Patlabor Ep. 45: Vocational Options


Fuwa examines a map on a screen inside her Helldiver, which parachutes out of a plane and lands in the forest. Noa and the rest of Division 2 watch the public demonstration as the Helldiver team opens fire on several target tanks and destroys them. Noa is impressed, and Ota excitedly asks Goto if there’s any chance they can take one of those guns back with them. Lt. Komiya of the air drop team addresses Goto and tells him that Fuwa wants them to see the place. While on tour, Ota is giddy at seeing the Helldiver up close. Fuwa asks Goto if he likes what he saw, and he says they couldn’t do half as well as her team. Fuwa mentions that some new labors beat the Helldiver on specs, and she asks if that’ll be trouble for the SDF. Goto says he’s worried too, but their hectic schedule doesn’t leave them much time for worry. Noa asks Asuma which one is better between the the Ingram and Helldiver, and Asuma explains that while the Helldiver uses an Ingram chassis, its mission profile is very different from the Ingram. Fuwa asks Noa if she’s interested in trying out the Helldiver, which catches Noa by surprise. Noa gets into the cockpit and starts walking around to get accustomed to the Helldiver. She then runs through the field and jumps around. Afterward, she tells Fuwa that the handling was much easier than she expected, and while it’s not as smooth as Alphonse, it’s a good machine. Fuwa asks Noa if she’d like to pilot one permanently and says she’s looking for top level pilots. Noa laughs and says she’s employed already with the police, but Fuwa notes that’s true for now. As everyone leaves, Komiya gives Noa an envelope with reference materials from Fuwa. Noa opens the envelope inside the car with Asuma and finds the Helldiver’s pilot manual. She wonders if Fuwa was serious about the job offer, which causes Asuma to lose control and nearly crash. Asuma asks if she’s serious, but Noa is convinced Fuwa was joking. The next day, Shinobu asks Goto how the SDF demonstration went. Fuwa calls Noa and tells her that the offer was serious. Noa says she’s flattered, and Fuwa wants to get together with her soon. Fuwa asks Komiya why he became a labor pilot, and he tells her he’s dreamed of being one since he was a child. Division 2 then gets a call about trouble in Kawasaki, and Asuma asks Noa if Fuwa called her. Before Noa can say anything, Kumagami tells them to hurry up and move. At a construction site, Unit 2 is lowered by crane to an area where multiple girders have collapsed. Unit 1 is also lowered down, and they both start removing girders to reach a labor pilot trapped below. Noa’s mind starts to wander, and Asuma yells at her to check on the Hercules H21 pilot. She absentmindedly swings the girder she’s holding and causes it to hit another one sticking out the pile, causing a new collapse. Oil starts to leak from the Hercules H21, and Asuma yells at Noa to hurry up and help Ota.

Later, Goto tells Noa that he expected better of her and that in their job there are no second chances. He tells her to be more focused, and after leaving his office she asks Asuma if the pilot will be ok. Asuma says the pilot woke up, and Noa asks what point there is to her job if she can’t save people. Asuma tells her that she should keep practicing and learn something from this incident. Ota and Noa perform target practice with paint rounds, and Noa keeps missing with every shot. Hiromi asks Asuma why Noa looks so depressed, but Asuma assures him that she’ll be ok. Ota complains about being out of bullets, and Shinshi tells him those paint rounds are expensive. He says they don’t have the resources of the SDF, which causes Noa to fire and hit the bullseye dead on. Ota complains that catching criminals requires more marksmanship practice, but Noa notes that they also handle accidents and disasters. Kumagami chimes in and says that total balance is essential. Later, Noa polishes Unit 1 as Asuma walks by to say goodbye. Noa asks Asuma why he’s in this line of work, but he says he’ll only tell her after she tells him her reason. After finishing up, Noa stops her scooter at an intersection and sees an old man by himself. Fuwa drives by and sees Noa giving directions to the old man. Fuwa says hello and buys Noa a can of coffee so they can talk. Noa tries to give back the instruction manual, but Fuwa says she doesn’t need it. Fuwa asks Noa if she thought the offer wasn’t serious, and Noa says she likes her current line of work. Fuwa asks Noa if she wants to improve herself, and Noa says that isn’t the issue. A car suddenly speeds by after a man robs a convenience store, and Noa asks Fuwa to call it in as she gives chase on her scooter. Noa follows the car and switches to back roads to cut ahead, dodging cats and a drunk salaryman along the way. Noa pulls up to the robber and tells him he’s under arrest, but he drives off. Noa keeps chasing the robber, and Fuwa pulls up alongside and tells Noa to get in. Together, they catch up to the robber, and Noa tells him again to pull over. The driver exits the expressway and ends up crashing while dodging traffic. Noa keeps chasing him on foot, and he pulls out a knife and swings it toward her. Noa runs toward the robber and backflips him over her shoulder. Regular police arrive and take the robber away. Noa is glad that no one was hurt, but Fuwa notes that Noa has a cut on her cheek. Fuwa asks for the manual back and says she’s giving up. The next day, Noa tells Asuma that she gave back the manual. He asks what happened, and she tells him it’s too embarrassing.


Coming off the comedy antics from the last episode, this one switches to a Noa character development story. After trying out a Helldiver, Noa gets a job offer from Fuwa. We know that Fuwa has had her eye on Noa ever since the first incident with the Phantom, so it’s no surprise that she would eventually try to recruit Noa. This puts Noa at a crossroads, as she has to seriously consider her career, and it momentarily distracts her on the job. However, in dealing with the robbery suspect she definitely proves to Fuwa that she’s exactly where she belongs. You have to feel bad for Ota being the gun nut that he is and not being able to use military weapons.

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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