Posted by psgels on 16 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Ah, the second Patlabor Movie. After seeing the first one, I just had to watch the second one at some point. There’s a lot that stayed the same, it still features a realistic setting and plot, aimed at adults, creative uses for mechas and down-to-earth characters. There are also some major differences, though: the storyline features way and way more political influences, there is less time for quirky characters (although they do get three or four scenes), the main character has switched to Captain Goto and the female lead became Shinobu and most importantly: the storyline has become significantly more complex.

This just isn’t a movie you can watch when bored or sleepy; you just have to keep paying attention if you want to follow what’s going on. You see, the plan of the villain is to throw an entire country off-balance, and you need a lot of development to pull that one off right. Somehow, Patlabor II manages to do this, but it has to thunder through all of the developments to get all of them within the two-hour limit of the movie. I’d almost think that another half an hour of screen-time would have been useful to give each single development a bit more time, and make the entire movie a bit easier to understand.

Still, despite this, Patlabor II remains the anime movie with the most complex story I’ve seen up till now, and it actually pulls this off quite nicely. If you manage to pay attention, it’ll reward you with a great story and a thought-provoking villain, even though he does lack the charm of the villain of the first movie, and I’m still not sure why Shinobu was acquainted with the guy. Goto also proves to be quite an interesting main character with his intelligent, down-to-earth, stoic and yet caring attitude.

And yes, the second movie also suffers from the same flaw as the first one. The characters are there, they’re fun to watch, but they lack most sorts of background and fleshing out. For that, you’re going to have to watch the OVAs or the series first, but especially the series with its fifty episodes isn’t something you just watch in an afternoon, and it takes commitment. I’m not sure whether I’m going to try them out, it depends on how easy they are to find.

Still, if you like politics and a realistic setting for mechas, Patlabor is a very good recommendation. It’s a pity that most movies nowadays don’t have such an ambitious plot as this one, but perhaps the upcoming Votoms-OVA will fix this. Overall, I liked this movie better than the first instalment, despite the slightly-too-fast storytelling.

5 Responses

  1. fugue says:

    Shinohara was the villian’s protege back at the training acedemy. It’s implied that both of them had an affair.

    the worst movie in the Patlabor series is the third one in my opinion. how silly of them to write the story THAT way.

  2. Nagumo says:

    Shinohara? The woman’s name is Shinobu Nagumo, Captain of the first mobile division. Tsuge was her former lover (and incidentally a married man, thus exiling her the island where the mobile division is) and mentor despite the age difference.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Ack! I knew I got her name wrong. Fixed now.

  4. Archer says:

    thanks to your review on the first movie i watched it and it was indeed as good as you said and after reading this review i will certainly watch this one too cause Goto captured my attention from the first movie and if this one is more about him then i will enjoy it a lot
    nice review

  5. qwaszx says:

    Thank you! I really liked reading your opinion on this movie and i agree. I thought the characters needed a lot more fleshing and screen time. Much appreciated. Also if you have seen the third movie please write a blog on it as i would really like to know if it met standards with the others.

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 07:30 AM)
    @K-off: true I guess, especially if you’re cramming a bunch of stuff. Adderral and Ritalin don’t work too well on me tho, they just make me fiend for some good coke; which never ends well.
  • WyattX
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 07:12 AM)
    Ojojojo: Now this is a good 4koma.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 07:07 AM)
    @Bam I feel like adderall would be better at this point, lol.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 07:00 AM)
    @K-off: I feel you. you’re probably better off smoking that joint tho, it helps in the long run.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 06:52 AM)
    @Bam Yeah m8,one of those weeks where you just want to smoke a joint but can’t because you have shit to do.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 06:36 AM)
    @K-off: ain’t no thang. At least you had really good picture-work for your last Gugure review. I especially like the Wile E. Coyote thing you have goin on in the top-left panel lol
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 06:13 AM)
    Fuck, I apologize for the lack of reviews. I have tons of assignments this week and I’ve been working extra shifts. Haven’t even had the chance to watch Bahamut yet. I’ll have it out tomorrow.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @afgm: That’s called inversion. Deconstruction is breaking a system down to its forming components and then analyzing each element as to how they function independently and then in correlation with the other factors within the system.
  • afgm
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 05:47 AM)
    also i do think they are deconstructing Akane this season. They built up expectations for her behavior last season and this season they’re going to turn those expectations over their heads so as to reveal a new aspect of her character.
  • afgm
    (Thursday, Oct 30. 2014 05:45 AM)
    @Bam
    It just goes to show you how weak the shows are this season…

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