Posted by SuperMario on 7 August 2019 with categories: Cop Craft, Currently Watching:

Even though the production values took a nosedive ever since episode 3 (and still isn’t recovering), and even though Cop Craft still has issues with its overall pacing, I have come to enjoy what the last two episodes have to offer. If you want to peep at the series’s quality in one single episode, all its strengths and weaknesses, there is no better place to look than episode 4, as it wraps up the first arc and quickly opens the door for the next one. My opinion on the first arc remains baffled to say the least. There’s undeniably many strong elements here and there, but when it’s told in that breaknecking-fast manner it fails to leave any impact. For instance, the prior chemistry between Tilarna and the kidnapped fairy, as well as her drive to save the fairy at all costs are all solid character developments. If only Cop Craft would spend more time to properly build-up that thread, the ending where the fairy sacrifices herself for Kei would make a much more powerful punch. Likewise, Zelada is an interesting antagonist, but through this rushed len he comes off more like an one-dimensional evil lord. Kei finds himself on the verge of death is interesting if not for the fact that it only takes mere minutes for him to get saved by Tilarna.

I suppose, then, that the main issue in Cop Craft is how much material they want to adapt in this one-cour length. The sequences that bridge the gap between these two arcs play in similar rushy fashion: we have montages of still shots of how Tilarna and Kei team up in the next freaking several months. Thankfully, this also marks the end of my complaints since the next arc deals with many of the show’s core strengths: namely the ongoing racism between the human side and other races, and the nice and natural chemistry of Tilarna and Kei. Even in the cop’s side, Kei’s superior flat out harrasses Tilarna for not following the rule (even though she’s too thick to take that as an offense). Furthermore, there are many strong implications to that ongoing tensions between the human side and other races: this Vampire (aka this beautiful naked lady who drinks blood) – the main villain of this arc – comes from an ancient lost race and she asserts that this world is “the greater gate” in the Book of Niba. Whatever that means is still up in the air but it strongly implies that this human world holds an important key to open/ advance the current races. Second, to the surprises of this Vampire and Tilarna, human’s weapons are actually lethal enough to destroy them, prove the fact that the human race can be just as dangerous and even aggressive and blood-thirsty.

This new arc, although takes up only 1 episode and a half, does a much better job of pacing than the previous one. One aspect of execution Cop Craft nailed it in episode 4 in setting up this mummy-turns-vampire premise lies on how we always sense there is something wrong in the air. It’s not that original or well-executed but the sequence still does the job on raising up tension. The Vampire is a much more interesting antagonist compared to last arc. In many senses, she’s more like a prey than a predator. Being the only “survivor” of the ancient Vampire clan means that she’s valuable in human’s eyes. She then wakes up in a world unfamiliar to her, with a price on her head. While you don’t get that “lonesome vampire” feeling in the arc, in retrospect she has to survive alone, that pretty much makes her a tragic figure. The weak link here is the brief appearance of another species trying to help her – with a price. This development has more to do with connecting to the main overarching arc than to this story, hence it feels misplaced at best.

Kei and Tilarna’s incredible chemistry makes up for all the flaws Cop Craft has had. Except for a brief moment where Tilarna acts like an anime character of bbbbbabbling about the idea of Kei seeing her nude (haizz), the show never strays off from the pair who are vastly different from each other but respect and protect each other all the time. In terms of production, while these two episodes don’t look as bad as episode 3 (which isn’t a high bar to clear), Cop Craft comes up with some some cut-corner tricks according to their tight budget. One such example is how they don’t show full faces in a shot (less effort to animating them I suppose). It’s a bit jarring at first given it’s a technique when you demonstrate someone concealing some secrets, but after a while I pretty much come to terms with it, and the production as a whole. Kei might be too stubborn to say a simple word “Arigatou”, but you know in his heart he appreciates Tilarna’s kindness.

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