Strap into your gull-winged Starion, because the entire 46-episode run of Gorilla: Metropolitan Police Department Squad 8 goes on sale tomorrow, December 17. What is Gorilla: Metropolitan Police Department Squad 8? It’s an 80s cop show produced in Japan, complete with shootouts, explosions, car chases, and loads of synth music. It’s also heavily sponsored by Mitsubishi, who forked over an endless supply of triple-diamond cars for use in its action set pieces.
Long-time readers may know that Nissan-sponsored Seibu Keisatsu was the seminal Japanese cop show, hugely popular with enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. Though it ended in 1984, its formula was tried repeatedly with varying degrees of success.
Gorilla: Metro Police Department 8th Squad was the most ambitious attempt at recapturing the Seibu Keisatsu magic. First of all, it starred Tetsuya Watari as squad leader Kuramoto, the exact same actor who led the cops in Seibu Keisatsu. Another Seibu star, Hiroshi Tachi, was also in the cast after a stint in Abunai Deka, an 80s cop show that starred an F31 Leopard (aka Infiniti M30).
Of course, no special police force can show proper menace without a fleet of customized cars, so while Seibu‘s flagship was a gull-winged S130 Fairlady Z, Gorilla had a gull-winged Mitsubishi Starion 2600GSR-VR.
Other cars included a first-generation Galant VR-4, Pajero V6 3000 Metaltop Super-XL, a Mirage 1600 Cyborg, Minica walkthrough van, Eclipse 2000GS Turbo (also gull-winged!), and even a Debonair V V6 3000 Royal AMG. Above are some extended snippets that include Galant Sigma police cars, a brown Toyota Crown (driven by bad guys, of course), and an entire scene taking place inside a Mitsubishi dealership. Then you must watch this clip of a showdown between Kuramoto and a Sigma-driving kidnapper.
Alas, the show never reached the heights of Seibu Keisatsu‘s popularity. Still, 46 episodes were aired from April 1989 to April 1990. And starting tomorrow, you can order the full series (international orders accepted, just beware you need a region 2 player), all 1,246 minutes of gun-slinging, Mitsubishi-driving action!