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Light Novel / Cop Craft

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15 years ago, an unknown hyperspace gate opened over the Pacific near Kariaena Island. Beyond this gate lies Reto Semania, a strange alternate world where fairies and demons live. San Teresa City is a city where over two million immigrants live from both worlds. As a result, there are the haves and the have-nots. Here is the world's newest "city of dreams."

But in the shadow of the chaos, crime is rampant: drugs, prostitution, and weapon trafficking. The detectives who stand up to these heinous crimes are in the San Teresa City Police. When the detective Kei Matoba and the alternate-world knight Tilarna Exedilica — two individuals who differ in gender, personality, and even world of origin — meet, an incident erupts.

A Police Procedural with a fantasy twist written by Shoji Gatoh, the author of Full Metal Panic! and Amagi Brilliant Park and illustrated by Range Murata of Last Exile fame, seven volumes have been written starting 2009. An animated adaptation directed by Shin Itagaki of Berserk (2016) fame premiered on July 8, 2019, with a dub made by Funimation released on July 22, 2019.


General Tropes:

  • And the Adventure Continues: Having solved the recent case, Kei and Tilarna get another call, so they immediately run to their car and drive off.
  • Amicable Exes: Kei and his ex are still rather chummy.
  • Anime Catholicism: There is a clearly Catholic bishop taking the oath from the new mayor. In a story set in the USA.
  • Battle in the Rain: Since it happens indoors, the rain is provided by sprinklers during the final confrontation with Zelada.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Inverted. After one of the candidates for mayor is shot, Kei uses acting casually to find the assassin. While viewing the security footage, he eliminates all the panicked people who run around, watching out for danger. He's quickly left with three suspects, two of whom have been too far away to get that shot...
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: This is Police Procedural after all. Kei has to remind Tilarna on regular basis not to get personally involved, to avoid contact with suspects and perps and to keep a healthy distance from the job in general. It never really takes off since both of them do take things personally.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Expects plenty of this between Kei and Tilarna.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Where the anime leaves off. Kei and Tilarna kill Zelada for good this time and take out a corrupt FBI Agent in the bargain, and Coal Mozeleemay's wife Marla, who got away with murder in a previous case, is sent to jail. However, a lot of damage was done to the city by race riots, and both of the moderate mayoral candidates have been assassinated (and Marla Mozeleemay, who stepped in after her husband was killed, is going to prison), leaving a far-right candidate the last man standing in the election.
  • Bland-Name Product: One case involves an stolen truckload of magazines like Ponthouse, Prayboy, and Heslar.
  • Blood Knight: Tilarna loves combat. This creates all sorts of problems, since her official job is a police detective, but she acts like a Knight in Shining Armor fighting brigands.
  • Broken Pedestal: Exedilica's fencing teacher also trained the human assassin.
  • Buddy Cop Show: A human police officer and a Semanian knight need to put aside their differences to save a kidnapped fairy.
  • Camp Straight: The undercover persona for McBee, McCloud, keeps the fruityness... but is an over-the-top macho, as well, and most definitely not gay.
  • Casting Gag: This isn't the first role for Felecia Angelle where someone from a fantasy world goes to Earth and eventually gets used to living there. Bonus points for also having a sword as a weapon.
  • Cliffhanger: All episodes end with one.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: A normal sofa is used to stop dozens of machine-gun rounds from a Micro Uzi.
  • Conlang: Semanians have their own language, Farbani, which is used from time to time, with Japanese subtitles. Kei can also speak it, but not very fluently.
  • The Conspiracy:
    • Roth and Zelada plan to use the smuggled fairy into a time bomb and detonate it in San Teresa's tallest skyscraper to turn the upper class visitors into living corpses and cause chaos.
    • Zelada works with a corrupt FBI agent and Cole's wife to ensure that anti-Semanian riots take place to benefit them by killing two of the leading mayoral candidates.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Ronald Chan is beating the living crap out of Kei, fully knowing how ineffective it is. But he isn't there to learn anything new.
  • Culture Clash: The difference between Earth and Semania's way of doing things is very vast.
  • Dented Iron: The vampire is dangerous, all right, but after being subjected to an entire SWAT teams' concentrated gunfire, she's lost most of the blood that powers her magic and, plainly speaking, is hurt like she's never been before.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Facing the police duo, Zelada is taken by surprise by the wounded Tilarna shooting at him. In the meantime Kei uses the distraction to close in with her sword and cut the mage's head clean off.
  • Dirty Cop: The reason why Hermandes was so hell-bent on getting all the contraband from the downed plane is because he was paid to loot the evidence locker. And apparently The Mob Boss Is Scarier.
  • Dirty Coward: Zelada is quick to use his disappearing tricks and illusions whenever things start going sideways.
