Excellent content, but so-so DVD transfer
vorfeed | Los Alamos, NM United States | 10/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patlabor is certainly one of the best series of its time. You'll find some great characters here, along with memorable episodes of both drama and comedy. Don't go into this expecting a lot of giant robot battles and explosions, though. Patlabor has a few of those, but this series is mostly about the people, not the robots. If you like character-driven anime, this is the series for you.The first few episodes of this DVD set aren't quite the best Patlabor has to offer, but the series finds its feet very quickly, so much so that this set has some of the best of the 47 episode run of this series. The two-part plot of "Eve's Trap" and "Eve's Shudder" will please action fans, and "Ota's Afternoon of Puzzlement", "You Win!", and "Captain Goto is the Target" are some of the funniest episodes of Patlabor. The rest of the episodes on the disc are also great.The DVD transfer is just about average, though. There aren't many obvious video or audio errors, but the menus are a bit lacking, and the extras are weak. The subtitles are also slightly off. They miss almost all of the onscreen text, making a few scenes hard to understand if you can't read Japanese. Unfortunately, this DVD version is also saddled with a terrible English dub. As if overacting and cheesy delivery weren't enough, most of the actors can't seem to properly pronounce the characters' names. A real shame, especially considering the sterling quality of the original Japanese voice acting. Be sure to watch this one with subtitles! All in all, I give this DVD set 5 stars for content, and three for presentation. It's too bad that Central Park Media didn't spend more time on the production for these DVDs... but this set is still the best way by far to see this classic series, so don't hesitate to buy."
Good 1980's anime that stands the test of time
Geo | 03/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Patlabor series, produced in the late 1980's, is a series about a division of the police force in what was then the future (the late 1990's - early 2000's) that used large mechs/robots (called "labors") to deal with crime involving other mechs. The division, however, is filled with all sorts of oddball characters. The main character is a very cheerful, very willful young policewoman named Noa who loves her mech. The other characters include an overzealous, gun-happy yet somewhat incompetent career policeman; a placid but overly tall policeman who grows tomatoes; a mild, hen-pecked husband who occassionally reveals an explosive temper; an incredibly serious, hard-driven policewoman; and a laid-back yet cunning and mysterious captain.
The series is generally comedy mixed with some mech battles and other action scenes. The first three episodes introduce all of the principle characters; subsequent episodes place the characters in various situations, including playing host to dignitaries, saving a whale, saving people from burning buildings, and investigating monster stories. Many of the episodes focus on humorous personal stories, such as an arraigned marriage or a team trip to go drink sake, that are sometimes more entertaining than the mech battles themselves. Other stories, however, can become more serious; for example, episodes 10 and 11 focus on a mysterious military mech called "Phantom" that black-market arms dealers decide to test in Tokyo.
Since the series is relatively old by anime standards, the animation is not as smooth or as stylized as many newer series. Nonetheless, the animation is still reasonably good. A few of the details in some of the storylines are out-of-date; for example, one story discusses a defector from the now-defunct Soviet Union, and another story refers to mechs made in "West Germany". Despite this, the anime series is still very entertaining.
The subtitled version of this series is fine. The dubbed version, however, sounds awful; the English-speaking voice actors are poorly matched to their characters, and some of the background music is altered.
So, in conclusion, this is a great series even for casual fans of Japanese animation. Everyone will find this series funny. However, people who watch anime dubbed rather than subtitled should not watch this version of the series!"
I recommend this product
Juan Burbano | colombia | 01/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Super recomiendo este DVD es una de las mejores series que he visto; lastima que sea un poco corta pero la historia es muy interesante y divertida."
Collector | USA | 10/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this anime. I've been trying to open myself up to watching anime that haven't been created recently and Patlabor was one of the older series I decided to watch. I did not expect the animation to be as solid and appealing as it turned out to be. I think it was the opening sequence that really sold me on the character designs. None of the designs are over the top, so you get a sense of a down to earth type of storyline. The opening and closing songs are catchy enough and actually quite enjoyable once you get used to them. If you are expecting flashy looking mecha designs and some kind of deep meaningful storyline you're going to be disappointed. Patlabor's main focus is on the character development and how the different personalities bounce off each other. Patlabor is what Dai-Guard tried to be but failed miserably. If you don't need philosophical ramblings, elaborate mecha battles and colorful character designs to feel entertained you will enjoy this show."