couple thousand users rate it, then there’s an issue.

Kei Matoba from the anime series Cop Craft
Kei Matoba

Either way Cop Craft episode 1 isn’t quite the hidden gem I hoped it would be, but it definitely has potential. This may be a weird comparison, but I see it being kind of like a mix between Cowboy Bebop and Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens.

It has the more modern, crime setting of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, but still retains some of the crazier aspects of a series like Cowboy Bebop, or even FLCL. I could also see the comparison to Re:Creators, though I haven’t seen that one myself so I can’t comment too much on it.

Fairies and Wizards and Aliens, Oh My!

If you haven’t seen anything about Cop Craft before now, you may be wondering, “what is Cop Craft?” Well, dear reader, it’s a bit weird to explain. Think of it this way, at its core it’s a detective/crime series, but it also includes a lot of things out of this world. Literally.

I didn’t catch exactly where the series supposedly takes place, but my guess is some city in Japan in the near future. Human technology is essentially the same as it is for us now, but humans aren’t the only ones around. A mysterious gate has opened in the Pacific allowing alien races to come to our planet.

But unlike in an anime like GATE, the other-worlders in this series aren’t amassing armies to invade Earth. Instead the gate essentially functions as an international border. While humans don’t seem to enter it other than the military, the other-worlders are (somewhat) free to gain entry to Earth via this border.

We know this because the city our protagonist, Kei Matoba, lives in is full of different races not normally found on Earth. But, as with many borders, illegal entry to Earth is also possible through the gate. And this means that extra-terrestrial crime has made its way to Earth as well.

It should also be noted that while these other-worlders are referred to as aliens, they seem more like a combination of the aliens we know and love from classic sci-fi and more traditional fantasy races. In particular, we know that there are both evil wizards and fairies.

Unfortunately for the fairies, they seem to be traded on the black market to be ground up into drugs or something. I don’t know, maybe they use fairy sweat to make the drugs, but I liked the idea of drugs literally made out of fairies more.

Kei Matoba

As already mentioned, one of our two protagonists is a human named Kei Matoba. He’s a detective who loses his partner of four years right at the start of the episode. Spoiler by the way. His partner was killed by an other-worlder in a drug bust gone wrong.

It’s unclear exactly how he feels about the aliens, but we can assume that his partner being killed by one has left a bad taste in his mouth. Even so, he’s still somewhat accepting when he’s told that he’ll be working with an alien from the same race as the one who killed his former partner.

From this my assumption is that he’s not actually racist, but that he’ll have to learn to trust his new non-human companion as the series progresses. And as we learn from this first episode, he and his new partner have differing ways of getting things done.

Kei has been around the block a few times and knows how things work in his city. He knows which informants are trustworthy, how to put pressure on them, and when to look the other way if it keeps the information flowing. He may not like working this way, but it gets the job done.

Tilarna Exedilika

The other protagonist is an alien by the (shortened) name of Tilarna Exedilika. I don’t remember what her race is called, but I don’t think that really matters all that much right now. If it’s mentioned in a later episode I’ll be sure to take note of it.

Tilarna is a knight from her homeland and was sent to Earth to track down the fairy which was smuggled across the border at the beginning of the episode. To her people, that fairy is special for whatever reason. I’m pretty sure she mentioned why, but whatever.

Her ideals are also much more driven by right and wrong than Kei’s. While Kei is willing to use a small time criminal as an informant to catch the bigger fish, Tilarna simply sees a criminal as a criminal, no matter the scale.

Tilarna Exedilika from the anime series Cop Craft
Tilarna Exedilika

And since she’s essentially a member of a fantasy race, obviously this means Tilarna uses a sword to meat out justice rather than a handgun. She also appears to be fairly proficient in magic since we see her casting some spell which calls upon the god of war before going into battle.

It’s unclear if that spell in particular caused this transformation, or if she simply did both in tandem, but her clothing also changes when she goes into “battle-mode.” Does that qualify her as an official magical girl?

Lastly, Tilarna is also a member of the elite of her race. She claims that her extremely long, formal name is a sign of this. The fact that she’s a knight is also probably a sign of her status. I hope we get to see more of Tilarna talking down to Kei the commoner.


Have you seen the first episode of Cop Craft yet? If so, what did you think? If not, were you even planning on watching it? And are you planning on watching it now that you know I — someone you respect highly — think it’s going to be good? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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