In the solid Fall 2019 lineup, we have Tokunana, or Special 7 (actual title is way too long to type). So what does it take to make the ultimate police force, besides regular humans? How about adding in an elf, a vampire, a homunculus, and a dwarf? It’s certainly not what anyone would expect, but that’s the truth about Special Unit 7. Their newest recruit is Detective Seiji Nanatsuki, a regular human who decided to become a detective when he was saved by one when he was a teenager in a terrorist attack. Motivated by a strong sense of justice, he’s enthusiastic to be a part of this ragtag group of renegade cops and protect Tokyo! In addition to the insanity it has to offer, allow us to tell you why you NEED to watch Special 7!
Helps Contribute to the Advancement of the Reverse Isekai Genre
The isekai genre is without a doubt one of the most commonly used plot devices in anime and manga. Though we’re getting a lot of them these days, the genre goes back nearly 40 years to lets say Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Aura Battler Dunbine. Ever since GATE, the reverse isekai genre has been slowly but notably rising. Instead of regular humans finding themselves transported into another world where they have to complete a task in order to come home, the creatures from the isekai choose to reside in the world of humans and make a living. In the instance of Special 7, you already know that these creatures can become law enforcement officers—or criminals.
As stated before, what makes the reverse isekai genre distinguishable is that the residents of the other world are by no means trapped in our world. They are in the world of humans by choice and choose to integrate into society. If fantasy creatures are going to wreak havoc, then it’s only appropriate that we fight back with creatures that share the same abilities. Kujaku, an elf, is a master of intelligence. Bellemer, the homunculus, is an expert in explosives. Rokusuke, a dwarf, is a sharpshooting sniper. Despite regular humans being capable of performing these exact tasks, when you replace them with individuals from different species, it offers a lot more flavor to the tension, whether the tension is comedic and/or dramatic. Thanks to this gimmick, it demonstrates that the isekai genre can still be refreshingly creative.
Chemistry Between the Cast Members
When you have a team of people coming from different backgrounds, you have a recipe for the unpredictable. Considering that the unit consists of officers of different species, skill sets, and personalities, it adds a lot of interaction to keep the story moving. Seiji is the over-enthusiastic rookie who always wants in on the action and it contrasts with his superior, Ichinose, who tends to be more casual and gloomy. Kujaku at this point in the series isn’t exactly sociable, and he’s not one for small talk or humor. Akane, as a vampire, appropriately has a seductive design and voice. Bellemer is a technological genius who helps the team by giving instructions in disarming explosives and using her drones to pursue fleeing suspects. Then Rokusuke is the old veteran of the group who is wise and experienced which gives him more of a paternal role, especially with how he’s partnered with Bellemer.
We can’t say for certain but, considering Japan’s homogeneous society, it’s very difficult to portray diversity in anime when it takes place in Japan. Despite not trying to have a unit formed by, lets say, a native Japanese, a Korean, an America, an African, a European, etc, by adding in fantasy creatures into the mix, it gives anime as a whole the opportunity to explore diversity in a uniquely creative sense.
Before we finish, we know Cop Craft aired earlier in 2019 which also mixes law enforcement and reverse isekai, but Cop Craft is more akin to classic buddy cop comedy films like Rush Hour and Lethal Weapon. Special 7 takes a different turn and is more about a unit such as what’s portrayed in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Brooklyn 99. Thanks to Special 7, you can see how fantasy creatures such as vampires, who tend to be portrayed as villainous, can also get to be the hero! Considering that American TV dramas and cinema can have room for both sets of police procedurals, so can anime!