Mobile Police Patlabor

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Mobile Police Patlabor
Director Naoyuki Yoshinaga
Format Anime (TV)
Made By HEADGEAR/Sunrise
Episode Length 25 Minutes
# of Episodes 47


Action, Sci-Fi, Mecha, Comedy

Sum it up in a Sentence

Follow an assorted cast of misfits as they deal with the day to day rigors of being the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's giant robot unit.

Main Description

In the near future of the year 1998, a boom in "hyper technology" leads to the creation of Labors, large mechanical robots primarily designed for building and construction. However, with the rise of Labor use comes a rise in Labor crime. In order to combat this new threat to public safety, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department establishes Special Vehicles Unit 2 (SV2), Patlabor (patrol labor). The dedicated men and women of SV2 Division 1 are highly skilled, trained, and disciplined officers who are ready to efficiently and effectively protect the citizens of Tokyo from the threat of labor crime while minimizing collateral damage.

This is not their story.

Instead, Mobile Police Patlabor follows SV2 Division 2, a group of misfits who are considered an embarrassment to the force. Headstrong, reckless, and some might even say incompetent and dangerous, the officers of Division 2 gain a sort of infamy for their ability to cause as much or even more destruction in their pursuit and capture of a suspect as the suspect themselves. Often at the front of this is Noa Izumi, a bubbly labor fan girl whose impulsiveness often gets the better of her.

However, when the shit really hits the fan, Division 2 shows its bravery, teamwork, "brains and guts," disproving the assumption that they are the incompetent nitwits the media portrays them to be.

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Personal Opinions

Mecha Gojira

Patlabor on Television is simply put a fun show. The most lighthearted of the franchise's entries, most of the episodes tend to be standalone stories. As such, it let's the writers explore the different aspects of the Patlabor universe. One episode the crew may be dealing with the threat of eco-terrorists, while the next they may be fighting a giant mutant monster. Maybe they'll visit a ghost mansion or explore alligator-infested sewers. Most of the time we'll just spend an episode with the characters, watching them deal with the day-to-day grind of being public servants, albeit ones who operate large robots.

While most of the episodes are standalones, several of the episodes are part of a greater arch dealing with the multi-national corporation SCHAFT. These episodes tend to have a more serious tone than their standalone counterparts, but are nonetheless just as if not more entertaining than the rest of the series.

Patlabor wouldn't be what it is without its cast. Watching this group of misfits as they deal with everything from the mundane to the utterly bizarre is a treat. Some characters shine brighter than others, like the deadpan Captain Goto, the enthusiastic Noa, and the belligerent Ota, but all the characters get their time in the spotlight and as an ensemble they're a joy to watch.

Overall, it's a light, enjoyable, and entertaining series.


In the mood for an awesome mecha anime, with lots of missiles flying around, and constant PEW PEW!? Then you're on the wrong page, friend. Patlabor does have some great mecha bits, and the mecha bits are some of the best in the industry, but they're only bits. I was very disappointed to find out that the mecha anime I wanted to watch was mostly a slice of life, or maybe harem... sort of... school... thing? I don't know. At some point during the non-mecha bits I just hit the eject button and returned it. Not recommended for mecha fans, and instead recommended for people who care about character development who wouldn't mind some action scenes (Elfen Leid fans, perhaps?).