- Alt. Name
- Keishichou Tokumubu Tokushu Kyouakuhan Taisakushitsu Dainanaka: Tokunana
- Release Date
- Fall 2019
- No. of Episodes
Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit is a 2019 Action Fantasy anime series from an unknown Japanese animation studio Anima&Co. While nothing is known about this studio, this was their first attempt at creating any series; sometimes, that is the best advantage a studio can have. Having no previous works behind them means it’s a clean slate, and Anima&Co has no prior judgments about them. Suppose they can complete a compelling and exciting Action series that captivates their audiences, then that’s what truly matters. Can a brand-new studio create an original series that viewers need to watch, or did they make another average series that deserves to be mixed in with the hundreds of other shows thrown into the season?
In Tokyo, a peaceful cohabitation exists 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 sinister group under the alias “Nine,” who seek the miracles of the once godlike dragons, stirs up trouble in the streets of Tokyo, committing 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 Nanatsuko, having recently become a detective, has a chance encounter with Shiori Ichinose, a member of Special 7. Assisting with resolving 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, working alongside a team of different species with unique abilities and vibrant personalities, bringing unpredictability to his daily life and police work. While the everyday crime in Tokyo continues to rise, Seiji and the Special Seven will fight to resolve special cases and obstruct the ill-intentioned plans of the most ruthless group of Nine.
When an action fantasy series is announced, there are two ways the story can go, the first being the superhero route like One Punch Man or My Hero Academia. The second is a more dramatic approach to humans’ “normal” lives. While both have their positives and negatives, Special 7 is an exciting story that was well written without crossing the line of being too much in either direction. The story gave its viewers a healthy dose of Action, Fantasy, and Drama, but they were mixed into each other almost seamlessly.
Though the biggest compliment towards the story was that the pacing of the narrative was exceptionally done and surpassed any expectation viewers may have to go towards this series. In comparison, many series have a hard time keeping the action and the fantasy going in a moving direction when they have twelve or more episodes to showcase the material. However, since Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit is an original creation, it could create enough content to spread evenly to its viewers. While not all series can do this, Special 7 used their ability to their fullest, which is a lot considering many series inside and outside these genres fail at completing this task.
But if one hopes this story is perfect, they are sadly mistaken as there were a few red flags throughout the entire series. The most obvious problem was that the whole series is detailed within the synopsis, and they do not refrain from anything else. While this may not be a negative to some, others who want more character development through other means will be disappointed in some ways as their story relies solely on one colossal case. Whether this is good or bad is case-by-case, but viewers need to know as this is not a multiple arc series.
Considering Special 7 is an action series, many episodes are not very actiony. At the same time, there are moments within them; they are somewhat expected as there is a formula for the story that is easily identifiable after a while. Another negative aspect of this story is that viewers may find a decent piece of this series rather dull and slow. This brings viewers a different red flag that this story takes some aspects from other series such as Dragon Crisis and The Boy and The Beast. While having similar parts is nothing new within any medium, it’s a little surprising that they decide to use elements and story themes from other well-known and lesser-known franchises.
When it comes to Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit’s art style is a double-edged sword. The characters are uniquely different from each other but are not unique to other series released previously. The main character looks oddly like Sven Volied from Black Cat. Though the characters are sleek and stylish, nothing creative about their designs or styles would make them memorable. Perhaps this is due to the studio being so new, but even so that this is no excuse. If this was an original concept, the ability to create character designs and make them unique is a skill that needs to be attempted no matter what studio is behind production due to so many shows and movies coming out during each season.
Though it comes to the animation production of this series, that is shockingly better than expected. While not perfect, the action scenes are well crafted and attractive, along with the art style that the studio was trying to emulate, Madhouse. But what worked well within this series was the opening theme and its animation, “Take On Fever” by OLDCODEX was a fantastic choice and, combined with the energy, was a match made in heaven. When the ending theme song of “One Wish” by SCREEN mode is played, it’s a drastic difference compared to the heavy rock of its predecessor. Don’t underestimate the power of a drastic difference in genre and tempo for opening and closing theme songs.
When it comes to the cast of characters within Special 7, there is an even amount of exhilaration and creativity. Seiji Nanatsuki, also known as “Rookie,” is the main character of the series. Nine years ago, he survived a terrorist attack at an airport because a detective delayed the terrorists and let them escape. He wished to be like him, and so became a detective. Though he is the team’s newest member, he has the most potential due to his rich sense of justice and willingness to risk his own life to protect people in danger.
Shiori Ichinose, who has the nickname “Charisma,” is a withdrawn human team member. He is a master at making suspects talk by using his innate ability to see all the possibilities and conclude which is the most probable. His marksman skills are bizarre, if he is taking his time and aims at his target, he misses every time, but if he closes his eyes or fires, he can make impossible shots.
Kujaku Nijo, who has the nickname “Analyzer,” is a brilliant elf with an extensive network of connections. He lost his older brother in the same terrorist attack that Seiji was injured in and still vows to find him one day.
Akane Shikisai’s nickname “Samurai” is a vampire and a master swordsman. She shares an apartment with an unknown male and their dog. Bellemer Cinq, whose nickname is “Ninja,” is a homunculus girl with blonde hair who uses drones to deliver explosives. She is not against telling people she’s a ninja when doing anything for the team. Out of anyone on the team, she is arguably the most saddening backstories compared to her teammates.
The last two members on the team are Rokusuke Endo, who goes by the nickname “Sniper.” Sometimes he’s called Gramps. He is a dwarf who wears an eyepatch over his left eye but remains a master sniper. He was married to an elf at one point and currently lives with their adult daughter. The last member is Sekon Zeroemon Kiryuin, who also goes by the simple name of “Boss.” He oversees Special Unit 7 as he directs and watches over the team from the base but is shown to be quite quirky, especially how he wears his bowties. He has a familiar who is a small white dragon which whom he shares a psychic connection. He can communicate with his team, sees what it sees, and feels what it feels.
Throughout the entire twelve-episode anime series Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit was a decent starting point for any studio. As an action anime series, it had some problems with its story and delivery and some good moments. Is this a terrible anime? No, but as an original creation, it was well created. When viewers watch this series, they are watching something that has nothing to go off of, and that is a challenge within itself that most B-level animation studios still struggle with today. The studio had the same issues, but if viewers want to watch an easy-to-follow series that is decently entertaining, then welcome your next series to watch.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.