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Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor 2 the Movie

The date is 2002, three years after the events of PATLABOR 1 – Mobile Police. The destruction of a United Nations Labor team in South East Asia begins the build-up to a deadly terrorist plan that threatens to send shockwaves throughout Japan's military. With evidence of an impending military takeover, the scattered members of the original SVD (Special Vehicle Division) must gather to defend the city against danger. To make matters worse, the mastermind behind the operation is none other than Nagumo's former teacher and ex-lover Tsuge. (Source: ANN)
User Count3056
Favorites Count84
Start Date7th Aug 1993
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank2787
Rating Rank1056
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
Subtypemovie
Statusfinished

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Remember your 2nd trip through your favorite shonen, and you come across those "smarter" episodes.Those episodes that really made use of everything very well. Sure they didn't have that cool fight you were looking for, but you couldn't help but relish in that hidden, underexposed intelligence.In a sense, the first Patlabor movie felt like that odd out-of-place episode. Patlabor 2 is a movie of that episode; Hardcore, unrecognizable, and tricked out with a new arsenal of attack.Story: 8/10My primary concerns with the first movie's plot was that everything that made it smart and thought provoking was all disguised with motifs and allusions.And it takes even less time here to realize that Patlabor 2 is all about setting up it's keys and figures to come to, and arrive at a calculated point.Instead of showing us flash cards showing us pieces of the overall puzzle, Oshii kicks it the old fashioned way: Has the plot all about it. Nothing special.But, of course, in exchange for his unusual directness, we lose everything that made the predecessor so flexible.The easy to grasp sci-fi elements, familiar terms, and connecting phrases; they're all gone. Replaced with a story that begs you to have some knowledge of Patlabor, know a little about post-WWII intel conflicts, and be up to date with your opinions on economics and political ethics to have this movie really matter to you.4 years is a relatively short amount of time, but from 1989 to 1993, the Cold War ended, and thus stories to reflect upon a half a century of intel warfare was yet to begin, so that's where the real power of this movie lies:The ability to use itself to imitate a situation where the conclusion doesn't always get off so easy.The concepts of technology demonizing humans' relationship with the planet are officially exchanged with questioning the nature of present peace, nowaday warring, and the fine lines they share. The highest compliment I can give to Patlabor 2 is that it's decision to become self-aware of it's own changings and reflectings of them are probably the firsts, and is a must for any serious attempt of philosophizing.The trouble with orchestrating a futuristic political scandal is... reminding yourself who the target audience is, and Headgear(the creative staff), must've gotten lost in planning to remember that typical fans like a little more potato chips with their tuna w/ 100% wheat.The level of the message may have skyrocketed in terms of real world use, but with their teaching methods, who's really gonna care?Art: 10/10If even possible, Patlabor's art has an even more polished look of reality that one could call it a dead ringer for the technical perfection that arrives later in Ghost in the Shell. Dark, studious, and with wonder, the angles and select backgrounds express a "take a look at how we live" impression. And it does take a very mentally detached mind to demonstrate the level of moral death that's reflected in this movie.This being a heavily centralized political thriller, the tone of the world almost has to look and be perceived as "bleak". Sometimes that word doesn't properly describe the future that Headgear cooked up!The rendering is always detailed 100%, with character movements being subtle, downplayed, but human.The patterns Oshii use to put us into the experience does stretch out the length of the movie though, and with this being the quiet little patient that it is, trying to be this immersed in it becomes a fault.Perhaps if you take a couple of coffee breaks, then you can help dilute the broodiness of the film.Sound: 6/10One thing I was gladly looking for in this movie, sadly became extinguished before the movie ever began.It's now apparent that Kenji's music being used for anything besides setting the tone, is not only a rarity but should be an event in of itself.And with a movie as soulless as this, you'd think an artist would try to enrich and promote some form of spirituality. But... there's only countless reminders that the experience will be anything but jolly or merry.And it doesn't even stand out. The more things you remember adding to this kind of impression, the more detrimental you think of it as.Character: 5/10Sadly, this movie has given up it's body in order to tell the story that it feels it must.This section just offers further proof, that this movie is a departure from the standards typical Patlabor uses. If the first movie felt like a spicier episode, this one feels like the supporting characters spun off and made their own show... only it got cancelled after the first ep."Alienating" is the key word for this bundle of people that are labeled as characters.In my 1st Patlabor movie review, I mentioned that some extra info of Patlabor would be nice to enjoy it more, it's almost crucial that you know at least the main characters to even "understand" this movie. Not enjoy.And even if you saw some incarnation of the characters before it won't help you like what they did to them here.I feel like I'm talking about the characters from Gundam 00 or Wing, because no one here feels worth caring about.They're just figureheads for a simulation, and without any personality shown in their actions or without any stray character nuance, there's no suspense.A similar style of character casts would be any of Takahashi's works(Blue Gender, Gasaraki, FLAG), in that the characters aren't outwardly enjoyable, but rather they're personal sides of them are formed by the events in the show. A bit unheard of, but they show the reflection stages help viewers with what's important or not with their reactions.And that's still what's missing here, Oshi saps all humanity from the cast here in exchange of telling a point.Enjoyment: 4/10This movie came close to being at the same level of broody tolerating that Sky Crawlers earned, but... it just zooms past that.It becomes too broody so that any hope to take in such profoundness is ostensibly improbable.I've said it before above in this review, but there's little here to care about.The characters, our only linking point to understanding this movie, are blurred until there's only shells.I can only speculate that someone went up to Oshi, calmly put their hand on his shoulder, smiled and went"Don't make something this disconnecting again. Because this was boring. Not inspiring."Don't watch this for what sparse mecha screen time is here either. I count less than 7 minutes of the whole film where there's anything remotely endangering to anyone important to the story.While anything this brainy was almost destined to be a mixed bag for people, this is just flat out ridiculous.Nothing should be this hard to take in.Overall: 7/10So we have the same score as the first movie. What does that mean?Good, but for VASTLY different reasons.If you liked everything that you weren't supposed to in Patlabor, namely the mecha and the action, you will die watching this movie. And I will be scattering your ashes...But if you absorb only the moralizing and philosophy in this movie you might make it out with knowledge that you could only get in modern thrillers like Eden of the East and...Wait, wha? Does that mean that you could get this same level of intelligence with better enjoyment too? Well, geez, why watch this then?That's the basic point behind this movie, it's as big a symbol for smart usage of animation as much as any, but you'll find no other anime that turns you away from those types more than this movie.And it's such a shame too, not as much a shame as After Story was to me, but you'd almost think that classic like this would hold up better.But it doesn't. It happens.+ A very studious and broadened story on postmodern warfare and the stakes a unified country faces against them. The art is still as gorgeous and detailed as ever.- Nothing worth caring about; too alienating, slow, dreary, and methodical. You can watch the same thing while enjoying yourself in a different anime.

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