Watching Cop Craft this season got me thinking. I love police procedural stories and I love buddy cop action movies with a bit of comedy and yet I don’t come across these kinds of stories in anime very often. Whether it is Bones, Castle, NCIS, Lethal Weapon or any of the myriad of TV shows and movies I’ve watched, I thoroughly enjoy them for some good popcorn viewing. So I decided to see if I could figure out which 5 anime that have police as a central focus in some way I have enjoyed the most. This was actually harder than I thought at first because it turns out I just don’t watch that many anime about police.
As always, I’d love for you to share your favourites in the comments, and in this case I’m really keen to hear your thoughts because I’d love to find some more police focused anime to get around to watching.
Number 5: Psycho Pass
Okay, I actually really love this one but technically not actually police but a part of the Ministry of Welfare Public Safety Bureau. But a rose by any other name still gives us a down and out detective tracking down the criminal who he knows is out there because he can see his fingers in so many crimes but cannot prove it. For all its sci-fi and dystopian trappings, Psycho Pass is at its core a police procedural story with the new kid on the block getting drawn in over her head in a case that will shake the foundation of the country. Very cool story with very cool guns.
Number 4: Psychic Detective Yakumo
I always thought the title of this one was a bit misleading. Yakumo isn’t actually a detective. He’s a moody college student who tries to avoid people. However, he does actually see ghosts and a detective who saved him when he was young regularly drops by to seek advice on whatever case he is working on. The detective himself has a bit of a reputation for solving these weird crimes and in fairness the detective isn’t a slouch and doing nothing on his own, but Yakumo is definitely the one who solves most of the cases and there’s very little police work involved given mostly it involves Yakumo just asking the ghosts where the evidence is.
Number 3: Death Note
This one is a little bit weird because even though Light’s father is in the police and initially it is the police trying to track down Kira, very soon the Japanese police drop the case leaving L, an independent, and a small group of former police on the job. Again, there isn’t a lot of standard police work going on as L and Kira both prepare to play some fairly elaborate mind games, but there are still some tense moments in the game of cat and mouse.
Number 2: Terror In Resonance
The story here primarily focuses on the terrorists and their plans, however early on in the story they send taunting videos to the police with riddles to solve. Shibazaki, an older and jaded detective who learned earlier in his career that it didn’t really pay to seek the truth out, unravels one of the riddles and then becomes obsessed with seeking out the truth behind the terrorists in this story. While he does play a secondary role, he is vital to the success of this story as he really is the only character looking clearly at the truth and wanting all the facts laid out.
Number 1: Darker Than Black
Beginning with Misaki Kirihara, a section chief in a division that specifically looks after cases involving Contractors, Darker Than Black is a fun story with so many different factions. The police are only notable in that Kirihara is our main contact point with them and her narration bookends the series as it establishes the scenes and concludes the first season. She is a great character but her superiors seems more like they are under the thumb of the many other agencies playing in this anime, so again don’t expect a lot of police work going on here as by and large these guys are late on the scene. Still a very fun anime though.
And that’s my list this week but be sure to let me know what your favourite anime with police are.
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