I wasn't sure how well I'd like Cop Craft when I added it to my watch list. It seemed interesting, but also seemed like it'd be generic. "Portal to another world" isn't exactly a new plot device. Cop Craft actually managed to pull it off pretty well, at least that part of it. The setting and world building is the best thing about this show, even if it's not well utilized by the story or given justice by the animation.
Unfortunately the story didn't end up being that great. There's a lot of potential set up in the show but plot lines are basically forgotten and new ones introduced every other episode. The entire show revolves around the idea of a portal opening on Earth connecting our world with a fantasy world that has magic, wizards, and fairies. Nothing revolutionary, but I found the way this was all set up to be very interesting. Humans can learn magic too, the fantasy and Human technology can be mixed together, as well as other interesting ideas. These interesting ideas aren't well explored however. If it was because they were too busy with the plot to explore the worldbuilding I'd understand that, but the story itself is a mess.
The story follows Kei Matoba, a cop in the city established close to the portal. The show opens with his partner dying and the portal world sending a person of their own to investigate the magic related case that got Matoba's partner killed. This person from the other world is Tilarna, a young (appearance wise) girl who's a well trained knight (I think, again, it's not all that well explained). The show is primarily about following these two as they try to solve crimes in a complicated city.
The initial case however is solved within the first 3-4 episodes. There's nothing inherently wrong with this but it leaves the rest of the show kind of aimless. The plots wander, don't make much sense, and barely affect our characters in any meaningful way.
*Spoilers from this point forward*
For example, there's one plot line where Tilarna infiltrates a brothel in an attempt to catch a politician. While there she befriends one of the prostitutes. Upon completing the job she meets the prostitute (who's no longer a prostitute since the brothel was shut down) and starts a friendship with her, all while the prostitiute is unaware she's been working with the police this whole time. When it gets revealed the friend is understandably upset and feels betrayed, and she is then killed to keep her silent about matters involving the politician. Tilarna is shaken by this in the episode itself, but it doesnt really show throughout the rest of the show, she's the same character just okay with wearing a swimsuit. Something that should have had a deep impact on her character and changed how she viewed what was previously a black and white world to her... just doesn't.
Another example, early on in the show a character is introduced who's an ancient vampire. She was believed dead but it turns out she happened to survive and is brought to the regular world. But nothing actually comes of this. Because the vampire dies in the very same episode it has absolutely no affect on the overall story. The only thing this episode accomplishes is that Matoba knows vampires are a thing now, but this information doesn't aid him in any way. The vampire character, who I thought was really cool and would have liked to see more of, is here to cause a bit of trouble, drop some exposition, and die. You could remove her episode from the show and it'd be no different.
The characters were alright for this kind of show.
Matoba is the usual gruff and callous policeman that's actually a pretty considerate man on the inside. I actually rather liked him, he's a cool character. A war vet that lost his whole squad, he's trying to police a city where fantasy characters outclass him in basically every way. His character doesn't get a lot of development, but it doesn't really need to, he's already well adjusted to the life he's living and the situations around him.
The villain was also apparently responsible for the death of his whole squad, but this isn't explained or touched on even outside of a couple scenes. The resolution we should have when the villain is defeated just isn't there, but the conflict wasn't there in Matoba's character. There was no weight to that situation, so the resolution was pretty empty.
Tilarna is initially a girl that fails to understand the complexities of the human world. She frequently breaks the law in an attempt to solve a case, as well as attempts to murder suspects, because that's how her world is, very black and white. There's a lot you can do with a character like, and the show tries sometimes. As stated above though, she never really grows out of that. Even after all she experiences and learns she still tries to kill the suspect in the next episode. Events that should affect and change her character are simply ignored. The show tries to have her character make some changes in the last episode, but by this point it feels unearned and tacked on.
A big problem with her character ended up being a two-part episode where she switches bodies with a cat. This plot line is already silly enough and has no relevance to the rest of the story, but it goes one step further and utterly humiliates Tilarna. Tilarna's body, while being controlled by a cat, is exposed to multiple characters in the show. Her body also soils her own pants, again, thanks to the cat. There was just no need to have a plot line like this that didn't contribute to the story at all, does nothing but grossly humiliates one of our leads, and is forgotten about by the next episode.
The story could have been really good but squanders the great stuff it could have used. Plot lines come and go, are forgotten about, and have no effect on the story sometimes. I was pretty disappointed because at first I thought this was going to be a pretty good show. 5/10 on story.
The animation is laughably bad, to the point it ended up being more akin to a powerpoint presentation than an animation. There's nothing noteworthy about the lighting or camera work either. It's not the worst I've seen but it's pretty bad. 3/10
The sound is actually pretty good. Ot's nothing amazing, but it does it's job of setting the mood and aesthetic of a lot of the show. The voice acting I liked a lot especially for Matoba. The Semanian language spoken throughout the show, while propably just gibberish, was also kind of neat. Solid 7/10
The characters I really wish I could rank higher, but a lot of them just didn't get any screentime besides some establishing scenes. Matoba was good, and I liked Tilarna for the most part but again, her characterization had some flaws and was just bad at times. The villain also wasn't that great and was just a "our races need to be seperate! change is bad!" character rather than anything interesting. 6/10
Overall Cop Craft is a 6/10. And it only gets that high of a rating because I liked some of the characters and the setting and world building were cool. The show is kind of a mess really, which is a shame because it showed some real promise.
I wouldn't really recommend this show to anyone unless you're really into fantasy/magical elements and worldbuilding. Even then though the world building will probably let you down in just how underutilized it is.