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Episode 26: I'm Takeo Kumagami

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 1, 2012

 

Summary

 

The members of Division 2 work to clean up the station house. Noa hopes that their new member is good with Ingrams, and Shinshi says a guy with a name like Takeo Kumagami sounds tough. Ota says you can’t tell anything by a person’s name and says he’s probably a big lug, so Noa jokes that maybe he’s all brawn. Shinshi looks out the window and notice someone walking up the road. Everyone looks out the window and sees that it’s a woman, and Goto says she’s finally arrived. Takeo Kumagami, a beautiful woman, meets with Goto and apologizes for being late, saying she couldn’t find a taxi. Shinobu is impressed with Kumagami’s resume and says she would’ve liked her on Division 1, but she’ll get more experience with Goto since his team always gets in trouble. Goto asks Kumagami how long it’ll take her to learn a labor system, and she responds that she’ll master it in a week. Goto then introduces Kumagami to Division 2 and says her transfer won’t go into effect for 10 days, but until then she’ll be training with them. Kumagami offers to do some work, so Shinshi has her do some data entry. Asuma chops up a daikon in the kitchen and says he doesn’t like people like Kumagami who have too much spunk, but Hiromi counters that he can’t judge a person just by a first impression. Kumagami walks in and tells Asuma that Noa wants to see him in the computer room, and he accidentally knocks several police books out of her hands. Asuma thinks she must’ve heard what he said, and he eventually finds Noa polishing Unit 1. Later, everyone is impressed by a lavish dinner, but Hiromi explains to everyone that Kumagami made it. Asuma asks Noa what she thinks of Kumagami and says he can’t figure her out. Shige says she’s bubbly and a good cook, and Shinshi adds that she’s an incredible typist. Asuma doesn’t think that she fits in, and Noa tells him he’s being too critical. The next day, Asuma drives in to the station house and assumes that Noa is practicing in Unit 3, but Shige tells him it’s Kumagami. Asuma asks her if she has any prior experience with labors, but she says she doesn’t. She says that after learning the basics it’s just technique like anything else, but Asuma counters that theories don’t work in real battle. Kumagami responds that she wants to get as much experience with an Ingram as she can while Division 2 is on standby. Asuma says to himself that Hiromi was right, and when he runs into Goto he asks him if he intends to make Kumagami a forward. Goto answers that it depends on how she does, but there’s no reason why they can’t shuffle positions around. Noa asks Asuma for some computer help, but it turns out she forgot to put a space in a command line. Asuma takes her outside and tells her she can’t rely on him forever because she could lose her position as a forward. She asks what that means, so he explains that Goto might reorganize the division since Kumagami has already mastered the Ingram. Noa asks Kumagami in the locker room why she was sent to SV2 when she has so many talents, but Kumagami responds by asking if Noa doesn’t have pride in her work. She says that with an attitude like that Noa will never improve or advance, and she adds that she chose to come to SV2 to improve herself. Goto watches Kumagami and Noa jogging together and tells Shinobu it’s interesting.

Asuma helps Noa again when she has more computer trouble, and she admits to him that she can’t keep up with Kumagami. Asuma then shows Noa simulation data from Units 1 and 2 and tells her that she’s weaker and slower than Ota. However, Ota wastes movement compared to Noa, allowing her to complete an order quicker even when starting later. He tells Noa that she can’t judge someone on just factor, so it’s pointless to do so with Kumagami. Noa jogs around the station house and practices with a basketball, and Goto call Kumagami in to give her a uniform and assign her position. Noa wants to talk to Kumagami in the locker room, but an emergency call comes in. Before deploying, Goto announces that he’s moving Shinshi back to the carrier for Unit 2 and assigning Kumagami as Ota’s backup. Ota is shocked by the news, and Shinshi offers to do the job instead, but she declines. After reaching the scene, Ota argues with Goto and insists that he can’t let someone like Kumagami give orders. The construction foreman tells Goto that two labors are out of control and hiding underground in the sewers with a hostage. As Noa and Ota take an elevator underground, Goto, Asuma and Kumagami examine the sewer’s plans, and she suggests using a small support structure to reach the criminals. She then calls Ota and sends him a map, but he’s attacked from behind by two Crabman labors. Asuma calls Noa with orders to chase the labors to a specific point. One of the Crabman units appears, so Noa trips it and sends it crashing into a wall, but she then comes under attack from the second unit. The two units then escape, but Kumagami tells Noa not to follow so that they can attack from both sides and catch them at the same time. Ota blocks the path, so the Crabman units escape into the small support structure. Ota wants to shoot, but Kumagami reminds him that he has a target. The Crabman units stop when they find Noa waiting for them with her gun drawn. One of the pilots exits the cockpit with the hostage and threatens to shoot him. Noa then fires her gun in close proximity, and the blast of air from the bullet causes the criminal to drop his weapon, which is just an umbrella wrapped in cloth. Kumagami asks Noa how she knew the criminal didn’t have a gun, and Noa answers that it was just a feeling because if the criminal had a gun he wouldn’t be hiding in the sewer. Kumagami says she never would’ve thought of that and will learn a lot from Noa. Later, everyone is shocked when Goto explains that Kumagami is a lieutenant and trained with the Hong Kong police. Though she was scouted by Interpol, she decided to join SV2 instead. Ota is shocked to learn she was a lieutenant all along.

 

Commentary

 

The hole created by Kanuka’s departure is permanently filled by the arrival of Takeo Kumagami, a character who doesn’t appear in the original OVA series or the movies. She pretty much excels at everything and comes across as a softer version of Kanuka. Asuma initially takes a disliking to Kumagami, and I don’t feel that’s really explained well beyond saying that he was just going on first impressions. Kumagami’s arrival forces Noa to step up her game, and Ota initially has trouble working with Kumagami. That comes back to bite him later when he realizes he was protesting against following the orders of a superior officer. However, by the end of the episode, every issue is ironed out after everyone is forced to work together in a crisis.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Patlabor TV Episode 26 Patlabor TV Episode 26
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Buy the collection (eps 25-36) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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