DVD Review: Patlabor OVA Series 2: The New Files – The Complete Collection
09/07/2015 Leave a comment
The anime classic Patlabor returns in a confusing second OVA Series; but what can we expect from the SV2 Unit and this DVD Release by MVM Entertainment? Find out in our review of Patlabor OVA Series 2: The New Files – The Complete Collection.
Every cop has a story to tell, but not all of them are safe to show on television. That’s especially true in the crazed world of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s Special Vehicle Section, because when you toss giant robots into the mix almost anything can happen. A teddy bear holding people hostage and a search for albino alligators may just be typical days on the job, but what about an undercover mission into a public bathhouse looking for suspicious moles?
What happens when the only place where you and your coworker can wait out a typhoon is a room in one of Japan’s notorious “Love Hotels”? Then there’s that drunken weekend at the hot springs and the infamous “underwear incident.” But not every story has a humorous edge, and what begins as a battle for corporate survival turns into a melee in the streets as the makers of the deadly Griffin return for the ultimate exercise in urban combat! Noa Izumi and the men and women of the SV2 reveal the stories that couldn’t be told before!
Following the events of the first OVA Series, entitled The Early Days, this second OVA series, entitled The New Files, has a lot to live-up-to and despite a stellar performance on the first disc, all of which is available in English and Japanese audio, the remaining episodes are a bit of a time-waste. That is unless you like spin-off side stories that range from anything to protecting the public to surviving a night out with the boss. It might not be ‘truly entertaining’ but it does cover a lot of ground; including our beloved mecha.
Let’s be brutally honest; the first disc, which contains four episodes and sees the SV2 once again attempting to take down the Black Labor within various areas of Tokyo, is the highlight of this collection – not only is it a progressive story that builds up to its timely conclusion but it provides the right amount of balance between action, suspense and comedy within each episode. Let’s not forget that these first four episodes are available in both English and Japanese audio, with the English audio made-up of a few famous voice actors; such as Dan Green, Veronica Taylor and Sean Schemal .While it might not seem as good as today’s English Dubs its far better than anything else Sentai Filmwork produce nowadays.
With the Black Labor fiasco put to rest there are tweleve episodes remaining; each of which are an individual tale, a side-story if you will, taken from within the daily lives of the SV2 unit. Be it a revolt with the mechanics, a kitten in need of a home, a prank gone terribly wrong or a kids TV presenter going pshyco in the studio you’ll never find a set of stories as varied as these and while some do provide the occasional laugh, such as the episode which sees Izumi with a tooth ache, they do easily become a bit dull.
It hindsight it all comes down to the story being told; the story with the TV Presenter, Izumi’s tooth ache and the prank on of the members of SV2 I found to be quite entertaining and memorable, but an episode which saw some of the higher-ups stay overnight in a love hotel due to a downpour just seemed like a complete waste. Its great that if offers an insight into their perosnalities; but I did not want to know nor did I care – I just wanted to sit through more stories of the SV2 unit stopping bad guys; and sadly we do not get this. There is the ‘odd episode’ but other than that its pointless dribble that just makes you skip to the next episode.
There are no bonus features included with this release of Patlabor: The New Files.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:33:24 (Disc 1) 2:22:29 (Disc 2 & 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frame Rate: 25 fps
The synopsis at the top of this article pretty much covers what to expect from the episode content; but in reality this particular release is non-other than a rushed ending to a well-loved classic combined with one-shot stores aimed to fill in gaps within the timeline .This isn’t the Patlabor you know and potential love; it’s different, a bit funny and completely pointless – but on the positive side it does bring support characters that you don’t usually see into the limelight and it lets their personality shine.
When it comes to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment however then it surpasses some expectations; for starters the picture, audio and subtitle quality are extremely high – especially the picture quality which looks more like a HD-Source, such as a Blu-ray, rather than a DVD.Unfortunately however that’s where the positives end; as the negatives include a bizarre DVD menu structure, which see episodes listed individually with audio options afterwards, a lack of English audio on the singular episodes – which is completely unavoidable due to a dub not being produced – and no bonus materials what-so-ever.
Basically it’s a pretty bizarre release; with a mixture of both positives and negatives but if you fancy watching a different Patlabor experience, or want to finish the story left-off from the early days season, then it’s definitely worth checking out.If you are looking for fast-paced-retro-mecha-action then sadly you’ll want to look elsewhere as other than few brief moments in the early episodes there isn’t much afterwards.
Patlabor OVA Series 2: The New Files – The Complete Collection will be available on DVD from the 13th July 2015.