Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor

Title:Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor
Patlabor OAV
Patlabor: The Original Series
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - HEADGEAR
CHIBA Shigeru
IKEMIZU Michihiro
ITOU Kazunori
OBAYASHI Ryunosuke
OSHII Mamoru
Original Concept - YUUKI Masami
In the future, (I guess now the past because it is set in 1998) great advancements are made with the creation of Labors, giant robots designed for construction. With the increased use of Labors, Labors crimes also skyrocketed. To combate this threat, Tokyo formed the Special Vehicals Section 2 and gave them Patrol Labors or Patlabors.

[edit] The Patlabor Franchise:
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:184#1552]
Wanting to get a little more into the Patlabor franchise, I decided to rent this first OAV series on Netflix to it and it made for a good watch. The OAVs effectively mix around action and comedy in its focus on the occasionally serious and other times nutty activity that Kiichi Goto and the members of Section 2 tackle. The characters within Section 2 are a likeable and often funny bunch from the mecha-obsessed cute tomboy Noa Izumi to the fanatic shooter Isao Ohta. In terms of visuals, the Patlabor OAVs sport good quality and detail for a late 80s OAV series with its character and mecha designs, as well as having moments of fluid movement and destructive effects coming from battles involving Labors and Patlabors. The episodes do usually bring up aspects to the Section 2 cast that aren't explored at great lengths due to the limited length of its OAV run, which is especially prominent in the two-part case that Section 2 tackles as Goto appeared to have past ties with one of the foes they were up against. But I suppose looking into the TV series and New Files OAV series which I personally own in my stockpile will offer more details on the characters that this OAV series lacked. Still though, the Patlabor OAV's look into the serious and funny activities of Section 2 made for a worthwhile time killer.

Last updated Monday, March 05 2012. Created Monday, March 05 2012.
Rent Stretch [series:184#628]
The ancestry of the Patlabor mecha sub-genre is a complicated and confusing thing. According to Dave Merrill at "Anime Jump!", "...there was an OVA series, and then a movie, and then this TV series, and then another OVA series, and then another movie, and that was it, I think." (in fact, there have been a third movie). I think (and hope) the series Dingle was referring to when he created this page was the first OVA, Patlabor: The Mobile Police (subtitled "The Original Series"). Originally copyrighted in Japan in 1988, on anime websites the VHS tapes of this series bear the misleading date of 1996, which was when the English subtitled version was completed.

My objectivity may have suffered a bit due to my already being familiar with the Patlabor TV series, which came out two years after this one did. The theme song is a perky, upbeat sort of love song, except you eventually realise it's being sung by the charachter Noa to her precious Patlabor, "Alphonse" ("You really threw a wrench into my works"...). I immediately noticed that the charachters are exactly the same, except that the commander's name is "Gotoh" instead of just "Goto", and "Ota" is "Ohta" here--I guess the translator liked the letter H. No doubt everyone was both drawn and voiced by the same people as in the TV version. The simularities between the two series are uncanny--even a jet airliner passing overhead in the opening scene is duplicated. The same things happen, just in different ways. It reminds me of the relationship between the Tenchi Muyo OVAs and Tenchi Universe. In the second episode Kanuka Clancy, New York Policewoman, arrives, just as in the corresponding episode of the TV series--except here it's all part of an exciting story about an attempt to assasinate the visiting mayor of New York. That's one difference between the series--here action seems to be more exciting, outlandish, and demands greater suspension of disbelief (though I have to admit they did find a dragon of sorts during the TV series!). I wasn't particularly impressed by the two-part episode in which it was up to the Patlabors to defeat a coup attempt by part of the JGSDF (Japanese Army). It seemed too implausible to begin with, and ended so suddenly that there was no time to get excited. I think a lot of the charm of the TV show comes from the fact that in it SVD2 has become a unit which gets little appreciation for the job it does, and spends far less time in action than on seemingly boring tasks like training, maintenance, and just waiting for their shifts to end. You see a trace of that future trend here in episode four, as SVD2 screws up an operation--the look on Captain Gotoh's face cracked me up. Patlabor: The Original Series is sort of a slightly crude prototype for the TV version that followed it, as if the actors and writers were just getting settled into their new jobs and weren't completely sure what the best way of doing them would be. One thing I certainly noticed is that here Gotoh, who is a tired looking, soft spoken, laid back kind of guy actually yells at somebody. based on his personality from the TV shows, I didn't think that was possible! On the other hand, the animation here is probably the best of any of Patlabor's non-movie incarnations. There really aren't any major differences between the two Patlabor OVAs and the TV series. In fact, I think a lot of reviewers don't even bother to treat them as seperate series!

I placed my order based on a cryptic message on E-Bay which advertised the "Patlabor OVAs". I expected a set of VHS tapes, but got a pair of "bootleg" DVDs subtitled in China. Is there any anime the Chinese haven't gotten their hands on yet? Enjoy a few examples of the skillful translation that was involved:

"Just like Captain's words, building of SV2 being occupied by self defense"
"Be hurry!"
"Top management in our government are all keep as prisoners due to this time's attack"

My favorite line (from a legit VCR tape): "That damned homicidal labor! Noa! that guy may be a moron, but he's been your partner for a day! Get even for him!"


Last updated Thursday, February 21 2008. Created Friday, January 16 2004.
Buy 5 5 7 5 8 Dingle [series:184#35]
I like Patlabor a lot. The animation is kind of poor and the music is nothing special, but the stories are great. Patlabor tries to take a more realistic approch to giant robots then other shows. The characters are also well thought out and developed. The first OAV gives a basic introduction to the characters and their modivations. This is only the start of the whole Patlabor saga.

Last updated Tuesday, August 22 2000. Created Tuesday, August 22 2000.

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