Police anime encompasses various settings and themes. While real-world police work involves investigation and apprehending criminals, Anime often expands beyond those boundaries.
Sometimes, it involves intense action scenes with characters wielding firearms. The stories can be thrilling, with lives hanging in the balance. In addition, Anime set shortly often feature fascinating and visually captivating settings.
Without further ado, here are five must-watch police anime that have been carefully selected, along with an overview and their highlights:
1. Kochira Katsushikaku Kameari Kouenmae Hashutsujo
As a heartwarming police anime, the hugely popular Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo is also known as “Kochikame.” This series holds the Guinness World Record for the most published volumes in a manga series.
The protagonist, Kankichi Ryotsu, works at the Kameari Police Station in front of Kameari Park. He is a laid-back and irresponsible officer known for always wearing sandals and having connected eyebrows. In addition, he is arrogant regarding money and often engages in bizarre behaviour for a police officer, such as playing pachinko on duty, which earns him a scolding from his chief, Daijiro Ohara.
Despite his unconventional behaviour, Kankichi, who grew up in the downtown area, is well-liked by the neighbourhood’s people and known by the nickname “Ryo-san.” This is because he possesses superhuman physical abilities and toughness, showing his resilience when the situation demands it. In addition, his juniors, Keiichi Nakagawa and Reiko Catherine Akimoto, admire him for his kindness and sense of justice.
“Kochikame” primarily consists of standalone comedy episodes, with the highlight being the comedic misfortunes that befall Ryotsu, usually ending with a humorous twist. Set in a down-to-earth neighbourhood, the series is charming and easy to relate to, adding to its appeal.
PSYCHO-PASS is an immensely popular anime that stands out as an original series without source material, having aired for an unprecedented three seasons.
The series portrays a near-future world where people’s mental states are quantified and managed through the “Sibyl System.” In this system, individuals with high crime coefficients that are likely to commit crimes can become subjects of enforcement actions based solely on their numerical values. This unique concept sets the backdrop for the story.
In a world where the Sibyl System determines good and evil without human agency, the series explores the theme of questioning whether those numerical values are genuinely correct.
The protagonist, Akane Tsunemori, is assigned as a rookie inspector in the Public Safety Bureau. There, she encounters enforcers, individuals with high crime coefficients who work to suppress crime. Enforcers are considered latent criminals according to the Sibyl System.
With her fresh perspective as a newcomer, Akane treats the enforcers as individual human beings and joins them in facing heinous crimes. One of the series’ highlights is the gradual revelation of the truth behind the incidents as the story progresses.
3. Ghost in the Shell
is based on the manga “Ghost in the Shell” by Shirow Masamune, which has been serialized since 1989. The franchise includes anime series and theatrical films, but the central character is Major Motoko Kusanagi, who has augmented her body with cybernetic enhancements.
The story is set shortly in Japan, where scientific and technological advancements have rapidly progressed. Most people have direct access to the internet through their brains. Society consists of a diverse range of individuals, from ordinary humans to those who have undergone cyberization or even androids, each with a unique will.
In this world, crimes such as terrorism and assassinations have increased, prompting the Ministry of Internal Affairs to establish the Public Security Section 9, also known as the “Ghost in the Shell” or simply “Section 9,” to minimize these threats. The story revolves around the activities of Section 9 and their efforts to combat these crimes.
The series highlights include using advanced future technologies by Section 9 to track down criminals and the action-packed scenes involving the cyborg members. The series also delves into the intriguing aspects of a world where technology has advanced to cyberization, exploring the thoughts and motivations of those who have undergone mechanical enhancements.
4. Patlabor: The Mobile Police
Patlabor: The Mobile Police is an anime series first released in 1989 and became popular enough to receive film adaptations and original video animations (OVAs). The story is set shortly when the technology of humanoid robots called “Labors” has advanced, leading to economic prosperity and increased crime.
Unable to fully cope with Labor-related crimes, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department establishes the “Special Vehicles Section 2 Division,” known as “SV2.” In addition, they aim to strengthen security measures using patrol Labors, commonly called “Patlabors.”
However, the members of the uncertain SV2 division are all young officers. “Mobile Police Patlabor” focuses on the growth and conflicts of these young officers as they navigate their roles in the squad.
The series explores the dynamics of the SV2 team and their experiences dealing with various Labor-related incidents. It combines action, comedy, and drama to depict the challenges and personal growth of young police officers engagingly and entertainingly.
5. Cop Craft
Cop Craft is an anime based on the light novel series written by Shoji Gatoh. It presents a unique world where, fifteen years ago, a “hyper-dimensional gate” suddenly appeared, revealing the existence of a parallel world inhabited by fairies and extraterrestrial beings.
In the city of San Teresa, on the closest island to the other world, Kariaena, there has been an increase in heinous crimes. The protagonist, Kei Matoba, is a police officer in that city.
Cop Craft begins with a shocking incident in the first episode’s opening scene: Kei’s partner, with whom he has worked for four years, is killed. His new partner turns out to be Tirana Exedirika, a noble from the other world which appears as a young girl.
Initially, Kei treats Tirana as an annoyance, but as they face challenging cases together, they gradually develop trust and camaraderie.
The series highlights include the deepening bond between Kei and Tirana and their gradual approach to uncovering the true mastermind behind the murder of Kei’s previous partner.
Cop Craft combines fantasy, action, and mystery to create an intriguing narrative in a world where different cultures collide. The dynamic between the two protagonists and their pursuit of justice makes for an engaging watch.
Police-themed Anime is not simply about good triumphing over evil!
Police-themed Anime often combines science fiction and fantasy genres, creating unique and well-developed fictional worlds. In addition, some of these works are set in futuristic settings, which can make viewers wonder, “Could such a future exist?”
Moreover, themes like “crime” and “judgment of good and evil” are central to police anime, where a diverse cast of police personnel and criminals are featured. Exploring these themes becomes a defining aspect of police anime. I encourage you to use this article as a reference to discover police anime that align with your preferences and interests.