Patlabor 2: The Movie

Alt titles: Kidou Keisatsu Patlabor 2 the Movie, Mobile Police Patlabor 2: The Movie

Movie (1 ep x 114 min)
3.881 out of 5 from 1,921 votes
Rank #1,829

Following the events of the first Patlabor movie, after a terrorist attack on a bridge in Tokyo, the whole country of Japan is in an uproar. The Japanese government suspects an attempt by the Americans to destabilize them, but in reality has no idea who is behind the attack. The only clues they have is of a secret organization called the National Defense Family, and the destruction of a United Nations Labor Unit. With time running out, the government calls upon Captain Goto and the Police Labor Force Division 2 to fill in the missing pieces...

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This is one of the earliest successes of Mamoru Oshii, best known as the creator of the Ghost in the Shell Series. You'll find some mecha designs & technology that seem to be precursors for Ghost in the Shell. I should mention that there are 2 different timelines:  The TV Timeline is more comical and average. The Movie Timeline, which includes the Prequel OVA. This one has a more serious tone and is the timeline that has made this series famous. Obviously, this is the one I recommend watching. Note that the Prequel OVA is where all the characters are introduced, but despite having excellent animation for its time, the plot and antics are just average and leaning more towards comedy and slice-of-life than to action, so it's up to you to decide to watch it. It's episodic, focusing on the training of the characters. The plot is not essential for watching for the movies, although getting to know the world, character's personalities and backstories do help to identify them and expand their world. It could also be watched at a later time. Each movie story is self-contained and their story is completely independent of the rest of the series, except that it is still the same universe with the same characters. The movies are like an extended episode of the series and one of the best, as they have plenty of action, detective work, politics and an even more impressive animation that still outclass most current animes today. The mecha on this series is treated as "real-life mecha", no more than machines meant to serve a purpose and they are not the focus of the show. The animation techniques, editing, the use of music & sound effects are so ahead of its time that it will rival any new anime today. This movie has very little action and an even more serious tone than the rest of this series. The enjoyment is more about the intricate plot and the philosophy and ideas that are trying to convey, full of social critique. So if this is not your thing you may want to pass on this movie. "Most of the prevailing theme in the movie has been cast on the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and on their legality as Japan's military force..." -Wikipedia "Several real-life incidents were also mentioned or used for the movie. For instance, references to Viktor Belenko's defection to Japan in 1976 were mentioned by Arakawa himself when he spoke to Goto and Nagumo. Another incident with the nearly fatal dogfight over Tokyo was supposedly based on an accident in a computer simulation that forced the US military to go onto DEFCON 3 and almost went to nuclear war with the Soviet Union." -Wikipedia The characters appear older in this movie as a long time have passed in their timeline. The dub is ok.

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