Are you an aficionado of buddy-cop drama?
Are you a fan of reverse-isekai, supernatural powers, serious crimes turned goofy because of circumstances, and weird sci-fi?
Cop Craft has your back. The thrilling police procedural anime is a big surprise, subverting the expectations one would have after discovering that the protagonists are an adult male and a loli.
Will it return with Season 2 someday?
What Happened So Far In Cop Craft
Fifteen years ago, a dimensional gate opened right above the Pacific Ocean. On the other side lies Leto-Semani, a fantasy world populated by mystic creatures such as fairies, elves, trolls, or even zombies.
The first contact with humans was rough, but slowly, both parties started to understand that peace would be more beneficial and decided to establish a diplomatic relationship. On Kariana Island, situated sixty miles away from the gate, the central city of San-Teresa serves as the “door,” welcoming the inhabitants from the other side as it is now the home of over two million immigrants mixed with the human population. Unfortunately, science and magic create opportunities for criminal masterminds who come up with new schemes and products. Criminality is on the rise. Everything is fair game for the underground belly of the city.
Kei Matoba, a former JSDF soldier, works for the San-Teresa Metropolitan Police and is easily one of its best elements. During a case involving a fairy being used as a catalyst to create a new drug, Kei loses his partner (Rick Fury) and his lead on the organization. He is tasked with Tilarna Barsh Mirvor Lyata Imsedalya Iyeh Tebreina Devol Nelano Seiya Nel Exedilica, a Semanian elven knight whose duty is to rescue the fairy who is considered to be an essential citizen from her world.
For Kei and his distaste for non-humans, working with the haughty Tilarna is a chore and the only way he has to avenge his deceased partner. Through a series of cases crazier by the minute, Tilarna and Kei will have to learn how to work with and understand each other.
What Is Going On With Millepensee?
Cop Craft premiered on July 8, 2019, and ended on September 30, 2019. The anime is directed by former Madhouse employee Shin Itagaki, written by Shoji Gatou himself, and the prolific Taku Iwasaki composed the score.
Let’s get something out of the way right now: the animation in Cop Craft can be aggravating regarding action scenes.
The first two episodes are excellent (surely to attract the masses), then attacks three through five take a nosedive down the Everest while making sure to get hit by every rock on their way down. After that, the action sequences take major confusing shortcuts to avoid showing actual details. It is necessary to acknowledge it right from the start because Cop Craft is worth watching, but not everyone will see past those technical difficulties.
The nosedive in the framerate is so prevalent that the scenes make no sense whatsoever when a character ends up in a whole different position, in an entirely different location all of a sudden. It also gives a sluggish feel to the visuals. Later on, the studio just goes for dynamic still shots, weird cuts, and speed lines. You can see that staff tried to compensate by using cheap visual tricks, but it is still a hard pill to swallow in 2019. Millepensee is still pretty new and is relatively small; when factoring in the time constraints pervasive in the anime industry, we can understand why and how they dropped the gun. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, the production value of an anime has little to do with its budget at the end of the day: the talent of the staff, the number of employees, and how manageable the deadlines are are the fundamental influences.
Once you get past that, Cop Craft is, without a doubt, a blast to watch. The pace is all over the place, and too much has been crammed into those twelve episodes. The problem is that it will give you tonal whiplash: episode three encompasses what could have been the red thread for Season 1 and solves it in one episode. The staff felt that it was time for the plot to make a bit of an appearance on stage, but since the season was so short, it had to be dealt with swiftly.
The show works best with an episodic format, but boy, do the writing and the world-building easily make up for that! San-Teresa looks like Los Angeles, with a sprinkle of New York due to its melting pot and cultural diversity. Realism and fantasy work well together visually and tonally. Cases are dealt with modern armament/technology and magic. Both worlds benefit from each other, as some things cannot be handled by magic and vice-versa. We look at society and how the Semanian is now fully part of the picture through their language and customs. For example, Tilarna seems to have some trouble pronouncing “p” and tends to say “b,” which could indicate that sound does not exist in her language.
Racism is coherently used in the narrative, reflecting what we can see and hear in the real world. The show has outstanding comedy, but it also uses serious themes that are not treated lightly. Even in terms of atmosphere, lights are adequately used, reflecting the general ambiance (gritty in back alleys, warmer summery colors in lively places). Then again, the CGI is the case for a lot of anime (except hard-hitters like ufotable or MAPPA), having difficulty blending seamlessly with the 2D: the usual stiff crowd and way too 3D vehicles. Despite it being 2021, it is still something studios struggled with.
The characters are everything. They are well written and fully fleshed out, which in turn allows for dynamic relationships. Our main combo, Kei and Tilarna, have fantastic chemistry even from the beginning when they were not getting along. In general, in Cop Craft, the dialogues are snappy, punchy, straight to the point, and adaptable. That makes funny comedy that sounds natural and not forced and for a simple and efficient way to expose personalities.
