Patlabor mainly takes place in the headquarters of the Special Vehicles Unit, located on reclaimed land some 45 minutes away from Tokyo. The story deals mostly with the day-to-day of Division 2, comprised of a variety of characters from different backgrounds. Because of their highly unorthodox methods, Division 2 is considered a nuisance to the High Command and is a target of media derision and punditry, who label them as a huge waste of taxpayer money. In spite of this, Division 2 is a tremendously effective team with a very high turnover rate.The series is entirely character-driven for an Anime and Manga genre that mostly deals with action-driven plots, and mostly involves the interactions between team members, their often extremely petty conflicts, and their difficulties in maintaining a logistic functioning of the unit, who has close to negligible support from the main police force. One of the characteristics that these isolating difficulties bring is the eccentricity of the characters as far as police work entails, making them the subject of mockery and disrespect... but they're too far from everything and everyone to care anyway.Note: Character descriptions sourced from Schaft Enterprises fansite and The Other Wiki's Patlabor 2 article.Please head here for characters from the original series who still have involvement in the Next Generation movies.
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Special Vehicles Unit, Division 2
Officer Noa Izumi
- Ace Pilot: While she's not amazingly good, she's pretty reliable which counts for a lot in the ultimate Real Robot series. She's also pretty skilled in hand to hand labor combat. During the selection tournament, she only lost to Kanuka in the finals because her battery ran out. Later on, her skill becomes well known enough that Schaft repeatedly singles her and Alphonse out to (illegally) test Super Prototype combat labors in actual combat.
- Action Girl: Noa is less of a badass out of her labor than in, but she's the only one who can last more than 3 seconds against Takeo in Judo. She lasts 8. And Noah also defeated a criminal who was armed with a knife, using only her bare hands.
- Ascended Fangirl: She joined the police force in the hopes of piloting a Labor because she'd spent her childhood watching Mecha Anime, even if she knows a Labor is not quite like a Mazinger, a Getter or a mobile suit. Still she got pretty disappointed when she was told that no, a Labor does not fly.
- Badass Adorable: One of the nicest girls you'll ever meet, so long as you're not a criminal or make the mistake of damaging Alphonse. Seriously, don't.
- Berserk Button: Damaging her Labor, Alphonse.
- Also in the manga, don't use Labors for criminal/terror acts.
- Boyish Short Hair: She and Kumagami both keep their hair short, while Kanuka wears hers long and Captain Shinobu keeps hers in a ponytail while she's on the job.
- Character Development: Invoked in the second movie, where she tells Asuma that she doesn't want everyone to think of her as just "that girl who loves labors".
- The Confidant: By virtue of who she is and how she conducts herself, Noa is the only person that is privy to Asuma's personal life, though it takes him a while to open up
- Does Not Like Guns: In the anime continuity, at least, it's explicitly called out that she really doesn't like shooting things, and she's very slow to use her revolver, always keeping it as a last resort when her martial arts moves or shock baton prove they aren't up to it. This may seem odd for a police officer, but Japanese police in general are rarely expected to actually use their guns, in contrast to Western ones.
- Everyone Can See It: She forms a close bond with Asuma and they hang out, whenever they're off duty. Plus, they have chemistry. Needless to say, it isn't long before their squadmates start to think that their relationship goes deeper than "just friends".
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She doesn't drink often, but when she does, she goes all the way. Comes from being a liquor store owner's daughter.
- The Hero: Except in the second and third films, where she's Out of Focus.
- I Call It "Vera": Her beloved Alphonse.
- Idiot Hair: On occasion.
- Idiot Hero: She starts out being somewhat naïve, but matures over the course of the series.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Zigzagged, in the anime continuity. When she finally breaks the revolver out in combat, she's typically a crack-shot marksman, certainly far better than Ōtah. However, on the firing range, she's pretty bad at actually hitting something. It's noted in one anime episode that she doesn't really like to use her gun, hence the difference; in live combat she's working on pure instinct, auto-piloting her shots, but on a shooting range, her subconscious dislike of having to pull the trigger throws her off.
- Innocent Blue Eyes
- Maybe Ever After: The final episodes of The Mobile Police/New Files continuity vaguely imply that she and Asuma may be on their way to becoming more than friends.
- Confirmed in the Next Generation.
- Meganekko: In the manga version, she wears glasses when she's off duty. They don't seem to be prescription since she regularly pilots her labor without them.
- Not So Above It All: She's not very good at having Asuma being actually mad at her; while he berates her all the time, it's when he stops talking to her that really gets to her. In a way, Noa basically expresses that she cannot bear the idea of him being mad.
- Otaku Surrogate: For anyone who's into mecha.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Asuma, though their relationship starts to lean a little more toward being romantic, near the end of the series.
- Subverted in The Next Generation, which serves as a Distant Finale for the OVA continuity, where it's confirmed that Noa and Asuma finally got together.
- Plucky Girl: No matter what the task, Noa gives it her all.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's red, Kanuka's blue.
- Replacement Goldfish: As noted above, her Labor is actually "Alphonse the Third".
- She Cleans Up Nicely: She wears makeup and brushes her hair to appear in Sakurayama's TV spot. Her teammates are floored by how different she looks.
- She's Got Legs: Shown in chapter 5 of the manga version. It's no wonder those guys were hitting on her, check 'em out!
- Slow Motion Passby: Invoked in the first episode of The Mobile Police continuity, when she and Asuma walk past each other at the Shinohara plant (seen at 8:46-9:08). It serves as Noa's first look at her soon-to-be partner and her future husband.
- GWSnote spoofed the scene in their April Fool's parody, by adding bloom effects accompanied by Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver" (at 5:41-6:00).
- They Do: The Next Generation is set 15 years after the OVA continuity's conclusuion, during which, it's revealed that she eventually married Asuma.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's the tomboy, Kanuka is the girly girl.
