Monday, January 14, 2013

Remembering the Early Days


Studying in South Korea is certainly no walk in the park, but as I find myself currently on the two-month winter holiday (from January to March) that is standard in Korean post-secondary schools, I have found time to become reacquainted to some degree with my old pal anime. Now if you've read my blog in the past you may be aware of my love/hate relationship with the medium, as I spent a lot of time in previous posts going over all the things that annoy me intensely about it (see the "10 Things I Hate about Anime" series of posts from 2012). Despite this, I don't just hate anime but also like it, and some if it very much so. One of the ones I do like is Patlabor: Early Days, which I finished watching just the other day!

The cast of Patlabor and one of their "labors" -- otherwise known as mobile suits.
This series of "original video animation" (OVA) is an adaptation of the Patlabor manga that spawned a television series, which I reviewed some time ago, an additional OVA series, and three pretty damn good movies (see http://alexeastasian.blogspot.kr/2012/02/patlabor.html). Early Days is only seven episodes in length, with each one running about 30 minutes. The series follows the exploits of "Special Vehicles Unit Two" of the near-futuristic Tokyo police force as they attempt to thwart terrorists, avoid scandals, fight sea monsters and relax in bathhouses (!?). Yes, indeed, the varied subject matter can be attributed to this short series' being quite similar to the TV show, in that it's got giant robots 'n' stuff but focuses way more on the human characters instead of mobile suit vs. mobile suit fisticuffs.

This is a capture from the opening intro. Nice and clear, eh?
The series has been beautifully remastered in 1080p HD, so despite being from the '80s it looks really clear and pretty! If you've got some time to kill and have a hankering for some '80s Japanese character-driven funness, then you might get a kick out of this.        

 

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