image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 22: Flowers and Labors

 

Review by Chris Guanche

December 12, 2011

 

Summary

 

Shinshi gives a lecture during a Labor Pilot Safety Seminar. He stutters through his presentation when he notices a yakuza boss and his lackey enter the room and sit down in the back. As people in the audience whisper, the yakuza boss tells them to shut up because he’s trying to listen to the lecture. Later, the yakuza boss is in the crowd watching Noa demonstrate how to safely carry a girder with a labor. After the demonstration, the boss asks Kanuka if the Ingram is voice activated, but she explains that it has a pilot. The boss is surprised to see that the pilot is a girl and gives Noa a pat on the butt as he leaves. Noa tells Asuma that the boss looked like a guy out of a yakuza movie, but he tells her that she shouldn’t stereotype people. Just then the boss walks up to them and asks what they’re doing. He gives Noa his business card, which identifies him as Naoya Fujioka, leader of the Hanafuji Group. He tells them to give him a call if they’re ever in trouble and laughs as he walks away. Back at the station house, Shinshi theorizes that the yakuza want to use labors as weapons, and Ota criticizes them for letting criminals into their presentation. Kanuka points out that labors are allowed to carry weapons, and everyone is legally entitled to own a labor, which Shinshi calls a recipe for disaster. As Noa and Kanuka leave for the night, Kanuka tells Noa she has to start packing for her trip back to America. Fujioka pulls up in a limo and takes them to his headquarters, where a lackey gives them a tour. He takes them to a hangar filled with labors, including a Boxer, Crabman, Tyrant 2000, Celkie H10, Housaku and Midi. Fujioka shows up and brags about his collection, saying that although the Ingram was out of his price range, he’s expecting delivery of a German model, and he’s thinking of buying an Italian one. Kanuka asks Fujioka what he intends to do with all these labors, and he tells her it’s his collection. He explains that he used to collect Japanese swords and classic cars, but now he thinks labors are classier. Fujioka complains about the complexity of the operating manuals and says none of his men can pilot a labor. Later, Fujioka has a large amount of sushi delivered to the station house, and Noa tells Asuma that all she did was tell Fujioka how to activate the default settings on the labors. Hiromi asks if it’s ok to accept this gift, and Ota suspects that the yakuza are trying to pry information out of them. Kanuka counters that if they yakuza can’t even master the default settings, knowing advanced info from SV2 won’t help them. Goto walks in and starts eating sushi, so everyone else joins him over Ota’s objections. One of the yakuza calls Noa and tells her that Fujioka has been practicing and wants to show her his progress. Later, Fujioka shows up at the station house and stumbles around with his Housaku. Noa gives him some pointers, and a lackey reminds him it’s time for a meeting. Later, the Hanafuji and Daina groups have a meeting. Daina brags about getting a Mitsumasa sword they were both after, and Fujioka brags that labors are the thing to collect now. Fujioka brags that his collection is the biggest in Japan, and possibly in the top five of the world.

Fujioka shows Daina his labor collection, including his latest acquisition, a Grau-Bear. Fujioka has heard that Daina recently purchased a labor and says he’d like to see it. Daina takes Fujioka to his hangar and shows off his labor: a heavily customized golden Grau-Bear, which he brags is one-of-a-kind. He laughs that even a hick can buy labors with enough cash, but the important thing is to take the time to perfect it. Back at his headquarters, Fujioka sulks and complains to a lackey that he never should’ve showed his labor to Daina because he got outdone again. The lackey tells Fujioka that he’s a better pilot, and Fujioka comes up with an idea to outdo Daina. He calls Noa and asks to join SV2, saying he wants to help out in his neighborhood. He tells her that all 1,500 of his men are at her disposal, but they get interrupted with an emergency call comes in. Division 2 deploys to the scene and finds that Fujioka is already there in his Grau-Bear because he listened to his police scanner. Two labors were involved in a fight, but he beat them both up. Back at the station house, Fukushima reluctantly gives Fujioka a certificate of commendation. Fujioka shows off his commendation to Daina and comments that a labor isn’t worth anything if you can’t use it. Several women fawn over Fujioka, so Daina angrily storms off and demands that his lackeys get him some wiretaps. Fujioka listens in to the police scanner about a labor theft in Chiyoda, and both he and Daina move out. The criminal moves through the streets in his Hercules H21 and is boxed in by Fujioka and Daina. As Division 2 heads to the scene, a report comes in that the stolen labor is now fighting two other labors in Yotsuya. Hiromi asks Noa if she suspects the two labors might be the yakuza, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Fujioka and Daina ignore the stolen labor and fight with each other until Noa arrives and tells them to stop. She tells them that their actions prove they’re unfit for duty and that they’re criminals, not heroes. She then says if they keep it up they’ll have to answer to her. Later, Noa wonders if she was too harsh on them, and a yakuza calls to tell her that Fujioka is trying to commit seppuku. Noa heads to the group’s headquarters and sees several Daina trucks drive by in that direction, so she calls Asuma and tells him to bring Unit 1 because there’s a turf war. The two bosses fight in their labors, and Kanuka shows up in a kimono and carrying a bokken. Noa tries to break up the fight with Unit 1, but Daina punches her. She then bashes Fujioka and Daina together and starts beating both into submission simultaneously. Kanuka uses her bokken to knock out all the yakuza fighting with swords and knives. After the yakuza give up their movement disks, Fujioka tells Noa and Kanuka that labors are too dangerous, so he’s going to stick to a regular life of crime.

 

Commentary

 

Following the Phantom two-parter, we get back to self-contained stories with a ridiculous yakuza feud. These guys are flashy and fit the stereotype of 1980s yakuza, down to the clothes and their slang. Division 2, and Noa especially, find themselves in the middle of a gigantic pissing contest between Fujioka and Daina. As you’d expect, things escalate to a nonsensical level, leading to a yakuza-on-yakuza labor battle. Plus Kanuka beating up hordes of yakuza with a bokken. It’s all very odd, but it’s exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from this series, and it provides a good level of laughs and awkward situations.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

image

Patlabor TV Episode 22 Patlabor TV Episode 22
image
Buy the collection (eps 13-24) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
imageimage
image

image

image

image

image

image
image
image
imageimage