- Vitriolic Best Friends: With Asuma. She's the only person in the series he allows to get close to him in that manner. It later translates into a more serious relationship.
Captain Kiichi Gotō
- Voiced by: Ryunosuke Ohbayashi (JP), Michael Schwartz (EN), Peter Marinker (EN Manga dub of the first two films), Roger Craig Smith (EN Bandai Visual dub of the first two films), Rafael Rivera (Latin American Spanish dub)
- A Father to His Men: He can be manipulative, at times, and his methods are unorthodox, but he always has his division's best interest at heart.
- Author Avatar: For director Mamoru Oshii in the second movie.
- Batman Gambit: He is a master of getting people do to what he wants by making them think it's what they want.
Goto has just manipulated Shinohara into putting his career on the line to find something out for him and then stepped in to get him off with 'just' a suspension.
- From the first movie:
Shinohara: The only thing I don't get is how the commander found out about it all?
Gotō: (deadpan) Oh, that? I ratted you out, even the not wearing a helmet part.
Gotō:' Look at it this way, now you have enough free time to snoop around for me some more.
- Big Good: The top brass may not care for him, but they still defer to him during an impending crisis. So does the JGSDF, Detective Matsui, and his fellow captain, Shinobu, all of whom have learned to rely on Gotō's decision making ability, and with good reason. He's a genius level tactician, having studied military strategy at the academy. He's also keenly observant and tends to pick up on things before others do, and notices details others might overlook. Shaft Enterprises and his old mentor, Kai, know this better than anyone.
- The Con Within A Con: In the first movie, he suspected Hoba may have tampered with SHI's new HOS system, so he cons Asuma into investigating it, to make certain. Except Gotō had already confirmed it, through Shige. The point of conning Asuma was to get him suspended, so he'd be free to look into the Babylon Project and determine whether it factored into Hoba's plans. It works, though Asuma is justifiably upset over being used.
- Colonel Badass: Never underestimate Gotō (see Big Good).
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually directed toward his superiors and, occasionally, Asuma.
- Did Not Get the Girl: At the end of the Movie continuity, Shinobu reluctantly arrests Tsuge but it is clear she still had feelings for him. Much to Gotō's disappointment.
- Hopeless Suitor: To Shinobu, who strictly maintains a professional relationship between them.
- Like an Old Married Couple: To say he an Shinobu have a strictly professional relationship, you'd swear these two were actually married. See the related entry in Shinobu's section, further down.
- Mentor: To his division, mainly to Asuma.
- Not So Above It All:
- Shinobu is the only person that can make Gotō do stuff he doesn't want to do. He won't even bend down to his bosses... but Shinobu, he better not get her angry!
- As Gotō tells Agent Arakawa in the second film, he's has always been in the side of the law even when he has to bypass the red tape to achieve it; Arakawa in comparison was trying to double-cross both Gotō and Tsuge, and reap the benefits from the aftermath.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Don't ever fool yourself and think you're getting anything by him, without him noticing. Asuma and the others get a not so subtle reminder, when they return from an undercover rescue operation and find he followed them. Gotō even brought fries!
- Reasonable Authority Figure: More so than his superiors would like.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: SVU's headquarters is located on reclaimed land that's practically in the middle of nowhere, which why the higher ups have Gotō stationed there, where he can't ruffle any feathers. So they think....
- Supporting Leader: Along with Shinobu.
- Team Dad: A...trickier one than most.
- Theme Naming: He and Nagumo are both named after WWII admirals.
- Troll: Some of the stunts he pulls to discipline his squad can be described as such. Kanuka calls him out on it on more than one occasion. So does Shinobu.Shinobu: (impressed) That was brave of you to face that Labor the way you did. Weren't you scared?
Gotō: (deadpan) No. Sakaki told me it was harmless.
Shinobi: (disillusioned) Wha- So THAT'S why you were acting so bravely?
Gotō: (deadpan) Pretty much.
Shinobu: (annoyed) I give up. So what'll your adoring public say, when they find out?
Gotō: (smirks at door) I wonder....?
Asuma, Noa, Kanuka, Ōtah, Shinshi, and Hiromi: (eavesdropping outside door) THAT CHEAT!
- Undying Loyalty:
- As it's shown in the second movie, he will not abide to Shinobu coming into harm's way if he is able to do something about it. He even scampers Arakawa as soon as he is alerted by Shinobu's mother.
- Earlier in the same movie, he disobeys her order to participate in the government mandated Martial Law... for like five minutes. He'd much rather not have her angry at him.
- Much to Arakawa's dismay, Gotō is a loyal policeman through and through, even when he has to do stuff under the table to get his bosses to work. That much he will never compromise.
Officer Asuma Shinohara
- Agent Mulder: If it involves anything supernatural, or paranormal, he's all for it.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Asuma is familiar with most Labor models, both civilian those used by the police/military alike, since he's the son of the founder of SHI and has been exposed to the labor industry from a young age.
- Brutal Honesty: In his manga portrayal, where he sometimes comes across as unintentionally rude, though he means well. Particularly during his initial interactions with Noa.
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly in regard to Ōtah and, sometimes, Noa.
- Deuteragonist: Asuma is the second most pivotal character after Noa, since the series focuses largely on both their partnership as fellow officers and their friendship off-duty.
- Everyone Can See It: Except him and Noa, for the reasons covered in her example entry. The last two or three episodes imply they may be headed toward a Relationship Upgrade.
- Foil: To Ōtah, due to their conflicting personalities. Asuma alternates between trying to talk sense into him and either griping, or snarking, whenever Ōtah's trigger-happy tendencies creates problems for their division.
- Hand Behind Head: Asuma's typical posture while chatting with Noa, usually with both hands clasped behind his head.
- Honest Advisor: Which is the main reason Noa trusts him and doesn't mind it much when he snarks on her. In fact, it's when he doesn't that she starts to get worried.