Kei and Tilarna are complete opposites and work perfectly as a pair in all that dysfunctionality. Kei is the gruff hardboiled cop, following the archétype found in cop shows: street smart, a man of few words (pretty rude most of the time), with a determination of steel and a thing for questionable methods. This cold exterior hides a soft side that will poke its head from time to time, hiding altruism under the guise of selfishness and annoyance. Tilarna might be a loli, but she is an interesting one. Due to her background as a noble knight, she holds her moral code to the highest standard and expects the people working with her to do the same. She has a lot of pride and dignity and is unconditionally strong, but Tilarna is still young, and her more naive sides are often the source of great comedic timing. Tilarna continues being bewildered at this new world she has to live in, lamenting its impracticality and how uselessly difficult it is to navigate through it. Much like her partner, her bold personality initially hides something else: in her case, her need to be acknowledged and respected by Kei. Her youthful looks and origin should not be the criteria on which she will be judged. The dynamic between those two is a treat to watch. The passive-aggressive tone of their interactions slowly takes different undertones (tough love, sarcasm, teasing, straight-up insulting, and so forth) as their relationship evolves. From pigheaded partners, Kei and Tilarna turn into a genuine buddy-cop pair with a sibling vibe behind them.
The rest of the cast is a mixed bag of characters you find in cop shows and more generic ones, most being likable and given a physical presence in the front. Kei’s boss could be played by Samuel L. Jackson, Tony, and Aleksander, who work together, Cecil, Kei’s ex-girlfriend (yes, someone actually put up with that guy romantically), bonds with Tilarna quickly, and so on.
The short format of Season 1 does not allow significant changes, though, and from our main characters to the supporting cast, there will not be a real emotional journey present in the narrative. Except for Kei and Tilarna warming up to each other, side stories focusing on different characters would be too much of a luxury for Cop Craft.
At the moment, Millepensee is not working on any original projects.
What do we know about Cop Craft Season 2 so far?
Nothing new about the anime has been announced or hinted at since it ended. And it might be that Millepensee’s version of Shoji Gatou’s work reached its final ending. The anime skipped a lot of content and even whole volumes and had an original conclusion (read: different from the one in the light novel). Volume one, two, and six were the only ones adapted; this explains the confusing pace.
What are fans saying about Cop Craft Season 2?
Cop Craft is a small anime amongst thousands of others. It has no real community. There is no subreddit dedicated to the show, no Discord server, and the most recent threads on Twitter are dated back in 2020 (even with the Japanese hashtag). There is a Wiki Fandom, but you can see it is not kept up to date.
Conversations surrounding Season 2 are not to be found, and it’s understandable considering the chaotic status of the visual novels and the anime. The series has not been doing well on IMDB, AniList, and MAL.
Will there be Cop Craft Season 2?
The light novel is written by Shoji Gatou (of Full Metal Panic fame) and illustrated by the talented Range Murata (Last Exile). Publication started in November 2009, and the series is still ongoing, with six volumes released at present. It began as Dragnet Mirage, a light novel published under another publisher and written by Gatou under a penname.
The reason being that he had promised that he would give his full attention to Full Metal Panic Another before starting another series. A promise he unmistakably did not follow, and after the publisher disappeared, the novel moved to Shogakukan with a new title: Cop Craft. On that dispatch, if the anime is only named Cop Craft, the full title of the light novel is Cop Craft: Dragnet Mirage Reloaded. It has been on hiatus since 2016, but volume seven was supposed to be released in 2019. Range Murata had even posted the new cover on Twitter, and Amazon was already starting the pre-orders.
Unfortunately, it never happened for reasons unknown. It is speculated in light novel circles that Gatou must be sick since his two other titles (Amagi Brilliant Park and Full Metal Panic Another) ended in 2016, but he never resumed his activity with Cop Craft afterward. It is possible to read the first two volumes in English, thanks to a fan translation. However, it seems that they gave up on it, and companies like YenPress or JNC have not picked up the title.
Funimation released the complete series on Blu-ray in 2020. The anime being pretty niche, it is pretty surprising to discover that it does have merchandise. The choice is somewhat limited (straps, commuter cases, acrylic stands, and smartphone covers are all you could find), but it is a nice touch.
On Google Trends, the map shows that the United States is the only (western) country where Cop Craft generates search queries, and the graph reaches zero more than it shows actual values, peaking pretty high at random times for a short time. In Japan, the title has a more loyal fandom, and over the last twelve months, the search queries have been constant, not too high, not too low. Surprisingly, it goes higher than usual around August, but after some research, nothing new would justify being announced during this period.
When will Cop Craft Season 2 be released?
No date is available as of yet.
Considering the fact that the studio adapted all the volumes available on the market, (even if they decide to skip some) it is difficult to even try to predict it. The last volume has adapted too, and changes have been made that might lose their meaning and confuse the audience if Volume three, four, and five were to be adapted into Season 2.
What Can We Expect In Season 2 Of Cop Craft?
Season 1 had too much content.
Way too much for twelve episodes.
It would have worked better with twenty-four episodes and two hours. Considering the fact that Gatou himself wrote the script, it is safe to assume that he must have been told that he would only get that one season for its title. That would explain why he decided to cover all the volumes (minus three through five), taking the risk to omit essential elements and disturb the pace.
As abovementioned, with the light novel on hiatus and the anime giving a conclusion to its main arc, going back to volumes three to five, would not make sense. It is quite the snaffu, and that would require a whole new story. We cannot predict what could happen in Season 2 since things were given a conclusion, but there is also a lingering feeling of a need to add more.