Patlabor: The Mobile Police

Alt titles: Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor, Mobile Police Patlabor

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foxhead556's avatar
Jan 9, 2011

Background-In the late 1980's the world's polar ice caps are melting due to global warming and thus causing water level to increase. With the threat of water levels rising to coastal areas like Tokyo they started the Babylon project in the early 1990's. The Babylon project is a plan to build a barrier to prevent the sea from taking the land. But thanks to the rapidly development of hyper-technology, a humanoid machine called “LABOR” is being used to help project Babylon and in almost every field of the industry. However,it has also created the new social menace of “LABOR” crime. In order to curb such crimes from happening one after another, the Metropolitan Police Department has established a special department, the “Special Vehicle Section no.2”. It consists of a company of patrol “LABOR” known as PATLABOR.

Sound-IMO I thought Patlabor had a great cast for voice acting in Jpn or Eng. The eng dubs weren't horrific but then again they weren't great. To me I thought the eng dubs were alright but others may not stand it since some of the characters do sound annoying(ex. Noa’s hi-pitched voice) The sound track on the other hand was alright to me. They only had 1 op that song was extremely cheerful and catchy and as for the ed they were each different made to fit the endings mood.

Art- Since this was the first Patlabor made the animation looks a a bit worse than the other Patlabors. As for the labors they all pretty much look the same expect for the Patlabor Ingrams they both have a differences appearances like the shoulder amour,shield and head. But still its pretty much the the same Ingram overall.

Story- Patlabor is set in 2 universes 1 being the tv and other being the Movie. Since this is the first Patlabor made it was set in the movie time line. The story in the original Patlabor is the Sv2 members meeting up for the first time at the Special vehicles hanger. While they are waiting for their Ingrams to arrive they get word that it may take awhile due to traffic. So later that day they get mobilized without any help from sv1(out handling another problem)and without any Ingrams. So captain Goto decides that they go deal with the problem and along the way pick up their Ingrams. But a twist on the 7 ep OVA is that they fan off into a bit more comedic stuff and political stuff. Like in one of the episodes it involving a sea monster and that contains alot of godzilla references and on the political note episode 5 and 6 are your classic political drama. Episode 5 and 6 can be consider the blue prints to Patlabor 2 the movie as they both involve some of the same plot elements.

Character- Patlabor has to be one of the best manga/anime I read in my life time. The main cast is Noa who is the pilot Ingram 1/easy going labor otaku(named unit 1 Alphonse) ,Asuma the foward of Unit 1/kinda short tempered but mostly positive ,Goto the captain of SV2/pretty much always laided back but can be quite a strategist, Ohta is the pilot of Ingram 2,/shoot now and ask questions later type of guy,Kanuka the NYPD loan to Sv2 and the forward to unit 2/competent officer who does everything by the book, Shinshi driver to Unit 2's carrier/hes kinda like Bruce Banner who is nice and calm but if angered enough..., Hiromi the driver for unit 1's carrier/considered the shy gentle giant of Sv2,Sakaki the head mechanic/generally nice but can get angered easily,Shige 2nd in command for the mechanic/nice guy to hang around but knows how to get carry overboard easily and lastly Shinbou the captain of Sv1/pretty much the perfect officer who is always on the job and never loses her cool. Those are pretty much the roles/personalty of the cast in Patlabor

Conclusion- Considering this is the first Patlabor its pretty well done. HeadGear was able to make a nice 7 OVA having some nice elements in it like comedy and political. So if your wondering which Patlabor to watch first or just want some comedy,mecha or political anime then the first Patlabor is right for you.


9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
pkmnmaster88's avatar
Dec 23, 2016

I usually don't chase after Mech-themed Anime, with a very few exceptions. So, watching this was a little different from what I generally seek out on my own.

Patlabor: The Mobile Police is a series of OVAs which follows Division 2 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force, using a new technology referred to as "Labors" to help solve their cases and keep the peace. Labors are essentially giant, mechanical suits that can be piloted or controlled by a person. They were initially developed to help with construction work, but as the suits were abused to commit crimes, a division had to be created to counter these crimes.

It's important to note that the series has a very loose sense of continuity. It's more of recurring characters, without too many direct relations from OVA to OVA. They acknowledge time lapses, and there are some instances in which they reference previous or future installments, but, generally, it's a series of stand alone stories. Normally this is something that I don't like, with some exceptions, but I felt like Patlabor did a good job in executing this device.

The story begins by introducing the new recruits for Divison 2, henceforth referred to as SV2.
I can't say that any of the characters stood out to me. They all seemed to fit into their niche role, and felt a little cookie cutter at times. However, the real beauty of the characters comes out during their interactions, more than their individual design. None of the conversations, or dialogue for that matter, feel forced. Throughout, it all felt very natural, and believable.

Despite having aired in the late 1980s, the animation and art were surprisingly good. Even holding up better than some of the things that have been released in the past year. I didn't notice any wonky eyes, or strange angles or lines. I didn't once feel distracted from the story by the art or animation.

The same can be said for the sound, I didn't notice any excess static or poor quality throughout the series. It felt like it was executed, at least from a technical standpoint, extremely well. If anything, the general background music for the series was my favorite part. The music was very reminescent of what I heard while playing Mega Man X, back in the day.

Overall, I enjoyed the series. I found it more entertaining than I expected to. It has a good balance of humor, action, and politics, but at the same time doesn't take itself entirely too seriously. The main thing that I liked about this, is that it didn't center heavily around the Mechs. They were there, they were talked about and utlilized, but it wasn't just a chain of giant Mech battles, destroying the cities around them. So, if you're tepid about Mechs like me, but want to branch out, this would be a good starting point.

Anime-Planet Secret Santa 2016

6/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall
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