Posted on 25 April 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



Out of all of the pre-Evangelion mecha franchises, two stand out as my favourites: Votoms takes second place, but Patlabor even surpasses Ryousuke Takahashi’s epic for me. This OVA only reaffirms this.

Like the TV-series, the OVA that predated it by about a year has a bit of everything. Some episodes play out as a cop drama, there is the fun action-comedy, monster-science fiction, slice of life. Mamoru Oshii (yes, he directed this thing) shows a lot of different sides of him here. We of course have his trademark talking thriller arc (which of course was the best part of this OVA), but he also shows here that he’s terrific at all of those other areas.

The thing I liked best was how every episode was built up. One similarity between all of the episodes is that they always build up to some kind of punchline; everything is well calculated to make the optimal use of its time, preparing for these punchlines that, despite their wit, are all widely varied.

Standalone this is an excellent OVA. However, at the same time most of the stuff that it did here, it would do even better in the later instalments. The talking arc would be surpassed by the incredible second movie (which had this strange effect of becoming more and more memorable as time goes on), while the lighter episodes would be surpassed by some of the filler episodes of the television-series (as witty as they were, they just don’t match up to some of the classic episodes). Only the first episode really shows the franchise as its best, while the final episode is a bit of a disappointing conclusion.

As a compilation to introduce people to the world of Patlabor however, it’s excellent. The large format of 50 episodes will probably be a lot to swallow for people who don’t know a lot about the series, while the movies don’t bother to introduce the cast, which will also be confusing. This OVA is a perfect opportunity for people to get a taste of what the rest of the franchise is about. The brilliant characterization is definitely worth it.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Great balance. Excellent build-up and nice ideas. That would later be surpassed, though.
Characters: 9/10 – Absolutely lovable cast, excellent voice acting. Especially Goto is one of a kind.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Combination between still frames and really smooth animation.
Setting: 8/10 – You will need to watch the rest of the franchise in order to get the best out of this, as it only offers a quick overview of everything that’s going on.

Suggestions:
Mobile Police Patlabor (TV). (My advice is, that if you have the time, to watch this series in chronological order, instead of the disjointed one that I’ve been doing)
Jin Roh
Gosenzosama Banbanzai

3 Responses

  1. karry says:

    “85/100″
    Just stop. Stop.

  2. kono machi no mirai o says:

    the incredible second movie (which had this strange effect of becoming more and more memorable as time goes on)

    That.

    @karry

    Come on man, be fair. He’s done quite a few non-85/100 reviews recently.

  3. Pax says:

    Enjoyed this ova a lot, especially liked how it managed to be both incredibly funny but also serious. Goto once again, brilliant.
    From what i know this is not really a prequel to the tv series and also, from what i remember reading some time ago, the main ideas from the “talking arc” are what stood at the base of the 2nd movie (that i still have to watch and heard is an excellent thriller).

    @karry: just stop.stop.
    anyway why even care about such a thing…

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  • Juno
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 08:28 AM)
    I just decided to watch through all the Kagerou Project videos again. I’ve yet to get to the anime. Has anyone here watched the first two episodes? What did they think so far?
  • Nyangoro
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 08:25 AM)
    Isshuukan Friends 3: I love Shogo so fucking much. He really balances out the cast.
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 07:23 AM)
    about both artists*
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 07:23 AM)
    I guess for one I just don’t find the subject matter that interesting. Most of their stuff centers around white males doing typically white male things without much in the way of sub-text or social commentary that I really find engaging. I could say that about artists. I respect them for their craft but I don’t enjoy their work.
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 07:21 AM)
    I’m just not a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s just not for me. Fincher is a pretty good director but I mostly feel the same way about his movies.
  • Deadlight
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:20 AM)
    Night y’all
  • Deadlight
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:20 AM)
    @Emma: Thanks for sharing, haha. Yeah, best if you see the Fargo series first. Who knows, you might find some of the liberties they took to be engaging. Anyway, I’m really dozing off here. Worked too hard all day and barely got any sleep XD
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:10 AM)
    From dusk till dawn I noticed also got a tv show as a remake.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I agree with you deadlight on Fincher’s use of athmosphere and lighting in general.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:07 AM)
    Good to hear though the remakers of Fargo are taking their own initiative though, that its darker intrigues me also.

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