In Tokyo, there exists a peaceful cohabitation between supernatural creatures—elves, dwarves, vampires, and more—and humans. However, contrary to history, powerful dragons once ruled over this world of creatures and humans but have since disappeared. Consequently, a diabolical group under the alias "Nine," who seek the miracles of the once godlike dragons, stirs up trouble in the streets of Tokyo, commiting mass murder and causing destruction. To combat the dangerous group of Nine, the police organize the Special 7—a group of highly skilled professionals whose abilities exceed those of ordinary humans. Caught up in a bank robbery turned hostage crisis, Seiji Nanatsuki, having recently become a detective, has a chance encounter with Shiori Ichinose, a member of Special 7. Assisting with the resolution of the robbery, Seiji is recognized for his clear sense of justice and refreshing character, suddenly earning him a spot on the elite unit. As he takes on new missions, Seiji finds that being a detective as part of Special 7 isn't the police work he expected, where working alongside a team of different species with special abilities and vibrant personalities brings unpredictability to his daily life and police work. While the everyday crime in Tokyo continues, Seiji and the Special 7 will fight not only to resolve special cases, but also obstruct the ill-intentioned plans of the merciless group of Nine. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Urban fantasy stories, and specifically stories about cops attempting to police fantastical versions of the present, are a pretty common trend in anime – heck, Cop Craft just finished airing a few days ago. Special 7 clocks in as the latest entry in the subgenre, and focuses on Seiji Nanatsuki, a new detective who swiftly finds himself wrapped up in a tense hostage situation. Caught in a bank robbery that ends up involving both the ominous “Nine” and the police’s secret Special 7 unit, this premiere stands as a very fine example of the form, possessing strong narrative fundamentals that indicate this series could really have some legs.
The first thing that stuck out to me about Special 7 was that it doesn’t take place in a world where fantasy exists on the outskirts of society; instead, we’re introduced to a version of the present where elves, vampires, and various other fantastical creatures have already been fully integrated into humanity’s daily life. Not only does this make Special 7’s world feel a bit more distinctive than the usual “fantasy lurks in the shadows” conceit, it also means this episode doesn’t have to waste any time introducing Seiji to the supernatural – it’s free to immediately barrel forward on its own narrative adventure.
That strength leads into this episode’s other narrative assets; its snappy pacing, mastery of in-episode hooks, and understanding of what makes policework dramatically interesting. Seiji is introduced to the mysterious older officer Shiori Ichinose during the course of an active bank robbery, with the tension of the situation adding a sense of dramatic momentum to the initial development of their relationship. From there, the episode shifts quickly through coherent dramatic setpieces, as Seiji is taken hostage in an armored van, and Shiori works to stop the robbers from the outside. There’s always a clear sense of narrative stakes and building tension, and Shiori’s policework convincingly demonstrates he’s an intelligent, experienced officer. Being “smart” in anime is often conveyed more as a superpower than an intellectual asset – instead, Shiori’s intelligence is conveyed through substantive beats like his rapid analysis of the bankrobbers, and his breakdown of potential van-stopping plans.
Special 7’s aesthetic execution is less impressive than its writing, though still perfectly serviceable. I enjoyed the show’s stylish opening sequence, as well as its use of filters to create a sort of faded, almost newspaper-esque look for its backgrounds. There’s not too much fluid animation, but the direction kept energy high throughout, and the limited use of CG was well-masked by the layouts.
All in all, Special 7 counts as a very strong entry in a fairly crowded genre. Seiji and Shiori are pretty classic rookie and veteran archetypes, but this episode was able to sell their individuality through its convincing dialogue, and kept its tension high from start to finish. If you’re looking for a police drama this season, Special 7 seems like an excellent choice. You can also free Keishichou Tokumubu Tokushu Kyouakuhan Taisakushitsu Dainanaka: Tokunana anime watch online and free anime download.