Patlabor: The New Files Ep. 12: Two in Karuizawa


Goto and Shinobu drive through the countryside on a highway being hit by heavy rain from a typhoon. Goto turns off the radio because the information won’t do them any good, and Shinobu says that’s not like the info nut she knows. Goto says it won’t help now that they can’t do anything but drive through the storm. He says they could turn around, even though at the end of the conference she gave a big goodbye and tripped down the stairs, twisting her ankle. Shinobu says she doesn’t want to go back after making such a fool of herself and knows Goto hates award dinners too. Goto says he skipped out not because of an award dinner, but because Shinobu can’t operate the clutch with her foot in that condition. Shinobu comments that the police conference didn’t go well, and Goto dampens the mood by saying he doesn’t trust the electrical system Italian car they’re driving. He asks Shinobu why she didn’t take her car, and she tells him it was getting a safety inspection. Goto is forced to stop for a traffic jam ahead, and Shinobu directs his attention to a sign stating that the road closes if rainfall exceeds 130mm. Goto wonders what they should do, and Shinobu suggests going back through Komoro, Ueda and Matsumoto to grab the Chuo Expressway. Goto turns around and heads back where they started from and asks Shinobu if she’s thinking about the konnyaku they were looking for. She notes that the side trip caused them to leave Karuizawa late even though they left the spa early. She says that if Goto had given up on the konnyaku and gone straight for Tokyo they could’ve avoided the road closures. Goto laughs it off and says she’s right, but she tells him to keep his eyes on the road. They soon discover that the Komoro Bypass is also closed due to rain, so Shinobu checks the map and thinks they can go back to North Karuizawa to get to Shibukawa and get the Kan’etsu Expressway. Shinobu tells Goto that it’s a non-smoking car when he lights a cigarette, so he tosses it out the window. Goto asks if the route takes them through Onioshidashi, which would also be closed. Shinobu responds that they have no way of knowing until they get there. Goto says she’s right as always, and she asks if he’s being sarcastic. Goto yawns and comments that he’s hungry, and Shinobu quietly says thanks. The road ahead is closed by chain, and Goto says they can find another road or remove the chain and keep going. Shinobu says the second option is out of the question, so Goto thinks they should find somewhere to stop for the night. Goto pulls off of the highway and finds a love hotel, but Shinobu doesn’t want to go there. Goto says they could go back to Karuizawa and find a regular hotel, but they’d likely run into people from the conference. A car pulls in ahead of them and takes the last room, so they keep driving until they find another love hotel, the castle-themed Hotel Cinderella. Goto asks Shinobu to pick a room, so she nervously selects one from the screen.

Goto and Shinobu find a Disney-type room filled with murals of castles and cute animals, so Goto asks Shinobu if she’s into this kind of thing. Shinobu asks Goto if he wants tea, but he wants a beer instead. Goto says she should take a shower, but she hesitates when she sees that the bathroom has clear glass. Goto presses a button that makes the glass opaque, but she insists that he go first. Shinobu lays down in the bed and sees that there’s a mirror on the ceiling, so she tries to close the curtain by pressing buttons on the control panel. The bed starts vibrating, rising in the air and rotating. Shinobu panics as she presses more buttons, which messes with the lights and music. Goto gets out of the bathroom and sits down to drink his beer in a single gulp. Shinobu leaves to get a change of clothes, and Goto finds an aphrodisiac drink in the fridge, so he wonders if it’s any good. Shinobu returns from the car with her clothes and goes into the bathroom to take a shower. Goto creeps over to the bathroom and opens the door, where he finds Shinobu standing there and waiting for him. He tells her that’s sneaky, but she responds that she could say the same to him. Goto nods off as he watches the weather report on TV, and Shinobu thinks they should call it a night. Shinobu offers to take the sofa, but Goto points out that there’s only one blanket. She insists that she’ll be fine, but Goto offers to take the sofa instead. During the night, Goto gets up and walks over to the bed, unaware that Shinobu is awake. He stands there for a moment before going back to the couch. Later, Shinobu wakes up and walks over to the couch, unaware that Goto has one eye open. She picks up a bath towel and places it on Goto before going back to sleep. The next morning, Shinobu tells Goto that she got a good rest, but Goto complains that he doesn’t remember getting any sleep at all. Goto says he wants a reward for playing driver and suggests going to a hot spring, but Shinobu only mentions hot springs in Tokyo, making a one-day trip.


This episode is unique (even for the second OVA) in that Goto and Shinobu are literally the only characters on screen, which creates an intimate atmosphere. They get trapped by a typhoon after a conference, and with every road closed, they decide to stop at a love hotel. Given that Goto has had the hots for Shinobu for a long time, it’s obvious that he didn’t play chauffeur just to help her. And while his logic about staying in the love hotel is sound, I think it’s clear that he wanted to set a specific mood (even though that mood ended up being a Disney-looking room). It’s fun to see Shinobu be so meek and flustered since she’s usually so restrained and in control of herself. It’s also nice to see her take a central role in this episode since she’s usually just a supporting character. Shinobu’s love life is something that never really gets explored, aside from in the movie universe with the second movie. There’s so much sexual tension in the air with this episode that you can almost feel it. In the climax (no pun intended), we see Goto and Shinobu both get up during the night and think about doing something, but in the end neither does. They apparently were both comfortable with leaving their relationship where it was, but the temptation was definitely there. Overall, this is one of my favorite episodes of Patlabor because it’s such a departure from a typical episode.

Overall Rating

Patlabor: The New Files Info

Naoyuki Yoshinaga

Kazunori Ito
Mamoru Oshii
Yutaka Izubuchi
Michiko Yokote
Hibari Arisu

Mechanical Designer(s):
Yutaka Izubuchi
Yoshinori Sayama

Character Designer:
Akemi Takada

Musical Composer:
Kenji Kawai

16 episodes

Video Release:
Japan 11.22.1990 – 04.23.1992
U.S. 06.14.2005 – 10.11.2005


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