This weekend we continue with the reviews of the Patlabor Franchise, with the OVA (Original Video Animation) sequel to the TV Series reset. Does it bear up to the spinoff and the source material, or as Ota does oh so often, does it miss the mark?
Cast, Crew, and Other Info
Miina Tominaga as Noa Izumi
Michihiro Ikemizu as Isao Ota
Osamu Saka as Seitaro Sakaki
Ryunosuke Ohbayashi as Kiichi Goto
Toshio Furukawa as Asuma Shinohara
Yoshiko Sakakibara as Shinobu Nagumo
You Inoue as Kanuka Clancy
Daisuke Gouri as Hiromi Yamazaki
Keiko Yokozawa as Takeo Kumagami
Shigeru Chiba as Shigeo Shiba
Director: Naoyuki Yoshinaga
Produced by Sunrise
Picking up more or less where Patlabor TV ended, Division 2 finds itself up against the returning Griffin, now improved from it’s last battle with Division 2. When Division 1’s new Peacemakers can’t defeat it, what chance does Division 2’s older Ingrams have?
The fight with the Griffin is definitely one of the high points of the series, but I have to say that a lot of the character development we get for most of the other main characters is very good as well.
From episode 8 on, Sakaki becomes considerably less likeable. It says a lot about this show that a character we, as the audience, has come to know and like through a 7 episode OVA and an 40+ episode, gets turned into an unlikeable jackass by 2 episodes of the OVA (“The Seven Days of Fire” and “The Dungeon, Again” respectively. Also, the OVA really has a lot more stand-alone gag episodes, as well as male nudity (though the naughty bits in front are censored out by a rather black circle in situations where they’d show up.)
Also, for disk 2 and 3, US Manga Corps shoves 6 episodes onto each disk, plus a boatload of trailers. Consequently, the picture quality suffers horribly, and there is no English dub on the second and third disks.
Nudity and Violence
We now have nudity. There is no violence, but there is nudity. During Sakaki’s purge during “Seven Days of Fire” we see nude pictures (tame nude pictures, but pictures nonetheless) as part of the Mechanics impressively expansive collection of pornography (which Sakaki burns). We also get a Public Bath episode, with no female nudity, but plenty of male nudity (though male genitalia is obscured by a black dot being placed over the offending area, rather than making the characters appear neutered, or by strategically placing objects in the environment).
Originality: It is a third sequel. Now, there are some loose ends from the TV series that could have been tied up, and do get tied up in the OVA. But otherwise, it’s not too original. We even get sequels to episodes from the TV series that really didn’t need sequels. 2 out of 6
Animation: The animation quality is good, on the first disk, and is similar on later disks, except for the negative effects of having the extra trailers and episodes shoved on the disk. 4 out of 6
Story: The Griffin arc (which is about 4 episodes) is very well done, as are some the Asuma, Goto, and Noa focused episodes. The other stand-alone gag episodes are a real mixed bag. 3 out of 6
Voice Acting: The voice acting is again, very good – and I really have to give a nod to Daisuke Gouri who was cast against type as Hiromi and does an excellent job in the role. 5 out of 6
Emotional Response: Much as with the story, it’s a mixed bag. When the show is on, it’s on, when it’s not, it’s not. 3 out of 6
Production: What I got in the first episode was very good, the picture quality was excellent, the sound was great, the character designs were good. Everything after that on the disks is crap, but that is, I suspect, more US Manga Corps fault than anything else. 3 out of 6
Overall: Overall, it’s a good show – though I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the TV series. If you’ve made it this far, through the OVA, and the TV series, you might as well pick this up. Otherwise, pass. 3 out of 6
In total, Mobile Police Patlabor: The New Files receives a 23 out of 42.