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Patlabor on Television

Asuma Shinohara, Noa Izumi and Alphonse - Opening Animation

Patlabor On Television

Originally Broadcast 11 October 1989 to 26 September 1990

Staff

Series Director: Naoyuki Yoshinaga
Original Story: Headgear
Series Structure: Kazunori Ito
Character Designer: Akemi Takada
Mechanical Designers: Yutaka Izubuchi and Yoshinori Sayama
Music: Kenji Kawai
Production: Sunrise

The 47 part TV series is a completely different universe to the movies and Original OVA (AKA Early Days). For the most part there's a lot of comedy in these episodes mixed in with plenty of Labor battles, but usually only one per episode. Episodes range from drama, suspense, battles with monsters, science fiction parodies and even stories about the SV2's general day to day duties.

Quite a number of characters are introduced including several that had only previously appeared in the manga. Also several stories are borrowed from the manga including the Griffin saga (though considerably shortened).

The series was originally broadcast on Nippon Television Network (NTV) on Wednesday evenings from 5pm. I think this has to be one of the few robot anime TV series where them main robot of the show, Alphonse, gets his own credit during the opening animation. Disappointingly for fans of the series, the sound effect for the Labors sounded more like the stock standard "Gundam" robot effects rather than the familiar Labor sounds from the Early Days OVA and first film. In the Japanese home video release the soundtrack was given a new stereo remix, dubbed the "Super Sound Remix" or "SS-Remix". The sound effects of the Labors were changed to match those heard in the Original OVA Series (AKA Early Days) and "
Patlabor the movie". The background music was also tweaked. All video releases of the series contain the remixed audio, including all English language releases.

This version of the anime was very popular in anime clubs across the US, UK and Australia during the mid to late 1990's. A lot of anime fans including me, cite this series as one of the reasons they got into anime. Despite the massive popularity of the series in Japan and in anime clubs in the US, the success failed to follow on when it was released commercially in the US in 1998 on VHS. Most likely the causes were that there was no English dub, and that the animation was almost 10 years old at the time. Over three years after the initial VHS release, an English dub was slowly released on DVD in US by U.S. Manga Corps (Central Park Media). However sales were again poor, with around 3,000 units shipping per volume, while most other releases from the company would ship at least three times that figure. The fact that it took nearly five years release the entire series on DVD probably didn't help either.

On the final VHS tape and laserdisc of the original Japanese video release of the TV series, there is a "48th episode". This is not an animated TV episode, but a special named "Koyasai Sanbonjime" (a sanbonjime is a Japanese clapping ritual done to honour the close of an event), which was a bonus collection of staff and cast interviews that was done after the final recording session for the series and was never aired on TV.

The series doesn't really conclude here. The 16 part New OVA Series completes the series, and resolves some of the issues not dealt with in the Griffin arc
.


Episode Synopses
1 Ingram Activated
2 Kanuka Has Arrived
3 We're Special Vehicles Section 2
4 Head to the Evil Mountain
5 Rampaging Labor X-10
6 The Tower: SOS
7 Model 97's New Replacement
8 A Green Phantom
9 Red Labor Landing
10 Eve's Trap
11 Eve's Shudder
12 Ota's Afternoon of Puzzlement
13 Please Be Generous Your Highness!
14 You Win!
15 The Whale Who Sang
16 The Division Crosses the Sea
17 Captain Gotoh is the Target
18 I Love You Miss Noa
19 The Shadow of the Geo-Front
20 Dark Troubles Rising
21 The Phantom Returns
22 Flowers and Labors
23 Kanuka's Report
24 Goodbye Kanuka
25 Spring Storm
26 I am Takeo Kumagami
27 A Voice in the Darkness
28 The Suspicious Pair
29 The Destruction of the SV2
30 The Griffin Has Arrived
31 Tragedy in the Rain
32 Reunion
33 The Dogs of Schaft
34 Battle at the Castle Gate
35 The Fall of Griffin!
36 Noa's Big Adventure
37 I'm Selling Piece of Mind
38 The Underground Mystery Tour
39 Economy Model Plans
40 Orders of the Coast Guard
41 Save the Terrorists
42 The Men Who Returned
43 The Working Girl
44 Long Live CLAT
45 Vocational Options
46 His Name is Zero
47 Condition Green


Availability in English
On Streaming Services

Hidive and VRV are currently streaming the entire series in Japanese with English subtitles and an English dubbed version. It must be noted that various English dubbed episodes up to episode 12 were sourced from edited version broadcast on ImaginAsian (iaTV) around 2006. These edits amount to less than 30 seconds per episode. The Japanese version is uncut. Currently the uncut English dub for the first 12 episodes is only available on the out of print U.S. Manga Corps DVD releases (see Physical Home Video Releases below for details). Hidive and VRV's current streaming rights only include the United States of America.

