Posted by: Ji-L87 | July 6, 2009



Once again I’ve neglected the current (and up and coming) anime in order to dig out something older that might (or might not) be relevant to my interests. This time I digged out Patlabor and by that I mean everything Patlabor. OVAs, TV-series, movies. Everything except for the manga. Which maybe I should dig out sometime just out of curiosity…
Of course, being me, what will follow will be a shallow, flat impression post and if you even had the slightest hope for a deep discussion regarding the show then you’re pretty much out of luck.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get this done and over with~ /o/ snapshot20090627141226

Now, the reason I picked Patlabor was because I like You’re Under Arrest and I like giant robots. My hope was then that Patlabor would be a (mostly) non-srsbsns affair with interesting characters and, of course, delicious robots. My wish actually got fulfilled but then it all becomes a bit confusing, mostly since the first OVA, TV-series and movies all differ from each other. Basically the first OVA and the movies are, sort of, connected. The following TV and OVA-series are connected to each other but not really to the movies and first OVA since the TV-version is a re-telling of the beginning of the first OVA. …ugh.

Actually, it doesn’t feel that messy when watching them in the order they were released but instead I felt something else. The movies gradually become gloomier and gloomier. Well, for some reason, movies based on anime I like have a tendency to be more “srsbsns” than the TV/OVA counterpart, but I digress. The first OVA and the first movie didn’t feel that far from each other, with the movie having just a slightly more serious tone. They were also pretty much alike visually (aka: You could still easily see who’s who. The movie was of course waaay prettier). Movie 2 impressed me with it’s visuals and it was dark and exciting. But, somehow I felt that “is..this really patlabor?”. The 3rd and last movie continued the trend.
The TV-series on the other hand, were sillier and while not always quality productions (and for some reason I was never really fond of the Griffon-arc), they usually felt more enjoyable. Probably because they are pretty much what I wanted them to be.

And interesting thing which I noticed was that some of my favorite episodes was not the ones packed with patlabor action but rather those featuring the main and sub characters as well the ever so awesome maintenance crew.


One of my favorite things in the TV-series has to be these eyecatches. The music and the voice made it sound like an arcade game~

I’m glad I picked Patlabor up. The movies were really impressive and well done (though not always what I really sought) and the TV/OVA series were interesting on their own. I just don’t know which one of Patlabor’s two faces that is counted as canon. …if any of them are, that is.
When it comes down to it, it was a mostly entertaining series and there are elements in it which adds to it’s greatness. The characters are interesting, I really like the Ingram (the main mecha of the show), there are some good tunes and Patlabor also sports one of the most awesome section chiefs ever.




  1. I’ve been getting into Patlabor lately myself, and you’re definitely right about the movies . . . by the second movie, I felt that what I was watching was closer to the Ghost in the Shell movie than it was to the Patlabor television series (true, I only made that connection because of the Mamoru Oshii link).

    I agree with you too that, while the mecha are nice designs, Patlabor‘s best moments are mostly when the mecha are in the background and the characters are just interacting with each other.

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