Posted by psgels on 29 April 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



If you managed to watch the TV-series of Patlabor, I really urge you to also check out the Second OVa. It’s very much a direct sequel to the TV-series, and it’s got all of the charms that made it so memorable and timeless; all condensed in just 16 episodes, it’s in no way inferior to its already excellent predecessor.

It’s got the same formula: one really big arc, and a whole number of episodic stories. What stands out the most are these episodic stories, though. Especially because they’re everything that episodic stories should be. Instead of having dull and uninspired slice of life scenarios that have been done for ages, it always builds its episodes around a certain idea or concept that really tries to be fresh and original.

The result is a number of classic episodes that are up to par to the best episodes of the TV-series; my personal favourite being the episode about the serial-bomber, with the “driving-home”-episode on the second place. Every episode is well built up, and what makes them even better is how grounded in realism they are: some crazy and wacky stuff happens here, but the creators never forget to base it on its realistic characters and scenarios, rather than just being wacky and over the top all of the time. There are those rare series out there who should serve as an eample of how to do things right at their genre. Patlabor without a doubt belongs to them.

On top of that, it still has the classic element that makes any Patlabor installment worth watching: the cast. After finishing this OVA, I’ve now seen everything from the Patlabor franchise, which amounts to 70 episodes and 3 movies in total. After so much time, the cast has really grown into a lovable and memorable bunch of people.

Watching this OVA, I really have to say that it’s a shame that Mamoru Oshii doesn’t do TV-series and long OVAs anymore, because he really is brilliant at bringing these characters to life. It’s a bit of a shame that for the past years he’s gotten stuck at things like Musashi, because he really is a one-of-a-kind director.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Wonderfully built up, nice ideas, very varied.
Characters: 10/10 – Incredibly charming characterization that’s in no way inferior to the previous Patlabor installments.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Good and detailed, though not the best Patlabor has to offer.
Setting: 9/10 – One of the best mecha settings of the pre-Evangelion age: realistic, creative and believable, despite the strange scenarios that pop up once in a while.

Suggestions:
Patlabor – The Second Movie. The conclusion to the Patlabor-franchise. Do note that if I were to watch it today, that review would look completely different.
Ooedo Rocket
Rumiko Takahashi’s Rumic Theater

5 Responses

  1. Avatar Watcherzero says:

    Have the two patlabor series had a rerelease recently? I remember when I last tried to get hold of them 5 years ago all I could find was half the series, the films were rather easier to get hold of and I have them on VHS.

  2. Avatar mei says:

    i can’t remember if it’s the series or the ova, but the comedy was impeccable as well, especially the episode with them and the crocodile in the sewers :P

  3. Avatar Kalandra says:

    So Psgel, why don’t you watch Patlabor – The Second Movie and review it again?

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Kalandra: time constraints. The time I could use to re-review the movie, I can also use to check out series that I haven’t watched yet.

  5. Avatar Watcherzero says:

    On that not psgels I highly suggest checking out the great last season comedy: Idiots, tests and summoned creatures. The premise was ludicrous and animation sometimes questionable but its the funniest thing ive seen in years combining elements of Fummoffu, Excel Saga and genre parodies (as well as old 16bit rpgs). Its great fun to try and spot the references from things like Evangelion, Berserk. and its getting a second season as well (so catch up before it starts) :)

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