  • Downer Ending: Kei and Tilarna aren't able to close the case on the corrupt politician in San Teresa and the potential witness was taken out by an assassin.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • After body-surfing into a cat, being paranoid about people who might see her real body half-naked, Tilarna sends Cecil to close the blinds... and in the meantime the trash truck they're supposed to be chasing goes right past them. Then they head in the opposite direction. Cue credits.
    • The girls and chief Zimmer have the assassin identified, but Kei doesn't know anything about the guy yet. So when he's shown a photo of him fooling with Marla Mozeleemay, the detective doesn't recognise the killer, nor does he notice the connection to his current case.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Her grasp of traffic laws being more or less nonexistent, Tilarna is game for a Car Chase... with her car being on the line that goes in the opposite direction. It's implied that she doesn't fully understand how dangerous driving stunts can be, and very telling that she never gets behind the wheel again after making the car crash and burst into flames.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Played for Laughs, when first the Mini and then the sports car catch fire for no real reasons. It does render them impossible to fix in a repair shop and makes Kei despair.
  • False Flag Operation: A two-layered one. It appears the far-right candidate is the person who arranged the assassinations of their competition, especially since an "alien" did all that killing, which is handy for the anti-immigrant party... but actually it's a frame-up, while the real false-flag operation is being ran by Marla Mozeleemay, who, in order to capitalise on her husband's death, is basing her campaign on opposition to "the evil xenophobe", which would give her an easy victory.
  • Fantastic Racism: One of the Central Themes. It goes both ways between humans and Semanians: Earth right-wingers are angry about the Semanian presence on Earth, and the Big Bad, Zelada, is a Semanian reactionary who is appalled at the export of Earth culture into his world.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Kei is a Seen It All detective from an unit that deals with crimes committed by beings from a magical dimension, so for him magic is just another day of the week, with vampires on Saturdays.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Waking up in different world than the one she went to sleep in was already a blow, but even Exedilica has a hard time understanding what the vampire's saying, since she speaks an ancient form of Falbani and is clearly some centuries behind, even in terms of home affairs.
  • Fish out of Water: As expected from reverse-isekai series, the people from Reto Semania generally have a hard time fitting into Earth's society. Culture Clash is constant. It also gets exploited, a lot, by more morally-dobious characters, including making sure the Semani side will send a young, Lawful Stupid knight with no prior exposure to Earth, who will hinder the investigation of fairy kidnappings more than she can help.
  • Flashed-Badge Hijack: Unable to keep up with the escaping assassin (or with Tilarna, actually), Kei pulls back a three-wheeler, flashes his badge and rides away. The owner fills a complaint to the police department soon after.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: One story arc has Tilarna get body-swapped with Kei's cat Chloe due to a mishap with a magicked crossbow.
  • Gorn: A relatively light-hearted series, but blood is splashing around like it was made by Quentin Tarantino.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted example. Kei relies on guns while Tilarna uses a sword. Then played straight in the final battle with Zelada. Tilarna shoots Zelada several times with Kei's gun and Kei uses Tilarna's sword to behead him.
  • Graying Morality: Tilarna spends the entire series figuring out that the world - any world - doesn't run on Black-and-White Morality and things not only can, but should be approached with varying degrees of distrust. She's also slowly, slowly learning that bombastic speeches and actions against "evil-doers" makes investigations impossible to conduct, instead of helping around.
  • Great Offscreen War: Some of the officers who served in the STMP (and some bad guys) were involved in the Farbani Conflict. The USMC was involved in Operation Mirage which resulted with Sergeant Ethan Dole going MIA, but coming back and using Semanian magic alongside his military training.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Cole and Marla Mozeleemay are keeping up a front, she's always supportive to his political career... but she's really all too aware of his rampant adultery. Maria is also the brains of this partnership, Cole in private being a spineless cunt. They're only together for PR reasons. She ultimately has him assassinated, and gains massive support as a replacement candidate thanks to voters' sympathy.
  • Hidden Depths: Kei subjects Toutle, a populistic xenophobe running for the mayor's seat, to a Secret Test of Character. Turns out the guy is far more level-headed than his official agenda, fully able to negotiate and adjust - something the real Big Bad can't do and won't even try.
  • Hidden Weapons: Kei is carrying a snub-nose revolver strapped to his ankle.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Played absolutely straight, with all sorts of wounds resulting in showers of blood. Including "minor" ones like severed trigger fingers, with just no way for them to give such a splash.
  • Human Resources: A potent Semanian drug is called "Fairy Dust" because it is literally made from fairies. Whole fairies.
  • Human Shield: The puppets routinely do this, either with alive hostages or other puppets. When hard-pressed for a weapon, they tend to use the "shield".
  • The Illegal: There are a lot of them, both from our world and from beyond the gate, and they are a source of most of the crime in the city.
