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.” The previous three episodes have been quite weak, with the novelty of the first episode wearing out quite quickly, but this one takes some steps in the right direction, reviving some hope for the series.

Kodomo Keisatsu Title

The episode begins with one of the kid cops (Nabe-san) meeting an old acquaintance who looks like trouble:

Trouble 1Trouble 2

I will hereafter refer to him as the rough-edged fellow.

Rough-Edged Fellow

I surprise myself by saying this, but I think Marius-kun has actually improved. In the previous episode, he seemed a bit less stiff. This time, he was practically natural, walking in a bit more smoothly:

Smooth Entry

Even waving at the newbie’s salute:

Acknowledging Wave

It’s sort of weird analyzing his one-minute appearances, but hey, this is his first drama role – you can’t ignore it. And it looks like he’s learning on-the-job.

Marius Improvement 1Marius Improvement 2Marius and Newbie 1

After that, the newbie spots the rough-edged fellow, and they go for some yakiniku and sake . . .

Encountering the Rough-Edged Fellow AgainYakiniku and Sake

. . . which leaves the newbie on the couch . . .

Stinking of Sake

. . . and his “senior” decides to clean him up and wake him up at the same time.

A Bit of Water Should Do It

They get notified of a murder, and guess who it turns out to be:

Rough-Edged Fellow Dead

Well, since newbie was one of the last people to see the rough-edged fellow alive, he becomes a natural suspect, which brings Marius-kun in for a rare second appearance (amid earthquake warnings at the top):

Newbie in TroubleMarius Explains the Situation

And it’s at this point that I finally register (because I haven’t seen a single episode with subtitles) that Marius’ title is “honcho” – literally (班長 – “hanchou” meaning “group leader”).

Marius Has No Choice

Anyway, others in the office oppose hanchou Marius-kun taking the newbie in as the prime suspect, but lead detective (deka chou) Suzuki-kun recognizes the necessity.

The Others ObjectSuzuki-kun

So, the newbie is handcuffed by Marius-kun (who is certainly having his finest moment in the series so far here) and led out.

Sorry, Buddy

The rest of the team mobilizes to clear their comrade and just when things were looking so promising, and they really need to keep up the pace of the action, we get the last thing we needed – these two:

Worst Person in the World EntersWorst Person in the World 1Worst Person in the World 2Worst Person in the World Gone Wild

I swear, I hope the kid decides to arrest them for disturbing the peace at the very least.

Contemplating an Arrest?

Nabe-san continues to take the lead in clearing the newbie.

Nabe-san Investigates

In the office scene after that, I wasn’t entirely sure what they were talking about, but Suzuki-kun had some great expressions on his face:

Suzuki ShockSuzuki InsistentSuzuki Nani

Following that, we got our third (omg!) Marius-kun scene, where he checks up on the newbie. This is the first time I think Marius got above average on-screen time.

Marius in for Round ThreeNewbie UnhappyMarius Round Three 2Marius and Newbie 2

And with more screen time came a subtle range of expressions:

Sideways GlanceEarnestnessConcern

Nothing compared to the extreme expressions we see from adult actors – or from Suzuki-kun for that matter – but it’s a start. We have the required scene between Kichise-san and Suzuki-kun next. The talks between them seem to be getting more and more difficult for Kichise-san.

Suzuki and MichiseKichise Troubled

What comes next is another break from pattern, with Suzuki-kun meeting the newbie at a bar, updating him on Nabe-san’s investigative efforts.

At the Bar 1At the Bar 2At the Bar 3

Somehow, this scene worked out quite well. That’s probably a great testimony to the two actors. That had better be a soda he’s drinking, though.

He better be drinking soda

Anyway, the investigation turns up with someone who looks like even more trouble than the rough-edged fellow. Call him the seedy obnoxious bastard (or s.o.b. for short).

S.O.B. 1S.O.B. 2

We finally get a proper cop show ending – one with guns aimed, people running around, and people getting beat up.

ConfrontationNewbie Running

In short, in one episode, this series gave me almost everything I wanted. They finally started using Marius-kun properly instead of just having him walk in and walk out. They made the episode’s conflict significant and ended the half hour properly. The only fault? Those two horrible characters who always pop up in the middle. I guess they really did bribe or blackmail somebody, so there’s no getting rid of them.

So, good episode. Heck, even Suzuki-kun was smiling at the end of this one:

Suzuki End Smile