It is an anime and manga franchise created by Headgear, a group consisting of director Mamoru Oshii, writer Kazunori Itō, mecha designer Yutaka Izubuchi, character designer Akemi Takada, and manga artist Masami Yūki.
The popular franchise includes a manga, a TV series, 2 OVA series, 3 feature-length movies, 2 light novel series, and a short film compilation, named Minipato because of its super deformed drawing style.
The series has been adapted into video games and licensed products from OST to toys.
Patlabor is known for using mecha – designed by Yutaka Izubuchi – not just for police or military purposes, but also for industrial and municipal jobs.
Animations from Patlabor were used extensively in the music video Juke Joint Jezebel by KMFDM.
The manga received the 36th Shogakukan Manga Award for Shonen in 1991.
Robots called Labors are employed in heavy construction work.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police has its own fleet of Patrol Labors or Patlabors to combat crimes/terrorism and deal with accidents involving Labors.
The story arcs usually revolve around Tokyo Metropolitan Police Special Vehicle Section 2, Division 2.
Noa Izumi is the main protagonist of the series and the supporting character of the third film, but all of Division 2 play roles.
Hata and Kusumi are main protagonists of the third Patlabor film.
The feature films follow separate continuities, referred to as the movie timeline and the TV timeline.
The different OVA series follow either the movie or TV timelines.
The manga also follows its own continuity.
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