14 episodes in, and Patlabor TV continues to show excellent writing. Action, comedy, mystery or even drama, it can do them all, sometimes in just one episode.
In episode 3, Noa is quickly initiated to the strange preoccupations of her team. Since their HQ is in a desolate place (a 45-minute round trip to the nearest convenience store!), they are forced to be self-sufficient on food. As Asuma puts it, Division 2’s daily struggle is for food and territory, like stray dogs. Instant noodles and the like are easily stored, but how about proper nutrition? Hiromi grows tomatoes, and there are 20 or so hens which lay the occasional egg or two, but they turn to Tokyo Bay for most of their protein.
Say what again? Yes, they fish. A long line of mechanics and policemen, fishing long into the sunset. When that’s not enough, the mechanics bring in their patrol speedboat for offshore fishing. Asuma’s not lying when he proudly proclaims that food is their passion.
But today, trouble strikes and the boat is run aground! It’s up to Division 2 and their Labors to save them. It’s not an easy task, since Ota screws up (despite having over 250 hours of Labor experience) and gets his Ingram stuck as well. To make matters worse, chief mechanic Sakaki is returning to HQ, and he’ll throw everyone into the sea if he ever gets wind of what happened!
What comes up is a well-coordinated plan to delay the old man until Noa finishes her retrieval. The normally indolent Division 2 goes out of its way to conduct breathalyzer tests in strategic roads, forcing Sakaki to take time-consuming detours. Noa goes on with her task, and is saved by Kanuka from falling as well. Sakaki gets back and notices nothing out of the ordinary.
Or really? He puts the drop of water to his tongue and discovers its saltiness. Hiding in every nook and cranny, everyone looks on with bated breath.
Oh, what the hell, Sakaki thinks bemusedly, and leaves it at that. Then a mobilization order comes up! Alas, it’s the end of the episode, but if Division 2 can pull off something as brilliant as this, they’d have no problem with anything that comes up.
Say what you will about their behavioral problems, but these guys are dedicated to their job. They’ve managed to adapt to harsh conditions, survive boredom 24/7, and make the most out of limited resources. Can anyone match their willpower?