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About Film & Animation / Professional Official Beta Tester j3pxUnited States Groups :icondungeonsdragonstv: DungeonsDragonsTV
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Certain Marvel Soundtrack: "Main Title"

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There's no need to thank me in the second place. But anyway, I was glad to do it.

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Activity


  • Mood: Adoration
  • Listening to: "Dakishimete Midnight Blue"- Fujimoto Tomioka
  • Watching: PatLabor (1989) -finished-will re-watch soon.
Reviewing PatLabor: The TV Mobile Show (1989-90)

It was unthinkable for me.... but in terms of story and character development, PatLabor trumps Robotech.
     I faintly recall this mecha anime when it debuted in the U.S. in the fall of 1989, but for some reason I didn't watch it.

But 25 years later, and only five episodes in, this show edged my once all-time favorite mecha show, Robotech.



I don't overlook it anymore. 


    This show, created by Sunrise Studio and released on October 11th, 1989, is categorized as a Mecha/Comedy/Action/Police Drama according to wikipedia. I agree with another reviewer in that it's also a Mystery/Suspense show. So, for those of you who enjoy gratuitous violence in mecha anime, or enjoy romance-heavy drama, this is not the show for you. It also is different from the gritty, violent PatLabor movies. It's not the OVA (original video anime) from the year before, either. Sure, many of the main characters are here, but the story takes place in an alternate timeline, ten years from the movie's. 

   I. Introduction
     The story for this TV series takes place during an era (specifically the late 1990s) where humans use mecha machines for heavy construction labor- which, when you think about it, would make a really practical use for mecha in our our world today, unlike the fantastic but far-flung fantasy use of said machines in RoboTech. Using those machines proves to be a major upside for building structures on a large scale, but criminals quickly make implements of these machines for their own selfish ends as well.

So a man named Shinohara created the PatLabor (Patrol Labor) to protect the populace while keeping crimes down. 

...which brings us to our main characters.

     This anime centers on Tokyo's unforgetable Patrol Labor Force, specifically the Special Vehicles Division II. Division I has a tertiary role here, and they have a friendly kind of rivalry with II that mirrors a real-life rivalry with a healthy dose of respect within this relationship. You have pilot Ota Isao, the brash but diligent young "shoot first, ask questions never" charge, his backup patrol Shinshi, the dutiful programmer and doting husband whom Ota often clashes with. You get Shikashi, the no-nonsense, tough as nails senior mechanic, and Hiromi, the soft-spoken, gentle muscle of the group. Kanuka Clancy, the brief New York transfer to the group who single-handedly shapes up SVD II during her 6 month stay, and Lt. Kumagami Takeo, her capable replacement. Cpt. Gotoh, the calm, subtly "enterprising"Ninja  leader of this SVD II and Cpt. Nagumo Shinobu, the proudly tactful SVD I leader. Shinohara Asuma is the defected son of the CEO of the Ingram mecha empire, and then you have his partner, the main protagonist Izumi Noa, a plucky young patrol cop who- through many growing pains and trials on the Tokyo streets and battlefields- becomes a top PatLabor pilot in her division.
Now take these diverse characters, put them in one office.... and watch the fireworks ignite!
II. Story, Character Development, and Continuity    
 What sells this mecha concept is the character development.
 There is a Lot of it. Sure, the action is amazing, but that's not the driving point of this show.  Character development is the focus. The way the writers craft these characters together and in delicate situations to coexist is seamless, and I like it more than the writing for The Real Ghostbusters (and I like that one!). Among the impressively talented writers is Yokote Michoko, who's also written for Ranma 1/2 SVD II is by no means a perfect group at what they do- they have their bad days- and there are many- but their heart and soul is what makes their company and this show work!

There is continuity in every- and I do mean every episode. You  have to watch the episodes 
literally in sequence to catch a reference, even a nuance- for everything to make sense in the episodes that follow.  Grade: A
III. Character Chemistry and Diversity of Topics
   I love the personality of each character. They're all very necessary and they drive the story very well Everything that happens- every reaction each character has- is easily realistic. See for yourself. And regardless of gender, I see a tiny bit of myself in each character. I believe many watchers can identify with or at least relate to most of the characters. It mirrors what life might really be like if we loaded our workloads onto mechas.

