The Story of Patlabor
in this Section;
(Creators of Patlabor)
of the Patlabor Concept
•News and Site
Details and Disclaimers
This site is dedicated to a much under appreciated anime
(Japanese animation) named "Mobile Police Patlabor"
(commonly known in Japanese as "Kido Keisatsu Patlabor",
written as "機動警察パトレイバー" in Japanese). Originally released as a 7 part
direct to video series in 1988, it spawned a further 16 part
video series, three theatrical releases, a 47 part TV series,
22 volumes of manga (comics), a 3 part 'super deformed'
theatrical short, a 12 part live action theatrical series and
full length feature, a recent
10 minute theatrical short, a series of novels, a large number
of model kits, countless CD releases, video games and a ton of
other merchandise which is still being released today.
Patlabor is an amazing series with excellent characters, plots
which range from absurd comedies to political drama,
wonderfully designed mecha, and a sense of realism which you
don't find in most robot anime. Unlike most robot anime
character development is the main focus of the series, rather
than the robots being the focus as most robot anime tends to
be. In fact some of the stories don't feature any robots at
all. It is essentially a workplace sitcom and almost
at times boarders on "slice of life" anime genre.
Unlike most robot anime, Patlabor is set in a near future
world (only ten years in the future) where robots are just
everyday vehicles, like construction equipment for example.
All of the main cast are adults (generally in their early
20's) who have adult problems. There are no teenagers full of
angst or heroes piloting large robots against an alien enemy.
It's just a refreshing slice of life, a comedy/drama set in a
Tokyo police division - they just happen to use robots in
their line of work.
This series was created in 1988 by Headgear, a small creative
team who planed the original 6 part video series as well as
the manga. A movie followed in 1989, with an additional direct
to video episode released just before the movie. A TV series
followed in late 1989. When the TV series was released on
video, a new video episode was released with every volume (a
total of 16 new episodes). The second Patlabor film was
released in 1993. In 2002, a third film "WXIII Patlabor the
movie 3" debuted, along with three 'super-deformed' theatrical
shorts called "Minipato". A new short was placed at the
beginning of each "WXIII Patlabor" print over the course of
three weeks, so to see all three you would of had to pay to
see the main feature three times. A
12 part live action series was released in cinemas in seven
parts from April
2014 to January 2015, with a concluding full length live
action theatrical feature
following in May 2015. In October 2016, a 10 minute "Reboot"
theatrical short was released as part of the Japan
Animator Expo (aka Japan Anima(tor)'s
Exhibition) short film
series. A new anime TV series called "Patlabor EZY" is
By the way, the correct pronunciation of Patlabor is
PAT-LABOUR, as in Patrol
Labor. It is not pronounced PAT-LA-BORE as most
people tend to say it.
There are three universes in Patlabor; the original 7 part
video series and the three movies form one universe, the TV
series and second video series form the second. The third
would be the manga series. Included in one of these universe,
probably the the original video series, is a new 12 part live
series to be released in 2014 with a concluding theatrical
feature in 2015. All three do share the same kind of world.
Patlabor is set from 1998 to 2002, with the live action
set in 2013. Because of this, it's probably best to think of
Patlabor as being set in a parallel universe.
In the late 1980's, the world's polar icecaps have melted
causing oceans to rise. Coastal cities were effected including
Tokyo. In the early 1990's barriers were constructed to stop
the sea from taking the land. To aid this work, Labors (large
scale industrial robots) were developed. Tokyo developed the
"Babylon Project". Designed to reclaim land and eventually
fill Tokyo Bay, the project had it's critics. Militant
environmental groups such as the Beach House, Home of the Sea,
and the Earth Defence Family used protest and sabotage to try
and halt the progress of the project.
With terrorist action from these groups using Labors, and
other organised crime groups using them for criminal
activities, came the formation of the Special Vehicles Unit
Section 2 (SV2). This section used Patrol Labors (or Patlabors
for short) to combat Labor crime. The only problem is that
some inside the police force, and the public seem to treat the
SV2 as a joke and think they are a money pit. The SV2 hanger
is stuck upon on a lot of reclaimed land in the middle of
nowhere, and the first division's Labors aren't up to scratch.
Division 2 does have better Labors, but the personnel isn't
what you would call officer material. Most of the time
disaster and bad press seem to follow them.
The story mainly follows the exploits and daily life of the
hodge-podge group of people known as Division 2, as they
attempt to do their jobs. They often have unwanted work forced
upon them by other police units and even the military, but
they always manage to get the the job done.
I created this site because I couldn't find any Patlabor
websites in English that were really comprehensive. I began
work on this site during September 2002, but I did not
complete and publish it until April 2003. In March 2005, I
renamed the website "Schaft Enterprises - A Patlabor Website".
Its old name was the rather plain "Moblie Police Patlabor"
(well, I couldn't think of anything else at the time). Schaft
are the company that continually challenge the SV2 in their
quest to obtain data for their military Labors in the Patlabor
TV series and New OVA Series. I became a bit frustrated at
trying to find Patlabor information, so I decided to compile
every bit of Patlabor info I could lay my hands on with the
idea of incorporating it into the current website. In March
2008, just in time for the 20th anniversary of the series, I
revamped the look of the site, gave it a real URL and expanded
it to include sections on novels, included new sections which
listed music, videos, games, books and other commercial
product releases, as well as greatly expanding existing
sections. This site is broken up into five main sections which
can be accessed via the links at the top of every page on this
Where you are now. This section contains general information
on the website as well as subsections on the creators of
Patlabor, Headgear, a section on the development and early
concepts for the series and a Patlabor news and site updates
The World of
Tokyo 1998 - 2002
This section contains information on the world of Patlabor and
includes several subsections on Labors, the characters in the
series and a map of Tokyo highlighting where the main action
of the story takes place.
Naturally this section is about the animated versions of
Patlabor and includes synopses for every episode and movie as
well as release and broadcast dates and availability of them
in English. Also included is sections on "The Next
Generation - Patlabor -" theatrical series and feature film,
and other related Patlabor animation and other filmed oddities
that are somehow related to the series.
This section focuses on the Patlabor manga and novels. It
contains synopses as well as information on their
The Fridge -
This section is for everything else that doesn't fit;
comprehensive lists of Patlabor videos releases, music
releases, book and manga releases, model kit releases,
computer game releases, a cast and staff list, song lyrics and
links to Patlabor related websites. The title of this section
refers to the bank of computers at the SV2.
Since the series is practically over, I only update the site
when I come across new information or if I spot a new Patlabor
release like a DVD or a book. The updates are fairly
irregular, sometimes happening 6 months apart or more. The
site is quite big now, much larger than what previous versions
were, and it may not be apparent where everything is so to
find what you're looking for, so head over to the Site Map to find the
sections you're interested in.
Additional Information in this
As this section serves as an introduction
to the website, here you will find pages on the group that
created Patlabor, Headgear, information on the development
and early concept of the series, a link to Patlabor news and
updates on the site and contact details. Just click the