「GIRLS ON ICE」
This episode provided an intriguing glimpse into Tilarna’s interactions with humans outside of Matoba and the police department. While undercover for the second time, she was used to capture a politician in the act of hiring prostitutes, jeopardizing his career. Tilarna, who managed not to blow her cover despite only learning about sex last week, decided to ignore the warnings of actual police officer Kei Matoba and maintain a relationship with one of the workers she’d befriended. This should be added to the growing list of reasons why Tilarna shouldn’t have a job.
Now, this may sound strange, but by far my favorite scenes were of the politician and his wife. There was something so quietly sinister, so Lady Macbeth-esque about his wife that I’ve been missing this season, and the way their distance was portrayed through cold tones, space, and the presence/absence of their wedding rings was very clever. It’s tragic that Tilarna’s first friend outside of Matoba’s social circle was killed, but there was also something so utterly ruthless, so quietly vicious about the villain of this episode that I couldn’t help appreciating. Knowing that her husband was being blackmailed and not wanting to deal with the embarrassment of having his infidelity made public, she had the threat eliminated, and by the end of the episode, still hasn’t been caught! If her husband doesn’t get his act together, he better watch his step.
These one-shot episodes aim to entertain while also providing the opportunity for the characters comedic and dramatic muscles. Though it can lay the sentimentality on a bit thick at times, even my stone-cold heart couldn’t help softening when Tilarna began snapping photos of the sky in honor of her friend.
「SMELLS LIKE TOON SPIRITS」
As far as describing this goes, I’m kind of at a loss. However, what’s clear is that Kuroi (the cat) has been planning this from the start, moving parts and people so that one day they could steal Tilarna’s body and sneak into Matoba’s bed. Oh, that dastardly clever cat.
After allowing a suspect to get away thanks to Tilarna’s desire to cut a plane with her sword outweighing her desire to follow orders – to be fair, it’s a tough call – and spending some hours in the swamp searching for him, she headed home with Matoba, where he proceeded to do roommate things, such as taking an extra long time in the shower, and using up all the hot water, while Tilarna had to organize the Semani objects they found at the crash site. Since Kuroi is a cat and doesn’t know better (or do they?), they accidentally triggered a bow that shot Tilarna with a strange substance, leading to her switching bodies with the cat. Seeing Tilarna scratch Kuroi!Tilarna to protect her own dignity and get Kuroi!Tilarna out of Matoba’s bed was a highlight, followed by the chuckle-worthy sight of Kuroi glaring at Matoba with what had to be the meanest look he’d ever seen on his cat.
Unfortunately, Matoba is much better at taking the garbage out than his roomie, so the crossbow that Tilarna needed to become human again was thrown out into the trash by mistake. While Matoba visited an old informant – he’s doing something wrong here but I don’t know what it is and he’s having so much fun doing it that it gets a pass – Tilarna figured out how to text Cecil with cat paws and by the end of the episode, she’s still a cat. She and Matoba share exactly one brain cell, and Cecil’s using it at the moment.
Gatoh Shoji has an immense amount of talent when it comes to writing both comedy and action, but when you dive too far to either side, the tone can get a bit wonky. Fumoffu got around this by being a series dedicated to gags, but Cop Craft doesn’t have a similar outlet. Still, I have to wonder if its pacing was rushed at the beginning so the series could spend more time on the crazy, zany adventures of Tilarna being a cat. Watching Matoba work on his own and Cecil buckle her seatbelt to chase after a garbage truck was entertaining enough, though. I’m about as concerned about Tilarna returning to her body as I am about the sun rising in the morning, but it’ll certainly be amusing to see what antics her and Cecil get up to while Kuroi!Tilarna stays safely locked inside Matoba’s apartment.