  • In My Language, That Sounds Like...: Tilarna initially mispronounces Kei's name as "Kaye Imatuba". He figures out she's doing it on purpose to make fun of him when he realizes it means "scary kitty" in Farbani.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Randall. Unfortunately for him, the plot he discovers is far bigger than he can chew, so he rushes to Kei for help... but the detective is simply too busy. By the time they finally can meet, it's already too late to prevent the plot from fully unravelling.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The cooking tips and advice Kei gives are sound and to-the-point. It's his way of delivering them that rubs people the wrong way.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kei's care for a cat despite his allergies signifies that there is more to him than a gruff exterior.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Invoked verbatim and further discussed by Jamie when she describes how Kei and Tilarna act and behave. Cameron muses this might be a case of a Replacement Goldfish, given how Kei's sister died few years ago and was around Tilarna's age.
  • Magitek: The first arc deals with fairy dust bombs used in a racially motivated terrorism plot. Kei's sidearm has acquired a bit of latena by osmosis through his loving care, making it effective against magical enemies. The assassination arc features a vaifaht steel handgun that transforms into a camera for concealment, made possible by a Semanian weaponsmith who went to work for a gun manufacturer.
  • The Man Behind the Man: His wife, Marla, is the real power behind Cole Mozeleemay, the Semani mayor candidate. Until she gets Cole assassinated just to cash-in on sympathy for his death.
  • Mana: It's called "latena" by the Semanians but it amounts to the same thing. Tilarna is able to smell it.
  • Mook Horror Show: After getting free from the Torture Cellar and going after Zelada, Kei methodically guns his way through a small army of puppets, like a hot knife through butter. At first, Zelada just ignores him and the on-going combat, but as the gunfire never, ever stops and is getting closer and closer by a minute, all while there are less and less bodies to throw against the detective, he gets visibly afraid.
  • Mugging the Monster: Some Semanian thugs try to mug Kei, only for the policeman to beat the shit out of them.
  • Muggles Do It Better: An ancient vampire with vast mystical powers, who can't be bested in direct combat? Pfft, have you tried using an entire squad worth of automatic weapons?
  • Mundane Solution:
    • Destroying a cursed item breaks the curse (or any other spell) on it.
    • Invisible targets still have physical bodies, making them easily revealed with fire sprinklers.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the night clubs in Karenia is Lady Chapel, which is the name of TDD-1's TAROS room in the Full Metal Panic! franchise.
  • Neck Snap: This is how the sorcerer-possessed crook killed Kei's partner Rick. Later, this is how Kei kills Ronald Chan.
  • No Conservation of Mass: Discussed when Tilarna explains vaifaht steel. One of the other detectives asks Tilarna if a vaifaht steel item's mass stays the same when it transforms. In response, Tilarna tosses the detective her cloak, which, being able to transform into bulletproof armor, is pretty heavy.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Whatever happened between Earth and Reto Semania, their shared history has been difficult, involving at least two massive military operations by Earthlings and at least one spec-ops mission. Many characters are veterans from those.
    • A humorous example, The Hangover style. Whatever happend during the party Kenny and O'Neill hosted in their place, it involved a life goat with a crown tied to its head. And no, it wasn't there for those reasons. There were also guests that Kenny doesn't remember inviting or actually meeting before.
  • Off-Model: The show's low production values and questionable direction choices often result in both this and a great deal of Limited Animation both in dialogue and action scenes.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: An ancient race of Lightning Bruiser humanoid predators who feed on blood and can use illusion. They go dormant when no blood is present around them, which makes them take an appearance of a mummy. It's unclear how sunlight affects them, but the vampire in the story only appears during night-time and in really dark places. Their power levels are related to how well-fed they are, and despite their potent regeneration capabilities, they aren't invulnerable and can be more or less subdued by a very mundane hail of gunfire.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The hyperspace gate that connects Earth & Semania cannot be seen by human eyes, and can only be detected by satellite scans of environmental fluctuations. On the other hand, Semanians can see it perfectly fine and a lot of criminals use this to their advantage to conduct cross-border smuggling. The coast guard has its hands full just trying to patrol the boundaries of the gate.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: An advanced addiction to Fairy Dust makes a person effectively a living corpse and an easy target for control by Semanian sorcerers.
  • Perma-Stubble: Subverted - it's shown in detail how much extra effort it takes from Kei to leave just enough of his facial hair while shaving to maintain that rugged look.
  • Pointy Ears: An easy way to identify a Semanian is by their pointy, elf-like ears.
  • The Power of Rock: Since Zelada absolutely hates anything that comes from Earth, including (specifically) rock music, the detective duo play rock on the stereo to unhinge and distract him.
