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Synopses for the Original OVA Series (AKA Early Days)

1   Second Unit, Move Out!
Episode 1It's day one of the formation of the the second division of the Special Vehicles Unit 2 (SV2). Unfortunately the team seems to be a bunch of misfits. Noa, a girl that loves labors a little too much; Asuma, a cadet who doesn't want to be there; Ota, a gun maniac; Shinshi, a hen picked husband; and Hiromi, a gentle giant of a man. Leading this squad is Captain Gotoh, a man who seems rather laidback, but is quite a strategist and an excellent cop. Unfortunately their new Patrol Labors (or Patlabors) are stuck in traffic, and they are forced to do some weeding around the hangers. Soon they are dispatched to apprehend an armed terrorist Labor, but first they'll need to retrieve their Patlabors en route to the crime scene from the middle of a traffic jam. After a rather disastrous pick up, they head off to trap the Labor in Ueno park, but both Ota and Noa's Labors are attacked, losing a head and an arm off their Labors respectively. Asuma tells Noa to turn her rage back on the criminal. The criminal has no chance of escaping Noa's anger now.

A very funny first episode. This episode not only introduces the main players and showcases their personalties, we also get quite a bit of Labor action in the second half of the show. We also get a great deal of information about how badly the SV2 is viewed by the public and within the police force, and also the general state of Japan. At the beginning of the episode, Asuma compares the SV2 to three old Toho WWII films; "Farewell Rabaul", "Zero Fighter" and "One Family". While the members of the SV2 are watching TV, in the background a news report says that a pregnant woman named Akemi Ito went into labour as a result of explosions set off by terrorists. This name of this woman is of course a combination of the name of the Patlabor character designer, Akemi Takada, and Kazunori Ito, the writer of the screenplay for Patlabor. Ito and Takada are married to each other. Noa makes reference to her Labor, Alphonse, being turned into the "one armed man", which may be a "Fugitive" reference. According to the "Patlabor Perfect Manual vol. 1" book, this episode takes place one day in March 1998 between 9:00am to 1:00am the next morning. This OVA was originally released 25 April 1988.
2   Longshot
Episode 2The mayor of New York is coming to Tokyo to inspect the Babylon Project - a long term land fill project to reclaim Tokyo Bay. All of the Tokyo Police force are assigned to protect the mayor including the SV2. To help them, the New York Police force has sent Kanuka Clancy, an American-Japanese woman who immediately causes suspicion amongst the SV2, and much interest amongst most of the male squad members. The SV2's mission is mainly for show, but they soon find themselves in the middle of a terrorist plot. Asuma discovers a fake Police Mobile Command Centre filled with missiles. It's up to Asuma to diffuse it with Kanuka giving him instructions over the the police radio, but he has only 10 minutes to do so, and no previous experience.

This episode introduces Kanuka Clancy as well as explaining the Babylon Project and the various terrorist groups trying to stop the project. According to the "Patlabor Perfect Manual vol. 1" book, this episode takes place in June 1998. This OVA was originally released 25 June 1988.
3   The 450 Million Year Old Trap
Episode 3A series of incidents occur in Tokyo Bay including a damaged undersea cable, and a car being pulled off a pier. Could this be the work of an actual sea monster? Detective Matsui of the Metropolitan Tokyo Police Department asks Captain Gotoh for help. Shige and Saksaki help pilot a remote control Labor, to search for what caused the incidents. The Labor is destroyed, and Shige is convinced that the monster exists. The SV2 are given orders to kill the monster, however they discover something even more bizarre.

