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Cop Craft Season 2 release date: Cop Craft Dragnet Mirage Reloaded light novels written by Shoji Gatoh of Full Metal Panic! fame [Spoilers]

Cop Craft key art
Could Cop Craft Season 2 be written by author Shoji Gatoh, who wrote the scripts for the first season? Pic credit: Millepensee

Cop Craft Season 2 has a lot going for it based on the first season of the anime series. Reviewers lauded the fantasy twist on the police procedural plot, based on a story by Shoji Gatoh, the author of Full Metal Panic!, and Amagi Brilliant Park.

The Cop Craft anime got off to a strong start by introducing audiences to gruff cop Kei Matoba. It makes it an odd couple buddy cop anime by adding alien Tilarna Barsh Mirvor Lyata Imsedalya Iyeh Tebreina Devol Nelano Seiya Nel Exedilica (yes, that’s her full name), a noble knight of Mirvor.

The setting is San Theresa, home to millions of strange immigrants via a hyperspace gate, and it’s one isekai conspiracy after another.

The premise is similar to the 2019 BEM anime. A superhuman teams up with someone to fight superpowered bad guys, but the sharp plot twists and snappy writing set it worlds apart. Quite literally, since it’s an alternate world where fairies and monsters live with humans in a strange new melting pot.

The issue is whether anime fans can get over the animation quality and sit back and enjoy the crazy plot progression, tongue-in-cheek dialogue, and the chemistry between the characters. Everyone was happy with the fluid sword-fighting of the initial episodes, but then starting with Episode 3 and beyond, the animation quality took a noticeable dive.

Starting with the opening scene from Episode 1, it’s like the animators went out of their way to save time by hiding mouth flaps behind objects and putting characters’ backs to the camera. These cost-cutting measures become more apparent in later action sequences when animators began positioning complex animation elements off-screen.

For example, in Episode 6, there is a car chase action sequence where the camera cuts away right before an explosion. This jarring direction makes it difficult for audiences to follow what is happening during action sequences.

Bad animation should not be as surprising once you hear that animation studio Millepensee produced the Cop Craft anime. The company was also behind the universally-criticized Berserk 2016 anime. It’s possible the production scheduling was bad since they used a Cop Craft recap episode, which was probably an attempt to squeeze in more production time.

The Arifureta anime, which also suffered from horrible production scheduling issues, used a similar trick.

Director Shin Itagaki (Berserk 2016) helmed the project at Millepensee. Character designer Hiromi Kimura adapted the original designs from the light novel series. The major highlight is that the light novel series author himself wrote the anime’s scripts.

The Cop Craft opening theme song “Rakuen Toshi” was performed by Masayoshi Oishi. The ending theme song music “Connected” was performed by voice actress Mayu Yoshioka (who played Tilarna).

This article provides everything that is known about Cop Craft Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Cop Craft light novel series compared to the anime

As previously mentioned, the story for the anime is based on the Cop Craft light novel series by author Shoji Gatoh. He was joined by illustrator Range Murata, who is well-known for his Dieselpunk art style that infuses anime elements. Notable works by Murata include Last Exile, Blue Submarine No. 6, and The Animatrix.

The light novel series is up to Volume 6 as of October 18, 2016. Amazon is already taking preorders for Cop Craft Volume 7, but a release date is not yet listed. Notably, Japanese publisher Shogakukan hasn’t created a listing for Volume 7 yet. The new book may have been delayed since Crunchyroll claimed in December 2018 that Volume 7 was “scheduled to be available in the early summer of 2019.”

Some reviewers noted that the pacing of the anime adaptation tends to jump through the plot progression quick enough to give audiences whiplash. Arguably, the first light novel volume had enough plot twists to be adapted into an entire anime season.

Cop Craft Dragnet Mirage Reloaded Light Novel Volume 1 Cover Art Change
The first two volumes were originally published under the title Dragnet Mirage by Takeshobo’s Zeta Bunko imprint in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The original light novel illustrator was Rokuro Shinofusa, and he depicted Tilarna as an adult woman, but when the novel series moved to Shogakukan’s Gagaga Bunko they changed the title to Cop Craft: Dragnet Mirage Reloaded… and changed Tilarna to a teenage girl. Pic credit: Rokuro Shinofusa/Range Murata

Instead, the plot progression of a 324-page book was condensed crammed into a handful of episodes, with Episode 3 speeding through many major story elements in mere minutes. We had tragic backstories, battles, treason, the big reveal behind Kei and Tilarna’s team up, and fairy-powered nuclear bombs all in one episode.

Since Gatoh maintained control over the anime, it’s a bit puzzling that he chose to create such a fast-paced story. On the other hand, at least the anime doesn’t seem dragged out at all.

For the first half of the anime, it seems like Gatoh was intent on adapting one book with around three to four episodes each. The first 3.5 episodes adapted Volume 1, while the ending of Episode 4 through Episode 6 adapted Volume 2, which told the stories of the vampire and the otherworldly porn theft ring.

Note: The following provides spoilers for light novels that were not adapted by the first of the anime, and these stories could be adapted by Cop Craft Season 2.

The anime seemingly skipped Volume 3, which focused on a mission where Tilarna infiltrated a high school disguised as a teen girl. Sherwood High School is one of the high-ranking private schools attended by wealthy families in the high-end residential district of Queens Valley. So, when a naked female corpse shows up at the school, the duo is sent to investigate.

Similarly, the anime skipped Volume 4, but the book was more of a light-hearted slapstick comedy which upset Japanese fans of the light novels, who were expecting a hard-boiled detective drama. Volume 5 returned to the standard formula by focusing on a series of murders against members of a military platoon that involved Matoba’s past in the Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).

The second half of the anime jumped back to the source material since the anime’s final story arc about the mayoral election comes from Volume 6. Unless Cop Craft Episode 12 provides an original ending, the ending of the first season should be open-ended and leave room for Cop Craft Season 2. Episode 12 could even tease the sequel by dropping mention of Tilarna’s sibling.

Cop Craft Volume 5 Light Novel Cover Art Range Murata
Cop Craft Volume 5 returned the story to its hard-boiled roots. Pic credit: Range Murata

The good news is that the three skipped light novels provide enough source material for Cop Craft Season 2. Since the light novel series is on hiatus, Gatoh could write original content, or even a final ending, since he’s directly involved in the anime’s production.

The bad news is that English-only anime fans who want to read an English translation of the Cop Craft books are out of luck. Nor is there a Cop Craft manga series that we can turn to.

Cop Craft Season 2 release date

As of the last update, Millepensee or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Cop Craft Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Cop Craft Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.

It’s hard to say whether a Cop Craft sequel is likely. After all, Gatoh’s light novels have a poor history when it comes to anime adaptations, with the recent Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory anime leaving fans hanging, waiting for a final season.

Fans of the hard-boiled detective genre will have to wait and hope Cop Craft Season 2 is greenlit for production. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "woke-taku" and he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment.... read more

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