- Hot-Blooded: Though not as off-the-rails as Ōtah, Shinohara can be extremely careless when he's pissed. This gets him in hot water in the first movie, as he goes ballistic against the SVU's commander when he's suspended for going AWOL.
- The Lancer: To Gotō.
- Maybe Ever After: With Noa at the end of The Mobile Police/New Files continuity, though The Next Generation live action continuity ultimately subverts it by confirming they eventually did.
- Mission Control: Though his position is "backup" for unit 01, his actual job is to cover Noa's blindspotsnote and provide intel on enemy units. Asuma is also a capable strategist and always has Noa's safety in mind, so she trusts his judgement implicitly.
- Mr. Exposition: As previously noted, Asuma's extensive knowledge of Labors makes him a natural for providing his teammates and the audience with intel on enemy units. Which was highlighted by the tunnel scene near the climax of Patlabor: The Movie 2, where provides intel on the Ixtls and devised a strategy to systematically disable them.
- Non-Action Guy / Non-Action Snarker: As Noa's "backup", his expected role is to sit in the command car behind Noa and instruct her on how to do her job. He fulfils a vital role all the same, though, and is honestly happier about it; he's not particularly thrilled at the idea of piloting Labors, and he knows that Noa is just crazy about it.
- Nice Guy: He can be blunt at times and he often complains about being stuck as a public servant, but he means well and always has Noa's best interest at heart.
- Not So Above It All: As per the Agent Mulder entry, and he's not above eavesdropping on the women, while they're in the bath, either.
- Oedipus Complex: Relations between him and his father are so strained, that Asuma usually spends his vacations at the squad's barracks, rather than visiting home, like his teammates.
- In the final episode of The New Files, he meets his father while visiting his older brother's grave, and speaks with him briefy. The only words we're allowed to hear, is when Asuma parts with his father, by telling him to take better care of himself; which suggests they may have begun to reconcile their differences.
- Only Sane Man: Asuma shares this spot with Kanuka and, later, Kumagami, as they're the most sensible, levelheaded members of the team. Which often makes him a foil for Ōtah.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Noa, though their teammates think there's something more between them.
- Sidekick: Effectively this, for Noa.
- Slow Motion Passby: See the related entry in Noa's section.
- They Do: He and Noa are married by the time of The Next Generation, which serves as the OVA continuity's Distant Finale.
- You Don't Want to Know: Asuma is very serious when it comes to his personal life and his relationship with his father, almost creating a rift between him and Noa when she pries on him. It's revealed in the final episode of the OVA that his quarrel with his father stems from his brother's suicide, considering that the fault lied in his father's relentless hounding; small wonder Asuma doesn't want to touch the subject when it's something that brings him so much pain.
Officer Isao Ōtah
- The Big Guy: He may be short, but he's got a pretty solid build and the power that comes with it.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Thick bushy ones.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Whether in his Labor, or with Judo.
- Butt Monkey: Though to be fair, he usually brings it on himself...
- Chekhov's Gunman: A literal one in the manga. He was one of the anti-riot mobile unit officers who tried to break ranks in order to board one of the new Ingram Labors. He's later seen with Asuma when a police van drops them off at SVU2 Headquarters.
- Cowboy Cop: Which gets him in hot water nine times out of ten.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Usually shown as a Leeroy Jenkins kinda guy, but he's actually a good shot and can be pretty effective if he just think things through a little.
- Cross-Popping Veins: Damn near constantly, due to having a hair trigger temper.
- Destructive Savior: Ōtah is responsible for something like 90% of the collateral damage that Division 2 inflicts, meaning he's pretty much singlehandedly the major cause behind their negative public reception.
- Determinator: When his labor's arm gets dismembered in the last episode, he shugs it off, saying he's used to it, and resumes chasing after the culprit.
- Gun Nut: Picture Tackleberry with a Humongous Mecha and a severe case of Testosterone Poisoning, and you've got this guy.
- In fact, given that Japanese society has incredibly strict gun control laws, it's a very viable possibility that he actually only joined the police to be able to use a gun, choosing the Special Vehicles unit because it'd give him (hopefully) plenty of opportunities to shoot off the biggest guns in the police's arsenal.
- Hot-Blooded: OH YES. Deconstructed in the second movie's climax, where he endangers the plan by acting like a cartoon character instead of a rational human being.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Zigzagged. Usually, Ōtah is an awful shot, which combined with his willingness to pull out a gun and start blasting, and to then keep firing until he blows through his ammo reserves, means he causes the bulk of the collateral damage that Division 2 gets blamed for. However, on the firing range, he's a pretty good shot — much better than Noa. It's explained that the difference is that, in combat, he's trying to hit a moving target (itself a challenge) whilst hyped up on adrenaline and so unable to focus; when he can calm down and pick his shot, he's much better. Also, in his favor, as wild as his shots fly, he's never actually hurt a person.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's really not that bad, once you get to know him. Just don't expect him to admit it, 'cuz it's not manly.
- Large Ham
- More Dakka: His tactic of choice. Ōtah runs through ammo like water through fire hoses.
- Testosterone Poisoning
Lieutenant Kanuka Clancy
- Voiced by: You Inoue (JP), Angora Deb (EN), Tamsin Hollo (EN, Manga dub of the first film), Lisa Enochs (EN, Bandai Visual dub of the first film), Martha Ceceña (Latin American Spanish dub)
- The Ace: Blackbelt in Judo, expert Labor pilot, and in disarming bombs, graduated with honors from MIT, you get the idea.
- Action Girl: As much as Noa.
- All There in the Manual: According to a booklet in a DVD box set, her father was a millionaire.
- Brother Chuck: She disappears without comment in the second and third movies. Some fans assume she died at the climax of the first filmnote , but she probably just returned to the NYPD. (Given the tensions flaring up during the second movie, she may simply not have been able to get to Tokyo in time.)
