Patlabor TV Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Mark McPherson
Review Date: Saturday, January 04, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, December 03, 2002



The Review!
While it took sometime for CPM to finally get this series off the ground, it seems that Patlabor is now in full effect. After all, the 2 movies are already out and a third one is on it's way.

Audio: While not 5.1, the audio is clear enough and has no distortion. No complaints here.

Video: The video quality on this disc is a step up from the last two discs. On this volume, the opening looks more clean and CPM has added the addition of fading in and out during the eye-catches and the next episode preview. Nice job on CPM's part.

Packaging: Well, it's nice to see that CPM has finally decided on a cover art since Volumes 1 and 2 were very different. The orange color is kind of odd, but it doesn't bother me that much.

Menu: The menus are pretty much the same as Volume 2, but they are a tad more interactive now. For instance, the extras menu features a scene from episode 13 where a young boy is describing his love for the Ingram and the language menu has a loop of when Noa is digging out rubble to search for an injured pilot.

Extras: Pretty much the same as Volume 2, except this volume has the addition of an interesting piece in which CPM hunts for an anime fan to do the voice of a one-shot character on an episode of Patlabor.

Content: While Patlabor has been entertaining for me thus far, I would have to say that this volume goes higher than I expected it to.

The first episode is a continuation of the one from the last disc in which Kanuka's grandmother is missing and "Phantoms" are attacking the police. This episode has a lot action and even has the Military Labors get in on the action. While this episode ends kind of rather dull, it was still an entertaining one.

Episode 12 completely switches gears and goes into a more comical mode. Otta has got himself an arranged marriage and everyone at the station wants to help Otta out by acting like each date must be a strategic battle. While this enrages Otta a little, he actually goes along with it since all Otta is ever good at is combat. The second half goes into a more depressing mode as Otta saves his future fiance's boyfriend. While this leaves Otta a little heartbroken, he's back to his normal self the next day.

Episode 13 was a little odd. A prince from some kind of dessert country has come to Japan to join Division 2 simply because he wants a Labor of his own. In this episode, those Phantom Labors from Episode 11 come back to kill the prince. One of the funniest moments in this episode is how the prince discovers ramen and how great it is while everyone else can't understand why.

Episode 14 was by far one of the most hilarious episodes I've seen yet. When Otta and Asuma are injured in a Judo match, Noa must work under the command of Kanuka, which leads them into a big arguement over who was right or wrong. This leads the captain of Division 2 to resolve this by taking everyone out for Saki. This pretty much carries the episode and leads to some hilarious results.

The dub is pretty good for CPM. All the voices seem to fit perfectly. The only voice I can't get over is the voice for Noa. Instead of saying "damn" she always says "Why you..". And that does get real annoying considering she does a lot of "cursing" in Episode 11. Other than that, the dub is perfect.

Overall, if there is one volume that could convince anyone that Patlabor is a great TV series, this one would have to be it.




Review Equipment
Dell 4500S DVD-Rom




Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Central Park Media
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 120
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Patlabor