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Episode 31: Tragedy in the Rain

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 28, 2012

 

Summary

 

Long traffic jams line the road to the Tokyo International Labor Show. Asuma brings back food as Noa sits on top of Unit 1 to peek into the stadium and see the labors on display. Inside, Ota complains to Shinshi about the booth babes that companies are using to advertise their labors. Shinshi notes that one of the babes knows her labor specs, but Ota still doesn't like it. Asuma asks Shinshi if he's seen anything interesting, and Shinshi tells him the Economy is on display. Asuma and Noa go inside to have a look, and Utsumi asks the Shinohara booth babe if it's as good as an Ingram. Bud heckles from the crowd, and Asuma and Noa are surprised to see him and Utsumi. Bud teases Noa about the video game and says he could probably beat her in a real labor. Utsumi quickly leaves when Kumagami shows up and criticizes Asuma and Noa for not wearing their ear buds. At the hotel, Bud complains to Utsumi that he wants to take on all the labors at the show, and Utsumi reminds him that they only want the Ingram's movement data. On the show's final day, Ota is annoyed about the lack of a labor auction. Matsui and Kataoka hang out with Goto, and Matsui comments that they showed up for nothing, but Goto isn't so sure yet. Matsui comments that there are a lot of human-form labors on display, and Goto explains that they don't help with construction but sell well. Kataoka says the future looks frightening, but Matsui is worried about the present. Noa tells Asuma that she'd need to be convinced of the Economy's performance if it's going to replace the Ingram. Asuma says the only way to do that is to see it in action, and he convinces a Shinohara representative to let him try it. Asuma borrows Unit 1's movement disk and uses it on the Economy. He notices the cheaper monitor and complains about the lack of an airtight cockpit. Asuma begins walking around the show grounds and finds its performance to be pretty good. Goto sneaks up behind Noa and jokingly threatens her with a three month salary deduction. Utsumi watches from his car and comments that they'll be able to test the Economy as well once they get started. The Griffon is transported in a truck, and Utsumi calls Bud and tells him to get ready.

 

Ota is angry when Shinshi tells him that Asuma is testing out the Economy. Ota accuses Asuma of deserting his post and says that unlike Goto he won't let Asuma get away with it, but Goto steps in and says he's not going to let Asuma get away with it. Noa wonders if three months salary reduction is enough, and Goto says that even though Asuma deserted his post, they do need to test the Economy out. Hiromi wonders if this'll add to their bad reputation, and Ota vows to put a stop to Asuma's selfishness. He activates Unit 2, and Goto tells Kumagami to take care of this. Ota confronts Asuma and orders him to get out of the Economy or be ripped out of it. Asuma asks Ota if he wants to fight and starts mocking him, which makes Ota charge. Unit 2 is knocked aside when a truck crashes into him and starts unleashing lots of smoke. Kumagami smells that it's gas and tells everyone to get back. The Griffon then smashes out of the trailer and grabs Unit 2 by the neck. Ota breaks free momentarily, and Goto tells Shinshi to call Division 1 for backup. Noa runs to Unit 1 to launch and remembers that Asuma has the movement disk. Ota calls Asuma an amateur and tells him they're up against no ordinary labor. The Griffon rips off Unit 2's head and throws it at Asuma. Asuma is pushed back by the Griffon and has trouble maneuvering. He manages to dodge a punch, but Bud then knocks him down. Shinshi comments to Goto that the Griffon moves like a living thing. Noa wants Hiromi to drive her over so she can get the movement disk and rescue Asuma, but Goto tells her she'll be crushed. Utsumi isn't impressed with the Economy and tells Bud to get the Ingram's movement disk. Ota opens fire, but Bud grabs the Economy and uses it as a shield. He then tosses the Economy at the Unit 2 and knocks them into several crates. Ota tries to fight Bud, and Utsumi tells Bud to stop playing around. Noa runs over to the damaged Economy, and Asuma gives her the movement disk. As it starts to rain, Bud knocks down Ota and triumphantly declares that he's beaten the Ingram. He then opens the hatch and tries to rip the cockpit open, but Ota breaks free. Noa launches in Unit 1, and Goto wonders why Division 1 is so late. Utsumi is informed that the rain has destroyed their smokescreen, so he tells Bud to retreat. Kumagami knocks on the window of the car to tell them to evacuate, and when Utsumi opens the window, she recognizes him as Richard Won. She steps back and tries to draw her gun, but the driver shoots her multiple times before escaping. Utsumi asks why he did that, and the driver says she recognized Utsumi from his days in Hong Kong. Utsumi calls Bud and tells him things have gone bad, so he has to retreat immediately. Noa slams into the Griffon, but it deploys its wings and takes off into the sky. As Division 1 arrives, everyone is shocked to see a flying labor.

 

Commentary

 

A seemingly normal episode of Patlabor antics takes a turn south as the Griffon appears to crash the labor show. For the last two episodes, we've been faced with the possibility that the Ingram will be abandoned in favor of the cheaper Economy. Asuma decides to test out the Economy, but unfortunately this makes him play right into Utsumi's plans. Utsumi launches his plan to fight the Ingram and steal its movement disk, but of course to Bud, it's all a game. The Economy doesn't hold up very well against the advanced Griffon, but neither does Unit 2 (which doesn't come as much of a surprise with Ota). Kumagami finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and recognizes Utsumi as Richard Won, which earns her a couple of bullets. On top of its strength, the Griffon shocks everyone with its ability to fly. The episode ends on quite a cliffhanger, with Asuma injured, Unit 2 wrecked and Kumagami left for dead with several gunshot wounds.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Patlabor TV Episode 31 Patlabor TV Episode 31
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Buy the collection (eps 25-36) on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon
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