Patlabor Ep. 40: Orders of the Coast Guard


At night in the coastal town Shikura, several men stand on the shore and look at an island in the distance where a boat is on fire. An old man tells the others that there’s no turning back and says it’s the work of Plessie. The next day, Division 2 is called out to the scene, where a local officer tells Goto that something happened at the shrine on the island. A man named Katsuji insists that he saw it, and the officer explains that they saved him from drowning. The old man steps in and says it’s natural since Plessie’s nest is near the shrine. Asuma asks if he means a plesiosaur, and Kumagami thinks he must be mistaken. She asks why they’re not famous if they have a dinosaur, and the old man says they’ve worked hard to avoid that fame. Kumagami asks what they should do, and Goto says they’re under the Coast Guard’s jurisdiction, but tells her to call Ota and the others. Later, Noa tries to guide Hiromi as he drives Unit 1’s carrier around a sharp mountain turn, but he crashes into the guardrail. Ota tells Shinshi to raise the deck for Unit 2 so they can walk the rest of the way. Momoko then appears with a news helicopter and confronts Ota with a staring contest. The old man tells Goto that he should enjoy himself while he’s standing around waiting. He gives Goto a fan from the Plessie protection committee, and Goto notes that these villagers seem well prepared. Two men make a cast of Unit 1‘s footprint on the beach to sell as a souvenir item. At night, Shinshi gets weird and demands a drink while Kumagami and Hiromi turn the locals down. Asuma and Noa shoot off some fireworks on the beach with the old man, and Noa wonders if they should be doing this. The old man tells Noa that they can’t kill Plessie if they catch her because she’s survived for so long. The next day, tourists start to pour into the village for a chance to see Plessie. Ota is annoyed, and Kumagami comments that the crowd will be a problem if Plessie is real. Hiromi wants to bring in the carrier to charge Unit 1, even though there’s a traffic jam. Ota says he’ll just walk around in Unit 2 and scare people off, but Kumagami chides him and says that attitude keeps their accident rate so high. Noa decides to take Unit 1 to the carrier as long as Asuma saves her spot on the beach. Kumagami asks Asuma to save Unit 2’s spot as well. Goto tells the old man that they’re leaving tomorrow since nothing is happening, and the old man asks what would happen if Plessie terrorized the tourists. Goto tells him that would be the Coast Guard’s problem and leaves. Asuma asks if they’re leaving, and Goto tells him the locals are very well prepared.

At night, the old man tells several other men that they can’t let the Patlabors leave because they’re keeping the TV reporters there. He says they have to keep the village alive because every past scheme of theirs is empty and their treasury is empty. The other men want more time to deal with Plessie, but the old man says they have no time since the Patlabors are leaving in the morning. Kumagami thinks that everything going on is weird, and Goto asks her and Hiromi to take a walk with him. Goto leads them along a narrow path, which immediately starts to scare Kumagami. They hear strange noises from nearby, which causes Kumagami to faint. Nearby, the old man and his lackeys are disguising a Celkee H10 underwater labor to look like Plessie. Goto confronts the men, and Kumagami wakes up and immediately faints again when she sees Plessie’s head. Hiromi tells her it’s fake, so she wakes and up and suddenly becomes very aggressive. Something appears in the water, and Noa thinks something is strange. Katsuji is piloting a Seadog underwater labor, which has Plessie’s fins attached to it. Ota starts shooting at Katsuji, who is completely oblivious and decides to try capturing some lobsters. Goto shows up with the locals in tow and explains to Asuma that the men were using two labors to portray the upper and lower halves of Plessie. Goto tells Asuma that the sooner they can wrap this up, the sooner they can start their vacation. Ota fires a round with a net that catches the Seadog, and he and Noa start reeling it in. Katsuji breaks free, sending Noa and Ota crashing into each other. Ota jumps into the water and pulls out his stun baton to attack the Seadog, but he only ends up electrocuting himself and Katsuji. Momoko reports this as yet another example of SV2’s recklessness. The next day, everyone enjoys their vacation on the empty beach, either by laying on the sand or playing volleyball. A couple asks Noa and the others if they’re with SV2, saying their young son is a big fan. Everyone then poses for a picture with the family.


Yes, it’s one of Patlabor‘s favorite cliches: investigating weird incidents that may or may not be a monster. This time, they’re in a coastal town that seems unusually well prepared to become a tourist trap for Plessie, in an attempt to cash on in the tourist trap of Nessie. Not surprisingly, it turns out to be a fraud, as the locals were using two labors to pose as Plessie. Given the creepy nature of what’s going on at night, it’s also no surprise to have Kumagami faint yet again. Amusingly, she recovers from her fainting and becomes very aggressive with the locals. Momoko appears again to chase the story and report on Division 2’s newest trail of destruction. In the end, this is just an average episode with noting very interesting going on.

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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