- But Not Too Foreign: Her grandmother was a Japanese immigrant, who married an American pilot stationed in Japan during the Korean War.
- Cool Car: In the series, she drives a Porsche 911 in episodes 18 and 23 and a blue one in episode 44.
- Fair Cop: All of the SVU's members are at least not ugly, but Kanuka is downright beautiful.
- Identical Granddaughter: She looks exactly like her grandmother did.
- Lady of War: Both in and out of her mecha. She's a crack shot and master of both judo and kendo.
- Kanuka's combat skills, in and out of her labor are awe inspiring. The woman took down a courtyard of Yakuza, with a wooden sword while clad in a kimono. And, in the first film, Gotō specifically called her in to assist SVU2 with the raid on the Ark.Customs Agent: Are you here to see the sights?
Kanuka: No. Combat.
- Kanuka's combat skills, in and out of her labor are awe inspiring. The woman took down a courtyard of Yakuza, with a wooden sword while clad in a kimono. And, in the first film, Gotō specifically called her in to assist SVU2 with the raid on the Ark.
- Mukoku Seki: Notably averted. It's ironic that the show's only American also looks the most stereotypically Asian (though she is at least half-Japanese).
- Named After Somebody Famous: Tell me that her surname doesn't remind you of an American thriller novelist...
- Not So Above It All: Kanuka's disciplined and takes pride in herself as an officer, but she can be just as juvenile as the rest of the squad, depending on the circumstances.
- Officer O'Hara: ...well, she's a cop with an Irish surname who can drink heavily when the situation warrants, but that's about as far as it goes.
- Put on a Bus: She returns to New York about halfway through the TV series.
- The Bus Came Back: ...and comes back for one episode in the second OVA. And for Movie 1.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She's blue, Noa's red.
- The Rival: She develops an intense but friendly rivalry with Kumagami when she comes back to visit the SVU, being fellow aces and all.
- The TV series also seems to set her up as this to Noa at the start.
- The Sixth Ranger
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's the girly girl, Noa's the tomboy.
Officer Mikiyasu Shinshi
- Voiced by: Issei Futamata (JP), Jonny Asch (EN), Ron Lepaz (EN, Manga dub of the first two films), Joey Lotsko (EN, Bandai Visual dub of the first two films), Enrique Mederos (Latin American Spanish dub)
- A Day in the Limelight: He really only gets one episode where he's the focus, when a business takes note of his computer skills and tries to lure him away from the SVU.
- Affectionate Nickname: His wife calls him "Miki"; no one else does.
- Berserk Button: DO NOT insult his wife. Or the institution of Marriage.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shinshi seems to have... "issues".
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Shinshi is a very intelligent man who is very content at his job, but his wife certainly isn't.
- Dismotivation: Shinshi is a largely unambitious guy, which is one of the most frequent reason he gets flak from his wife, who considers that he isn't pursuing his full potential. The thing is that Shinshi is true police.
- Happily Married: His wife Tamiko gives him a really hard time, but at the end of the day, they truly love each other.
- Henpecked Husband: He is well and truly whipped. But he's deeply in love with Tamiko all the same.
- Nerd Glasses: It sort of defines his character.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: When his glasses start to shine, run.
- The Smart Guy: He's a wiz with computers, he was even offered a management position at a high profile computer company.
- Those Two Guys: Since their job is to just drive the Patlabors to crime scenes, he and Hiromi are often relegated to the sidelines. Additionally, they were introduced as a pair in the manga continuity.
Officer Hiromi Yamazaki
- Voiced by: Daisuke Gori (JP), Gregory Wolfe (EN), Michael Fitzpatrick (EN, Manga dub of the first two films), C.J. Mills (EN, Bandai Visual dub of the first two films), Enrique Cervantez (Latin American Spanish dub)
- Bad Ass: In spite of his gentle nature, Yamazaki will bite the bullet and fight if needed; just ask him to carry the correct artillery and he can level Labors on his own.
- The Big Guy: Clocks in at around 2 meters tall, and has the physique to fire a 20mm anti-labor rifle standing.
- The Chick: Despite being male, he's the most domestic member of the SVU and is there mostly for emotional support (and gardening, and driving the labors in a truck) than anything else.
- Expy: He is the Japanese Moses Hightower.
- Flat Character: He's a nice guy and... well, that's pretty much it. In the anime, this is used for a gag; when Division 2 snoops on Kanuka's drafted report of her time in Division 2, Hiromi's entry amounts to several lines of ellipses and a simple "no data available" comment.
- Friendly Sniper: Played with in both movies when SVU2 is deployed on the scene to provide anti-Labor support via anti-material sniper rifles.
- Gentle Giant: There are two reasons why Hiromi wasn't selected to pilot a labor - he's too gentle to actually attack the enemy, and he doesn't fit in the cockpit.
- Last of His Kind: He is the only member of SVU Division 2 that remains under the command of Captain Gotō in the second movie.
- Only Sane Man: He is by far the most grounded person in Division 2.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He loves gardening and cooking.
- Those Two Guys: With Shinshi.
Lieutenant Takeo Kumagami
- Voiced by: Keiko Yokozawa (JP), Tara Jayne (EN)
- Action Girl
- Agent Scully: She'll adamantly denounce the existence of anything supernatural, until it's staring her in the face; especially ghosts, because she was left traumatized by her father's ghost stories, when she was a child.
- Bifauxnen: Kumagami is short, has a boyish haircut, and looks rather tomboyish (but still feminine). She's also an expert at judo.
- Consummate Professional: She is Gotō's second-in-command and a model policewoman. She came to SVU 2 for a challenge and is offended at the fact that Noa is aware of the unit's lingering reputation as if she weren't proud of her own work; she does come to understand that the unit performs excellently in spite of said infamy and that the "off" elements do work out as they should, making Kumagami more welcome into the unit.
- Fainting: She's calm and composed in most cases, but her fear of ghosts and especially rats will make her check out on you.
