Hakozume – Kouban Joshi no Gyakushuu – 01

「アンボックス&サンドバック」 (Anbokkusu Ando Sandobakku)
“Unbox & Punching Bag”

An intimate behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be a policewoman in Japan.

「アンボックス&サンドバック」 (Anbokkusu Ando Sandobakku)
“Unbox & Punching Bag”

There’s this old-school feeling in this anime, I can’t yet put my finger on what exactly makes it old school, be it the style, the clipped opening, or the niche topic. Or maybe it’s the fact MADHOUSE one of my favorite studios, is behind the animation for Hakozume. And it might just be a product of their hands. Something that happened unconsciously as the production rolled on. I’m not quite sure, it’s just there, looming as I watched the first episode of Hakozume. Maybe it’s just me, so disregard if it didn’t apply to you.

Hakozume tells the story of a rookie police officer who has just joined the force Kawai Mei (Wakayama, Shion) comes from a poor family, and the only thing she cares about is a steady income paycheck. After her father begged her to join the civil servant force, which she openly describes through a series of flashbacks, which they make fun of through a clever piece of dialogue. She takes every single civil servant exam out there, and a police officer is the only one she passes.

Her superior Fuji, Seiko (Ishikawa, Yui) a veteran police officer bad mouths people after she gives them a speeding ticket. This is a perfect segway to say, the behind-the-scenes of police officers are very present in Hakozume. The emotions they come across and the things they have to go through as people bad-mouth them. I mean I didn’t think this was such the case in Japan, but apparently, it is. Besides most of the people who were speeding looked like delinquents anyway, I don’t know if the show was actively trying to make that point or if it was unintentional. It’s hard not only because they are police officers, but because they are women. I’m glad Hakozume is not shying away from showing the truth of what it means to be a women police officer. Kawai is on the verge of resigning, she already has a letter and everything, however, her day with Fuji makes her contemplate on whether she should actually resign or not. There’s already character development going on! What a treat!

Their first order of business is doing a patrol around town, they find a man who has been apparently attacked, but that’s not the whole story, Fuji makes a ghost inspection on his backpack and finds an item that feels like a crowbar. She asks the man to come back to the station and he has no other option but to comply. It seems like he’s a burglar who has been going around town, well stealing stuff. They interrogate him and he even befriends Fuji. Then Yamada, Takeshi (Tsuchiya, Shinba) appears as he was called because when apprehending a prisoner the special crime unit, or something like that, has to come and get him so that they can send him to prison or something or other. I’m not a lawyer, and so the technicalities might have flown over my head. However, you already know who I’m going to simp for. (xD)

Before the burglar is sent over to the FBI, the chief officer tells them about a school that wants them to give a speech, Fuji absolutely nails it, but then the floor opens for Q&A, one girl asks, why do we have to follow the rules and Kawai gives a beautiful answer, telling the story of the earlier thief as an analogy. She even gets praise from Fuji. They continue with their day and I must say breaking the law is expensive in Japan. One ticket came to a total of ¥18,000 which comes to around $115.

That’s really expensive!

In Mexico, you have the option to pay for your speeding tickets early and you even get a certain percentage taken off the final toll for paying prematurely. If you forget about the ticket and never go to the government office the fine does accumulate and it gains interest. One time I paid for a ticket and it was like $300 (MXN) because I paid early, that’s around $14 (USD) or around ¥1,677. So seeing those ticket prices in Hakozume was a little jarring for me. Or well you could save yourself a trip to the bureau by bribing the cop. Only in Mexico though, don’t try that in any other part of the world. Don’t bribe cops either way!

But it’s going to be a little bit more expensive, cops expect a 30% to 60% increase in what you would pay to the government since they pocket that money. (Corruption is real! And people just accept it.) This is especially true if cops catch you with alcohol in your system, and a fine for a DUI does significantly increase to around $100 (USD) which is around $10,000 (MXN).

Anyway, Kawai’s dad shows up and he’s asking for some money but brings one big bottle of sake, I like that they’re also going deep into the lives of these women it’s going to make for an interesting watch.

As for me making weekly coverage, I’m not sure with this one just yet, so you’ll have to wait and see. I’m picking up two series this season, and one of them is Sasaki to Miyano. But the other one is still undecided. I want to wait for all of my first impressions before making a decision. And they’re going to be quite a few this season. So stay tuned!

What did you think of this first episode premiere for Hakozume? Make sure to leave your thoughts down below in the comments! Thanks for reading and have a good one!

Author: FJ

A young fantasy writer during the night, motion graphics and illustration during the day. Currently living in Mexico. Aspiring to make a feature film.

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