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The adventure begins! In the not-too-distant future, girl-next-door Noa Izumi begins her job as a pilot for the police force's famous giant robots. Within days, she's faced with a pack of crazy crewmates and the adventure of a lifetime! Boxed set contains the first four volumes of this groundbreaking series.
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Masami Yuuki's serial manga Mobile Police Patlabor was set in a not-too-distant future when heavy physical work is performed by giant robots called Labors. As the robots also get involved in accidents and crimes, the Tokyo police force needs Patlabors ("Patrol Labors" elided) to handle them. The 47-episode broadcast series (actually the follow-up to a 7-part OVA) retains its freshness and good humor. Determined to succeed as a robot pilot, perky Noa Izumi joins the crew of oddballs who make up Special Vehicles Division 2: thoughtful Asuma Shinohara, no-nonsense New York Police officer Clancy Kanuka, loud-mouth Isao Ota, and understated Captain Goto. Less heroic than Gundam pilots but more serious than the Dai-Guard crew, these misfits interact in ways that suggest a comic version of Hill Street Blues.
Their assignments range from rescuing a government minister and saving an ancient tree to thwarting terrorists and guarding a winter carnival. Captain Goto observes dryly that the robots "have been called everything from jokes to money pits to piles of useless waste." But when a military experiment runs amok or a mutant monster gets loose in a forest, Division 2 is there to save the day--even if others get the credit for their work. The 18 episodes in this collection offer the combination of mecha adventure and ensemble comedy that have made Patlabor such a popular franchise. (Rated 3 and older, but more appropriate for ages 8 and older; minor violence, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
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