Format Region Serviced
Streaming Company
Japanese Dialogue with English Subtitles and English Dubbed Versions United States of America Hidive
Japanese Dialogue with English Subtitles and English Dubbed Versions United States of America VRV


Physical Home Video Releases

Maiden Japan are currently the only company in the world with English language physical home video rights to the TV series. Currently the TV series is only available on the "Patlabor The Mobile Police: Complete Collection Special Edition" blu-ray box set, which also includes both OVA series as well as all three anime films. It must be noted that the first 12 English dubbed episodes on in the Blu-ray set was sourced from edited versions broadcast on ImaginAsian (iaTV) around 2006. These edits amount to less than 30 seconds per episode. The Japanese version on the discs are uncut. US company U.S. Manga Corps previously released this series series on ten single DVDs and later as three DVD box sets with the full uncut English dub, original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. In December 2006, U.S. Manga Corps deleted the series, but copies of the DVDs can still be found at second hand stores. The Maiden Japan Blu-ray set and U.S. Manga Corps DVDs are only available in the United States of America, and therefore will only work on region A blu-ray players and NTSC video format compatible region 1 DVD players. If you don't live in United States of America, check your DVD or blu-ray player's instruction manual to see if it will play them. Please see the English Language TV Series Releases Video List for a complete listing of all releases, formats and product specifications of this series in English.

Title Format
Catalogue Number
Patlabor the Mobile Police the TV Series Volume 1 (Episodes 1 to 5) (USA) [Out of Print] NTSC DVD, Region 1, Japanese Dialogue and English Dub with English Subtitles USMD-2069
Patlabor the Mobile Police the TV Series Volume 2 (Episodes 6 to 10) (USA) [Out of Print] NTSC DVD, Region 1, Japanese Dialogue and English Dub with English Subtitles USMD-2172
Patlabor the Mobile Police the TV Series Volume 3 (Episodes 11 to 14) (USA) [Out of Print] NTSC DVD, Region 1, Japanese Dialogue and English Dub with English Subtitles USMD-2174
Patlabor The Mobile Police: Complete Collection Special Edition (USA)
NTSC Blu-ray, Region A, Japanese Dialogue and English Dub with English Subtitles MJB-PTL010


Availability in Japanese
On Streaming Services

Bandai Channel, Amazon Prime Japan and Hulu Japan are currently streaming the entire series in Japanese. Bandai Channel, Amazon Prime Japan and Hulu Japan's current streaming rights only include Japan.

Format Region Serviced
Streaming Company
Japanese Dialogue Only Japan Bandai Channel
Japanese Dialogue Only Japan Amazon Prime Japan
Japanese Dialogue Only Japan Hulu Japan


Physical Home Video Releases

This series is available as a two part DVD box set release and also as a two part blu-ray box set release in Japan from Bandai Visual. These DVDs and blu-rays do not come with English subtitles or an English dub. These DVD sets are only available in Japan, and therefore will only work on DVD players that are both NTSC compatible and will play region 2 discs (if you don't live in Japan, check your DVD or blu-ray player's instruction manual to see if it will play the discs). All Bandai Visual blu-ray discs are region free. Please see the Japanese TV Series Releases Video List for a complete listing of all releases, formats and product specifications for this series.

Title Format Catalogue Number
Patlabor on Television Series DVD Box  1 (Episodes 1 to 24) NTSC DVD, Region 2, Japanese Dialogue Only BCBA-0600
Patlabor on Television Series DVD Box  2 (Episodes 25 to 47) NTSC DVD, Region 2, Japanese Dialogue Only BCBA-0601
Patlabor on Television BD-Box 1 (Episodes 1 to 24) NTSC Blu-ray Disc, Region Free, Japanese Dialogue Only BCXA-0261
Patlabor on Television BD-Box 2 (Episodes 25 to 47) NTSC Blu-ray Disc, Region Free, Japanese Dialogue Only BCXA-0262

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