Posted by psgels on 23 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Now this is really why I love anime: it is really one of the very few animation styles that can get away with stuff that’s entirely meant for adults. I’ve seen quite a few comments that the Third Patlabor Movie (which was produced ten years after the second movie) didn’t live up to the standards that were set by the TV-series and the first two movies. Now let me say that I can understand why, but there’s enough that makes this movie worth watching.

Before I list the good points of this movie however, I do want to say a few things about something that probably turned off a lot of fans of the Patlabor franchise: the decision to swap main characters with two completely new characters. Let me say that I do like this idea a lot. It shows that Captain Goto and his team are mere cogs inside the Patlabor setting: they just do the job they’re supposed to do, while others do theirs. It’s a great way to flesh out the setting a bit more. However, when you make such a decision, you do need to take care to give these new characters a good personality and background, and that’s where this movie never really delivers. At the end of this movie, I still don’t have any clue who these people are. How did they become detectives, what drives them, what are their quirks? They’re huge mysteries. For a franchise that stood out with its rock-solid characters, it will be a bit difficult to get used to the two of them.

The good thing of course is that this is really the most accessible of the Patlabor movies: you can really watch this even if you haven’t watched anything of the Patlabor franchise before. The thing that I loved about it was how composed it was: it knew exactly what story it wanted to tell, and it does so with conviction. The pacing is really slow to really allow everything to fall in place, and the exposition is very well balanced so that it’s neither dull nor techno-babble.

The movie really excels in its smart and realistic build-up that really pays off in its climaxes, and while there are a few coincidences here and there, it doesn’t attempt to introduce cheap plot twists at the crucial plot points. While the two lead characters lack in strength, the two main villains do receive a lot of depth, which really culminates in a great ending.

Quiet movies like this one of course have their share of setbacks: if you’re not caught in by the build-up, you will be bored. But I really find that these movies have a unique charm in their maturity, where they show that you can also create a good and exciting stories without the over-the-topness that you usually see in anime aimed at teenagers. In fact, realized that the hit to miss ratio of adult movies for me is much higher than the stuff for teenagers. Out of the three Patlabor Movies, I still like the second one best, but WXIII comes in as a close second.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10

8 Responses

  1. Jack says:

    So, this doesn’t have to do with this series in particular, it’s just a general comment which I don’t know where to submit.

    In general, I think your reviews (the written part) are very useful and informative, but I have a suggestion about the number rating system. I know this is less important than the actual written review itself, but the way I see it, there’s no harm done in suggesting.

    So, the way I see it, you have four categories which you rate, and then take the average of them to get the final score.

    The issue, I guess, is that not all categories necessarily have the same value. While rating them in these categories is useful (so readers who know what they value can glean more information), it shouldn’t rigidly determine your overall rating of a series. Also, excellence in one category can easily make up for deficiencies in another (like setting). As an example (sorry if this is a bad example – it’s baseball), Albert Pujols was recently characterized by Beyond The Box Score as perfect in power and on-base tools, but mediocre in fielding and baserunning. Meanwhile, Kevin Youkilis is shown as slightly worse in power and on-base, but much better in the other two. So if you take the average of these numbers, they say Youkilis is better. However, every baseball fan knows Pujols is better than Youkilis; he’s probably one of the best hitters in the history of baseball. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the final score should have more flexibility.

