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Anime / Patlabor 2: The Movie

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Patlabor 2: The Movie is a 1993 Real Robot Conspiracy Thriller anime film written by Kazunori Ito and directed by Mamoru Oshii.

Two years after the events of Patlabor: The Movie, the men and women of Division 2 have mostly moved on with their lives. But sinister forces working behind the scenes are attempting to bring down the government. A group called 'the Defence family' are seeking to draw attention to the lack of preparation that Japan would have in any future war. The group are staging violent attacks that shock Tokyo.

Captains Gotoh and Nagumo, are drawn in by military intelligence officer Shigeki Arakawa, to conduct an investigation and bring the culprits to justice. But Nagumo finds herself facing a person she thought she would never see again...

As the stakes rise, the former members of Division 2 must reunite to stop the terrorists and the chaos that has ensnared Tokyo.

The film was followed in production order by the interquel WXIII: Patlabor The Movie 3 in 2002. In terms of story continuity, it's followed by The Next Generation -Patlabor- and by The Next Generation Patlabor Tokyo War.

The movie provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The climax of the second movie takes place in an aqueduct big enough for Second Section's Ingrams to walk upright inside it, and is almost wide enough for two of them to stand side by side.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: In Patlabor 2, after shooting their way past the robot tanks in the tunnels, Nagumo enters an elevator in her labor only to find another robot tank about to open fire at point-blank range. Nagumo charges towards it screaming, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!" Cut to the elevator rising to the surface carrying Nagumo's totaled labor, whereupon she hits the eject and walks the rest of the way.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Good grief is it! Nagumo stops Tsuge, the only man she has ever loved from his attacks. But he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Countless people have died, and the shockwaves will affect the Japanese Government for decades. Goto's love will remain unrequited, and Division 2 will more than likely not work together again. It's further revealed in The Next Generation Patlabor Tokyo War that Nagumo and Goto decided to leave the TMPD for good since Tokyo decided to fire most of its officers.
  • Bring the Anchor Along: Detective Matsui is caught snooping around the disguised base of the conspirators, so they knock him out and leave him handcuffed to a pipe while they carry out their plan. He wakes up to see their airships taking off; desperate to get to a phone, Matsui just detaches the pipe and carries it with him. The pipe comes in handy for forcibly stopping a passing car so he can use its carphone.
  • The Chessmaster: Yukihito Tsuge, the stoic Big Bad of the second film, fits this quite succinctly, driving Tokyo to the brink of civil war while never once getting his hands dirty himself.
  • Cool Plane: The fictional AH-88 Hellhound actually out-cools most of the Humongous Mecha. Also the canard-winged F-15 STOL/MTD variants used by the JASDF, an actual aircraft prototyped by McDonnell-Douglas in the '80s as a tech demonstrator for short take-off and landing (though it was never a production airframe).
  • A Day in the Limelight: This is very much a film about Shinobu Nagumo, who is usually the Hero of Another Story since she leads Division 1 when the franchise usually focuses on Division 2. Nagumo is the viewpoint character for much of the film, as well as the Big Bad's ex-lover, and gets top billing on the cover art where that spot is usually taken by Noa Izumi and Alphonse.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: In the second movie, any time Labors go up against war machines like tanks and helicopters, they get annihilated due to the factors of superior firepower vs. light armor. However, the movie still ends with a mecha battle between bipedal bots and spider tanks.
  • Eagleland: It's mentioned that the U.S. has threatened to take military action and deploy USFJ troops if the Japanese can't get their house in order.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Played straight with at least two labors in the 2nd movie, when helicopters from the JSDF attacked the 2nd division.
  • Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: The battle that Tsuge experiences in The Teaser was inspired by the JSDF's participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in Cambodia in the early '90s, which writer Kazunori Ito and director Mamoru Oshii both opposed. It's part of a larger commentary on the political debate in Japan over the legacy of its imperialism in the first half of the 20th century—which, as Gotoh notes in one scene, "ended in Hiroshima and defeat"—and what role the country and especially the JSDF should play in world affairs, for example the controversy over amending Article 9.
  • Gatling Good: The AH88 Hellhound helicopters, Extor battle robots, & AL-97B Hannibal labors in the movies are all armed with 20mm rotary cannons. A JSDF helicopter flying over Tokyo can also be seen fitted with a three-barreled door-mounted machine gun.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: Izumi barely escapes one of these in the second movie when the tunnel the protagonists are fighting in is flooded.
  • Gratuitous English: All the air traffic control dialogue in the air interception scene is done in subtitled English, since that's the language of all aviation in peacetime.
  • Love Triangle: Gotoh's enduring crush on Nagumo is evident, while Nagumo grapples with resurfacing emotions upon the return of her former academy instructor to Tokyo, seeking revenge.
  • Police Are Useless: Captains Gotoh and Nagumo may have a better grasp of the situation. But their superiors are obstructive bureaucrats more concerned with protecting the civilian administration and their ambitions and careers.
  • Police Procedural: From the very beginning Gotoh and Nagumo have to put the pieces of the puzzle together before they can aim their labors at the right enemy.
  • Recycled with a Gimmick: Many critics compare the movie to technothriller novels, especially Tom Clancy. A cabal of JSDF personnel, defense contractors and other conspirators attempt to bring down the Japanese government.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Implied. Noa and Asuma, who were always close, are now living together, though the film doesn't directly address the status of their relationship.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Nowhere does this shine through more than the second movie, where the Greater Tokyo Area being put under martial law by the Japanese Defense Agency amounts to little more than a minor inconvenience for both the civilians and the bored and put-upon JGSDF soldiers, who uncomplainingly humor onlookers who want to take pictures with their tanks.
  • Shooting Gallery: Ohta gets chewed out for not only shooting an automated target, but charging in to smash it up with his baton afterwards, destroying an expensive piece of equipment.
  • Shown Their Work: The JASDF interception sequence has been critically praised as one of the most accurate fictional depictions of modern air combat ever. The JASDF also does operate an F-16 variant like the film's F-16J, the Mitsubishi F-2, which was in development when this film was being made; it first flew two years after the film's release and was in service by the year it's set.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The members of division 2 can't remain a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits forever. Noa Izumi and Asuma Shinohara are now testing new Labors at a facility run by the Metropolitan Police. Isao Ota is a police academy Labor instructor. Mikiyasu Shinshi has since been reassigned as the Tokyo Metropolitan Police's head of General Affairs. Goto and Nagumo remain though, having displeased their higher-ranking superiors.
    • When the JSDF rolls into Tokyo to enforce martial law. The initial effect is shock and awe on the inhabitants of the city. But it then quietly descends into a mundane garrison duty, as we see bored soldiers on sentry duty.
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: A pair of JASDF interceptors very nearly fired on allied aircraft over Tokyo, due to hacking of Japan's air defense network thanks to Tsuge's hackers.


Video Example(s):


Isao Ota vs. IXTLs

The SV2's already slap-dash plan to fight the IXTLs goes even further off the rails from Ota thoughtlessly doing things his way.

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Example of:

Main / LeeroyJenkins

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