A mysterious alien race known as the Heterodyne suddenly arrive on Earth, wreaking havoc and destruction. In response, the 21st Century Security Corporation develops Dai-guard, a giant robot to counter the threat; but the Heterodyne vanish as quickly as they appeared and Dai-guard becomes nothing more than a publicity tool for the corporation that developed it. Twelve years later, the Heterodyne return – but unfortunately, Dai-guard has fallen into disrepair. What’s more, no one knows how to pilot it... that is, until three public relation workers from the company unexpectedly find themselves in the driver's seat! It is now up to Ibuki, Akagi, and Aoyama to prove that office workers can save the world!
"Labors" are large construction robots that are now being used to commit crimes. To meet the challenge, Special Vehicle (SV) units are established by the Tokyo PD. However, the Second SV unit is a total joke. Determined to change this, Izumi and Shinohara become pilots of the new Ingram 98 police labors, and are determined to change that reputation, with the help of the SV-2 gang of misfits.
Both Dai-Guard and Patlabor stand out from the rest of the Mecha genre with their focus on the less than extrodinary aspects of the life and work of the characters within the show. Dai-Guard is of course, more fantastic, but less of the show is actually dedicated to robots fighting monsters than usual. Large parts focus on the bureacracy involved in getting the Mech out there fighting the Hetrodynes. Patlabor takes a similar approach by increasing the focus on the daily lives of the characters and how that affects their job performance. All in all, both series offer different perspective on the genre than Gundam and its ilk.