First Look: Police in a Pod

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Alternative title: Hakozume: Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu
Manga Adaptation by Madhouse
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

Kawai Mai has recently joined the police force, and is to start working out of a local police box. There she meets Fuji Seiko, her superior and ex-member of Criminal Affairs, who is just a little jaded about the job. Shenanigans ensue Police work happens.

Euri’s verdict: Give it arrest

Given the show’s art style, I had immediately assumed that this was some decades-old manga that Madhouse was running with. Turns out it’s from 2017, so while there’s no chance of a 90s-era classic like You’re Under Arrest!, there’s every chance this show has something to say… right?

Look – this show is billed as a comedy, so I’m not exactly going into it expecting a scathing critique of policing, but boy. There aren’t a lot of jokes to even be had here, as the show goes a similar route to last year’s Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan and settles on just complaining about the job. The few jokes that are actually thrown out are very much in ‘cop on a power trip’ territory, so there’s that.

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There is a moment during the episode where, while on traffic duty, Mai recalls how devastating a speeding ticket was for her poor family. Not long afterwards they pull over someone on a moped who runs through a stop sign, who ends up being a very nervous older lady, and they proceed to ticket her. Again, this is a comedy show, but this is obviously not meant to be a funny scene. At the same time the show doesn’t actually say anything either, despite the obvious set-up to do so.

To me, this show feels like it has a massive identity crisis. If you want to be a comedy, go for it, but the number and quality of the jokes just aren’t there. There’s also plenty of room to go down that Uramichi Oniisan route instead and do it well, but we don’t get that either.

After the first episode I’m left wondering what the point of it was, but I can confidently tell you that the biggest crime on show here is just how dull Police in a Pod manages to be.

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Artemis’ verdict: Booked for Bad Comedy

Thanks to a very poor sense of comedic timing and somewhat uneven pacing in general (to say nothing of the wisdom of actually releasing an anime centered around somewhat less-than-professional police officers in this current climate), I can’t say Police in a Pod did much to impress me. Was it offensively bad? No – although fair warning, it does occasionally contain some ‘comedy’ moments that feel at best slightly insensitive, if not downright distasteful. I’m not saying it’s impossible to make a comedy about police right now that actually works, but this ain’t it, chief. Police in a Pod would likely have worked better if it pushed the slice-of-life office sitcom angle harder, rather than trying to be a sketch comedy – mostly because the office politics are actually fairly relatable, whereas the punchlines to most of its jokes just aren’t very funny. Oh well – one more show I don’t have to keep up with.

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