Patlabor Ep. 6: The Tower: SOS


Goto complains to Shinobu about a newspaper article, and she comments that there’ve been more reports to write since the creation of a PR department. Several mechanics are surprised to see Noa attempt to do a cat’s cradle in Unit 1, and when Ota dismisses that as a useless skill, Hiromi mentions that he was the one who taught Noa how to do it. Noa gives it a try with her own hands before successfully using the manipulator gloves to perform the trick. Asuma and the others watch a news report about Foreign Minister Krause, who is visiting the Tower City project in Tama. TV reporter Momoko Sakurayama reports on the status of the tower’s construction, noting that it’s currently 300 meters high, but when completed it’ll rise over one kilometer. Momoko then asks Krause for a comment, but an alarm suddenly goes off when a fire breaks out. The guests and workers try to evacuate, but the elevator is filled with smoke. They try to reach another exit, but a fire door automatically shuts before they escape. As Division 2 heads to the scene, Goto briefs everyone on the situation, stating that the fire has caused gas tanks to explode, trapping everyone in the tower. Kanuka asks what caused the fire, but Goto answers that they don’t know yet. Shinshi asks about the sprinklers, and Goto says he doesn’t have any information on that. Asuma asks why they’re being called on this, and Goto says it’s because Krause and eight other people are there. Goto then gets a radio call that Division 1 has been mobilized as their backup. At the fire scene, the fire department’s Rescue Labors attempt to put out the fire with their water cannons. As they arrive on the scene, Goto tells Hiromi and Shinshi to go into the tower’s control room and relay all the relevant info to the command cars. A firefighter named Suzuka reports to Goto that there could be secondary and tertiary explosions due to tanks of chemicals and liquid oxygen that the construction crew is using. Goto looks at the blueprints and asks if they can send a labor through, but Suzuka tells him the only way is to blow the ceiling, and the passage it has to travel through is blocked by a trapped Rescue Labor. Suzuka adds that a second unit went in to remove it and also got stuck. Goto decides to send an Ingram in using a crane on the roof, so Ota volunteers. Goto then briefs Chief Fukushima and other high-ranking officers on the plan, but they’re skeptical and think Division 1 might be better suited for the job. Goto counters that only an Ingram can do the job, and the officer tells Goto that rescuing Krause could help make up for all the bad press that Division 2 has been generating. As he walks away, Goto realizes that’s why there are so many members of the media there, so he asks Shinobu to keep them away. Shinobu is bothered that Fukushima wants to use the situation as a PR stunt.

Units 1 and 2 ride an elevator up to the top floor to get to the crane. Inside the building, an explosion sends a Rescue Labor falling. Ota smacks into the crane and nearly falls, so Kanuka tells him it’s ok if he can’t do it. Asuma tells Noa not to be afraid and to trust Alphonse, and she tells him that she trusts Alphonse but is still afraid of heights. Ota hooks onto the crane, and the operators move him into position and begin lowering him to Level 13. Ota tries to shoot several girders blocking the passage, but he ends up smacking into the building and sending the girders falling onto the crowd below. Ota demands to know where his gun is, and Asuma yells at him that nobody takes a gun on a rescue mission. Ota then causes more debris to fall as he flails about and gets wrapped up in his towing line. Noa is then lowered down to untangle Ota so that he can be raised up again. Some of the guests begin to panic, and Momoko demands that they give up their jackets so that she can plug up a ventilator to stop smoke from getting in. Noa moves slowly through the passage and finds the two trapped Rescue Labors. She then reaches a firewall and Asuma tells her to manually open it with a hand crank, but it’s too hot for her to touch. She uses the manipulator gloves to gently move the crank and open the firewall. She finds all the trapped people and reports that they’re safe. She then carries them in Unit 1’s arms and is lowered down to another level where Rescue Labors are waiting. Goto decides that it’s time to go home, but Shinobu reminds him that he’s forgotten about Ota, who is still tangled up in cable on the roof. The next day at the station house, Ota reads the newspaper story on the fire, which doesn’t mention SV2’s work. But Shinshi spots a picture of the tangled Unit 2 and reads the part that mentions that SV2 performed the rescue with their typical reckless blundering and violence. Ota then rips up the newspaper and grabs Shinshi by the collar in anger, and Shinshi points out that he’s just reading what the paper wrote. Kanuka then comments that Ota should forget about his gun and practice the cat’s cradle. Shinobu and Goto discuss how the department is abandoning its PR efforts after yesterday’s fiasco. He then gives Shinobu the gift that Krause dropped off in appreciation: a statuette of an Ingram standing atop the tower. In the hangar, Noa forces Asuma to help her clean the soot off of Unit 1.


This episode marks a change in that SV2 is dealing with a natural disaster rather than criminals or runaway monsters. A huge tower experiences a fire, and of course it falls to SV2 to rescue the trapped civilians. Of course, the job can’t be easy. Aside from its inherent difficulties, Ota screws things up as usual by trying to shoot the debris with his gun. This turns the rescue effort into a disaster, especially since Fukushima wanted a PR coup out of it. Although he was present in episode 2, this is the first time he’s had any substantive interaction with Goto. We’re also introduced to TV reporter Momoko, who will appear occasionally as a guest character. In the end, Noa saves the day again by cleaning up Ota’s mess and rescuing the trapped civilians.

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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