Kodomo Keisatsu (コドモ警察) is a half-hour drama centered on cops who are turned into kids by a chemical, but who continue about their daily business anyway, fighting the all-pervasive evil organization “Red Venus.”

With all but one of the main cast half my age or less, I’m tempted to just post the most adorable screenshots from the episode and leave it at that. For instance:

Big Bullhorn

But at the risk of seeming a bit harsh, I’ll offer some critique. The plot this time was a hostage situation featuring a crazy guy with a rifle:

Crazy Guy with a Rifle and Hostage

That’s good, because it’s reasonably different from previous episodes. Unfortunately, the whole thing is undermined by the use of set scenes that have occurred in every episode so far, which feel like repeated skits.

There’s the scene where poor Marius-kun has to stand like a post and deliver his lines:

Marius Standing

The scene where Suzuki-kun talks things over with Kichise Michiko-san:

Suzuki and KichiseKichise Michiko

And, most annoyingly, the scene with these two individuals, who make me want to stop watching at the first sight of them:

The Super-Annoying PairI really hate her

Those set scenes tend to break up the action in every episode, making the whole thing feel choppy. It would be better if we had a continuous state of high tension, which is what cop dramas, even funny ones, are all about. It’s even worse when the show’s only twenty minutes of programming time.

I’m sure the set scenes made it easier on the kids, but I get the feeling that the real reason for them is laziness on the part of the writers. Bad writers love time-fillers (or in the case of print, space-fillers), and that’s what these are. The writers didn’t really know what to do with the kids – what kinds of scenes they would be up to playing – so they created these skits that wouldn’t require much out of the actors.

This episode did less to challenge the young cast than the previous two. If we get the same week after week, instead of a steady increase in the difficulty level, I think interest, at least my interest, in the show will wane. I really wanted to see what the kids could pull off, and if the first and second episode showed us everything, then what’s the point of seeing the rest? It’s not as if I’m going to be blown away by the stories or the comedy.