Patlabor 2 is definitely a labor of love and carries a sort of Tom Clancy feel to this anime genre. Never before have I seen such an elaborate story of lies, revenge and politcal espianoge pulled of so well. It has a fairly complex and realistic plotline involving political standoffs and military coups. Three years after the events of Patlabor: Mobile Police, trouble once again rises in Tokyo. An angry soldier has returned from his failed UN mission with only one aim in mind- to teach the citizens of Japan a lesson. His campaign of terrorism throws the authorities into confusion, setting the government, the military, and the police at each others’ throats.
With more philosphical undertones than the first, this one has to take the cake when it comes to delivering a message. It clearly shows how vulnerable we are, yet how we as a society have done many immoral things. Keep in mind Patlabor 2 is the The conclusion to the Patlabor-franchise. Patlabor 2 is about human nature and how predictable people can be when their fears are exploited in the right way. While I was a bit disappointed by the lack of action sequences, there are moments of humor that are sprinkled throughout that I enjoyed quite a bit.
There are none of the religious references which permeated the first movie, so crazy religious people who get offended easily can rest assured. If you dont have an open mind about anime as a serious medium, you may not like this at first, and dismiss it as dull, but after watching several times to understand the intricacies of the plot, you really appreciate it. Because of these qualities, I think this is a movie that a more mature audience can appreciate, rather than younger kids. But if anyone wants to experience totally different film, especially an anime, this is it. And as the film went on, I was so memerized with the storyline that I wasn’t even thinking about robots.
The animation is nothing short of incredible, and the music and writing are brilliant. The whole package is way above average. The main characters from the original film, Noa and Azuma, are consigned to the background, leaving the field open to their superiors. This works well yet with each incident, no causualties, only fear and a growing conflict between the government and the military, pins the Mobile police force in the middle. This opens up a few plot holes but the ending brings it home nicely. Those of you who are nothing but anime action junkies, I can’t confidently recommend this film to you. What you can expect is a great, startlingly well-animated movie that requires you to follow closely. If that sounds like your cup of tea, or you were a fan of the first movie then strap in and enjoy the ride!