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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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:29 AM)
    Wait wait…his Van helsing film is a reboot sorry I confused it with the other one.

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