And All That
Right so I’m getting a mix of Phantom in the Twilight with Midnight Occult Civil Servants vibes from this first episode and it isn’t just the slightly budget looking visuals being thrown across the screen (seriously, way too many images where we’re panning across stills here). However, I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. While neither Twilight nor Midnight (I never made that connection before I wrote this post) were ‘must watch’ viewing, they were both fun enough and hit a particular taste I have for supernatural urban fantasy. Whether Special 7 ends up being an anime I am fond of while admitting its glaring faults remains to be seen, but episode 1 certainly set a tone that indicated I would enjoy this series but probably not recommend it.
The set up here is relatively standard with the only real surprise being that this isn’t the rookie’s first day on the job. He hasn’t even started the job yet and somehow landed himself in the middle of a bank-robbery. The young and idealistic seeker of justice who has their eyes opened on the job (or helps the older and more jaded characters reignite their sense of justice) is a pretty standard template for these kinds of stories though it would have been nice if our bright eyed main character seemed like he would be a more interesting character to get to know. Unfortunately, other than being green and earnest, as well as a little stupid, he doesn’t really present much in the way of personality just yet.
The bank robbery isn’t all that thrilling though they do get to blow a small hole in the rainbow bridge and we get a minor fight sequence which is as much action as this episode sees (which given action is one of the tags MAL has given it seems odd) and it works well enough. There’s also some set-up and world building (largely through exposition) about terrorists, peace, and the existence of elves, vampires, etc. So far they haven’t done much with that yet other than tell us about it.
Naturally though by the end of the episode our newly minted detective reports for duty and is directed to a ‘special’ unit whose purpose we still don’t know. However, the post credits show us a guy with a scarred face shooting another guy with a brief-case which I guess is set up for the next episode. Given the assessment of new-guy during the bank robbery was that he was an idiot, I can’t imagine why said special unit have bothered to recruit him. Maybe it has something to do with him surviving being shot and thrown from a moving car with no actual injury after the fact? Just one more question mark I guess.
I’m not going to lie. This wasn’t a great first episode. It was barely even good. However, if this type of story is something you enjoy its also pretty harmless. I will admit, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing what this one does and I’m hoping it doesn’t self-destruct.
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Special 7 is not so special, but here’s the episode coverage.
Images from: Special Crime Investigation Unit – Special 7. Dir. H Kosaka. Anima&Co. 2019.