Patlabor Ep. 43: The Working Girl


Division 2 is on scene as an angry Tyrant 2000 pilot holds Momoko hostage. Goto uses a bullhorn and asks him not to kill Momoko, but the pilot screams that he’s going to take her to hell with him. Goto says they should talk because life isn’t so bad, but the pilot starts squeezing Momoko in the labor’s hand. She gives a dramatic farewell before passing out. Earlier, Momoko and her crewmen Oguri and Inari film at the SV2 station house for an episode of her TV show, The Working Girl. Momoko outlines SV2’s violent record before going inside the office to film daily roll call. Momoko butts in and says she wants to spend the next three days documenting Noa’s life. After filming, Oguri tells Fukushima that Momoko was impressed by the Plessie incident and wanted to do a segment on SV2. Everyone watches the raw footage, but Ota complains that police officers don’t need to be pretty. Sakaki laughs at the idea of a TV report, but Goto tells him it was Fukushima’s orders. Momoko’s team films martial arts practice, in which Kumagami easily knocks down everyone except Noa, until Noa is distracted by the cameraman. The cameraman asks them to hold their pose in midfall so that they can get a dramatic shot and Momoko can spray more sweat on Kumagami. They start rolling again, and Kumagami tosses Noa back, causing her to fall and cut her cheek. Later, Noa looks at Unit 1 and Momoko comes over to apologize, saying Oguri gets carried away. Noa thinks that Momoko may have picked the wrong subject, and Oguri calls them in for a live broadcast. At a hospital, several nurses laugh as they watch the report, which angers a man with stomach pains. Momoko cheerfully tells viewers to tune in and see Noa’s excruciating life, when she meant to say exciting. The angry man leaves the hospital, still clutching his stomach.

Asuma leads Momoko through the SV2 station house with a flashlight, and Shinshi asks if this is ok, but Oguri says he’s going for total realism. Kumagami isn’t comfortable with them filming Noa while she sleeps, and Momoko starts recording her “peeping while sleeping” segment. She sneaks into the room with her crew and everyone else from Division 2. Oguri brags to Shinshi that last week’s subject whispered her lover’s name in her sleep. When Noa says Alphonse, Oguri thinks it’s a foreigner, but Shinshi explains it’s just the name for Unit 1. Momoko tries to wake Noa up, but Noa grabs a handkerchief and starts wiping Momoko’s face like she’s Unit 1. Noa finally wakes up and runs off embarrassed. Later, Ota walks into the office and is surprised to see Noa wearing makeup and looking like a girl. A call comes in about an incident in Kawasaki, and Goto gives Shinobu a race card so she can follow the progress of a race he bet money on. Sakaki tells Noa not to let Momoko’s team make her do anything stupid. Goto reaches the scene, and Asuma asks who would be stupid enough to steal a labor to commit suicide. The man whines that he has a terminal disease, and Ota yells at him that he should just get over it and jump off Mt. Fuji. Momoko runs up the labor and starts reporting on the situation, asking how much damage will be caused by the incident. Angry that he’s being ignored, the man picks up Momoko in the labor’s hand. Goto tries to negotiate with the pilot, who starts squeezing Momoko. After she tries to make a dramatic farewell, he asks if she’s trying to make a fool of him and starts squeezing hard for real. Kumagami reports to Goto that they’ve identified the man as Rudolf Shinbori, aka “Fritter.” Asuma tells Noa that Shinbori only has a stomach ulcer and let his imagination run wild. As Momoko and Shinbori yell at each other, Goto cuts in and tells Shinbori that he just has a stomach ulcer. Shinbori asks why the doctors didn’t tell him that, and Goto says it’s because he doesn’t have insurance. Shinbori wonders what he should do, and Momoko says this is being broadcast across the country. Shinbori tells Momoko she’s going to die for sure and starts running toward a fuel tank, but Noa stops him at the last second. He then tries to punch Noa with the arm that’s holding Momoko, but she disables the arm and backflips the Tyrant 2000. Later, Fukushima calls his daughter to boast that he’s going to be on TV. Everyone waits for the broadcast to start, but it gets preempted by baseball playoffs.


In a departure from most episodes, this one starts near the end and then takes us back to the beginning until catching up to the starting point. Eager to get some good press, Fukushima has offered up SV2 to be part of Momoko’s dumb little TV show, but naturally things don’t go as planned. Momoko is basically the embodiment of the trashy local reporter that you’ll find in pretty much every city, and her nonsense leads to some humorous situations when she gets herself taken hostage. As far as incompetent criminals go, I think Shinbori reaches a new level. The guy went nuts from a stomach ulcer and decided to commit suicide with a labor. I was amused by Ota’s irritation with Shinbori and his appeal for him to hurry and and jump off Mt. Fuji. In the end, everything is peacefully resolved (with a minimum of damage), but it’s all for naught, as the show was preempted for baseball. That’s Patlabor for you.

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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