Patlabor 1: The Movie [Import]
This stylish science fiction detective story bears the stamp of director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell). "Labors" are gigantic robots used for everything from construction work to law enforcement, but a massive land reclamation project in Tokyo Bay is threatened by robots going on unexplained rampages.
Patlabor cops Noah Izumi and Azuma Shinohara are called in to investigate, and soon find themselves trying to decipher the apocalyptic visions of E. Hoba, who wrote the operating system for the Labor robots and then committed suicide. Hoba introduced a virus into the software that could affect robots all over world and cause unparalleled destruction. In abandoned slum apartments and high-tech construction sites, he left clues about what he was doing--and why. But are Noah, Azuma, and their friends clever enough to second-guess a genius? And will their superior officers accept their conclusions?
The first Patlabor feature has a darker tone and look than the previous OVA series. Oshii assumes the viewer already knows the characters, and doesn't bother introducing them. But this powerful tale of the dangers of over-reliance on technology is far superior to ordinary mecha features. The recent attacks of powerful computer viruses give the story an added relevance.
Unrated; suitable for ages 10 and older: occasional profanity and robot vs. robot violence. --Charles Solomon
From the Back Cover
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 the 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. What is the connection between the suicide, the new mobile Police AV-XO Zero Labor, and a berserk prototype tank?
When Patlabor cops Noah Izumi and Azuma Shinohara investigate an unexplained wave of rogue Labors rampaging across the city, they uncover a sinister revenge plot to infect Tokyo's population of 8,000 Labors with the deadly BABEL virus. With the future of the city hanging in the balance and a typhoon poised to trigger the devastation, Noah, Azuma, and their teammates must destroy the source of the virus--the giant Babylon Project tower in Tokyo Bay--in a battle to the finish.
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Top Customer Reviews
in the near future, big robotic machines known as "Labors"
are common in industrial and military roles, and to combat
crimes performed by Labors a police "Patrol Labor" group is
set up. The heroes of the series are the personnel of
"Patlabor Division 2", a self-described "gang of losers" that
manage to get things done in spite of a maverick reputation.
The PATLABOR 1 movie involves Division 2 dealing with a rash
of Labors running amok, with suspicion falling on the operating
system for the Labors. Suspiciously, the chief designer of the
OS, an E. Hoba, committed suicide under bizarre circumstances.
The devious Captain Goto of Division 2 enlists (using a
little trickery) officer Asuma Shinohara to get to the bottom
of things, and soon a frightening plot emerges ...
The PATLABOR 1 movie is a reasonably well put together piece
of work, with good (if not extraordinary) production values,
and an intelligent (if not extraordinary) script. It is certainly
better than much of the indifferent anime that gets churned
out on a regular basis by Japan's animation studios.
However, PATLABOR 1 is basically just a scaled-up PATLABOR
TV episode, and the only thing it really brings to the party
is better production values over the TV show.
If you like the PATLABOR TV series, you'll probably like this
movie. If you were lukewarm on the TV series, you might not
find the movie very stimulating. In comparison to the
follow-on and outstanding PATLABOR 2 movie, it looks more like
a creditable practice exercise for producer Mamoru Oshii,
preparing him for better work to come.
While not quite as "deep" as Ghost in the Shell, it is still definately more of a thinking person's Anime than an animated Action/Adventure flick. As with other Anime directed by Oshii Mamoru, defitately worth buying, if only to save money on the rental fees, because this is one to watch multiple times to catch the dramatic layers you'll miss the first couple times.
If you enjoy Drama and Anime, this is a great one to get. If you are looking more for giant robots destroying each other then there a wealth of other amime with less drama and more action to suit your taste.
More of a crime drama/exploration film, I think the first thing that jumped out at me is the direction. Mamoru Oshii did an excellent job with not only the cinamatagraphy, but the setups as well. Needless to say, nothing felt jarring at all in the movie. Another thing that helped the tone of the movie was the soundtrack. The soundtrack was very well composed(not something I normally say about anime soundtracks. Especially with j-pop openings).
To me, the movie is kinda of an exploration of man and his machines. Man creates machine. Man becomes dependent on machine. Man, therefore becomes machine. It seems as though the antgonist in this movie saw this horrible revolation and commits suicide. Not before sending Tokyo to impending doom with his plan(not gonna share details. I have told enough).
I think one thing that would have made this movie better was if I had saw the original TV series(which I hear is pretty good). But alas, no DVD means no purchase as I am now on strict DVD only diet. But even so, the characters were, if not a little under developed, still deffentatly enjoyable. I just wish they had shared a little more background info. Oh well.
Another thing that I thought worked to its advantage, was the lack of gratuitous mech action. I myself am not big mecha fan. But when the scenes that had the mechs in them were, from my standpoint, more emphasised, made it better.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If I wanted to introduce someone to the world of quality anime, this wouldn't be the title I'd pick. There ARE better out there... Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2003 by Matic
this is a smart mecha tronic movie
i like azuma shinohara and noah izumi
this is a brilliant movie,even though i did not see the series
they say the 'd' word a few... Read more
Patlabor 1 is a masterpiece. Set in Japan into the future, the characters (Patlabor Police) go through a sytematic search of why their mechs are going bezerk. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2002 by T. Stephenson
This is a typical hackjob by Manga Entertainment , they have the licensed dvd release but don't buy it b/c it is damaged goods before you the consumer even view it! Read morePublished on June 12 2002
People looking for gore should turn to Ninja Scroll (my favorite movie, which I highly recommend). I think it's refreshing to see an anime that contains very little violence. Read morePublished on March 17 2002
If you're wondering where to start in investigating anime this is a great place to start. The plot is easy to follow, and very enjoyable, especially for westerners (who are not... Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2001 by Craig Edward Given
A more than slight change (for the better) from the origanal tv series. I love this movie, the plot is so engulfing that once I started watching it, I couldn't stop. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2000 by Joseph T. Vessels
I purchased this movie have never seen it before. I thought that it would be a safe bet because of all the stellar reviews of it. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2000 by M. Zolton
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