「Need For Speed」
As it turns out, I wasn’t too far off when I said Matoba and Tilarna should act like professionals who treat each other with respect. That sort of milestone in their partnership might even be where this series is heading, since Tilarna seems more interested in becoming his equal than, say, finding out who kidnapped her royal fairy friend. To be fair, seeing Matoba and Tilarna in a domestic setting was a reminder of how cute they can be without the pressures of work, though the pressures of actual police work really didn’t make an appearance in this episode. Matoba managed to interfere with the theft of a truck filled with porn magazines, leading him and Nameless Cop #1 to debate over whether the porn in the magazine was extra freaky or if Nameless Cop’s girlfriend was just a prude. Of all the jokes that hit in this series, that one hit the hardest for some reason. Just look at Tilarna innocently listening in the background. It’s adorable. Then, however, it’s revealed that she tried to drive Matoba’s car away from the crime scene, and we begin to find out how incredibly sheltered her people are. See, while she understands gas pedals, brakes, and steering wheels, putting the car in Park is a little harder to grasp intuitively. As a result, Matoba’s car rolled down the street, where it promptly lost a fight with an oncoming truck. That lack of experience actually factors into the plot because the Semani don’t really have television or photographs, which is why illegally distributed porn is such a potential gold mine.
Seeing Matoba utterly break down when the Chief was chewing him out for reckless endangerment of civilians and property was another highlight. At first, I was honestly convinced that he was faking it to weasel a new car out of his substitute father figure, and I’m still not convinced he wasn’t. After getting saddled with the porn theft case, he roped Tony into interrogating a suspect, showing us that Tony (Takahashi Ryousuke) is the true star of the show with an exaggerated yakuza accent and a dedication to the job that means he’ll feel up a suspect if that’s what it takes to set up a sting operation, and even pretend to be attracted to women. In all seriousness, though, it’s genuinely nice to see someone in media presented as both openly gay and competent at their job.
Since Tilarna basically totaled Matoba’s car, the Chief ordered her to take driving lessons, which she decided to receive from Cecil. It’s so rare to see an ex-girlfriend portrayed in a positive light, and every time I see how calm and collected and intelligent she is, I can’t help but be impressed. That she would risk her life to teach a friend of a friend how to drive speaks volumes about her character. She also mentioned that Matoba had lost his younger sister, and that certainly explains how quickly he became attached to Tilarna, and also how she can get away with not only totaling his car twice, but nearly killing him, herself, the porn thief, and Tony. Since no one actually died, though, she gets to complain about how Matoba doesn’t treat her like an equal then commandeer a part of his house for her use with no repercussions. Instead, Matoba apologized to her, and I still can’t wrap my head around how any of that makes any sense whatsoever. Ah, well. She sure is cute with a cat.