Patlabor Ep. 42: The Men Who Returned


Several masked thieves steal a labor transport truck at night, and one of them tags the scene of the crime by drawing a face with chalk. The next morning, Goto tells Shinobu that he has to go out with Fukushima. They drive to the crime scene, and Fukushima tells Goto that this is the third time the thieves have struck. A detective tells Fukushima that they’re matching the paint residue against all known labors, and Goto asks if they’re going to check all 8,000 labors in Tokyo. Goto asks about the graffiti but then says to forget about it. Elsewhere, Nekowatari sits in a park and sells robot toy pandas and receives a visit from Inubashiri. Nekowatari then packs up and goes with Inubashiri to the Monkey Mountain at the zoo, where they meet with Sankichi Sarusuberi. Nekowatari boasts about being in the paper, but Inubashiri grabs it and tells him they have to be careful. Nekowatari realizes he shouldn’t talk so much in public and offers to buy ice cream when Sarusuberi suggests it. He returns with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but gets stuck with vanilla. Inubashiri says he wants to pull another ATM job, but Nekowatari warns that if he gets caught he’ll never get out. He notes that they’re only out of jail because Sarusuberi bailed them out, and Sarusuberi agrees to the job. At the station house, Asuma, Noa and Hiromi work in the garden, and Shinshi tells Asuma that Division 1 is responding to a burglary case similar to theirs. Ota screams by the water line because he can’t take the stress of being idle. Goto gets a fax about the ATM suspects, and Kumagami examines them and dismisses Inubashiri because he’s a loner and this was a group job. Goto sketches the face he saw and shows Kumagami. She thinks it’s a smiley face, but he thinks it looks like a monkey and is vaguely familiar, but he can’t place it. Elsewhere, Sarusuberi and Inubashiri wait for Nekowatari in the park, who sneaks up on them and gets a slap for it. Inubashiri yells at Nekowatari that an idiot like him will never make a good criminal, and Sarusuberi tells him to lower his voice.

The three men ride in a boat, and Inubashiri objects to Sarusuberi’s plan, noting that it’s close to the police HQ and he failed while attempting that same job three years earlier. Sarusuberi is confident because it’ll take the police 10 minutes to respond and they’ll be gone in 3. Inubashiri counters that everything has to go according to plan, and the Furukawa job took 7 minutes. Nekowatari asks what happened three years ago, but Inubashiri refuses to tell him. Goto makes a call and asks for a favor. Inubashiri tells Nekowatari that the bomb they planted three years ago didn’t go off, and Sarusuberi elaborates that the timer didn’t go off. He then says they’ll be hitting the Kasumigaseki building on Thursday. Goto asks Shinobu if she remembers the incident at the Kasumigaseki building and says there was weird graffiti there too, like at the ATM thefts. Goto then gets a fax about Sarusuberi and wonders if Home of the Sea is up to something. Kumagami reports in with a sketch of the man who posted Inubashiri’s bail: Sarusuberi. Inside the truck, Nekowatari nervously asks Inubashiri what he should do if he has to pee. Inubashiri yells at him that he should’ve gone earlier and is amazed that he somehow managed to hijack a plane. Sarusuberi calls them with the signal and sets off a stopwatch. Inubashiri launches in a Boxer and smashes a Caldia guarding the bank’s exterior. Inubashiri smashes into the bank and pulls out the ATM. Several guards run up to him, and Sarusuberi reports that the police are coming in five minutes ahead of schedule. Inubashiri rips a light pole out of the ground and throws it at the arriving police cars. Inubashiri hops onto Nekowatari’s truck, but their patch is blocked in the front by Unit 1 and the back by Unit 2. Inubashiri knocks down Ota and tells Nekowatari to escape with the money. Noa tries to give chase when Nekowatari speeds off, but Inubashiri tackles her to the ground. Asuma tells Noa to forget about the labor and stop the truck, but she’s hit by exploding dynamite when she tries to get up. Sarusuberi gets into the truck and tells Inubashiri to abandon his labor, but Inubashiri says they can’t open the ATM without the labor. Noa and Asuma find the Boxer, and he tells her that something doesn’t seem right. Noa finds the cockpit empty, and Asuma says they’ve been tricked. In the morning, Asuma is surprised that the truck and ATM were found. Asuma asks Goto how he knew when they’d strike, so Goto explains that because people withdraw more money from ATMs on Friday, it’s best to strike on Thursday to get more cash. Asuma asks Goto if he’s just making that up, and Goto says he is. The three criminals go down to the subway, and Sarusuberi says he doesn’t feel too bad. He says goodbye as the other two board the train.


This episode features the return of two incompetent criminals: Inubashiri and Nekowatari. In keeping with the animal-themed names, this time we’re introduced to Sarusuberi (saru means monkey in Japanese). The three men pull off a series of ATM thefts using a labor, and Sarusuberi’s odd tagging catches Goto’s attention. As usual, Nekowatari is a moron and completely useless, but it’d hardly be an animal trio without him. This episode is a bit of a departure for Patlabor in several respects. First, most of the episode focuses on the criminals rather than SV2; second, the criminals get away in the end. This isn’t an altogether standout episode, but it is nice to see some returning faces as the series comes to a close.

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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