Patlabor Ep. 24: Farewell, Kanuka


At the Tokyo International Airport, Kanuka tells Noa that she’d better leave, and Noa is annoyed that everyone else is late. They shake hands and wish each other well, but Noa says she doesn’t know what to say. Asuma, Shinshi and Hiromi walk up after Kanuka leaves, and when Noa yells at them for being late, Shinshi explains that they’ve actually been there the whole time. Hiromi says they were too embarrassed, and Asuma says especially so after wrecking her apartment. Noa asks where Ota is, and as Kanuka rides down an escalator she sees Ota saluting her. Goto then shows up and says he had a souvenir to give Kanuka, but realizes he’s too late. Asuma and Shinshi poke fun at the gift since it’s Limburger cheese, and Goto suggests they go have lunch before returning to the station house. Kanuka goes through security, and an officer spots the gun inside her purse in the x-ray machine. She shows him her NYPD badge, but he tells her that according to Japanese law she can’t board the plane armed. She asks if she can have it back once they leave Japanese airspace, and the officer says he can ask the captain to hold it for her. Kanuka says they’d better pray she doesn’t need it on the plane and walks off. Everyone else eats at an airport restaurant, and Goto tries to make it clear that he’s not treating them. Asuma asks Noa if she can lend him some money, but Ota interrupts and says they can talk about money after they eat. Ota says they wouldn’t have to pay if there was a big explosion, which draws the attention of all the other customers. As the plane taxis away from the gate, a strange man named Ginji Nekowatari who’s sitting next to Kanuka stands up and heads for the cockpit. A stewardess tries to stop him, but he runs for the cockpit. She stops him in front of the cockpit door, and he shows her a note stating that there’s a bomb aboard the plane. The plane immediately stops in the middle of the runway, and everyone from Division 2 wonders if something is wrong. The captain doesn’t believe Nekowatari until he pulls out a long knife and says it’s no joke and that he’s hijacking the plane. The captain notes that they haven’t taken off yet, but Nekowatari responds that he hates flying and wanted to take care of this first. The captain explains that’s not how it’s done and that he can’t hijack the plane until it’s airborne. The captain tells Nekowatari to at least wait until they take off, and Nekowatari apologizes for breaking tradition. The copilot quickly pulls on the throttle, sending the plane into a quick turn that knocks Nekowatari down. He then pulls Kanuka’s gun out of a briefcase, but Nekowatari knocks out out of his hand with the knife. Goto and the others head up to the air traffic control tower, where he asks his friend Doigaki, the chief controller, what’s going on with the plane. Doigaki tells Goto it’s none of his business, but Goto counters that it is because he’s got an officer on board. Doigaki then calls Nekowatari over the radio and is thrown off by how weird he is. Doigaki asks what his demands are, and Nekowatari answers that he wants the release of Home of the Sea member Itchoku Inubashiri, who was previously arrested by Division 2. He thanks Doigaki and then sits down to drink a cup of tea. Everyone worries about Kanuka, except for Goto, who worries about the safety of Nekowatari. Kanuka stands up and heads for the cockpit, flashing her badge to a stewardess.

The stewardesses inform Kanuka that Nekowatari is alone, but he has a bomb. The stewardess gets a call from the cockpit, but Kanuka asks her to wait. Goto asks Doigaki if there’s a way to contact Kanuka, but Doigaki doesn’t think so since Nekowatari is holed up in the cockpit. Noa and Ota offer useless suggestions, but Hiromi suggests sending an emergency message. Goto asks what Kanuka’s seat number is, and Kanuka shows up in the cockpit dressed as a stewardess. Nekowatari says he has a feeling he’s seen Kanuka before, so Kanuka quickly lies that he probably saw her “little sister” who is on the plane. Nekowatari apologizes for causing her family trouble and asks if she can give hot tea to all the passengers. The tower then calls and asks for a medical check on the passenger in seat 8A, and Kanuka lies that the passenger is heading to the U.S. for heart surgery and has to avoid unnecessary excitement. Kanuka responds to the tower and explains that the passenger in 8A had a minor heart spasm but is doing well. She adds that if the situation is prolonged, his condition may decline. Goto answers as the airport doctor and tells Kanuka that the situation is delicate, so she should advise the patient to go easy. Nekowatari feels bad and says he wants to apologize to the patient and check on his condition, but Kanuka convinces him not to. Kanuka tells the stewardesses that Nekowatari is bluffing because if he had a bomb, he’d have a detonator switch, and if he had a switch, he’d show them that instead of a knife. In addition, since he wants Inubashiri brought to the plane it means they both want to escape, so there’s no reason a man afraid of flying would bring a bomb onto a plane. Goto looks at a printout of Nekowatari’s record, which shows that he has no criminal history and no connection with Home of the Sea, save for coming from the same town as Inubashiri. As everyone speculates what Nekowatari’s motives are, Kanuka calls with a message for “Dr. Goto.” She says that Tama may fall from the second floor window, so they should inform Alphonse and his friends. Nekowatari asks if the passenger in 8A has a cat, and Kanuka fumbles to explain that Alphonse is a dog raised with Tama. Nekowatari says he’s the opposite and got along with Inubashiri, but didn’t know what a dirty dog he was. Everyone tries to decode Kanuka’s message, and she finds Nekowatari outside the cockpit because he wants to tell the passenger that Tama is being taken care of. Noa gets into one of the airport’s Bulldog labors, and Nekowatari sees there’s no one in seat 8A. He then realizes what’s really happening and calls Kanuka a liar. He warns her to stay back and pulls out the knife. Kanuka corners him near one of the doors, so he attacks her with the knife. She fights off with a fork, but he pulls out her gun and tries to shoot with the safety on. She then opens the hatch and tells him to leave, so she says she sees Inubashiri. He runs over the hatch to see, and Kanuka kicks him out, sending him falling into the Bulldog’s hand. Nekowatari cries that it isn’t fair because he wanted to go to Hawaii with Inubashiri. Noa gives Goto’s gift to Kanuka and says goodbye. Everyone in the control tower salutes Kanuka, and she comments that the cheese smells rotten. Later, Noa gets a postcard from Kanuka in Hawaii which says she’ll be back.


Kanuka finally leaves Japan in this episode, but since this is Patlabor, you know it can’t be as simple as that. She finds herself in the middle of a hijacking carried out by possibly the most polite and incompetent hijacker ever. The bizarre Nekowatari is quite a character, and there are several name jokes at play here. The “neko” in his name means cat in Japanese, which befits his catlike face and cat jacket. The “inu” in the previously seen Inubashiri means dog, which is what Nekowatari was referring to when talking about dogs and cats getting along. Speaking of references, if you look you can see that Kanuka’s plane belongs to Sunrise Airlines, complete with the animation studio’s logo. Kanuka demonstrates her quick thinking by impersonating a stewardess to get close to Nekowatari, and it was interesting watching her trade coded messages back and forth with “Dr. Goto.” In the end, the buffoonish Nekowatari is clearly outmatched and easily defeated.

Overall Rating

Patlabor Info

Naoyuki Yoshinaga

Kazunori Ito
Mamoru Oshii
Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Naoto Kimura
Tetsuo Takahashi
Michiko Yokote
Hibari Arisu

Mechanical Designer(s):
Yutaka Izubuchi
Yoshinori Sayama

Character Designer:
Akemi Takada

Musical Composer:
Kenji Kawai

47 episodes

Japan 10.11.1989 – 09.26.1990


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