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Episode 6: Viewer Rate 90%

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 23, 2012

 

Summary

 

A TV director named Ichifuji whacks an actor on the head who plays the exercise guy on a children's TV show in Kanto. A producer named Tanino promises a young actress named Chidori Tsujino a part in his next afternoon drama, and she promises to do anything and stay by his side forever. Chidori runs out onto the set, where Ichifuji instead promises her a part in an upcoming two-hour drama. She gives him the same line about staying by his side forever, and he asks if she would follow him to Hell. Ichifuji demands to know where the costumed bear Kumagoro is. Ichifuji and Tanino reflect on how much time they've been doing the show, and cameras start rolling on the final episode of With Mother. Filming proceeds as normal until Kumagoro rushes onto stage in a labor and takes the hosts hostage. As Division 2 is deployed, Ota complains about having to take care of this, but Kumagami notes that the criminal is using a labor. Goto briefs everyone on the criminal, Arita Mejiro, who has been playing Kumagoro for 20 years and is set to lose his job when the show ends. Noa is surprised to hear that and tells Hiromi that she was a fan of Kumagoro when she was a kid. Goto adds that Mejiro is demanding a ransom of 30 million yen and a getaway helicopter. Tanino tries to end the hostage situation by offering Mejiro a part in an epic historical drama, but Mejiro says it's too late for that. He says the ransom is severance pay for his 20 years of work, and he plans to escape justice by going to some island and living out his days as a Bali Hindu priest in a temple. Network president Magosaku Hakodate brings in Goto, and Tanino pleads with him to end the situation. Goto speaks to Mejiro from the control room and tells him he's surrounded and should give up. Goto says they could end it now and chalk it up as a joke, but Mejiro says he hates jokes and triggers a car bomb outside the studio. He then reveals that he's planted explosives in the studio as well. Goto asks Hakodate to start collecting the money and not provoke Mejiro, but Hakodate objects that he can't collect the money that quickly. Tanino suggests that they broadcast the hostage situation live, and Hakodate changes his mind about paying out. The station's news reporter starts hyping the coverage of the hostage crisis, which sends ratings shooting up. After seeing the studio's layout, Goto, Kumagami and Asuma realize there's no way to get in with an Ingram. Tanino wants them to take care of the situation without damaging the studio. Hakodate is happy to see the viewer rate is 43 percent and tells Goto they shouldn't rush things. Hakodate whispers something to to Tanino, which arouses Goto's suspicions. The money is collected and put in a briefcase, but Tanino starts stuffing part of it in his desk, saying he can't give it all to Mejiro yet. Tanino lies to everyone from Division 2 and says they could only gather up 20 million, just as the viewer rate hits 55 percent. Shinshi tells Goto that Mejiro used dynamite with a simple wireless detonator. A maid walks in to serve coffee, which gives Kumagami and Goto an idea.

 

Chidori asks Mejiro to take her with him, but he responds that he's always hated her. Noa and Kumagami enter the studio disguised as maids to bring orange juice to everyone. Mejiro thinks something is suspicious, and Kumagami is forced to hide a box cutter she was about to use to free the hostages. Mejiro asks Kumagami how long she's been working at the studio, and when she answers three years, he calls her out as a liar because no one as pretty as her would last more than two weeks. Mejiro starts chasing Noa and Kumagami around the studio, smashing the set and sending the viewer rate to 65 percent. Kumagami tells Mejiro that children are watching and he should feel ashamed for what he's doing. Chidori shouts at Noa to use the elevator, and they escape in it before Mejiro can reach them. Fukushima calls Goto, and Hakodate tells Tanino that it's time to call in reinforcement. Following Division 2's failure, riot police are called in to deal with the situation, but Kumagami fears that will just provoke Mejiro more. Hakodate washes his hands of the matter by telling Tanino that a producer is like a captain who must go down with his ship. Kumagami wants another chance, and Goto approves. Kumagami enters the studio with the money and sets it down in the middle of the room. Mejiro picks up the briefcase, which opens at the bottom and causes all the money to fall out. The studio's fans are then activated and cause the money to fly around in every direction. At the same time, everyone from Division 2 runs into the studio in ridiculous costumes and start grabbing the money. Mejiro starts chasing everyone, and the viewer rate passes 80 percent, which makes Tanino laugh like a madman. The riot police then storm the studio and mistake Ota as the criminal. The viewer rate hits 90 percent, which Tanino proclaims is a record in the history of broadcasting. Ichifuji tells Mejiro to fight back as the riot police chase everyone from Division 2. Kumagami sneaks up on Mejiro from behind, but he announces that he's giving up. Goto blows a whistle to get everyone's attention, and Kumagami takes Mejiro away in handcuffs. Later, Kumagami goes to sleep in her apartment, where an old Kumagoro plush toy sits on the shelf.

 

Commentary

 

This bizarre episode drops the regular labor action to switch to a crazy hostage situation. We have a children's show that's about to end, which causes Kumagoro performer Mejiro to snap and take everyone hostage. The situation is made even more strange because Mejiro stays in costume the whole time, so you have this cute bear mascot in a small labor terrorizing everyone and setting off explosives. Goto's first plan fails, but the second proves more successful as chaos takes over. It was amusing to see Shinshi and Ota tempted to steal money, with Ota dreaming of every gun he could buy with the money. The sleazy network types decide to take advantage of the situation and practically trip over themselves to cover up their glee at the ratings. Of course, this episode was produced before reality TV became a big thing, so it is somewhat prescient in that regard.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Patlabor OVA 2 Episode 6 Patlabor OVA 2 Episode 6
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