Posted by psgels 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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 01:20 AM)
    @Mario: I notice you have Tinker tailor listed, I recently watched the night manager, a tv series based on a book by the same author. It was pretty suspenseful and Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddelston are great in it, makes me think Hiddelston should be the next Bond. Although its not as complex as tinker tailor and its more accessible, faster and spelled out.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 01:17 AM)
    @Bam: Going back to that Italian/French fairytale movie you and Mario talked about, anothe good fairytale-esque film is company of the wolves.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 01:16 AM)
    @Mario: I’ve never heard of Filho, now I have someone else filmography to explore!
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 01:15 AM)
    And I hate that lack of certainty come to think of it that I couldn’t be sure if I’d have found out something on my own.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 01:06 AM)
    It gets frustrating looking at local cinema listings and seeing nothing but superhero and pg rated horror films being the only ones showing and after waiting for anything ANYTHING outside those genres I find its never showing anywhere.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:38 AM)
    Either way it’s another marvel movie and I can safely say I have grown tired of them. I liked it for Spiderman and Ant man. Everything else…..meh.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:36 AM)
    Yeah, thanks dipshit on youtube. Just wanted to check the comment son a unrelated video and you go and shove that in my face. By the time I realized what it was, it was too late. I mean sure I likely would have figured it out myself but now I will never know for sure now will I? I MEAN WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:35 AM)
    So Civil War. Would have enjoyed it a lot more if it wasn’t for that goddamn editing during the fight scenes. I mean I want to watch the goddamn fight but you keep cutting all about the place and for some reason it feels like the footage is on fast forward. Also was spoiled regarding a twist at the end.
  • SuperMario
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 04:09 PM)
    @Bam: just watched it and yes, I dig it. Quite a lot. Can’t wait to see his new film “Aquarius” (which from what I heard was cutting back from 6 hours raw material)
  • SuperMario
    (Tuesday, May 3. 2016 12:46 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, that sounds good. I will watch it and tell you how I think (hope my taste is not that weird ^^)

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