Most of the story- if I could "guesstimate"- about 85% involves subject matter independent of mecha action and adventure- and of that 85%, 80% deals with their relationships to each other at work and away from work. The atmosphere of the workplace accurately reflects a typical work environment. There are slow days too, and there are certainly a few episodes where you see SVD 2 crew members just sitting around eating or cutting into each other. Some of their exploits have attracted the attention of potential employers who have courted our characters with promotions and raises- situations not unfamiliar to that of our real world. 

     SVD II is a really curious bunch, often bordering on the verge of nosy pranksters, just like real people can be! Each regular has a unique sets of strengths and flaws, and you get to see those quirks play out often and in entertaining ways! Each character has a unique and special kind of chemistry that works so well, that you can often really forget that you're watching an anime. As I often do. I agree with another poster/reviewer on another site. She said the fun really lies with seeing how the characters deal with each other. There are a few episodes you can see where Special Division 2 members don't even use a mecha (not even Izumi Noa). It's exciting to watch them press each other's buttons- and this happens Often (if you haven't watched the show yet, by all means do, and you will see exactly what I'm saying). They also come together to support a fellow crew member in tough times. I have reall come to care for the characters. And that's a sure sign the writers have excelled in their craft.  Grade: A+



IV. Subtitles vs. Dub
And the subtitles do the story justice. Because subtitles keep things subtle the way things should be. They do not talk down to the viewers. While I like dubs (depending on the studio) for a few anime, for this show, do yourself a favor and please avoid the dub completely. Dubs seem to have a way of dumbing down the characters and story (see what I did there?) to where characters say something uncharacteristic of themselves. So just stick with subtitles here. You'll be glad you did. Grade: A

V. Music Score

The music paces well with the show. And oh, the soundtrack is excellent. Regarding the intros and outros*, my personal favorite is the outro, "Dakishimete Midnight Blue" by Fujimoto Tomioka, which you can hear for episodes 1-34. Episodes 35-47 feature interesting music as well, but "Dakishimete" is so infectious you'll be singing the song before you know it! If you haven't heard it yet, I warn you now, it's very catchy! Hear it here:


*Also noteworthy is this: on alternate episodes you'll see the intro/outro lyric subtitles for the switch from Japanese romaji/kanji to English.

Grade: A
Flaws
Other than it being only one season (47 episodes) long, I have no complaints. Not even minor ones.

Grade: N/A

Wrapping Up.
--------------------------
When it comes to any cartoon, story matters most. Not only has Sunrise 
This TV show has been "under my nose" for all these years and I'm only really getting into it as of late. I'm enjoying it more than the PatLabor movies. I recommend watching this series- at the time of this review I've watched them all- all 47 episodes in 5 days. And not once have I not enjoyed several good laughs and not once have I had a dull story to sit through. So go watch it!

For me this PatLabor TV show is really about relationships, about growing pains, love, heartbreak, 
growth and trust in each other as a unit.
In 25 episodes the members of Special Division Labor 2 have become like family to me.
As far as animated shows go... in 35 they have become inseparable. But at 47 it must end. And I don't want it to.
And unless the original creators release a new season
...there will never be another one like it!

Overall Grade: A

Comments are all welcome. I'd like to listen to what you have to say about this gem. But if you haven't seen it lately, go to Hulu first to watch the season episodes: 

Season 1 Episode list on Hulu (watch all of them free here):
www.hulu.com/grid/patlabor-the…

Each one is vital to the overall story, so make sure you don't skip any! :)
Have fun and let me know what you think of the show in your comments below!
Dan Darrett, Pole Position Muscle by j3px
Dan Darrett, Pole Position Muscle
1/7/15 *Update*: Color added.

So... it's been 2 years since I drew actual Pole Position art. This is a model sheet for the pre-planned short
back in March '11. 

