What’s Super Crooks about? To put it simply: imagine a show about superpowered folks, but then make them supervillains, but with realistic motivations for their villainy. And what better way to show that than with a heist for the ages?

Super Crooks key art.
A rather motley crew for a heist, but I’ve seen worse. Just ask Jack Sparrow.

Super Crooks is a 13-episode Japanese-American anime adaptation of the comic book series of the same name by writer Mark Millar and artist Leinil Francis Yu. This anime also happens to be a spinoff of Jupiter’s Legacy Netflix series, which is itself based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely. This anime features Motonobu Hori as the director, with Dai Satō responsible for the screenplay. Towa Tei is responsible for the music, including the very catchy opening and ending themes. Bones Inc. is the animation studio behind this anime, with Millarworld also helping with the production.

Super Crooks premiered on November 25, 2021. It’s also a Netflix exclusive, so if you want to watch it, you’ll have to pay up for a Netflix subscription. Netflix, unfortunately, doesn’t have a free option with ads like Crunchyroll.

Warning: spoilers for Super Crooks below. If you want to watch this chaotic superpower-fueled heist for yourself, stop here, and come back once you’re back with the loot.

Super Crooks: Plot Summary

AKA: when a superhero show goes horribly wrong. For both the heroes and the villains.

The story of Super Crooks begins not with our protagonist Johnny Bolt as an adult, but rather, as a young boy. Little Johnny is a teenaged boy living in low-income housing with a semi-abusive/neglectful mother who constantly brings boyfriends home to have sex with, regardless of whether Johnny is present or not. He dreams of escaping his home, and his developing electric powers give him the means to do that. Unfortunately, his first attempt to be a hero goes horribly, horribly wrong. It’s basically one big disaster domino that isn’t entirely his fault, but he did start. Disillusioned, young Johnny turns to crime instead, starting by using his powers to make an ATM machine spit out wads of cash.

Fast-forward to the present day of Super Crooks, and our now adult Johnny Bolt is an official supervillain, albeit a small-time one. He’s just getting out of super-prison and heads home with his ex-supervillain girlfriend Casey. Unfortunately, Johnny has a trio of other small-time supervillains who talk him into another heist. Mere days after he got out of prison, mind you. Naturally, it goes horribly wrong when some superheroes intervene. Casey talks the last superhero into letting them go with her psychic powers, but that seems to be the end of Johnny’s life of crime for now.

One Big Heist

The motley cast of main characters of "Super Crooks".
The gang all ready for action.

Oddly enough though, it’s Casey who talks him into accepting another heist plan in Super Crooks. This is a big one though, with the former supervillain ringleader Carmine gathering a big group of supervillains. Apparently, a former supervillain wants them all to break into the superhero HQ to steal his old magic helmet back for him. It’s a high-risk heist, but the payout is in the millions of dollars.

Against all odds, the group steals the helmet and brings it back to their employer. Unfortunately, as it turns out, one of the superheroes is a supervillain in disguise. Worse, he’s working for the biggest supervillain around The Bastard. The Bastard isn’t happy that they launched this heist without paying his syndicate a cut of the profits. He murders their employer and takes all the cash and helmet for himself. This leaves the group with nothing and they all break up. Johnny tries to marry Casey anyway, but a drink-fuelled bachelor party goes horribly wrong when his buddies talk him into one last heist to give him and his bride some spending money. Naturally, he gets caught, and he’s sent to prison. Casey realizes what’d happened, and flees the wedding, burning her wedding dress in the process.

The Last Big Heist (I Swear!)

"Super Crooks" comic image featuring the Gladiator.
Not as heroic as he looks, but at least he tries.

After Johnny gets out of prison, he tries to get back with Casey, but for obvious reason, she wants nothing to do with him anymore. Then Carmine shows up with a debt he must pay or he dies. Johnny and Casey decide to help by robbing The Bastard himself on his Japanese island casino, mostly out of revenge. They get the old crew back together and even blackmail a superhero called the Gladiator into joining them by threatening to reveal his infidelity to his husband to the press. They actually manage to pull off the heist and trick The Bastard into believing that his subordinates had ordered the heist.

While The Bastard bloodily murders his subordinates, the heist group each enjoys their take of the cut. Each cut is basically in the millions of dollars. Some spend it wisely, and some don’t. Johnny though uses his cut to propose to Casey once more, and use the funds to start a new non-criminal life. It’s actually a rather nice ending for Super Crooks, and pretty surprising too.

Super Crooks: The Good

One of the catchiest openings I’ve ever grooved out to.

Despite being a spinoff of the not particularly good Jupiter’s Legacy series, Super Crook manages to grow past that legacy. The story is good and feels realistic. The characters are not only likable and/or engaging but also have realistic motivations for what they do. Seriously, when the payout for each heist is in the millions of dollars, quite a few people would likely turn to crime. Combined with the kind of antics superpowered criminals can get into, and you’ve got a really good story setup. The oddly happy ending with all of the main characters surviving was actually a pleasantly surprising icing on this cake.

The music really pulls it all together in Super Crooks. Towa Tei does an incredible job as the composer here. The opening theme with Taprikk Sweezee’s “ALPHA” and ending theme with UA “Sugar” are some of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a while. The distinct animation styles of both the opening and ending don’t hurt either.

Super Crooks: The Bad

And now for the most relaxing theme song I’ve heard in a while.

My only nitpick here is that Super Crooks didn’t last long enough. I feel like this is an anime that would’ve benefited from a 24 to 26-episode anime, rather than the current 13-episode series. Don’t get me wrong, the characterization is pretty good for only 13 episodes. I just feel like if the show had run on for a bit longer, we would’ve gotten more characterization, and thus even more likable and engaging characters. Yes, my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough. Your mileage may vary here.

Source: Wikipedia, Netflix