In this episode we meet Detective Matsui for the first time. This episode is an obvious homage to "Godzilla" (1954), right down to the scientist with the eye patch, and the "Oxygen Destroyer". The target Ota shoots at for target practice is the Baltan alien (aka Barutan Seijin) monster from "Ultraman". In the crowd scene where they cheer on Division as they set out to capture the monster, a stone Easter Island head (or "Moai") can be seen in the crowd. The Moai is the symbol of Emotion, Bandai Visual's video label that distributed this series. According to the "Patlabor Perfect Manual vol. 1" book, this episode takes place in July 1998. This OVA was originally released 25 July 1988.
4   The Tragedy of L
Episode 4Division 2 are called upon to help with a hostage situation at a video shop, but Ota's temper gets the better of him, and he blows away half of the shop as well as stopping the criminals. Gotoh decides that his team need retraining and sends them back to the academy. They arrive but strangely there are no cadets there. The team decides to take a bath, but the water soon fills what looks like blood. They later discover that it is in fact paint from a paint bullet, which bizarrely scares the instructor. Later that night, Ota is haunted by a ghostly girl who only says "Don't Shoot", and the others see a Labor with a skeleton pilot that seems to be roaming the grounds. The next day, Noa and Asuma ditch their training to go to the local shop. There Asuma meets the shop owner, an old man he knew when he was a cadet training at the academy. The old man tells him that an accident occurred several months ago. A young woman who was one of the spectators at a mock battle was hit and killed with a paint bullet from a Labor gun. Is the academy really haunted by her spirit? Note that the criminal in the video shop is named "Kazunori". Kazunori Ito wrote the screenplays for the series. Amusingly Captain Gotoh compares the antics of his underlings to characters in two old robot anime; "Dangaio" and "Great Mazinger". According to the "Patlabor Perfect Manual vol. 2" book, this episode takes place between 19 August to 22 August 1998. This OVA was originally released 25 September 1988.
5   The SV2's Longest Day (Part 1)
Episode 5The Second Unit are on vacation. Most of the team have a place to go except Gotoh, who just seems to want to hang around the office with Shinobu, and Asuma who decides to go to his father's factory. He meets Jitsuyama, the manager of the factory, and family friend. He discovers that Shinohara Heavy Industries are building a prototype military Labor. Asuma is quite disgusted by this. Jitsuyama suggests that he should see his father more often, but Asuma says that he had already seen him today, and they already fought. He decides to visit Shinshi and later Kanuaka, but gets the feeling he's not wanted. He only option left is Noa, he calls only to discover that she lives in Hokkaido, and he'll have to catch the train to get there. Meanwhile in Tokyo, a police road block stops a truck. One of the policemen become suspicious when they see a Labor under the truck's tarp. He asks to see the Labors's permit, but the truck runs the road block. The police give chase, but the Labor in the back of the truck fires upon them destroying all the police cars following. It is a Japanese military Labor.

Asuma is waiting in a restaurant for Noa to meet him. A very distinguished man in his 40's enters the restaurant and orders a bowl of cold noodles and, covers them with Cayenne pepper. He finishes the bowl quickly and looks straight as Asuma with a cold glare. Noa finally arrives to pick him up and take him back to her parent's house. Back in Tokyo, Gotoh lets on to Shinobu that the real reason that he has stayed behind is because some very suspicious men are watching the SV2. The men discover that Shinobu and Gotoh are watching them back, and speed off in their van. Pre-empting their moves, Gotoh asks Sakaki to take one of the Labors back to the factory. Later that night, Gotoh calls Shinobu outside her house. He tells her that a truck with a military Labor ran a road block and shot up several police cars. With the Japanese military in the middle of war games, it will take several days for them to account for all their Labors. Are the military trying to stage a coup? Gotoh asks Shinobu to help him in his plan to thwart it.