    Another suggestion is a system with a lower level of precision. The rating system you give is out of 100; however, this isn’t all that meaningful if you can’t discern between a 78 and a 79. This is actually why most film reviewers go by a star system (0-4 stars or whatever). The underlying principle of this is that of uncertainty; every real measurement has uncertainty, and a number is only meaningful up to that uncertainty. For example, if you have a ruler in with only centimeter ticks, and you’re measuring a length, it’s meaningless to say something is 5.323 centimeters because you can only definitely tell the difference between maybe 5.5 and 6.0 (maybe more, but certainly not up to 3 decimal digits). I keep a little document that rates shows I’ve watched (for my own sake), and I only have a few categories: “best, good, decent, mediocre, bad.” I like this for a few reasons: it de-emphasizes the bad series because in the end, people mostly care about what you recommend rather than what you wouldn’t. Also, it’s really easy to characterize each category. Best is self-evident – there’s something special about them, good series probably don’t do anything wrong or have strong parts that make up for flaws, decent series have flaws but otherwise enjoyable, mediocre series are “replacement level” (i.e. nothing special about it), and bad series are just bad. Of course, this might not suit you. Other systems I’ve seen have been on a 0-10 scale (or 5-star scale with half-stars). I think any more precision than that goes beyond the human capability to measure. I know I’m talking about rating shows like it’s a science and not some subjective thing, but I feel the underlying reasoning still applies. Also, I’m not necessarily saying you should change how you do your ratings now, but to at least think about alternatives so that you can find the one that suits you the best. I’m just raising questions is all.

    I think the two aforementioned issues may also be related. Because it’s sort of difficult to come up with a score out of 100, it may become necessary to rely on averaging subcategories.

    Anyway, feel free to delete this post after reading it. I would’ve sent e-mail as it’s more private, but couldn’t really find an address. I’m just a bored student on vacation, not trying to grandstand or anything like that. Finally, I apologize if anything I say comes off as standoff-ish or critical, as it’s not my intention and I understand that sometimes my writing comes off that way.

  2. karry says:

    You can always depend on psgels giving an anime 85/100, whether he likes it or hates it, the score is always the same. Such consistency !

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Oh, don’t worry. I don’t mind criticism. As long as it’s not of the Karry-troll level, of course.

    There was indeed a time in which I experimented with a star rating, like the one you said, but it just didn’t work out for me. I found myself rating shows on the same level where one was clearly inferior.

    You’re right that the current system is flawed, because I also have had trouble balancing these scores for a long time now. To be honest, I already start inputting these scores with a full rating in mind, and too often I find myself adjusting the scores for these categories, just to get to that score, and it might be a good idea to remove it alltogether.

    I lake the rating scale I have now, though. When it ranges from 80, 82,5, 85, 87,5 etc, it’s just precise enough for me, and not vague enough for me to not be able to see any difference between them. For example, series with a rating of 85 were an excellent watch for me, while 82,5 still remains really good but not as spectacular or memorable. 80 is the same, but with some significant flaws holding it back, while 77,5 is also still good for me, but here the flaws really get in the way. It’s still a bit vague, I know, but at least it works for me.

  4. really says:

    You really need to watch how much you use the word ‘really’, because really to use it so much gets really annoying.

    lol, but really… hilight it and see for yourself…

    The movie was great, though. Not as good as the second one (the greatest anime movie I’ve ever seen), but better than the first in my opinion.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Crap. Really, you’re really right. It really sounds really weird when I really use it that many times. I’m really going to try and use the word “really” less from now on. Really.

  6. fathomlessblue says:

    im not sure i really believe you XD

  7. really says:

    Should’ve done this in the first place, but anyway, I made a wordle image for you to encourage you to keep that promise, lol. If you have Java, the actual wordle is here.

