Regardless of how any of us feel about it, there’s one genre this decade that came in and dominated over all the others in the anime world. It isn’t shonen, shoujo, and it certainly isn’t mecha. No, the most dominant genre for nearly all of the 2010s is the isekai. Isekai anime are series where the protagonist is from a world like ours only they get summoned to a completely different world, where they often have strange and/or incredible abilities.
This season in particular has no shortage of traditional isekai, but there’s one that managed to sneak under the radar. The new series Cop Craft is the rare case of a reverse isekai, where someone from another world winds up on ours for a time, using their incredible abilities here. For people who love isekai, are looking for a twist on the formula, or just like buddy cop stories, this list will get you primed and ready to try the show out.
10 IT'S SET IN THE FICTIONAL CITY OF SAN TERESA
In a story that’s becoming more familiar lately, the world of Cop Craft started out as fairly normal, with humans all living their every day, normal lives. But fifteen years before the story begins, an invisible gate opened over the Pacific Ocean. On the other side of the gate lived creatures of myth and legend, like elves and wizards and more. The city that was closest to this gate was San Teresa, on Kariana Island. Most of the beings who arrived through the gate would see this city first and settle there, meaning the denizens of San Teresa have to learn to get used to mystical creatures in their city.
9 THE LEADS ARE FROM DIFFERENT PLANETS
It’s expected in any cop team-up story that both members of the team are radically different from the other, to create maximum friction for the story. In the case of Cop Craft, things really are about as different as they can get. The lead character is Kei Matoba, a detective who loses his partner in what should’ve been a random drug bust when the criminal reveals supernatural strength. His new partner is Tilarna Exedilica, a royal Knight from the country of Mirvor in search of a kidnapped friend of hers. The two of them are put together because their cases turn out to be one and the same.
8 HUMANS CAN BE BIGGER THREATS THAN SEMANIANS
In a world where humans are suddenly introduced to beings with magical powers, it would be easy to assume much of the series involves showing humans being treated as victims, downtrodden and abused by all these beings from other worlds who have vastly more power than they do.
However, Cop Craft doesn't shy away from showing humanity's propensity for evil. Though the series doesn’t get overly graphic with it, the willingness of many humans to be cruel and take advantage of other living, sentient creatures—using them as slaves or as sources of power--can make them just as much of a problem as the Semanians.
7 BUT SEMANIANS CAN STILL BE SCARY
While humans can get into some pretty grimy behavior in Cop Craft, that should discount what the Semanians are capable of. It isn’t just the pretty elves and fairies that crossed over into the world of humans. In just the few episodes that have aired, we’ve also seen wizards with the ability to control people’s movements and rain down fire from the skies. Or better yet, an actual vampire with the ability to regenerate from most injuries, turn invisible, and easily tear any human to shreds. Essentially, as cops attempting to keep the peace, it’s a world where everyone is dangerous.
6 TILARNA CAN USE SPELLS
Tilarna comes over from her world with some fancy clothes and a giant sword that she often uses to block bullets. However, while she is a “Knight” those aren’t her only useful skills. On the contrary, Tilarna has proven capable of literally sniffing out the usage of dark magic, and tracking people by sensing their usage of magic. She can also cast a variety of different spells, including healing spells which can not only heal someone completely but remake them to be slightly better than they were. She also has various clothing spells, including one which can turn her clothing into an armor from her world’s war god.
5 THE CREATOR MADE FULL METAL PANIC
For those who like looking into who actually created a series they enjoy, they might find the person responsible for Cop Craft to be somewhat familiar. The writer is Shoji Gatoh, a screenwriter who’s been in the business of anime for several decades now. Gatoh is responsible for multiple series, including Hyoka and Amagi Brilliant Park. Still, what he’s best known for is the Full Metal Panic series, the series that combined comedic slice of life shenanigans with military ops and giant robots. Full Metal Panic was one of the most popular series of the 2000s, receiving no less than three sequel series, including one that just launched in 2018, Invisible Victory.
4 SOMEONE WANTS A WAR BETWEEN HUMANS AND SEMANIANS
Of course, Cop Craft would be pretty boring if it were just nothing but episode after episode of Case of the Week, where our two heroes deal with a supernatural threat and call it a day. There has to be some storyline happening in the background, something they’re building towards for the “big” story at the end.
In this case, we’ve seen people both on the side of the humans and the Semanians working together to try and cause a war between the two sides. Though Kei and Tilarna deal with people behind this early on in the series, there are still forces lurking in the shadows, manipulating things to their own mysterious ends.
3 TILARNA IS TERRIBLE WITH EARTH CUSTOMS
As one might expect with someone who is from a completely different world, Tilarna is pretty terrible when it comes to figuring out how things work on Earth. She gets taken aback at Kei having informants who are involved in criminal activities because “noble” warriors would never do such a thing, and she has no problem charging in without regard for proper protocol. She’s also absolutely terrified of cars and the speeds they’re capable of moving at. The frequent running joke in the first half of the series is how uncomfortable she is riding alongside Kei, though she eventually decides to try and learn to drive for herself.
2 USES BUDDY COP FILM TROPES
Despite it’s premise being something that feels pretty uniquely anime, Cop Craft draws on some very familiar old-school action cop film team-up ideas. The team-up itself is part of this, as Tilarna is the young newcomer who doesn’t play by the rules (because she has no clue what they are), while Kei is an experienced detective who just wants to do his job. But they’ve also got a mustached boss who yells at them for the absurd amount of property damage they do all over the city while solving cases. It’s as if someone took Lethal Weapon and replaced Riggs with a teenaged swordswoman from another world.
1 WILL WE GET A CONCLUSIVE ENDING?
Probably not. Cop Craft is a light novel adaptation, and unlike manga, those series generally have to be ridiculously popular to receive another season. Part of this is that there are so many light novels, if a series isn’t especially popular it’s easy enough to do twelve episodes and move on, which is why the past decade has featured dozens of series which won’t ever get proper closure. But even if Cop Craft were popular, it has another problem. The light novel began in 2009 and has published only six volumes in that time. Unlike manga, which can get new chapters weekly or monthly, it can take months before a single new volume of a light novel releases, making it easier to simply move on. So everyone should take a second and enjoy what they have now.