The next day, military rebels invade Tokyo. They take over the SV2, but Gotoh has already shipped out the Patlabors back to the factory via the bay, away from the prying eyes of the men who have been spying on them for the last few days. Shinobu and Division 1 are at Police HQ and are blocking the path of the military. She states she won't move until the siege is over. Noa and Asuma watch the situation on TV. They show a picture of the ringleader. Asuma is shocked to discover it was the same man he met in the restaurant. He is Kiyoteru Kai, a man that Captain Gotoh knows quite well. Like the rest of Division 2, Noa and Asuma rush back to Tokyo to help. This episode and the following one were a prototype for "Patlabor 2 the movie". The episode title comes from the 1967 Toho film "Japan's Longest Day". According to the "Patlabor Perfect Manual vol. 2" book, this episode takes place between 10:30am 1 February 1999  to 6:00am 3 February 1999. This OVA was originally released 10 November 1988.
6   The SV2's Longest Day (Part 2)
Episode 6Division 2 have made a very temporary headquarters at the Shanghai restaurant. It is the second day of the siege, but the rebels have not made any demands yet. Kanuka disguised as a delivery person from the Shanghai restaurant, asks the mechanics for help. Sakaki tells Kanuka that the police academy has a Patrol Labor prototype they could use. One of the mechanics says he overheard one of the rebels say that have a nuclear weapon. Kanuka returns to the restaurant and tells Gotoh the news. Meanwhile Shinobu has a video conference with the police chiefs. They tell her that the US military will be coming to end the coup before it becomes a civil war, and she should step down. She tells that she won't give into their bluff, and refuses to carry out their orders. The chiefs suspect Gotoh as he knew about the siege and he was friends with Kiyoteru Kai in college. The police have a warrant out for his arrest. Disgusted by their actions, Shinobu forcibly leaves the confence after an officer attempts to take her into custody.

Ota, Kanuka and Shinshi decide to "raise some hell" with the stolen Police Labor from the academy and a a helicopter machine gun that Kanuka borrowed from one of her connections in the US military. They don't get very far, and are caught at a military blockade. The Labor is completely destroyed the ensuing chaos.

Asuma and Noa arrive in Tokyo. Asuma tells Gotoh that he saw Kai in a restaurant in Hokkaido. Upon hearing the news, Gotoh thinks he has Kai's plan figured out. Gotoh asks Matsui to help him. They contact the Maritime Authority who tell them that a ship named the Safflower has been acting suspiciously off the coast. Another ship named the Pacific is in the area too, and judging from US spy photos of the ships, both have missile launchers mounted on them. A short range missile has been stolen from the US military. This means one of the launchers is fake, but which one? Gotoh calls the ship that Kai is on to try and call his bluff. It doesn't work, and Kai sends out an ultimatum to the government; dissolve the Diet (the Japanese Government), ban all political parties, and suspend the constitution. If they don't do as he says, he will fire the missile. But Gotoh has a plan. He enlists the help of the US military and Shinohara Heavy Industries. Will he be able to stop Kai with a submarine and a prototype military Labor? This episode and the previous episode were a prototype for "Patlabor 2 the movie". The episode title comes from the 1967 Toho film "Japan's Longest Day". According to the "Patlabor Perfect Manual vol. 2" book, this episode takes place between 8:15am to 8:30pm on 3 February 1999. This OVA was originally released 10 December 1988.
7   Go North, SV2!
Episode 7A truck at a petrol station is stolen, but when the attendant tells a passing police man, the driver of the truck doesn't want the police chase after it. The police suspect something fishy is going on and arrest him. He is in fact a sympathiser for the terrorist group the Beach House. He stole the truck which was carrying a Labor from the Tokyo Labor show. Unfortunately the manufacturer, Schaft Enterprises Europe, is keeping tight lipped about what exactly is in the truck. The SV2 attempt to capture the truck in front of a tunnel. The truck escapes with the help of the terrorist sympathiser in the Labor, who breaks trough the trailer after not being able to get into contact with his friend in the truck. Later, the man who stole the truck drives off the highway only to discover that he is helping a terrorist sympathiser. The theft of the truck from the petrol station was just a opportunistic crime to get a ride home. He's just a seasonal worker, he doesn't want to be involved in this. But the terrorist persuades the man to help him. Unfortunately for them Schaft will do anything to stop the truck and it's contents. This episode was created to promote the then forthcoming "Patlabor the movie" in 1989. This OVA was originally released 25 June 1989.

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