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6 of Anime's Less-Than-Finest Officers

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Incompetent cops are a common foil in Western fiction, especially if the main character is a vigilante superhero or the victim of a crime that's gone unpunished. It isn't nearly as common in anime though, where blue bloods are filled with types like Akane Tsunemori, Natsumi Tsujimoto, and Zenigata. Even when the latter doesn't catch Lupin, it's because of how good Lupin is at being a thief, not that Zenigata is a lousy cop.

There are a number of police officer characters that are long overdue for a transfer to a different line of work. This week's list looks at the cops that are too violent, too scatterbrained, or too lazy for their duties yet somehow never manage to get fired.

6. Inferno Cop (Inferno Cop) Once upon a time maybe Inferno Cop was a great police officer before the flaming skeleton thing got in the way. Since his transformation, Inferno Cop has abandoned the badge in favor of vigilantism. His brand of justice only functions at maximum with any and all criminals finding themselves shot or blown to smithereens.

5. Ms. Smith (Monster Musume) Smith is a specialized ICE agent of sorts, focusing directly on the exchange of monsters and ensuring that no laws are broken during their time spent with humans. That's what she's supposed to do anyway, but Smith prefers to spend most of her time sleeping and is usually late to any kind of emergency. The primary reason Kimihito's home ends up overrun with monster girls is that it's far easier for Smith to unload them on him than to seek out new homes.

4. Mihoshi (Tenchi Muyo!) Galactic Police officer Mihoshi wasn't always a unfocused, clumsy wash-up. She actually used to be an illustrious member of the force like her family members before her. Unfortunately, Mihoshi was victim to something, possibly related to an arranged marriage, and snapped. The result is a far ditzier Mihoshi who, despite her best intentions, survives the dangers of her job through supernatural luck alone. Her value as a police officer is also dependent on which Tenchi Muyo! timeline she appears in. Her role in OVAs is more prominent, and while she's unfocused and accidentally destructive, she's also invulnerable. The television series negates these powers and Mihoshi is reduced further to simple comic relief.

3. Dick Gumshoe/Keisuke Itonokogiri (Ace Attorney) You can't help but feel bad for Detective Gumshoe. He certainly means well and is loyal to the prosecution to a fault. He manages to wiggle himself into complicated cases as lead investigator but rarely understands the intricacies of the timeline or relationship between witnesses and suspects. Fortunately, he never outright damages a court case but he is usually the first bar Phoenix has to jump over to set the record straight.

2. Natsuki Sasahara (Hyper Police) Natsuki is a playful cat-girl that loves catnip milk, helping her comrades, and upholding order. She sounds like a perfect match for the Police Company with the added bonus of being able to zap her foes. Natsuki runs and her partners run into some trouble when they discover she can't really control her electrical powers and is a lousy shot with a firearm. Her fellow officers more often find themselves on the receiving end of her zaps and bullets. After a number of accidents, Natsuki's gun is taken from her and replaced with a knife, but that only solves half of the problems.

1. Sleepy (Mad Bull 34) Sleepy tops the list of New York's toughest cops, but he's also excessively violent and sleazy no matter which way you cut his secret "heart of gold" back story. You could say that Sleepy always catches the bad guy, but sometimes the bad guy is a petty crook and "catching" them means shooting them with a shotgun in a parking lot. He is a literal interpretation of "shoot first, ask questions later." Oddly, his propensity for violence isn't borne from an abject hatred of crime. Sleepy is also a pimp and manages his own stable of sex workers on the side. Yet somehow killing suspects in broad daylight or running an illegal operation on the side never gets Sleepy fired.

The new poll: Who is your favorite anime police officer?

The old poll: Which arc of the Monogatari series is your favorite?
  1. Hitagi End 14.95%
  2. Hitagi Crab 10.44%
  3. Nadeko Medusa 8.12%
  4. Tsubasa Tiger 7.09%
  5. Shinobu Time 7.09%
  6. Tsubasa Cat 6.70%
  7. Mayoi Snail 4.77%
  8. Mayoi Jiangshi 4.77%
  9. Suruga Monkey 4.38%
  10. Suruga Devil 3.99%
  11. Shinobu Mail 3.09%
  12. Karen Bee 2.71%
  13. Tsukihi Phoenix 2.58%
  14. Nadeko Snake 2.06%
  15. Tsubasa Family 1.93%
  16. Ougi Formula 1.42%
  17. Sodachi Lost 1.03%
  18. Yotsugi Doll 0.64%
  19. Sodachi Riddle 0.64%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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