Patlabor’s Ingram is out on patrol.
You don’t have to be a hard-core anime fan to know that there are a lot of giant robot series to be found within the medium. But what’s set the Patlabor franchise apart since its very beginning is the way it grounds its mecha in reality, giving the machines not to a plucky group of teenage heroes or hot-blooded interstellar adventurers, but to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.
Likewise, Patlabor recognizes that having the Ingram (as its most iconic mecha is called) walk along the same streets that civilian traffic is flowing on would be dangerous, and so when the police protagonists catch a case, they roll out with the Ingram loaded onto a flatbed truck, then stand it up once they’re on-site. It sounds like the sort of scene you could see in real life, and indeed it was for Japanese Twitter user @ok0, who spotted this while driving down the expressway.
ok0©︎ (@ok0) March 13, 2017
As @ok0 comes across a truck ambling along in the center lane, he notices the Japanese katakana characters for Patlabor (パトレイバー) stenciled across the back. Sure enough, the vehicle is transporting a prone Ingram, and @ok0 (or the person occupying his car’s passenger seat) records the anime police hardware as his car slides past.
▼ The truck’s cab also bears a Special Vehicle Section 2 designation, just like its anime counterpart.
It’s unclear where exactly the robot was off to this time as part of its semi–regular patrol around Japan. With the recent decline in the number of giant guardian mecha in Tokyo, though, it’s reassuring to know that the Ingram is still on the job.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s really wondering where he put his Patlabor “Idling For You” opening theme single CD.