Patlabor: The Movie

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Patlabor: The Movie
Genre: Action
Photography: Color
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Country: Japan
Release Date: July 15, 1989
Directed by: Mamoru Oshii
Written by: Kazunori Ito
Distributed by: Shochiko
Starring: Miina Tominaga
Toshio Furukawa
Shigeru Chiba
Ryunosuke Ohbayashi
Previous film: N/A
Next film: Patlabor 2: The Movie

Patlabor:  The Movie is an action, adventure, drama, comedy Japanese anime film from 1989.  It was written by Kazunori Ito, directed by Mamoru Oshii, musically composed by Kenji Kawai, distributed by Shochiku, produced by Makoto Kubo, Shin Unozawa, Taro Maki, and Production I.G., and Tatsunoko Production, and it starred Miina Tominaga, Toshio Furukawa, Ryunosuke Ohbayashi, and Shigeru Chiba.  It's based on a series of manga, light novels, OVA's, and a 40 episode TV anime series which aired throughout the 1980's.  This movie was followed up by Patlabor 2:  The Move in 1993.  

Why It Rocks

  1. Beautiful animation, especially for the time.  
  2. The movie is written in a way where you can watch it without watching the series that preceeded it and still understand everything that  happens.  
  3. Great voice acting.  
  4. The film has some of the best anime mecha action of the 1990's, and of all time.  
  5. Appealing character designs.  
  6. The themes in the show reolve around humanity using mechs, (giant robots), do do most jobs as well as their everday chores, but poses the question what if humanity looses control of these mechs.  
  7. Excellent soundtrack.  
  8. Some would argue that this is Mamoru Oshii's best work writing wise.  The writer typically likes to inject philosophical themes with dense dialogue into his work.  While this is all well and good, in films like Ghost in the Shell he tends to take it too far and it just becomes mental homework.  With Patlabor, however, it was a nice mix of his trademark thought provoking themes, while not letting it be a tetriment to the overall story.  
  9. Amazing pacing.  
  10. Fun characters.  

Bad Qualities

  1. While the characters do have likable traits, some of them can be kind of obnoxious too, especially the main male character, so you have to be willing to sit through that to get to the good parts.  


Patlabor:  The Movie has a 82% audience rating, a 3.5/5 on Letterboxd, a 7.1/10 on the International Movie Database (IMDB), a 7.57/10 on MyAnimeList, a 77.67% community approval rating on Kitsu, and a 3.9/5 on AnimePlanet.