Tracking down a play-for-keeps underground Yu-Gi-Oh ring; rescuing a shipping container of helpless anime body pillows; mediating a gang war between the Subs and the Dubs—these are the anime crimes that Detective Joe Furaya (Vine star SungWon Cho) solves in Anime Crimes Division, the best anime YouTube series I’ve seen yet.
The three-episode series debuted in mid-November and ended yesterday. As the intro says, “When someone commits a crime against anime, they don’t call the police; they call the Anime Crimes Division.” Detective Furaya has a problem with anime fandom’s villains, and, alongside his newly-assigned partner, he and his bad Pocky habit take them down.
There’s some fun tension between Furaya and his rookie partner, Detective Diesel, who he thinks isn’t legit a enough otaku: After she’s unable to cite who owns Yuri on Ice’s juiciest butt, she admits her favorite anime is Digimon. Over the series, their trust grows throughout their anime misadventures.
Anime Crimes Division is non-stop anime puns and satire of the highest order. The writing and acting are exquisite, with actors playing straight-faced, hard-boiled detectives in a world where running like Naruto is totally normal. It’s an idea that’s brilliant enough for me to wonder why it hasn’t been done before, but executed so well here that I’m glad it wasn’t.