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.