Blu-Ray Review: Patlabor OVA Series 1: The Early Days Collection (1988 - 1989)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Tuesday, October 15, 2013 0 comments

Patlabor OVA Series One is a collection of all seven original episodes of Patlabor... yeah that title really speaks for itself about what it contains.  Anyway the show itself is about an elite group of police officers who tackle crime and terrorist attacks caused by robotic suits called Labors.  While it may all sound like fun and games they will get the shock of their lives when they find out that not everything is all action as they also have to do all the normal police work too and it can get to be quite the boring job.  The police crew is also a bit rough around the edges and always tend to goof off and be a bit silly.  The police crew are Noa Izumi (A young naive female otaku that is excited to be on the force), Asuma Shinohara (The son of a multi-millionaire that was tricked into joining the squad and doesn't want to be there), Hiromi Yamazaki (The gentle giant), Isao Ohta (A very trigger-happy man who loves to see action), Takeo Kumagami (A tough officer that was transported from overseas), and Mikiyasu Shinshi (The nerdy one that is controlled by his wife).  Do you trust your lives with these guys when they are protecting the streets?  Well let's just wait and see on just what they can do. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

Story in this show is pretty basic and episodic but very entertaining with some great characters.
The humor is really well done and reminds me of a more clever version of Police Academy (1984).  This show can also get quite serious and the mixture of comedy and drama flows together very well with neither genre overshadowing each other.  There is also a ton of fan-service in this show and it's not the rudie nudie kind... Actually there is some of that but there is also a whole episode made up of Godzilla references which was one of my favorite episodes in this release as it was done very well and did not come off as pretentious at all.  One of the rare downsides to this show is the final episode of this release is a little weak with a very confusing plot and also has less charm so you may only want to watch that episode once.  It doesn't matter if you skip that one as it's more of a special bonus episode that doesn't really have anything to do with the first six episodes.  This show can be a little bit slow and it doesn't bother me but it will be to some viewers out there that like some of the more fast-paced action type of mecha shows.  For all the action we do get in this it is very awesome and really exciting and will just get you pumped.  I do like how they build up to the action scenes as it makes them very satisfying.

The show looks really good on blu-ray with a nice clean picture that will impress you.  Artwork has a very nice vintage look that still looks great to this very day.  Although the art has aged a little bit as some of the colors have faded in some scenes but nothing too major.  Characters designs are very delightful with a ton of charm and personality.  English dub is pretty good with a nice sound that helps add even more charm and personality to the characters.  The soundtrack is pure awesome with a electronic sound that sounds like a very awesome Super Nintendo game and it will get your blood pumping with adrenaline.  The soundtrack will also make you run around pretending to fight off bad guys making you feel like a kid again.

Overall this was a very good show and has become one of my favorite animated shows of all time.  This one is best recommend for those who enjoy classic sci-fi and mecha or heck, even for those who enjoy a really good action comedy will get a huge kick out of this.  Highly recommended.

Title: Patlabor OVA Series 1: The Early Days Collection
Animation Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: Animation/Anime, Comedy, Action, Sci-Fi.
Running Time: 210 minutes (7 Episodes)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (
Rating: PG (Mild animated violence, Nudity, Coarse language))
Price: $34.95
Recommended: Yes


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