- Non-Indicative Name: When they first hear of "Takeo Kumagami", the crew of SVU2 are understandably expecting a guy to show up.
- Not So Stoic: When she's frightened, which thankfully isn't often. But when it comes to ghosts or rats, yeah.
- Old Flame Fizzle: Would you believe she once had a thing with Richard Wong?
- Only Sane Man: She shares this spot with Asuma, as they're the two most levelheaded and sensible members of the division; excluding their captains.
- Replacement Sixth Ranger: In her debut episode, she has trouble fitting in because her teammates couldn't believe anyone with her credentials would willingly sign up for duty with the SVU.
- The Rival: To Kanuka when they briefly meet. They are very professional about it initially and express their admiration for each other. Later in The New Files, they compete fiercely to measure each other... while on a supposedly relaxing getaway.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Kanuka. They'd have to be, considering that they have to keep Ohta on a leash.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She keeps her hair cut short and excels in Judo. In fact, no one in division 2 has been able to beat her (including Ota). But she dresses femininely whenever she's off-duty and is afraid of dark places, ghosts, and especially rats. She's even prone to fainting when sufficiently frightened.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Kumagami does not appear in any of the movies.
- Why Did it Have To Be Ghosts?: One of the few things she's afraid of. When Gotō jokes that there's a ghost behind her, she has a fullblown panic attack that makes her seem so vunerable, that it's actually cute. Noa even lampshades it.Asuma: (dull surprise) Hn. Who knew?
Noa: (blinks stunned) Cute.
Machine 1 of Division 2, piloted by Noa Izumi.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Because Noa isn't as good of a marksman as Ohta, she and Alphonse usually end up brawling with the enemy Labor of the week, only rarely using her revolver.
- Humongous Mecha
- I Call It "Vera"
- Jack-of-All-Stats: The Ingram is noted as being able to theoretically match any human movement. It's noted that while Ohta has custom-tuned Machine 2 for raw strength, Alphonse is more agile and flexible.
- Lawman Baton: Ingrams are equipped with electromagnetic batons sheathed in their left forearms, capable of instantly disabling the machinery that drives Labors.
- Legacy Character: It is actually the third Alphonse that Noa has named. The first was a dog she grew up with as a child, and the second was a cat.
- Lightning Bruiser: As a police Labor, it is by necessity designed to be stronger, tougher and faster than ordinary construction Labors.
- Mundane Utility: Episode 6 of the anime opens with Noa and Alphonse doing cat's cradles using the feedback gloves.
- Series Mascot
- Weak, but Skilled: Particularly in the Griffin fight in the anime. Alphonse is technically outclassed by the Griffin in almost all areas, but still manages to hold its own and emerge victorious.
Special Vehicles Unit, Division 1
Captain Shinobu Nagumo
- Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara (JP), Adriana (EN), Sharon Holm (EN, Manga dub of the first two films), Karen Thompson (EN, Bandai Visual dub of the first two films), Alejandra de la Rosa (Latin American Spanish dub)
- A Day in the Limelight: She's really the hero of the second movie.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Gotō's got it bad. Sadly, the feeling isn't mutual.
- By-the-Book Cop: Unless given reason not to.
- Christmas Cake: Shinobu's in her mid-late 20's and is a police captain, so her mother worries about her chances of marriage. While Shinobu appreciates her concern, she's dedicated to her career and appears to be in no hurry to settle down. Though given the way she and her fellow captain, Gotō, relate to each other, you'd think she already was.
- Colonel Badass: She may be by-the-book, but don't think for a second she'll allow herself to be railroaded, or that she won't question an order she finds suspect. As seen here.
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually in regard to Gotō's more questionable tactics (i.e. trolling), and his squad's reckless behavior.
- Didn't Think This Through: Shinbobu's decision to have an affair with her instructor, who was a married man, would forever be a blemish on her service record. Which effectively ruined what would've been an otherwise promising career.
- Fair Cop: Though she usually dresses very conservatively (she is a police captain, after all), when dressed casually she's very pretty.
- Like an Old Married Couple: The way she and Gotō relate to each other, they could easily be mistaken for a married couple. She knows him like a book, especially when he's trying to charm her. Likewise, he knows when to tease, and when not to push his luck. This is best seen in both "The SVU's Longest Day" and the final episode of the OVA continuity.
- In The New Files continuity, this is best seen in the Two in Karuizawa episode which focuses exclusively on them (covered extensively on the heartwarming moments page).
- May-December Romance: In the second film, it's revealed that Shinobu once had an affair with her instructor while she was a cadet at the Tsuge Institute. She was 19 at that time, while Tsuge was said to be in his early 30's.
- It's implied that this is one of the reasons she was sent to command SVU Division 1 (which is practically a punishment), in spite of being one of the most competent police members in Tokyo.
- The Mistress: She fell for Tsuge, despite knowing he was married, which was both a breach of police protocol and ethics, which created a scandal. Though it isn't said whether his wife ever got wind of the fact he was cheating on her with one of his students.
- My Greatest Failure: Her affair with Tsuge is the only thing that marred her otherwise spotless Police career; though she climbed out of the ditch, her colleagues argue that the setback she was put into would have been insurmountable for any other person.
- New Old Flame: It isn't until the second film that we find out about her past relationship with Tsuge. Their history together becomes a subplot, as it reveals the reason she settled for a position with the SVU and creates part of the film's tension, since he leads the terrorist group that's laying siege to Tokyo.
- Old Shame: It wasn't long before word of the affair got out, reaching as far as the top brass, which is why she eventually had to settle for a job at the SVU. A photo and the details are seen here, at the Other Wiki.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Alongside Gotō in the SVU2. She's a stickler for proper procedure and carries out her duties without fail, but if she has reason to question an order, or find your motives suspect, she won't hesitate to say so.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: For reasons covered in the Old Shame related entries.
