PATLABOR 2: The Movie (1995)

 

Format: 95-minute feature

Rating: PG-13 (GV)

Type: Police Drama/Mecha

American Production: Manga Entertainment

English Dub Production: Manga Entertainment, Ltd.

Japanese Production: Bandai Visual/Production I.G.

 

Grading

 

Premise:

B-

Story:

B

Writing:

B+

Character Design:

B+

Mecha Design:

B

Animation:

A-

Artistic Merits:

A-

English Dub:

B

Musical Score:

C

 

 

Humor Content:

C

Action Content:

B+

Drama Content:

B+

 

 

DVD Presentation:

not reviewed

DVD Extras:

not reviewed

 

 

OVERALL:

B+

 

Synopsis

      The year is 2002, three years after the events in Patlabor 1: The Movie. The destruction of a U.N. Labor team in Southeast Asia years before sets in motion a chain of events that sends shockwaves throughout the Japanese military establishment. When a series of terrorist attacks pushes the country to the brink of a military takeover, the scattered members of the original Special Vehicles Division Section 2 must gather to defend the city and stop the man behind the attacks – a task complicated by the fact that the mastermind is the former mentor and lover of Nagumo, the section’s leader.

 

The Long View

      As with the other Patlabor movies, Patlabor 2 is more a police drama that happens to have mecha in it than a true mecha story. The Labors, in fact, only figure into the action at the beginning and towards the very end. In between is a mature and intricate story about a man who uses terrorism to attempt to put the leadership and military of Japan into the same kind of quandary that he faced in Southeast Asia, when orders that conflicted with the battlefield circumstances resulted in his Labor unit getting destroyed. As before, it falls to the laid-back but quick-witted Captain Goto to sort out what’s really going on and direct the reassembled SVD into action. Significant character focus also falls on the proud, proper, and reserved Nagumo, who has advanced to the rank of Captain but, for various reasons, seems to have been shunted off into a job where her opportunities for advancement are limited. That her ex-lover may be responsible for this clearly wears on her but does not deter her from her duty. This time considerably less focus falls on the Labor pilots Noa, Asuma, and Isao, although all have moved on to one degree or another and Isao is still his old hyper-gung-ho self.

      Patlabor 2 isn’t the most exciting of movies – that the pacing is slow is probably the chief criticism that could be leveled against it – but it is a well-written story supported by excellent artistry and technical merits. The scenes of helicopter attacks on buildings late in the series are particularly impressive, as they give a real feel for the power of the ammunition they are firing. When the rare action scene does pop up, it is effective. The English dub is good enough and the soundtrack, while still unimpressive, is an improvement over the previous movie. The graphic content is entirely limited to violence, but it is significantly more intense in this movie than in the first one. Between that and the sophistication of the writing, Patlabor 2 is not appropriate for the younger crowd. Although teenagers could certainly handle it and might appreciate it, this is a story aimed more at adults.

 

DVD Extras

      Review is based off of the Encore Action Channel broadcast. The DVD release has not been reviewed.

 

Principle English Voice Actors

Role

Voice Actor

Keiichi Goto

Peter Marinker

Nagumo Shinobu

Sharon Holm

Noa Izumi

Briony Glassco

Asuma Shinohara

David Jarvis

Matsui

Alan Marsh

Sakaki

Bill Roberts

Shigeki Arakawa

Blair Fairman

Isao Ota

Martin McDougall

Shigo

Edward Glen

Mikiyasu Shinshi

Ron Lepaz

 

 

 

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