Top 5 Anime About Police

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.

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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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Karandi James



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15 thoughts on “Top 5 Anime About Police

  1. From this list, I loved all the ones that I’ve seen. Darker Than Black was so good and I really need to watch the second episode. Death Note, as someone else mentioned, is one that has actual police work in it. I feel Psycho-Pass had that in the beginning and then ventured towards a much bigger picture. I would add Ghost in the Shell: SAC as my number one, but i’m obsessed with that series haha.

    1. Nice choices. Did you mean the second series of Darker Than Black or second episode. If you meant second series, I’d probably say to let it go. Season one is great but much like my feelings about Black Butler’s second season, Darker Than Black just isn’t quite as good when it returns.

  2. Admittedly, I’ve only seen one episode of the top 2, the entire manga of the 3rd (but not the anime) and haven’t watched the 4th or 5th places yet, so if I made the same list, it would look significantly different.

    There was Double Decker a few seasons back – it was fun but got caught up in sci-fi stuff at the end. The manga adaption (in Japanese only) is ongoing on Tonari no Young Jump’s website as I type this, so other people might’ve forgotten about it already.

    I also believe when I was looking at recommendations for anime (it might’ve been about police or about adult casts) one time, there was Active Raid (haven’t watched it yet, but I’m fairly sure it has police and mechs in it)…plus of course, there’s Detective Conan/Case Closed.

  3. Great list. Psycho Pass is also a favourite of mine. You’re right we’re definitely short anime that have the police as their focus. I’d suggest Patlabor, though I’ve only seen the ovas and the movies. Would you class Section 9 from Ghost in the Shell as police? Other than that I can’t think of anything you haven’t already mentioned.

  4. Psycho Pass is of course one of my alltime favorite animes😊 I can’t wait to see what season 3 is going to bring us.
    One older anime series that I really enjoyed is Dominion Tank Police. It’s a classic and one that’s certainly still worth checking out. As with most older animes, you can find it on Youtube😊

  5. A list of some very good anime! My favorite is Psycho-Pass but the others are all fun too. Yakumo was a little bit boring for me, though, tbh.

    1. Yakumo is a slow burn and I just like it because I like that kind of slow supernatural story. I also felt the resolution made it well worth the journey. And after watching more than once the characters have really grown on me. It is definitely not for everyone though.

  6. Of all of these, Death Note actually seems like the closest to actual policework. What I liked about the first half of Death Note was how grounded all the methods they used were.

    1. I know. I realised while making this list I haven’t watched all that many anime about police. There are plenty of anime that have a police officer as a character, but the anime isn’t about them.

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