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Patlabor - The Mobile Police: The TV Series Boxed Set Vols. 1-4

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Feb 11, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The adventure begins! In the not-too-distant future, girl-next-door Noa Izumi begins her job as a pilot for the police force's famous giant robots. Within days, she's faced with a pack of crazy crewmates and the adventure of a lifetime! Boxed set contains the first four volumes of this groundbreaking series.


Masami Yuuki's serial manga Mobile Police Patlabor was set in a not-too-distant future when heavy physical work is performed by giant robots called Labors. As the robots also get involved in accidents and crimes, the Tokyo police force needs Patlabors ("Patrol Labors" elided) to handle them. The 47-episode broadcast series (actually the follow-up to a 7-part OVA) retains its freshness and good humor. Determined to succeed as a robot pilot, perky Noa Izumi joins the crew of oddballs who make up Special Vehicles Division 2: thoughtful Asuma Shinohara, no-nonsense New York Police officer Clancy Kanuka, loud-mouth Isao Ota, and understated Captain Goto. Less heroic than Gundam pilots but more serious than the Dai-Guard crew, these misfits interact in ways that suggest a comic version of Hill Street Blues.

Their assignments range from rescuing a government minister and saving an ancient tree to thwarting terrorists and guarding a winter carnival. Captain Goto observes dryly that the robots "have been called everything from jokes to money pits to piles of useless waste." But when a military experiment runs amok or a mutant monster gets loose in a forest, Division 2 is there to save the day--even if others get the credit for their work. The 18 episodes in this collection offer the combination of mecha adventure and ensemble comedy that have made Patlabor such a popular franchise. (Rated 3 and older, but more appropriate for ages 8 and older; minor violence, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Arihiro Hase, Dan Green, Flavio Romeo, Ami Shukla, Shannon Conley
  • Directors: Naoyuki Yoshinaga
  • Writers: Kazunori Itô
  • Format: Animated, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Us Manga Corps Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 440 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844HV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,887 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Patlabor - The Mobile Police: The TV Series Boxed Set Vols. 1-4" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

Patlabor is certainly one of the best series of its time. You'll find some great characters here, along with memorable episodes of both drama and comedy. Don't go into this expecting a lot of giant robot battles and explosions, though. Patlabor has a few of those, but this series is mostly about the people, not the robots. If you like character-driven anime, this is the series for you.
The first few episodes of this DVD set aren't quite the best Patlabor has to offer, but the series finds its feet very quickly, so much so that this set has some of the best of the 47 episode run of this series. The two-part plot of "Eve's Trap" and "Eve's Shudder" will please action fans, and "Ota's Afternoon of Puzzlement", "You Win!", and "Captain Goto is the Target" are some of the funniest episodes of Patlabor. The rest of the episodes on the disc are also great.
The DVD transfer is just about average, though. There aren't many obvious video or audio errors, but the menus are a bit lacking, and the extras are weak. The subtitles are also slightly off. They miss almost all of the onscreen text, making a few scenes hard to understand if you can't read Japanese. Unfortunately, this DVD version is also saddled with a terrible English dub. As if overacting and cheesy delivery weren't enough, most of the actors can't seem to properly pronounce the characters' names. A real shame, especially considering the sterling quality of the original Japanese voice acting. Be sure to watch this one with subtitles!
All in all, I give this DVD set 5 stars for content, and three for presentation. It's too bad that Central Park Media didn't spend more time on the production for these DVDs... but this set is still the best way by far to see this classic series, so don't hesitate to buy.
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The Patlabor series, produced in the late 1980's, is a series about a division of the police force in what was then the future (the late 1990's - early 2000's) that used large mechs/robots (called "labors") to deal with crime involving other mechs. The division, however, is filled with all sorts of oddball characters. The main character is a very cheerful, very willful young policewoman named Noa who loves her mech. The other characters include an overzealous, gun-happy yet somewhat incompetent career policeman; a placid but overly tall policeman who grows tomatoes; a mild, hen-pecked husband who occassionally reveals an explosive temper; an incredibly serious, hard-driven policewoman; and a laid-back yet cunning and mysterious captain.

The series is generally comedy mixed with some mech battles and other action scenes. The first three episodes introduce all of the principle characters; subsequent episodes place the characters in various situations, including playing host to dignitaries, saving a whale, saving people from burning buildings, and investigating monster stories. Many of the episodes focus on humorous personal stories, such as an arraigned marriage or a team trip to go drink sake, that are sometimes more entertaining than the mech battles themselves. Other stories, however, can become more serious; for example, episodes 10 and 11 focus on a mysterious military mech called "Phantom" that black-market arms dealers decide to test in Tokyo.

Since the series is relatively old by anime standards, the animation is not as smooth or as stylized as many newer series. Nonetheless, the animation is still reasonably good.
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By Collector on October 19, 2005
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I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this anime. I've been trying to open myself up to watching anime that haven't been created recently and Patlabor was one of the older series I decided to watch. I did not expect the animation to be as solid and appealing as it turned out to be. I think it was the opening sequence that really sold me on the character designs. None of the designs are over the top, so you get a sense of a down to earth type of storyline. The opening and closing songs are catchy enough and actually quite enjoyable once you get used to them. If you are expecting flashy looking mecha designs and some kind of deep meaningful storyline you're going to be disappointed. Patlabor's main focus is on the character development and how the different personalities bounce off each other. Patlabor is what Dai-Guard tried to be but failed miserably. If you don't need philosophical ramblings, elaborate mecha battles and colorful character designs to feel entertained you will enjoy this show.
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