Patlabor: The TV Series (1989)

November 17, 2003 • Film, Reviews

Country: Japan
Director: Naoyuki Yoshinaga
Writer: Kazunori Itô
Cast: Mîna Tominaga, Toshio Furukawa
Running Time: 25 min (47 episodes)

Plot: In the near future, heavy industrial robot vechiles, or Labors, have become widely used throughout the world for their versatility and power. Unfortunately, those same qualities have also made them popular for criminals. To deal with this new problem, the police have organized special patrol labor units to be a counter force. In Tokyo Japan, the Special Vehicle Units serve in this function with Unit 1 or SV1 having a fine reputation for their professionalism and skill. However, the focus of this series, SV2, has its own rep for being clumsy and causing a great deal of collateral damage in their albeit effective methods. In this series, the adventures of this unit are featured as they go about their jobs and keep the peace in their own eccentric way.

The TV series reinterprets the Patlabor story that is established in all previous presentations, changing character’s histories and motivations and, in the process, seriously derailing itself. It’s not the clever, well-written work the Patlabor movies and OAV series are. What’s more, the style of art is completely different. Why on earth was it made (apparently, to make money-and it made quite a bit more than the OAV series-but that still doesn’t answer my question)? It’s a largely inferior work.

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