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I’m not certain, but I think the first "Patlabor" series was released in 1988. "Patlabor" is made up of a manga, two OAV series, three movies, and a TV series. Character Designs were by Akemi Takada ( “Urusei Yatsura”, “Urban Square”), and Mechanical Designs were by Yutaka Izubuchi ( “Gundam 0080”, “Gasaraki”). Mamoru Oshii ( “Dallos” , “Angel’s Egg”, “Ghost in the Shell”) directed the first OVA series and the the first two movies; and wrote some of the screenplays for the TV series and second OVA series, which were directed by Naoyuki Yoshinaga (“Maison Ikkoku”, “Cleopatra DC”).

In the near future, mankind will create giant human controlled machines to handle various forms of manual labor. These machines are known as Labors. While most Labors are piloted by everyday working stiffs, occasionally there are problem Labors, and Labor crime. To handle these problems, Japan creates a police force of Patrol Labors, Patlabors. The two-unit force Special Vehicles Unit Section 2 consists of two Divisions. The ultra serious career woman Shinobu Nagumo captains Division 1; while the intelligent, glum, sarcastic Kiichi Gotoh captains Division 2. "Patlabor" follows the exploits of SV2, which is made up of a bunch of talented misfits. Under funded and stationed miles from the action, SV2 must conquer every obstacle imaginable, from complicated political subterfuge, to bad traffic.

The plot is similar to "Bubblegum Crisis", but unlike "BGC", "Patlabor" is driven by the interactions between all of the characters. Also unlike "BGC", "Patlabor", while sometimes serious, is humorous. In my opinion it’s one of the best cartoon series.

 Patlabor 01

 Patlabor 02

 Patlabor 03

 Patlabor 04
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Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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