Patlabor: The Movie
Kido keisatsu patoreiba
A special branch of the Tokyo police uses a fleet of giant automatons to combat robot-related felonies, in the first feature-length outing for the long-running manga and anime franchise.
Created by Oshii in collaboration with four other artists under the collective name of Headgear, the popular Patlabor franchise began as simultaneous manga and anime series before moving to the big screen with this 1989 feature. In the then-near-future of 1999, Tokyo is in the midst of a massive reconstruction project made possible by the use of robots known as Labors, which have inspired the Tokyo police to form their own fleet of Patrol Labors (or Patlabors) to guard against accidents or criminal activity involving the giant automatons. Though more complex and serious-minded than its delightfully quirky small-screen predecessor, Patlabor: The Movie — which involves a plot to use a computer virus to send all of the city's Labors into a destructive rampage — was unfairly dismissed by some as being "light" in comparison to Oshii's signature works. Nevertheless, Oshii's Patlabor is a wonderfully crafted piece of entertainment that delights in turning the conventions of the giant-robot sub-genre on their ear.