- Reassignment Backfire: She was sent to command SVU Division 1 due to her affair with Tsuge, as this was meant to be a punishment and to simmer the waters; by the second film, she is one of the leading proponents of labor use in police work with nationwide and international fame, earning the SVU a significant rise in status.
- She's Got Legs: Revealed in the 12th episode of The New Files, which features two lingering pan shots of them. Not to mention, Gotō having to be told twice to keep his eyes on the road, instead.
- Supporting Leader: With Gotō.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Covered in the May-December Romance related entries.
Lieutenant Tsutomu Gomioka
- Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (JP)
- Bit Character/Flat Character: Gomioka is mainly used in the story to illustrate how obsolete SVU1's equipment is compared to division 2. Most of his interactions deal with his annoyance at these shortcomings and how he wants Nagumo to push for better Labors. Other than that, he doesn't have a mayor development.
- Colonel Makepeace: Gomioka is a highly competent pilot and a consummate professional on his own in spite of Division 1's dated equipment.
- Informed Ability: He is friendly towards the members of Division 2 and they have expressed their admiration for his professionalism and work ethic. They also commend him as an excellent pilot.
- The Reliable One: One of the reasons the SVU1 is not scrapped for good is due to his efforts. As a matter of fact, he spends most of the series being groomed for command, which he finally gets after a couple of false starts.
- Respected by the Respected: In a joint mission, Gomioka recognizes why Division 2 is better garrisoned than 1, as they are willing to keep fighting even when their Labors are falling to pieces (as Ōtah shows him).
- Took a Level in Badass: When Division 1 finally is provided with brand-new Labors, he thoroughly shows his chops by neutralizing a rogue Labor in a matter of seconds.
Special Vehicles Unit mechanics and maintenance crew
Chief Seitarō Sakaki
- Voiced by: Osamu Saka (JP), Frankie Rome (EN), Blair Fairman (EN, Manga dub of the first two films), Taylor Henry (EN, Bandai Visual dub of the first two films)
- Cool Car: A green Shelby Cobra AC.
- Cool Shades: He's never seen without 'em... even at night or at home! (Except once, close to the end of the TV series.)
- Grumpy Old Man: It's usually subdued, but it's there.
- Mentor: To a lot of people, from the Special Vehicles 2 maintenance crew to the higher-ups at the MPD, Sakaki is the God of Maintenance. On a day-to-day basis, though, he's grooming Shige to take his place.
- Mr. Fixit: He's 62 - been doing his job since machines were invented. If he can't fix it, it ain't broke! (...Or Hoba did something to the software.)
Chief Shigeo "Shige" Shiba
- Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba (JP), Curt Gebhart (EN) ??? (EN, Manga dub of the first two films), Peter Doyle (EN, Bandai Visual dub of the first two films)
- Gadgeteer Genius: Understands Labors from the ground up as well as or better than anyone - oh, and he built the Riot Gun Division 2 occasionally uses.
- Hot-Blooded: To a point that it interferes with his job. Hot blood seems to be a trait common to the whole mechanic team, in fact.
- Large Ham: Unlike Ōta, he's not "on" all the time, but when he is, he doesn't go halfway. (Shigeru Chiba is actually really good at this kind of role - it's especially clear during Shige's Mini-Pato episode.)
- Mirthless Laughter: Aside from being a Large Ham, one of Shige's character traits is his rather loud nervous laughter.
- Older and Wiser: Is this to the new SVU2 recruits in the mid 2000s.
- The Smart Guy: It's not too obvious, given how he normally acts, but Shige not upgrading the AV-98s to the Hyper OS due to mistrusting it and, more impressively, creating a working computer model of vibration effects of the entire Tokyo Bay area drives the third act of the first movie. (He apparently also understands English pretty well, translating Kanuka's notes on Division 2 more quickly than Shinshi.)
- Zany Scheme: He's usually in on them.
Detective Takahiro Matsui
- Voiced by: Tomomichi Nishimura (JP), Allan Wegner & Paul St. Peter (EN)
- Foil: To Shinobu. He is Gotō's enabler in snooping around and ruffling feathers where Shinobu keeps Gotō in reins.
- Friend on the Force: Though they're both police, Matsui is Gotō's insider on police investigations.
- Not So Above It All: He is a very dignified man who is very effective at following paper trails and manhunting, but when it comes to infiltration in the second movie he becomes a Clueless Detective.
- Undying Loyalty: He is quick to defend the SVU and Captain Gotō as a force to be reckoned with.
- Affectionate Nickname: Tamiko is the only person in the series that calls her husband "Miki", where everyone else calls him Shinshi.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: She's incredibly proud of her husband and will defend him from anything anyone throws at him, no matter what he does (and as long as he keeps her on the loop); he will not tolerate anyone badmouthing Tamiko or showing even the tiniest bit of aggression towards her.
- Berserk Button: She will not stand anyone belittling her husband; she also does not like when he makes decisions without talking with her.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She hates it when her husband spends more time with his friends than with her.
- Happily Married: Beneath all their differences, yes, they are.
- Hot-Blooded: She is very belligerent.
- Gender Flip: Played for laughs; she's pretty much a girl version of Ōtah.
- Large Ham: Where her husband is very reserved and quiet, Tamiko is unbearably loud.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: An inverted case; she's the pitbull of the relationship, her husband's the puppy.
- Surprise Pregnancy/Hand on Womb: When her husband goes off to quell the unrest in Patlabor Movie 2, she begs him not to go, because of her carrying his second child.
- Voiced by: Mahito Tsujimura (JP)
- Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (JP), Sonny Dey (EN)
- Hot Scoop: If there's trouble and it's news, she'll be there in the middle of it. Not surprisingly, this almost gets her killed. See directly below.
- Large Ham: Seen during her farewell speech to her devoted fans when she thought she was going to be crushed to death by a Labor. The pilot was a disgruntled patient who thought he was terminally ill.
