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Episode 1: Griffon Resurrected

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 15, 2012

 

Summary

 

As Christmas approaches, Kurosaki is approached by a street performer who is actually Utsumi in disguise. At the SV2 station house, Peacemaker pilots Tsutomu Gomioka and Yuuki conduct a practice match. Ingram Unit 2 pilot Isao Ota is impressed, and mechanic Shigeo "Shige" Shiba comments that even when moving like that, the load on the pilot isn't as much as on the Ingram. Ingram Unit 1 pilot Noa Izumi asks NYPD officer Kanuka Clancy what she thinks of the Peacemaker, and Kanuka says it's not bad, given that she hasn't tried it. Division 1 Captain Shinobu Nagumo says that's a reserved opinion, and Kanuka responds that the Peacemaker and Ingram are like two different beasts. Shinobu offers to let Kanuka try out the Peacemaker, but Kanuka says she has to go chaperone her grandmother. Noa was hoping that Kanuka would spend more time with them, but Asuma Shinohara comments that they'll lose out when Kanuka's grandmother is in the mix. Kurosaki and Utsumi ride a bout out to a tanker where their staff is waiting for them. Utsumi asks for a status report and is told everything will be on schedule. Kurosaki tells him there are problems, so he goes down to talk to Griffon pilot Bud Renard Harchand, who is playing video games. Bud tells Utsumi that his fight with Noa isn't over yet, so Utsumi offers to let him go after her once he's fought the Peacemaker first. Elsewhere, TV reporter Momoko Sakurayama gets a fax and suddenly leaves the office. At night, Division 2 Captain Kiichi Goto is approached by Inspector Matsui, who's been looking for him. They go to an izakaya, and Matsui tells Goto that a lot of labor specialists from around the world have recently been gathering in Tokyo, which he thinks is strange. Goto thinks they're probably throwing a New Year's Eve party, but Matsui notes that there haven't been any official announcements. Goto asks for a list of names of everyone who has come to Japan, which Matsui already prepared. Momoko meets Takeo Kumagami for dinner to discuss arms merchants and labors. Kumagami knows that arms dealers are interested in labors as weapons, and Momoko asks what they'd be gathering in Tokyo for. Kumagami thinks it would be for the unveiling of a new labor, but there's no such event scheduled. The next day, Kumagami and Goto discuss the information they've received, and Goto rhetorically asks what would be the best way to stage a labor demonstration. He says they've already seen it before at Harumi and the Babylon Project's Castle Gate. Chief mechanic Seitaroh Sakaki compliments Noa for helping maintain Unit 1, and she says they never know when they might be dispatched. Noa gets a phone call from Bud, who asks if she's any better at the Patlabor game. He says he wants to play again and suddenly hangs up when Utsumi walks in. Utsumi tells Bud to restrain himself because Project G-2 begins tonight. Goto tells Sakaki that he might have to impose on him soon, and a dispatch call comes in about a fire in the Chiyoda Tunnel. On the tanker, Bud prepares to launch in the Griffon. Several men in a boat are surprised when the Griffon cruises by them in the water. Sakaki asks Shige when the manufacturer is closing for the holiday and tells him to fax in a parts order in advance. A call then comes in for Division 1 about a black labor spotted in Tsukudajima.

 

Gomioka asks Shinobu if she thinks it's the same black labor that Division 2 fought, and she says it's possible. Shige wonders if Division 1 will be ok on its own, and Sakaki doesn't like it because it seems as though the Griffon waited for Division 2 to leave before showing up. At the tunnel, several Pyro-Buster labors from the fire department use their water cannons to extinguish the fire. Kumagami tells Goto that eyewitness accounts point to the fire being caused by timed explosives. Ota is impatient to go inside, but Kumagami tells him to be patient because there aren't any criminals in the tunnel. Asuma and Mikiyasu Shinshi tell Goto the news about the Griffon showing up at Tsukudajima, and Asuma asks if it's ok to leave Division 1 alone. Goto responds that they can't just abandon their current call, and he orders Asuma not to tell Noa. Momoko is informed at the Griffon has appeared and runs off with her news crew. As the Peacemakers are deployed, Shinobu tells Gomioka and Yuuki to be careful because they've never faced anything like this. The Griffon moves through the streets menacingly, and Utsumi gives a presentation to arms merchants from a nearby hotel. He then calls Bud and tells him to start when he's ready. Shinobu uses the loudspeaker and orders Bud to surrender, but he ignores her and starts walking away. Gomioka and Yuuki then move in, but Bud tosses Yuuki aside and blocks Gomioka's shield. He then flips Gomioka over his shoulder and knocks him away. Bud grabs Yuuki's gun and blows his units head off before turning back to Gomioka and shooting his revolver out of his hand. Bud tosses the revolver aside, and Gomioka charges at Bud, pushing him back. Yuuki grabs Bud from behind, but Bud pushes him away. He then flips Gomioka around and knocks him into Yuuki, whose unit suffers more damage and is disabled. Utsumi tells Bud to fight with his back to a building because it looks like the Peacemakers are programmed to not damage their surroundings. Bud backs up against a building, which causes Gomioka's unit to stop in mid movement. Shinobu tells Gomioka to turn off the neuron network, but Bud rips off Gomioka's left arm. Momoko's news crew arrives and starts filming the battle as Bud rips off the Peacemaker's head as a trophy. Goto tells everyone that the Griffon is back and just took down Division 1, so Noa will probably have to fight it again.

 

Commentary

 

The second Patlabor series starts off by continuing the Griffon arc that was left uncompleted by the TV series. It's the holiday season and things should be happy for everyone in Division 2 since Kanuka is in town to visit, but an awkward atmosphere soon settles in. Matsui tips Goto off about some strange happenings, and Momoko does the same with Kumagami. The fiendishly friendly Utsumi is back, and so are Bud and the Griffon. This time, he wants to show off the Griffon's abilities to the world and stages everything as a show for arms dealers and labor specialists. The Griffon itself has been upgraded and can now travel through the water, so I guess its previous appearance was its prototype phase. The Griffon was already almost too much for the Ingrams to deal with, and now it easily takes down the Peacemakers introduced at the end of the TV series. Because of that, it looks like Bud will pretty soon be getting the rematch he wants so badly with Noa.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Patlabor OVA 2 Episode 1 Patlabor OVA 2 Episode 1
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Buy the collection (eps 1-16) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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