Posted by Retrokaiser On Saturday, June 7, 2014 0 comments
This show doesn't have an ongoing storyline throughout most of it with only a few episodes having a story-arc. The episodic method works well with this show minus the first few episodes as they are very rough with the storytelling and can be quite hit or miss. The reason why those particular episodes were rough was due to balancing issues to where one half of the show is very drawn out and boring while the other half of the show is very decent. Once that rough patch is out and over with the storytelling improves greatly and you'll get some really great stuff that will draw you in with compelling drama and chaotic action scenes. The characters in this show are quite charming with unique personalities and you are sure to fall in love with them to where that some of them will become a personal favorite anime character (I know that was the case for me).
While this is a science fiction show at heart the team that worked on this show did their best to try to make it seem as realistic as possible to the point to that these kind of robotic suits could be possible in the future... Wait a minute and let me change "could be" to "most likely" as we already have primitive versions of these kind of robots already (I call dibs on the blue one). With that in mind this show falls into a sub-genre known as "Hard Sci-Fi" and it does it quite brilliantly.
For a show that has an "M15+" rating you won't see anything all that violent or themes that are all that different from watching a show that is rated "PG" and heck there isn't even a body count (AKA death by action scenes) to be found. They got away with a bit more sex and violence in the old OVA (Original Video Animation) series and that release got a "PG" rating (to which that I have reviewed and that review can be found here). Then again there is some drunken violence in this show... Never mind as so did the original OVA series.
The artwork in this show is a bit of a mixed bag as sometimes it can look quite good but there are some shots that have a lot of lines that makes the show look rough and a bit stiff. When the show looks good it really does look good with nicely detailed backgrounds that really look good for a late-1980's show (as there were a lot of badly drawn anime during that time). The robots in this show also look great with a simple look that suits the Labors all too well. The human characters in this show are decent but there is something a little odd about some of them like they didn't have the budget to make them look as good as the rest of them. The animation in this show is a bit rough during some talking scenes and quite average during the rest of the talking scenes but the action scenes in this show was animated really well and that is where it counts in a show like this.
The English dub in this show is very awful during the first three to four episodes with voices that didn't work that well with half of the characters and the acting was very wooden as if they were taught by "William Shatner ("Star Trek (1966 - 1969)", "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon One (1993)")". The English dub on the third episode mixed with the sub-par story that took place in that episode nearly made me want to watch the rest of the series in the Japanese dub with English subtitles but after giving the English dub another chance I found that it got better over the next few episodes upgrading from "bad" to "above average". When the English dub is at the "above average" it doesn't stay like that for long as it improves yet again to "decent" although you still get a few "Shatner" moments here and there. The soundtrack in this show has a very nostalgic ambient techno sound that makes me fell like that I am sneaking up early in the morning to watch "Sailor Moon (1992 - 1996).
Overall if you can get past the first three episodes you'll find this to be a very decent show that is full of fun although it is nowhere near as good as what the original OVA series was. I also recommend this show to fans of science fiction that don't tend to watch much animation due to it being too over the top as this is a very own to Earth anime. A good watch.
Title: Patlabor - The Mobile Police - TV Series Collection One
Animation/Production Studio: Sunrise.
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Hard Sci-Fi, Comedy, Drama
Running Time: 600 minutes (24 Episodes)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
Rating: M15+ (Mild themes, animated violence)