  8. Mooniecat says:

    Sometimes I come around and read your reviews and of course to get your ideas on the new stuff.
    While some of the stuff you said about this being kind of a nice story all to itself, the problem was that it was Patlabor. And thinking Patlabor, we expect more Patlabor. So to me, this movie stank to high heaven. As for the characters, they are the detectives of Patlabor-Goto’s friends. I certainly appreciated the focus but thought it was too focused on just the detectives and the addition of Patlabors to fix it was too rushed.
    For a movie that expected you to already have the detective’s character in mind from the tv series and the second movie, it failed also as a stand alone. It was a movie based in the Patlabor universe that had nothing to do with anything except to let the detective have his own episode. I certainly think that was done better in the second movie. He didn’t really even use his “Goto contact” except as an after thought, it felt like. I had expected more as Goto certainly used the connection seemly often. It failed on the cute oddball Patlabor unit ideal and it didn’t really pass on the indepth character meshing in the storyline either. Definitely sub par and very disappointing after the second movie’s success in moving to what had been a side character for the tv show. I kept waiting to see the detectives be something incredible but it could have been any hardworking detective getting old. He was much more developed in the second movie and this was suppose to be his time. This movie… I would not recommend especially to those who really enjoyed Patlabor.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:15 AM)
    @Bam: Ah, K-off wins the beard combat warfare =) lol
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:14 AM)
    Voice actors never seem to match their voices =<
    Then again I end up associating them so much with the characters.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:12 AM)
    @Bam: Oirishness/paddywhackery/Mick-Irish or in more simple terms, stereotypical Irish characterizations irritate me considerably….
    Especially Irish-American cliches, quite literally wanted to punch the screen when I was watching the departed for example.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:31 AM)
    Once you conversate long enough with people their appearance doesn’t matter that much anymore, but it’s undeniable that our mind creates a projected mental image of even unmet individuals, and it’s always a trip when they don’t match up with eachother. Teaches you about your own psyche and the way you process abstract information. An artifact of patterned biases.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:22 AM)
    Can go more Iranian with a bit of beard tho:
    http://imgur.com/I9979T0
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:13 AM)
    @Bam: I don’t care at all for sharing pics, but I’m unfortunately naturally douchogenic, which I blame on the weird middle eastern macho culture of stoicism and not even crackin a smile for some reason:
    http://i.imgur.com/RLA1Ieu.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/leTZ3Kj.jpg
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:05 AM)
    I definitely don’t look Persian, at least not in the international media sense. I’m from the north which held independence pretty much throughout history, so we’re the more pure Aryan and less Arab and Mongol influenced. We have fairer features and so.Ernie even blonde hair. But I also have a quarter of Kurd, which Saladin also was, but that’s a whole nother nest of bees.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:01 AM)
    That’s why I’m interested in what the Irish people think of Cassidy in the tv Preacher series: Endearing or offensive?
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 07:26 AM)
    Okay, the spam on the primrose review is getting pretty fucking annoying. Time to clean this up.
  • Friendist
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 10:13 PM)
    Im very self conscious when i speak to native english speakers as you can see -_-

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Flying witch – 07

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week […]

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 08

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a […]

Kiznaiver – 07

To some this may be the strongest episode of Kiznaiver to date. However to someone like myself I find myself mixed on what I just witnessed. I have said before that what I like about this series are the aspects which are distinctly Trigger which would be it’s sense of wacky humor and character chemistry. […]

Mayoiga – 08

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 06

If you haven’t heard by now, the second season of Attack on Titan has been delayed till 2017 because Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is far too awesome for Studio Wit to handle in a single year. I really couldn’t care less about the delay since I already know what’s going to happen in season […]

Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

This week the plot revolving the Azure King was resolved and it raises the conflict of sense of justice between Dazai and Kunikida. Like what I suspected last week, all the new characters are in play in this episode and now I get the hang of Bungou Stray Dogs storytelling now. The new characters will […]

Joker Game – 07

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 07

A certain criticism has loomed over this series from its very inception. As the series continued people have asked the question “How can Subaru brush off his horrific deaths so easily?” Today we have the answer to that question and that answer is that he doesn’t. It’s been building incognito in the background all this […]

Latest Reviews

Schwarzesmarken – 65/100

Schwarzesmarken is a strange title in that it has a setting with fantastic potential yet the story is dampened by a rushed pacing and Missing characterisation. Despite this there are signs of a greater story under the hood and at times that story can shine despite haphazard adaption. The Stasi make for a great villain […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 85/100

In the large reservoir of anime it is surprising just how few titles focus on the concept of time travel. There are of course titles which feature time travel but few that make it the core focus. So here we have Boku Machi or ERASED, a tale about a mangaka time traveling to his childhood […]

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]