My Cultural Diet

334 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info here). Ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links.

Patlabor: The Movie
Based on the Patlabor TV series, which itself was based on the long-running Mobile Police Patlabor manga, Patlabor: The Movie suffers from a rather slight storyline involving a hacker’s plan to infect all of Tokyo’s Labors (i.e., giant mecha used by construction, police, and the military) with a virus. But honestly, I wasn’t watching Patlabor: The Movie for the storyline. I was watching it for the directing (because I tend to like Mamoru Oshii’s aesthetic), the hand-drawn cel animation (which was refreshing after watching so much modern CG-enhanced animation), and the mechanical designs (because giant mechs are always cool). Consider a short scene from the film’s opening, in which a military Labor is aerially deployed and a tiny drag chute is used to pull it out of the aircraft. The attention to detail in just that short sequence alone (e.g., the uncoiling of the chute’s rope, the sense of mass in the mech’s movement) was rewarding enough to justify watching the entire movie.

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