- Intrepid Reporter: She makes April O'Neil look timid.
- Not So Above It All: She might like to hammer on the SVU2, but she's more than willing to help them if they ask her. She even prioritizes fishing out the arms dealers over getting footage from the Labor battle going on in front of them.
- Voiced by: Naoto Takenaka (JP), Blain Fairman & Kim Strauss (EN)
An intelligence officer assigned with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force chief of staff's office assisting Gotō and Shinobu in locating and apprehending the terrorist Yukihito Tsuge into custody. Arakawa assists the SVU by providing pictures of Tsuge's assets via American military spy satellites and secretly meeting up with Gotō to pass on him intelligence obtained on Tsuge, earning Shinobu's ire due to her suspicions about him and his intentions.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Much to Arakawa's dismay, Gotō didn't turn out nearly as roguish towards the police as he thought he would be.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: He's supposedly working for the government, while supposedly working with Tsuge, while supposedly collaborating with Gotō, while actually trying to play everyone for a fool to remain scot-free.
- Fish Eyes: One of his eyes doesn't move presumably because of a marked exotropic strabismus (the eye points outwards). It's not known whether he can indeed see through that eye.
- Friendly Enemy: He and Gotō really enjoy talking to each other, only that Gotō at the very least knew where he himself was standing; that is, on the side of the law.
- Heel–Face Turn: He turned against Tsuge, although the motive was because of differences between the two men.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: He tried to play Tsuge and Gotō at the same time. He deliberately allowed Tsuge to commit his terrorist acts when he was already in contact with Gotō so that he could wash his hands off his own involvement. Gotō finds him out when Arakawa reaches too far and makes it too obvious that he is implicated.
- Imminent Danger Clue: Gotō finds him out because he is a little too prompt and too well informed of all the stuff that happens in the movie. He makes a point of contacting Gotō every time something happens, as to disassociate himself from his involvement; he was also markedly eager to share information he's not supposed to be sharing, thinking that Gotō is rogue against the police as he is "rogue" towards the JGSDF.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: His defining feature.
- Manipulative Bastard: He basically lured in Gotō in order to make himself look innocent from his involvement with Tsuge, while still feeding Tsuge with the police's movements. The problem is that he overplayed his hand with Gotō, making too obvious that he was dirty.
- The Mole: Is one to Tsuge in the JGSDF.
- Mouth of Sauron: Arakawa's ideological talks with Gotō show a glimpse of Tsuge's intentions regarding the terrorist attacks, defining that Tsuge wants to show how phony is the sense of security the Japanese have and how precarious it actually is. Arakawa's eagerness to express his pessimistic point of view regarding law enforcement and protection of the public is one of the things that tips off Gotō about his involvement in Tsuge's terrorist plots.
- The Un-Smile: He is always grinning; it's not intentional, as that is the shape of his face.
- Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (JP), Vibe Jones (EN)
- Friend on the Force: To Nagumo.
- It's Raining Men: There's a reason they call her ride a Helldiver.
- Meganekko: Her defining feature. She even sports the glasses when she's piloting.
- Not So Above It All: When a friend in the military tells you that you're being uptight and apprehensive, she means it, as Nagumo realizes.
- One Degree of Separation: She became acquainted with the SVU2 team because of her unit's mutual connection with Shinohara Industries. Later, it's revealed that she's a close friend of Captain Nagumo of SVU1
- Respected by the Respected:
- She is not shy in telling Noa just how good a pilot she considers her, and that Noa would be an asset to the military if she chose to join.
- She is one of the few people that are completely aware of how valuable the SVU is and how crucial a mutual collaboration and rapport can be should it be instituted.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: A military woman through-and-through, though not neglecting on her feminine side.
Utsumi / Richard Wong
- Affably Evil: Well... he's certainly affable. As for the "evil" part... see the Laughably Evil, Man Child, and Troll entries below.
- Apologetic Attacker: Right as he lays out a guard with a flying roundhouse kick!Wong: (apologetic) Sumi-ma- (punctuates last syllable with kick) SEN!!
- Benevolent Boss: A stark contrast to his partner, Kurosaki.
- Chessmaster: He even manages to get one over on Gotō. Who then meets him at the airport as he's trying to leave...
- Eyes Always Shut: Except for when it's important.
- Friendly Enemy: He acts this way at least. If nothing else, he's very polite and considerate for a villain. He even took offense when one of his associates shot Kumagami.
- Karma Houdini: After all the trouble he causes for SVU2 and his company, Schaft gives him his old job back 'cuz they need him.
- Slightly subverted at the end of The New Files when he loses his job. But then, it wasn't like he cared. Not only do he and Kurosaki escape, they all but literally ride off into the sunset!
- Laughably Evil: It's really hard to believe this guy's a villain sometimes, given his antics.
- Man Child: A mild mannered version, but it shows in some of the stunts he pulls; like the troll entry below.
- The Mole: He is one in Schaft Japan for Schaft Hong Kong. It's heavily implied that he is working for even bigger bosses than the ones running the Japanese section.
- Old Flame Fizzle: In The New Files, it's revealed that he and Kumagami were an item. It doesn't work out, as seen in the troll entry below.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: It doesn't have the usual effect, in his case. It's just there to remind you that he's the bad guy.
- Troll: Toward his boss at Schaft and his ex: Kumagami! When she confronts him in The New Case Files, he tells her he intends to turn himself in, allegedly because of his feelings for her. It was a lie, naturally. The moment she drops her guard, he scoops her up and literally dumps her... in a laundry basket, then makes his escape!
- Undying Loyalty: Wong absolutely refused to abandon Bado, even at the insistence of his partner, Kurosaki; despite jeopardising his own chances at escape.
- Finally subverted in the second OVA, where after repeated attempts to reason with Bado, he cuts his losses and bails on him.
- The Dragon: To Wong, human-scale.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Which contrasts him with the typically soft-spoken Wong.