He's
 Dan Darrettthe daring, headstrong, and often reckless half of the classic 1-2 punch that's the Pole Position stunt driving, crime-solving duo. He drove the more sophisticated futuristic concept, Roadie.

Pole Position: Reunion is going to be a cartoon version of Where Are They Now? Join Dan in what'll be his latest adventure.
Here are Tess Tess Darrett, Pole Position Brains by j3px Daisy  Daisy Darrett, All Grown up by j3px  and newcomer Taneki Pole Position cartoon OC:Taneki, (Kuma's clone) by j3px

art: :iconj3px:

Pole Position is the property of Mill Creek Entertainment.
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Pole Position Cartoon Storyboard, Missing 1-2 by j3px
Pole Position Cartoon Storyboard, Missing 1-2
Next storyboard: Pole Position Cartoon Storyboard, Missing 1-3 by j3px

It's been 2 years since I drew actual Pole Position art. This is concept art for the pre-planned short
back in March '11. This is storyboard art from August of 2011.

She's 
Daisy Darrettthe little sister of the classic 1-2 punch that's the stunt driving, crime-solving duo known as Pole Position. She tagged along with her siblings, often getting into trouble with Kuma, their mascot created by Dr. Lungo.

Pole Position: Reunion is going to be a cartoon version of Where Are They Now? Join them in her latest adventure.

Find out just what's in store later this year. I promise you will. 
No, I really do promise... once Dungeons and Dragons: Requiem is finished.

Here are my model sheets for Tess Tess Darrett, Pole Position Whiz by j3px Dan Dan Darrett, Pole Position Muscle by j3px and Daisy  Daisy Darrett, All Grown up by j3px

art/story: :iconj3px:

Pole Position is the property of... Mill Creek Entertainment.

Storyboard template, free for download.  Storyboard Template by j3px
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Pole Position Cartoon Storyboard, Missing 1-3 by j3px
Pole Position Cartoon Storyboard, Missing 1-3
Previous storyboard: Pole Position Cartoon Storyboard, Missing 1-2 by j3px

It's been 2 years since I drew actual Pole Position art. This is concept art for the pre-planned short
back in March '11. This is the third storyboard for the project from August of 2011.

She's 
Daisy Darrettthe little sister of the classic 1-2 punch that's the stunt driving, crime-solving duo known as Pole Position. She tagged along with her siblings, often getting into trouble with Kuma, their mascot created by Dr. Lungo.

Pole Position: Reunion is going to be a cartoon version of Where Are They Now? Join them in her latest adventure.

Find out just what's in store later this year... promise! 


Here are my model sheets for Tess Tess Darrett, Pole Position Brains by j3px Dan Dan Darrett, Pole Position Muscle by j3px and Daisy  Daisy Darrett, All Grown up by j3px

art/story: :iconj3px:

Pole Position is the property of... Bandai Namco Games, Inc.

Storyboard template, free for download.  New Storyboard Template for 2015! by j3px
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Greetings fellow DnDtAS fans! Over the last week I've made some real progress on the early segment of the episode. It's one that takes place at the fork in the road  after the Sea of Sorrow .. the tension between Hank and Eric grates on one another. It's one that uneasily parts the group decidedly on sides.

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j3px's Profile Picture
j3px

Artist | Professional | Film & Animation
United States
The wait is over!
Updated Loki animatic is here! New update! Loki concept art animatic 2.0! by j3px

I do typography commissions. Inquire within! :)

Animations currently in production:
Requiem (09.17.2015). Loki: Prince of Mischief (07.23.2016)

On the horizon:
Pole Position: The Reunion (short) (09.15.2015)
Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight: The Anime (12.31.2015)
Wheeled Warriors (09.16.2017)
Mighty Orbots Go! (09.08.2020)
Interests

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j3px Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Professional Filmographer
:D You're welcome.  I invite you to check out my gallery. I think you will like some things. :)
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exedor3 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave! Much appreciated!
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rhizin Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the fav!
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Agent505 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Professional Writer
Thanks for the fave :)
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j3px Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Professional Filmographer
:hug:
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