For those that are interested, Patlabor is a nicely done police drama which happens to have mecha in it. The impact of labors (as the mecha are called) is very well thought out.

Be advised that the movies are not action thrillers. The speed and pacing is more akin to a military or political thriller. I believe the second movie is particularly notorious for a scene involving several minutes of footage of driving a car through a long tunnel. The dialogue in that scene is important, but still.

The 1/60 scale models for the series are roughly the same size as the 1/144 Gundam kits. For the price, the thin flexible rubber used to cover the limb joints is very nice.

Patlabor is an anime, OVA and movie series as well as a manga. It's name is derived from the words Patrol Labor. The original japanese title is Kido Keisatsu Patlabor (Mobile Police Patlabor). A Labor is a humanoid mecha first used for various heavy duty tasks, such as construction duty. As they are extremely versatile and boast great power, police forces found them difficult to handle if misused in crime or controlled by drunken or unruly workers, so the police created it's own Labor unit, calling it's mecha Patlabors. There are two Patlabor units, Section 1 (The elite) and Section 2 (called the Misfits). Three guesses on which unit the series are based, especially since the unit just got the latest type of labor, the AV-98 Ingram, produced by Shinohara Heavy Industries.

The Second Unit is comprised of a medley of characters, from the leader Kiichi Goto, a man who enjoys betting on horse races; Noa Izumi, a cheerful redhead who names her labor Alphonse, and Asuma Shinohara, who just happens to be the son of the president of Shinohara Heavy Industries. Great mecha design, action, humor, and even a hint of romance make Patlabor a very interesting and popular anime, well worth watching.

The Patlabor universe and characters were first conceived by the writers group known as Headgear. At the time, they were Masami Yuki (Tetsuwan Birdy, Assemble Insert), Yutaka Izubuchi (Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, Record of Lodoss War), Kazunori Ito (Maison Ikkoku, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe), Akemi Takada (Kimagure Orange Road), and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Jin Roh). Patlabor was first launched as a seven-volume OVA series in 1988-89. The series was so popular that sequels were produced, beginning with a Patlabor movie in 1989. That was followed by a 48-episode TV series (1989-90), another video series of 16 volumes were each new volume was released as an addition to the video release of the TV series) in 1990-92, and another movie, Patlabor 2, in 1993. 2002, the third movie was premiered in Japan, based on one of Masami Yuki's manga stories.

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