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Episode 14: You Win!

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 27, 2011

 

Summary

 

The police superintendent holds a Judo tournament involving all police units, including SV2. Asuma isn't happy about having to fight on his day off, but Goto tells him they have no choice since Division 1 is on duty. Shinshi takes on a gigantic man named Saito and goes down in seconds. As Asuma prepares to fight Saito, Saito's teammates talk trash that people from SV2 are weak outside of their labors. The fight begins, and Asuma head butts Saito in the groin, taking him down. Saito then gets up and flips Asuma on his back to get him in a choke hold. Asuma is taken out and carried off by stretcher. Ota goes up next and is taken down in a single flip, but his foot is injured, so he too is carried off by stretcher. Noa wonders if Goto might do better since he has a black belt, and Saito finds himself intimidated by Goto's stance. Saito rushes toward Goto and stops and falls when Goto gets a radio call from Shinobu. Goto addresses his superiors and states that Division 1 is calling for backup, so he wants to withdraw Division 2 from the tournament. Later, Goto arrives at the crime scene and finds a trashed Python. Shinobu explains that a Boxer is cornered at a public bath because its pilot got dumped by his girlfriend and got drunk. A customer tried to escape and is now being held hostage. Shinshi tells Goto that Ota sprained his ankle and Asuma can't talk because his throat hurts, so Goto decides to put Noa under Kanuka's command. Goto enters the bathhouse and uses a bullhorn to ask the Boxer pilot to surrender, but the pilot threatens to crush the old man he's holding hostage. Goto tells him there's other fish in the sea, but the pilot cries that his girlfriend was the only one for him. Goto counters that everyone says that, and if he kills himself to make her feel sorry, she won't even care and will just move on to another guy. The pilot says he won't be fooled and demands that Goto fight him, get him a date or go home. Unit 1 suddenly attacks the Boxer from behind, causing the pilot to drop the old man into the bath. He then recovers and slams into Noa, knocking her to the ground. Kanuka orders Noa to shoot out the Boxer's legs, but Noa ignores the order and instead pulls out her baton. The Boxer pulls a smokestack free and tries to swing it at Noa, but it's too heavy and falls back. Back at the station, Kanuka lectures Noa for not following orders, but Noa counters that she could've caused damage in the neighborhood if her shots missed. Kanuka says that's just an excuse and that Noa didn't want to shoot the labor, and Noa answers that the pilot is the criminal, not the labor. Kanuka tells Noa that she's too careless and can't disobey orders, and Goto puts an end to the argument by asking them to fill out reports. After they leave, Shinobu comments that it'll be a tough decision, and Goto wonders if Noa would've ignored the order had it come from Asuma. Shinobu comments that Division 2's weakness may be a lack of flexibility because it's filled with complex people who have strong opinions.

 

Goto and Shinobu compare Kanuka and Noa's records and find that Kanuka excels in almost every category, while Noa performs averagely in most. Goto thinks that if the two understood each other they wouldn't be so bull-headed. Goto decides to take the traditional approach to solve the problem and asks Shinobu if he can borrow some money. Goto takes Hiromi, Noa and Kanuka to a yatai (food stall) to supposedly thank them for their hard work, but neither woman is happy to be there. Goto then goes over to another yatai and finds that Asuma and Ota are drunk and that Shinshi has run off to call Tamiko. Asuma asks what's going on, and Goto answers he just wants to thank them for their hard work. Kanuka is surprised that Noa can drink so much sake, and Noa explains that her family owns a bar, so she's used to drinking a lot. Kanuka then starts gulping down sake, and Noa orders more sake and food. The two then start competing over how fast they can drink, with Hiromi stuck in the middle. Asuma tries to get Goto to drink, but Goto says he's driving. Asuma and Goto then start arguing with each other, and Asuma asks where everyone else is. Hiromi tries to get Noa to stop drinking and eat something, but she just laughs at him. Noa and Kanuka keep drinking, and Ota tells Asuma that he's stifling Noa's development. Asuma counters that Kanuka has Ota under his thumb, and Shinshi gets creepy after becoming drunk, telling them they don't know what it's like to be married. Shinshi criticizes them and calls out Goto for trying to run away. He then falls to the floor and goes on again about how hard it is to be married. Noa asks Kanuka if she misses anyone in America, and Kanuka says she misses Rei. Kanuka says that she wants to go home, and Noa comments that Kanuka is human after all. Kanuka then passes out, so Noa drapes her jacket around her. The next day, nearly everyone has a hangover when a call comes in about an incident in Kamiigusa. Everyone is surprised that Noa is completely normal, and Goto comments that she's a true bartender's daughter. Shinobu asks if it was worth having the whole team be hungover, and Goto answers that this is what works and that they're only just now starting to trust each other. Shinobu thinks that only Goto could make that work, but he laments that he didn't get to drink.

 

Commentary

 

Labor antics mostly take a backseat to some character development. It was fun to see how inept Division 2 was during the Judo tournament. I would've liked to see how Goto would've done had that call from Shinobu not come in. Things get mixed up a bit as Noa ends up under Kanuka's command, and the two naturally clash. That's to be expected since Kanuka is very by-the-book and Noa isn't. So Goto comes up with a very strange solution that could only work with Division 2: get everyone drunk and have them bond together. These people were already weird enough sober, so them drunk is even stranger. Amusingly, Shinshi's drunken state automatically defaults to his creepy mode. But it all worked in the end, as Kanuka showed some rare emotional vulnerability that she'd never display sober. Overall, a solid episode for some drunken antics.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Patlabor TV Episode 14 Patlabor TV Episode 14
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Buy the collection (eps 13-24) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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