Mobile Police Patlabor @ Kido Keisatsu Patlabor @ Patlabor
Type: TV series (47 episodes)
Year of Prodcution: 1989
Creator/Production: HEADGEAR/Sunrise Inc.
Genre: Sci -fi, Mecha, Action, Police Drama
Set in the mid -90's, enter the life of the motley crew of Tokyo Metropolitan Police Special Vehicle Divison Unit 2 (SV-2), as they fight Labor (all -purpose utility manned robot) -related crimes (i.e thefts, drunk Labor operator, terrorist attack) that been booming since the commencing of The Babylonia Project around Tokyo Bay using Patrol Labor (in short Patlabor). The team policemen and policewomen tries to cope with the pressure from their higher officer and not so good PR with the public due to the unavoidable damages they cause in their duty as well as get on with their normal lives.
This anime focused mostly on the lead character, Izumi Noa; a strong and dedicated police officer who likes Labor like her pet (even named her Patlabor, Alphonse), and her friendship with her partner and Car#1 commanding officer, Shinohara Asuma; the rebellious heir of Shinohara Heavy Industries. In earlier of the series, the story revolved like any typical police drama as the team slowly build trust and teamwork between their collegues in SV-2 and fight the increasing Labor-related crimes as well as trying to improve the bad PR in the eyes of the public. As the story unfold, it unveils the sinister plan of rogue members of Schaft Industries to obtain data from SV-2 Ingram for their secret Labor development use. The story quite linear and with elements of comedy to makes it not too serious/heavy to watch. Not all of the episodes through out the series focused on mecha action; some have supernatural elements being inserted and stories about each members of the SV-2 unit.
Each individual in the anime has their own personality and skills. The character development of each member of SV-2 are also good in sense that all characters are adults and have rational thinking and judgment. The story tends to develop the characters towards being able to trust and work as a team under critical situation also have each other respect.
With classic mecha design of earlier MS Gundam and Macross combine and the characters design are similar to 80's styles like any other Sunrise production in that time. The animation is rather good and fluided with some frame being repeated throughout the series.
Voice acting, music (8.5/10)
The voice acting quality is also good as the voice reflect the age and personality of each character. The BGM is quite ok and able to blend with the voice acting. The OP and ED suit the taste of viewer during late 80's, performed by artists and band that maybe famous in that time. The tunes are rather catchy sometimes.
A classic mecha anime for those like earlier Gundam series and Macross with taste of NYPD Blue. With moderate storyline and theme with sprinkle of comedy, it is one of the best and enjoyable mecha anime I watched so far.