The central relationship of this series isn’t so much incompatible as fractious. The problem between Tirana and Matoba comes from them fulfilling very similar roles with dissimilar methodologies. Their priority is to protect, but Matoba has a duty to protect everyone, human and Semanian alike, while Tirana’s main goal to find one royal fairy before she’s grinded into fairy dust. Interestingly, that’s exactly what will happen to the fairy if Tifana doesn’t find her. Fairy Dust is a street drug made from latena (fairy parts?) that slowly kills its users, allowing them to be controlled by warlocks like Zelada (Otsuka Houchuu). There also seems to be a personal connection between this particular fairy and Tifana, since shortly after telling Matoba that a knight’s sword held as much value as their life, she abandoned it to continue her search alone. Why did she do this? Your guess is as good as mine. Matoba definitely cramped her style a bit by suggesting she not kill their potential witnesses, but other than that, he seemed pretty open to letting her go about the investigation however she wanted, especially after learning she was already technically an adult. Plus, the man that tried to gun them down was already dead and wouldn’t have been much help, but that’s beside the point.
The humor in this series comes rarely but usually hits when it does, which is nice since when Cop Craft wants to go dark, it goes pitch-black. That scene with Zelada puppeteering the officer’s bodies, forcing them to dance and shoot each other in front of a cackling audience, and the suggestion that that could be the fate of everyone within a 5km radius if the fairy bomb went off in the city was genuinely chilling. It’s exactly the kind of secondary plot worthy of The Dresden Files. Usually, the formula of pretty much any detective novel takes the form of an A and B plot, where the detective becomes involved in a case that seems like your run-of-the-mill crime, while at the same time something deeply sinister and large in scope is afoot, and by the end of the novel, you’ll find that these things were intrinsically tied all along. So I’m curious to find out what the relationship between Tifana and the kidnapped royal fairy might be, and why she thought ditching Matoba and leaving behind her weapon when she probably doesn’t even know where she is would ever be a good idea. Actually, that last scene felt just a tad rushed. Matoba and Tifana haven’t developed enough as pair to warrant this kind of separation. Sure, Matoba was kind to her when he offered to let her stay at his place, but it’s also established that he would hold on to a stray cat, despite having an allergy. For those who were wondering why he was wearing the mask at home, you got your answer and it’s adorable. Anyway, considering they were literally at each other’s throats at the beginning, a little breathing room for the cute bonding moments would have been appreciated.
Another solid episode rife with character moments that add depth to the central relationship, including the silent scene of Rick’s wife lashing out at Matoba and the genuinely amiable relationship he seems to have with the forensic medical examiner he used to date. That subtle bit of voice work when Tifana complained about Matoba’s personality and the medical examiner sort of half-heartedly acknowledged the point was wonderful five-second foreshadowing on that end. I am here for these complex dynamics, (mostly) reasonable decision-making, and fluid flight sequences. Or maybe I just really want to see Matoba jump down a fire escape again.