- Jerk Ass: A stark contrast to his partner, Richard Wong.
- Karma Houdini: He's considerably more violent than Wong, yet never pays for it.
- Not So Above It All: He finds Wong very amusing and follows him through whatever zany trouble he causes.
- Obviously Evil: Seriously, with all the evil smirks, smugness, and the light always glinting off his glasses just so, he might as well wear a tag that says: "Evil Bastard".
- Smug Snake: See the preceding entry directly above.
Badrinath Harchand / Bado (Bud) Renard
- Voiced by: Takuma Gouno (JP), Jamie Mc Gonnigal (EN)
- Bratty Half-Pint: He behaves this way when he's bored or doesn't get what he wants. Otherwise, he's really not that bad.
- Expy: He looks like Nadia with longer hair.
- Kid Looks Like a Girl: Exactly what it says. Bado can easily pass for a girl even without a disguise. Wong even uses this to their advantage when he and Bado make their escape at the end of the Griffon Arc.
- Improbable Age: The kid's an ace Labor pilot at age 12. More importantly, he can also survive the physical effects merely operating the Griffin would have on most anyone else.
- Pride Before a Fall: Bado refused to back down or listen to reason, despite being out-numbered and low on power, all because he didn't want to give Noa the satisfaction of making him withdraw a second time. She invokes her 'Big Sister' rights and put's him in his place, by body slamming him and his Humongous Mecha on the tarmac!
- The Dragon: To Richard Wong, Labor-scale.
- Worthy Opponent: Bado eventually comes think of Noa this way.
- Undying Loyalty: Bado may complain about alot of things, but he knows that, when it comes down to it, Wong's got his back. So he gives him the same in return.
- Finally subverted in The New Files, where Wong cuts his losses and ditches Bado, who refused to withdraw from his rematch with Noa.
A software programmer who worked for Shinohara Heavy Industries, Hoba designed a revolutionary new operating system that was quickly implemented in almost every labor in the Tokyo area. After completing his work, Hoba commits suicide, and shortly later it becomes apparent that his new OS contains a virus that causes labors to go berserk—which due to their ubiquity, threatens the entire Tokyo metropolitan area.
- As the Good Book Says: He leaves numerous biblical quotes for the investigators to find, and his name ("E. Hoba") is the Japanese pronunciation of "Jehova" (which, being a corruption of the original pronunciation, delights him).
- Evil Genius: So much so, that it took three other geniuses combined (Gotō, Asuma, and Shige) to stop his plans from succeeding.
- Far-East Asian Terrorists: Of the nutty religious variety.
- Go Out with a Smile: Right before taking a swandive from atop the Ark.
- Meaningful Name: Invoked by Gotō. E. Hoba is a close homonym of Jehova, fitting for a man that uses the holy scripture in his plot.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning/Thanatos Gambit: Kills himself after setting things up, but before the chaos begins. A slight variation in that the plan (itself not really clear, as Hoba left very little evidence of it besides the virus and biblical quotes) would have advanced with or without him, but him being dead means that the police can't easily piece things together, and certainly can't whip up an anti-virus in time. Gotō suspects he killed himself in complete confidence that it would succeed.
- Never Found the Body: But guess what? He really is dead. ...As far as we know.
- Posthumous Character: The only time we see him alive is as he's getting ready to jump.
- Secret Test of Character: Speculated by some fans. He attached his employee badge to his pet raven to set off a Never Found the Body-paranoia, and give his pursuers a Secret Test of Character. Division 2 is only able to prevent the destruction of Tokyo because they decide to try and save Hoba when they think he's alive. They wouldn't have made it to the backup-system in time if they had decided to collapse the Ark with him still in it.
- Xanatos Gambit: If the police don't stop his plan, then labors (including those in nuclear plants and underground construction sites) run amok and kill thousands. If they do stop it, then the Babylon Project is cripplednote . Either way, he wins.
- Voiced by: Jinpachi Nezu (JP), Robert Clotworthy (EN)
- Big Bad: Of the second movie.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Oversees the plot from somewhere else.
- The Chessmaster
- Face–Heel Turn: He went to Cambodia as a peacekeeper. His unit finds itself showered with bullets and he repeatedly asks permission to shoot back, but he's given the OK too late and his unit gets slaughtered. So no, peace didn't work out for him. He then dedicates himself to lift his country's ideological blindfold with terrorism by showing them just how foolish they've become and unsafe they actually are.
- Far-East Asian Terrorists: Becomes one after the failed Cambodia mission.
- May-December Romance: He had an affair with Shinobu (who was 19 at that time), whereas he was in his early 30's.
- New Old Flame: Revealed during the events of the second film, as noted by the preceding entry.
- The Siege: His actions put the city under martial law and he destroys the communication infrastructure, effectively crippling all law-enforcing organisms. He also destroys the headquarters of the Special Vehicles Unit, making them resort to their old Ingram-98 Labors; this presumably costs the lives of dozens of people.
- Start of Darkness: In the prologue of movie 2, a JGSDF labor patrol in Southeast Asia under his command came under attack by anti-UN guerrillas, and is almost completely wiped out, while they're ordered to hold their fire.
- Suicide Mission: He was a great proponent of using labors for peacekeeping; this blew up in his face when he led a UN Labor patrol through a humid jungle battlefield, which is pretty much the Labor equivalent of swimming through molasses. As a peacekeeping military commander, he had to ask his superiors for permission to shoot, which he did way too late. He was the only survivor and the loss of his men broke him mentally.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Tsuge was Shinobu's instructor, at the time they were together. At the end of the second film, she reluctantly arrests him but it is clear she still had feelings for him.
- Your Cheating Heart: The affair created a scandal, because it was a clear breach of police protocol, made worse since he was married at the time. Though it isn't said whether his wife ever learned he was cheating on her with one of his students.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: From his point of view, though some fans disagreed... including Hayao Miyazaki!