Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor the Movie poster

Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor the Movie

The year is 1999 and Tokyo's Mobile Police have a new weapon in the war on crime—advanced robots called Labors are used to combat criminals who would use the new technology for illegal means. The suicide of a mysterious man on the massive Babylon Project construction site sets off a cascade of events that may signal the destruction of Tokyo. (Source: ANN)

Ranking 2540

User Count3514
Favorites Count44
Start Date15th Jul 1989
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank2540
Rating Rank1504
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older



Ah, how do I love to take a good look behind me and see how far I've come...There was a time when I believed that the only mecha anime that would provide intelligent morality with some "Oooooh, that was cool!" fighting, was Gundam. I'm sure a majority of people might agree with that.But after seeing just one movie, I can say with a straight face(hopefully, writing it "straight out" will suffice XD), that there's another mecha which has even more realism and practical intelligence.Remember the name Patlabor, ladies and gentlemen.First and foremost, this movie does several things which are completely optional and unrequired of a director to care about, but Oshii decides to anyway.He allows people to thoroughly understand and immerse themselves with his future, and surprising realistic vision of Tokyo.We, as watchers, should be aware that this movie is technically a sequel in the canon, but Oshii does us a favor by familiarizing us with the staff and crew of the Patlabor.But what is the Patlabor? How is this futuristic mecha anime different from the rest.Well, who agrees that it's more believable to minimalize worldwide conflict by simply having the robots enforce their own lands? Well, that's what the Patlabor unit is all about; policing.Oshii,a real master of not explaining his sci-fi, allows viewers to feel the difference between our world and theirs. No matter how advanced, we can always envision the future he's showing us.The movie's message is one of the more grounded and basic of science fiction stories, but it feels fresh here too, because it fits the context.With rapid accelerations of technology and an even faster need to learn and understand it, a picture of people being blinded by that overwhelming scenario is thoroughly illustrated.Mechanics reminisce about when things were clear-cut and basic, police can remember old metropolis that have been replaced by newer buildings and such.And the mecha, dubbed Labors, have things called OS'(yes, like Windows "98"), that help commanding it easier.With a plot that focus' more on human's self-destructive unintentional ways, and mood and tone that speaks in words that only adults can take in pleasantly,there's still only on big weakness with the movie.It lacks impact. It's execution doesn't give off the impression that we should learn something from it, or that we are in impending danger. It just feels like it's just another standard job for the Patlabor!Well, a job where the baddie has the IQ of 200 instead of 50. You do the math.Who's seen an ugly Oshii movie? I haven't. I've seen dark, colorless, and moody, but never ugly.Mecha designer Yutaka Izubuchi, whose probably best known for RahXephon, and for designing the mecha in Gundam Char's Counterattack, should just as easily be remembered for how he presents these riot-control bots.Even though it's a bit far-fetched to see a Labor quieting down an actual street riot, it's not uncommon to see them stop malfunctioning or joyriding Labors that pile up debris as they go.Perhaps being responsible to both sides, there's Labors for domestic and policing creating one of the biggest highlights.The other highlight would be everything else! No, I'm serious.The backgrounds' multi-layers makes almost any movement beautiful, sweeping, and integrating. There's nary a time where something doesn't have that extra piece of detail.Elevator movement, forest, fortress labyrinth, urban, etc. The movie has many backgrounds, all of which are A(Akira)-class level.I love Kenji Kawai's music, but man, does he never cut loose!In almost everything he's in, rarely is he used for anything other than tone setting. He's still not a necessary component for part of the experience and thus, expendable.This is different from his performance in Ghost in the Shell, in that his music served the role of connection; it allowed viewers to see the world of cybernization as it is.Here, we're just seeing how destructive we're getting as time goes on.And other than that, the music is mostly for the battles. Very basic stuff.The score itself is fine, but what's most important is what it's for.You wanna see some of his best? Check out Moribito's soundtrack on YouTube.I'm giving extra kudos to the characters, because behavior is everything in a sci-fi; if the people don't behave like robots are new but common tools, then everything else falls apart.Likewise, if the Patlabor unit didn't treat their weapons or mechs in ways most cops do about their personal sidearm/effects they take on the job then immersion is incomplete.Personality wise, we don't have enough time to truly like them. We have enough to understand and see who they are, but we can't tell if it's only for this movie.In fact, it's quite difficult to tell whose the main character. Or to be more exact, which main character is more important.This falls into the realistic range that all of the police play parts in the story, but I digress.If this is your first time watching Patlabor, or even Oshii, you're gonna want to lower the score of this section down a couple of notches.Even though it passes with flying colors on believability, you won't see their "off-duty" natures as you would with Ghost in the Shell.What can I say, Oshii movies are slow, methodical, brooding, and passive.It takes stretches of time before we can see anything fast paced.When things do heat up, you'll want it a remaining constant, and when it dies down, you'll stop the movie.This is a common fan, who just got off the latest battle from One Piece.Let me remind you once; treat this like slowly digestible brain food, not a bag of Hot Cheetos!But even so, Patlabor is a staple of mecha-science fiction, simple as that.It deserves it for a many of reasons, but the greatest one is that we can understand it.We can truly envision the scenario and message in our future, this is even more fantastic than say the achievements of Ghost in the Shell, because here we have higher chances of putting it to practical use.Despite it's serviceability, people don't watch anime for that, which is Oshii's biggest fault.Miyazaki may preach, but at least he puts a colorful mask on when doing it. Kon may throw our brains into a blender, but at least the experience is joyous instead of murderous.The point being, that before you push "Play", know what you're watching.Now.... I wonder how Patlabor 2 is...Letter Grade Time(LGT)Story: BArt: ASound: B-Animation: A+Characters: C+Enjoyment: COverall: B-+ A well crafted science fiction that's perfectly understandable to the average Joe. Expert art/animation with responsible designing that fits into the nature. Music that nicely sets the mood and plugs people into the experience.- Not enough impact. Viewers will want more punch to their sci-fi, complete with faster pacing, likable characters, and more vividness to their action

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