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Episode 16: All Quiet at the Second Unit

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 4, 2012

 

Summary

 

Noa speaks to her mother over the phone and says she's doing fine, but probably won't be able to come home until after the holidays. She opens a closet and nearly has two boxes fall on her. At the SV2 station house, Noa bumps her head while searching for something. Kumagami writes up a proposal to reorganize SV2 and asks Noa what she's doing. Noa runs into Hiromi, who came in to fix up the wiring of the chicken coop. Noa finds Ota cleaning the parts of Unit 2's gun, and he says he knows how she feels when she takes care of Unit 1. Asuma gives Sakaki some tech support on how to use a computer because he reformatted the hard drive without backing up his data. Noa asks what happened, and Asuma explains that Sakaki became interested in computers, but isn't cut out for it. Kumagami presents her report to Goto and Shinobu, but he tells her it may be a wasted effort. He asks her if he wants to try being captain of Division 3, and Shinobu mentions there are several plans, including making Gomioka a captain, but the decision is up to HQ. Kumagami asks if she needs to decide right away, and Goto responds that there's no rush. After Kumagami leaves, Shinobu says she thought Kumagami would've jumped at the opportunity. Shinobu then tells Goto to do something about his people because she doesn't like them wandering around the station house in street clothes. Shinshi and Tamiko do the groceries in a market, but he can't find her. Noa keeps searching for the item at her apartment and wonders if she threw it out. She then realizes she has to go to sleep and quickly turns out the lights. At the station house, Hiromi works on his tomato garden while Sakaki makes another attempt at using a PC. Noa keeps searching and reaches above a cabinet, where she finds a box of rotten food. She wonders if she should throw it out, and Asuma tells her to dump it. Asuma begins to say something, but Ota walks in and says Kumagami wants to speak with them. Shinshi hangs his laundry outside his apartment and hears a young boy roleplaying with his grandfather that he's in SV2. Kumagami tells Noa and Asuma that Goto wants everyone to go out to Okutama as a sort of picnic. Asuma says that he and Noa have plans, but she has no idea what he's talking about. He responds that she doesn't know because he hasn't told her yet.

 

Noa and Asuma rent a car to drive to Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture. Noa asks why they're going there, and Asuma says she'll understand once they get there. Shige finds Shinshi alone in the office, and Shinshi asks if anyone came in to the office. Shige tells him that they all went out to Okutama, and Sakaki asks Shige for more PC help. At the police academy's Okutama branch, Sakuma tells everyone that they haven't received a training version of the Peacemaker yet, so they're still using the Dolphin. They watch as two pilots conduct a practice match, and Hiromi asks how different the Peacemakers and Ingrams really are. Ota asks if he can use a Dolphin and requests that Kumagami give him commands. Ota takes down both Dolphins without a weapon, so Hiromi wonders why he's always using a gun if he can fight hand-to-hand. Kumagami explains that they can't fight like that in an urban area, and Sakuma asks about opening fire in a civilian area. Shinobu finds a cupcake on her desk, which Goto explains was dropped off by Shinshi. Elsewhere, Asuma takes Noa to the Shinohara family grave in a cemetery. He tells her that today is the anniversary of his big brother's death, which catches Noa by surprise because she always thought he was an only child. Asuma explains that his brother committed suicide, and he thinks he did it to get back at their father. Asuma thinks it was stupid because death doesn't solve anything. Noa asks Asuma why he brought her, and he answers that he wanted her to know as his partner. After praying, they start walking out of the cemetery, where they run into Shinohara. Asuma asks Noa to wait for him by the car as he goes back into the cemetery with his father. Noa waits until nearly sunset when Asuma finally comes out. He comments that his father is getting old, and Noa asks him if he's going to take over the family business. He says he doesn't know, and she says if he did, it would mean quitting SV2. Asuma thinks that's a long way off. The next day, Asuma and Noa eat the cupcakes that Tamiko baked. Asuma wonders if Kumagami is going to be captain, but Shinshi isn't sure. Kumagami tells Goto that she'd rather be captain of Division 2, and Goto offers to trade places with her. Shinobu asks him if he's serious, but he says quitting and retiring sounds pretty nice. Ota gives Noa a bag from Okutama containing an old catcher's mitt. She says her father gave it to her when she was young, and Kumagami realizes that's what she was looking for. Noa asks Asuma if he wants to play catch with her, but a call comes out and everyone rushes for the dispatch.

 

Commentary

 

It's not every series that gets to have two separate endings. While the TV series had a solid ending, there was still more story to be told with the second OVA series. The title of this episode is presumably a reference to the classic WWI story All Quiet on the Western Front. As the holidays approach, there's a sort of bittersweet feeling in this episode. The possibility of reorganizing SV2 comes up again as it did in the finale of the TV series. One of the standout moments in this episode is the trip that Asuma and Noa take to his family grave. Asuma is usually very private when it comes to his family, so opening up like this to Noa is a big deal. Since he doesn't talk about his past, the revelation that he had an older brother who committed suicide is a surprise. That probably factors into the animosity he has for his father, who finally appears in this episode. We don't see any of the conversation between them (assuming they even spoke to each other), but it doesn't look like their encounter went poorly. In the end, everything goes back to normal for Division 2 and they get back to work as usual. Overall, the second OVA series was a great way to see all these characters again and spend some more time with them. Aside from wrapping up the Griffon arc, this series was able to focus more on character development and go in some directions that the TV series never did.

 

Overall Rating

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