「Dragnet Mirage」

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.




  1. This show has many nice touches which make it stand out for me, for example, Matoba’s failed consolation efforts didn’t actually require dialogue. I think it is loaded with humour, albeit of the low-key variety, but better yet, it’s often handled so as to reveal more about the characters and situation than we knew. There are very few wasted frames or words in this show.

    “What are you implying.”
    “What I just said.”
    This isn’t just two people from different worlds bickering. He’s testing her, looking for her reaction to his accusation. But then, when she reacts, he completely changes his tone and both lowers the temperature and demonstrates his own competence to her. After this, while she still gets irked by things he says and does, her openness to him goes up a level.

    When she frets about threats to her reputation, his response is classic. “Don’t tell anyone!”

    After Matoba is told that his name means something in her language, he looks up what she’s been calling him, which in addition to providing some fun for the viewer, also gives insight into his thinking.

    Tirana is pleased that Matoba called her by her name (even with the ‘Oi!’) but is unaware that he prefaced that by referring to her as a police dog, which besides being pretty good cop humour, is also a development in their relationship.

    There is a lot of charm in the impetuous alien as well, and her seiyuu has done a wonderful job in bringing that out. She is quick to anger and quick to laughter. Her genuine response to his cat tale was great, especially when we learn shortly thereafter that she was probably laughing about the name she’d been calling him. I’m not sure what the alien term for ‘humanize’ would be but this probably did a lot for her and this came out in her gracious and sincere thanking of him before he went to bed. I also liked how she didn’t actually answer Matoba when she left their table in the diner. She didn’t lie about her intentions plus she relied upon his observational nature to notice the sword and let her go. Her relentless curiosity and occasional sourness continue to be handled well.

    Meanwhile, the non-knight aliens don’t have a lot of charm but they do display an incredible contempt for humans. The puppeteering magic affects only those who are ‘impure of soul’ but self-righteously, they neglect to remember that they’re bombing these humans with the fairy dust.

    We’re also getting hints about the political situation. Someone in the department is leaking information but we don’t know to whom. The police, as an organization, has morale issues, which probably contributes to this leaking. I’m curious to see how these problems will affect the investigation.

    1. Him referring to her as a police dog does carry a different weight to it when you find out she’s been referring to him as a cat the entire time

      Nice analysis, btw! It’s interesting to focus on how the show handles the culture clash

      1. Thanks. This show does a number of things really well and I find that at least for these first two episodes, pretty much every scene has a lot of depth to it.

        As to the culture clash, they’re not merely milking her being an alien or even a noble. It’s well-written enough that his new partner could be almost anyone. Heck, Matoba even has tension with Ross. Most shows use such differences for schlocky laughs or cheap moralism. There’s a lot of maturity in the characters and the storytelling here.

  2. Last week, a commenter brought up the novels that are the source for this show. On a whim, I looked to see if they were translated or for sale here. I grabbed the first ISBN from wikipedia and searched Amazon for it. The result: Cup Kraft. Sigh. I guess it hasn’t been translated yet.

  3. I was apprehensive to watch this show as I didn’t think the alien needed to be a loli and still don’t think it was necessary but the interactions/story/dialog/darkness/humour is definitely up my alley. The attention to detail is great as well (like the phone in the car and the speaker button highlighted)…I am liking where its going so far.

    1. I was feeling pretty similarly. She looks so young that it can be hard to reconcile with how she acts, but so far the focus (outside of the ED) really isn’t on her appearance, rather her attitude and skills. A commenter last episode even pointed out that she was originally supposed to look more mature, but that detail was altered for some reason.

      1. If you look up ‘cop craft’ (not ‘cup kraft’) on lndb (light novel database), you can find both variants (just of the cover art). Incidentally, that’s what the ‘reloaded’ in the show’s subtitle refers to — the original doesn’t have that. ‘More mature’ is an understatement but it does look generically cheesy in the sense that maybe the illustrator wasn’t involved in the story and it could have been used for any of a hundred books.


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