WARNING: The next incorporates spoilers for Police in a Pod Episode 1, “Unbox & Punching Bag,” now streaming on Funimation.
The newly-released anime collection Police in a Pod (often known as Hakozume: Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu) is a slice-of-life comedy present based mostly on the seinen manga of the identical identify. Largely inoffensive on paper, it follows rookie cop Kawai Mai, who’s on the verge of resigning from her publish when a brand new teacher, Chief Fuji Seiko, is assigned to her, respiration new life into the job along with her unconventional methods.
Made up of a number of totally different sketches, the premiere episode shortly establishes its lead characters and breezes straight into the comedy points of its premise — small-time criminals with massive mouths, relatable workplace politics, and having to provide displays to younger and impressionable college youngsters. Nevertheless, Police in a Pod stumbles in a couple of methods, and within the present local weather, the content material itself might not be what some Western viewers are on the lookout for.
One of many greatest points with the present lies in its sense of comedic timing, or lack thereof. A few of its sketches include good concepts, notably those who any viewer who’s ever labored in an workplace or group setting can possible relate to (Kawai’s complaints about having to name the crime specialists to query a prolific thief, on condition that they’ve a high-and-mighty angle and look down on beat cops, is an effective instance of this).
Nevertheless, the sketches that rely much less on natural-seeming situational comedy and extra on motion or punchlines don’t land wherever almost as nicely. The pacing is just too uneven for these jokes to be delivered in a approach that feels natural and even very humorous in their very own proper, and sure strains come off as downright weird (such because the thief’s assertion that he targets cities with increased charges of crime — like folks driving double on bicycles — as a result of the individuals who reside there are much less more likely to look out for each other).
Nonetheless, it’s the final tone and general premise of Police in a Pod which will rub some Western audiences the flawed approach, particularly given the real-world social-political local weather and up to date conversations concerning the function of the police.
Kawai is a police officer on the verge of resigning as a result of the character of her work offers her a nasty rap, however she solely joined within the first place as a result of her father needed her to be a civil servant… and it was the one examination she was capable of cross. In the meantime, her new supervisor Fuji was allegedly fired from her detective function for office bullying — and whereas she seems outwardly variety, one of many episode sketches, the place she mumbles a string of bleeped-out curses beneath her breath at passing motorists, makes it clear that she has one thing of a mood and loads of pent-up aggression.
After all, the place and scope of cops in Japan — a minimum of, these stationed in small neighborhood police stations (kouban) — could also be fairly totally different from the photographs of cops elsewhere on the earth, notably within the U.S. Nonetheless, it may very well be tough for non-Japanese viewers to snigger off the sorts of jokes that Police in a Pod appears to be providing, particularly with regards to gags that both deliberately or inadvertently contact on social commentary.
It’s apparent that Police in a Pod doesn’t got down to be offensive, and for a lot of, that could be sufficient, not least as a result of they don’t seem to be the target market to start with. Nevertheless, for different watchers, the anime might come throughout as barely insensitive at finest, or tone-deaf and even probably triggering at worst.