  • Reality Ensues: The series takes almost perversive pleasure in deconstructing Hero Insurance. Tilarna keeps using excessive force and/or causing massive damage, which more often than not hinders the investigation, give perps means to escape (or sue for Police Brutality) and leads to being chewed out by Da Chief. Highlights include crashing two cars and creating a monumental traffic jam in a Car Chase after a truck full of legal adult magazines.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Zelada, an evil warlock with an agenda of his own, wears predominately red, with stylish black applications.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tilarna is red, a hot-blooded, Naïve Newcomer Cowboy Cop, always over-reacting to everything and getting personally attached. Kei is blue, a stoic, Seen It All, hard-boiled detective and a By-the-Book Cop who, despite his grumpy demeanour, is always there to help, even if it endagers his own well-being.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Kai's reaction when his Mini gets accidentally totalled.
  • Serious Business: Cooking and Kei. All the other characters react with contempt, so they've probably had more than enough of this.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Numerous Semanians note how easy life has been on both sides of the dimensional gate for Tilarna, either due to her high-born origins or police force afilliation, and how out-of-touch with reality she is because of it.
  • Shout-Out: Cammy subdues a guy with a drop-kick... wait, it's not Street Fighter?
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Zelada chuckles at Tilarna's idealism and naivety. She retaliates with a Shut Up, Hannibal! running almost entirely on Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Any time Kei and Tilarna are in one scene, expect a fight of never ending passive-aggressiveness.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": A few human characters have their names mangled, but the standout is Kei's cat. The subtitles render it as "Kuroi" (meaning "black"), but at one point Tilarna sends a text message where the name is visible as "Chloe". Chloe being a black cat, the name was probably picked on purpose — which is actually a Bilingual Bonus joke, Kei being the Japanese American.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The city is supposed to be American, and so all written text shown in anime is in good English.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Kei, full stop. What else would you expect from a jagged detective? On her side, Tilarna is small, light and snarky as well.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The fairy being used to power a Fantastic Nuke that will turn anyone exposed into zombies. The counter is nearing zero and Kei is lying severely wounded, so she self-sacrifices, turning the liquid she's suspended in into a powerful healing elixir and neutralizing the bomb as it needs a living fairy to work.
  • They Fight Crime!: He’s a human cop unafraid to get his hands dirty to solve the case. She’s a proud elf-like knight from another world. Together, they fight crime in the mean streets of San Teresa!
  • Tranquil Fury: When going after Zelada and gunning his way through an army of puppets, Kei remains weirdly, terribly calm, all the while literally seeing red.
  • Underdressed for the Occasion: Due to a city-wide emergency and the entire police force being mobilised post-haste, Kei and Tilarna rush to the morgue to get results of a section while still dressed in their garden party clothes. This is not Played for Laughs, but instead to highlight how desperate the situation is.
  • Unobtainium: Tilarna's armor is made of vaifaht steel, which is actually a plant fiber that can be crafted into metallic objects and even change shape from an incantation. The assassination arc features a vaifaht steel handgun that transforms into a camera for concealment, both of which forms Tilarna thought was too complex to be possible.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Kei starts out driving a Mini Cooper, which Tilarna, who is still learning to drive, wrecks in one episode by forgetting to put on the parking brake. Kei guilts Da Chief into giving him a red Corvette seized by the department, and the next day Tilarna smashes it up in a high-speed chase (Kei was injured and couldn't drive).
  • We All Live in America: Kariaena is a US state, approximately based on California with the position of Hawaii, but the street thugs still behave more like Japanese Delinquents.
  • Wiki Walk: A clue of a bulldog tattoo on the elbow comes up in episode 11. When one of the cops identifies the bearer as likely a US Marine who got it before new regulations, citing Wikipedia, her partner responds with a 3 step Wiki Walk from the starter page (M4 Carbine). What she responds with is more like 30 steps.
  • A World Half Full: The city of San Teresa is a crime-riddled mess with a thick underbelly of criminal activity and political corruption, with the exploitation going on on several levels. But with each case solved things get a tiny, mini bit better, preventing the collapse of the entire system. It's a thankless, tedious job - but it bears results.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Kei willingly let agent Chan to get engrossed in his torture to the point where the detective is untied and lifted from his chair... and that's all he needed.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Both Exedilica and Matoba are badly wounded ( and he's been through extensive torture prior) when facing Zelada.
  • You Didn't Ask:
    • When the fairy from the first arc unleashes all her magic, Tilarna uses the opportunity to heal Kei's cat allergy with the excess latena. Then she goes on watching Kei struggle with his routine with mask and gloves around their house cat for two months, before telling him there's no more need.
    • Chief Zimmer is a former Marine with a lot of connections. He points out that all Jamie and Cameron had to do was ask, instead of burning the midnight oil to put the clues together and track down their suspect.


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