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Episode 10: It's Called Amnesia

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 28, 2012

 

Summary

 

Ota stands in front of a burning building with a gun in his hand as a pig blimp flies overhead. A strange monster resembling Hiromi that is surrounded by chickens approaches Ota, so he shoots it in the head. Asuma comes out of the shadows and tells Ota that the monster was part of a secret genetic engineering project. Asuma tells Ota that he can't let him live now that he knows the secret, so he summons a muscle-bound Shige. Ota blasts Shige through the stomach and shoots Asuma multiple times as he tries to run away. Ota then reads a newspaper in the rain and sits down in a noodle stand to eat. He orders two noodle bowls, and robotic chef Shinshi insists that's too much, so Ota shoots him. Ota wakes up in a room with a gun in his hand and wonders where he is and who he is. He looks over the table and sees Shinshi dead with a bullet wound in his head. In the next room, he finds Asuma dead, followed by Hiromi's body stuffed in a closet. He runs into the bathroom and finds Shige dead in the tub. Ota runs down the stairs and knocks over Tamiko Shinshi on her way up. She screams when she discovers the scene in her apartment and calls the police. Ota washes his face in a bathroom and thinks about the dead bodies. He sits down for coffee in a cafe and looks through the cards in his wallet, which lead him to believe that his name is Mikiyasu Shinshi. At the SV2 station house Kumagami berates Noa for being late. Noa asks where everyone is, and Kumagami wonders what Goto would say. Goto walks in and notices that everyone is gone, and he wonders what Shinobu would say. Noa mentions that everyone went to Shinshi's house for a party since Tamiko was out of town. Tamiko calls Goto and tells him that there are corpses in her apartment. Ota returns to the crime scene and sees Tamiko crying in Goto's arms, so he assumes that she's his wife. Kumagami tells SV2's mechanics that Ota is probably suffering from amnesia, so they all split up to find him.

 

Ota goes into a convenience store for coffee and is recognized by an employee, who identifies himself as Masa the Cold Noodle. Masa gives him food in the back room and says it was three years ago that he called himself King of the Noodle Chow Hounds and would dine and dash. Then he met Ota, who told him to only order cold noodles in the sunshine before beating him up. After waking up in the hospital, Masa's friends told him to avoid that shop because that's where the Psycho Cop hangs out. Masa says he straightened out his life and thanks Ota for helping him. Masa notices that Ota seems to be in trouble with the police and offers to hide him, but Ota declines. Masa gives Ota an umbrella as he leaves and walks in the rain. When Masa returns to the store, he finds Goto in there. Noa searches the streets by motorcycle while Kumagami searches in the van and the mechanics search on foot. Ota walks through a park at night and calls Shinshi's parents, saying that his name is Kubo and he's putting together a high school reunion. Shinshi's mother tells Ota about his job at SV2 and how proud they are of him. Ota runs out of money, which causes the call to end. He then walks to a construction site and looks at a beaten up Taisyo. The foreman asks Ota if he's a pilot and offers to hire him. The area behind them explodes, and a worker tells the foreman at Tome's Hercules H21 is trapped in there. Ota asks for the startup disk and jumps into the Taisyo, and Goto tells the foreman it'll be ok. Ota finds the Hercules trapped under fallen girders and starts moving them. He recites the labor's specs and opens the cockpit hatch to rescue Tome, but a girder falls on the Taisyo. Ota is taken to the hospital, where Kumagami asks Goto why he tailed Ota for so long without calling anyone. Goto explains that he didn't know how Ota would react and that watching him was fun. Kumagami asks Asuma to explain what happened, and he says it was all an unfortunate accident. Everyone got drunk, and Asuma popped in a VHS tape called "Life with Tamiko" against Shinshi's wishes that showed Tamiko running through all sorts of environments calling out his name. Everyone kept watching the boring video out of tact, but Ota complained about it and asked to borrow Shinshi's video rental card. Shige requested Die Hard 5, and Ota said he could find something more exciting than Shinshi's video with his eyes closed. Shinshi snapped and bonked Ota on the head with a sake bottle, knocking him out. They decided to play a prank on Ota by pretending to be dead, but they didn't count on Ota's amnesia or Tamiko's early return. Noa tells everyone that Ota's awake, and Goto thinks this might be good because Ota will know what it feels like to be hunted down. However, Kumagami explains that the doctor told her amnesia patients usually forget what happened during that time when they get their memories back.

 

Commentary

 

If there's one plot device that's overused in pretty much every form of entertainment, it's amnesia. I'm not a big fan of its overuse, but Patlabor manages to put a bit of a twist on it. Amnesia stories lend themselves pretty well to a film noir atmosphere, which this episode definitely exhibits. In Ota's strange dream, the scene at the noodle stand looks like it came directly out of Blade Runner. The weird Hiromi monster is reminiscent of the strange creature that SV2 encountered in the original OVA series. So in the end, it all turned out to be a prank that the guys played on Ota to get him to change his violent ways. I have to wonder how Shige was able to hold his breath so long underwater, though. Despite having lost his memories, Ota still had his skills and dedication as a labor pilot, which allowed him to rescue the construction pilot.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Patlabor OVA 2 Episode 10 Patlabor OVA 2 Episode 10
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Buy the collection (eps 1-16) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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