Posted by SuperMario on 24 July 2019 with categories: Cop Craft, Currently Watching:

For those of you who haven’t quite caught up yet, Cop Craft claimed our own “Season Sleeper” prize for its first episode. While at first glance, Cop Craft is a kind of mix between the buddy cop formula of Double Decker and the “multiple races live in the same city” world building of Blood Blockade Battlefront, for me it’s another case of Grimoire of Zero which air few years ago: both have an incredible leads’ chemistry and a mildly-interesting settings. For Cop Craft, the show is not shy on touching dark themes of corruption and racism so you can’t say that it doesn’t have any ambition. The problem with Cop Craft so far is the production values. Mind you, it didn’t even look polished in the premiere, but it still saddens me to see how the production falling apart just 3 episodes in.

So let’s address that elephant in the room first. While Cop Craft has always leaned towards “cut-corner” approach to get away with its low-budget, episode 3 in particular has still frames in the middle of the fights, the character models “melted” in some scenes and overall it’s just jarring. Just look at the final sword fight between Tilarna and Dennis Elbaji or the screencap above to see Tilarna’s off-model design compared to the screenshot below of her in normal design . While some might argue that it’s not that big of a deal-breaker and these issues will be fixed once it’s released in DVD, for me the basic rule of “cutting corners” technique is that they need to make it unnoticeable, which certainly isn’t the case here.

What I feel even more disappointed, is how the plot rushes too much in the third episode that all the events don’t have room to breathe and thus, don’t leave much of an impact. Just look at the amount of story progressions in this latest episode and you’d know what I mean: “undercovered” Tilarna goes to the club owned by Elbaji. She loses that fight and instead gets kidnapped to torture. Kei catches up to them and saves her by the hair and then the plot twists again. I’ll be frank but the final reveal doesn’t do much to me. It’s interesting on paper, and we can certainly see the racism that takes root to the mindset of the villain. But Cop Craft fails big time on the emotional investment between Kei and the Police Chief.

There are some parts that still piques my interest, on the other hand. Episode 2’s pacing was so much better because it hasn’t caught up with the A plot yet, so instead we have more witty interactions between Kei and Tilarna, and by the end I can feel some sort of mutual understanding between them. Tilarna’s fixation on the kidnapped fairy is another interesting angle, one that I know we will learn more about the reasons behind in upcoming episodes. Elbaji, as disposable as his character is, provides some intriguing touch to Cop Craft’s theme. At first I didn’t take him too seriously, but episode 3 reveals that he was the same race as Tilarna and he was so accustomed to money-obsessed nature Earthling that he feels like he belongs there. Exactly the kind of “adaptation” the Police Chief was mentioning about. If Cop Craft approaches this racist theme in deeper implication in upcoming arcs, it will be a right move for them. Now, I guess we just have to live with the god-awful presentation.

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