One thing I really like from Patlabor is the chemistry between the two main characters, Noa and Asuma. They operate in a way that defies mecha anime convention: Noa does the tough job of piloting, while Asuma does the tough job of giving orders. They complement each other very well, even better than those husband-and-wife partners out there.
The franchise has some consistently great writing that you don’t see in most of its peers, but somehow I think that the writers have deliberately made the answer to this question as obscure as possible: are they an item?
The two are often seen going out on their own. They’ve had their fair share of dates, but nothing remotely romantic has ever happened in any of them. If you’re going to sniff for that elusive hint of romance, you’ll have to do it in the wrong places. Good luck, they are few and far between. And it could really go either way–there’s no doubt that they’d make a fine couple, but their present relationship is so good that you can’t imagine the status quo being broken. Am I making sense here? Probably not.
Yes and no; that’s the long and short answer. But that doesn’t stop a good number of fans from imagining.