October 25, 2011


Patlabor is another one of those classic late 80s robot anime series. The series takes place during a time where giant robots known as "labors" are used for various duties, such as construction, as heavy machinery. While the intended purpose of these machines is for the positive progression of society, there are those who use labors for less than desirable purposes; crime. Police forces have mobilized special divisions, equipped with patrol labors, known as Patlabors, to defend the citizens from those who intend to use labors for illegal acts.

The series follows the Special Vehicles Team Division 2, a reckless division that has a reputation for using excessive force and causing a great deal of destruction when they intervene in situations to defend the peace. The protagonist of the plot is Noa Izumi, a labor enthusiast who dreams of nothing more than to pilot her Ingram labor, Alphonse. Through the story, Izumi is placed in a number of situations where she has to make difficult decisions on whether or not to inflict damage on labors being used to harm others or commit crimes. Because of her love for these machines, she is often distracted during conflicts, which ultimately leads to further damage to her surroundings.

This series is filled with a good mix of comedy, mild action, and some slice of life elements. Topped off with the fact that there are giant robots, this makes for an all around winner. The animation is exactly on par with what you can expect from some of the better developed series and movies of the time. The soundtrack is quite good and well used throughout the series as well. Connecting the dots for the plot from the first and second half of the series is a little more difficult and one of the few flaws I found in this show. Initially the series appears to be episodes, each with their own specific conflict being resolved. In the second portion of the series, the episodes become more of a sequence and build off of each other to complete the conflict. While all of the episodes are entertaining, this change in plot variation is a little throwing. My only other real complaint is the annoying voice actor used for Izumi. The voice sounds like a child and is very nasally.

Overall, this series is quite good and a classic well worth the time. I intend to watch the OVAs and accompanying movies as well. I highly recommend checking Patlabor out, even if you are not a huge fan of giant robot anime. There are many other elements that are geared towards a number of audiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment