Patlabor 2: The Movie
- For the main article, Patlabor saga; see Patlabor.
|Patlabor 2: The Movie|
DVD cover art
|Directed by||Mamoru Oshii|
|Produced by||Mitsuhisa Ishikawa
|Written by||Kazunori Itō|
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Editing by||Shuichi Kakesu|
|Running time||113 minutes|
Patlabor 2: The Movie (機動警察パトレイバー Kidō keisatsu patoreibā the movie 2 ) is a 1993 Japanese anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also directed Patlabor: The Movie. It was produced by Production I.G, Bandai Visual and Tohokushinsha. The movie has taken some liberties from being a mecha-themed movie in theme to a political-themed one with domestic and international issues that the Japanese government had faced during the 20th century. The main theme of the movie is mainly based on the status of Japan, which had been economically, politically and technologically progressing under prosperous years without being involved in another war after the nation's defeat and occupation by the Allied Forces after the end of World War II.
It was shown originally in Japanese theaters on August 7, 1993. Later in 1998, the movie was released again with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel remix and additional music. Patlabor 2: The Movie was dubbed and released in 1995 in Australia and the UK by Manga Entertainment and by Manga Entertainment in the USA in 1996. In the mid '00s, Manga Entertainment lost the licenses to Patlabor 1 and 2 in the UK and the USA, but retained the license in Australia, where Manga Entertainment properties are distributed by Madman Entertainment. Bandai Visual later released the film under their North American label, Honneamise, with a new English dub.
Three years after the events of the first movie, 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. Seitaro Sakaki has retired with Shigeo Shiba taking over his position as head of the labor maintenance team with Hiromi Yamazaki, Kiichi Goto and Shinobu Nagumo remaining with the unit as Kanuka Clancy had permanently returned to New York. Most of them had been replaced by fresh labor pilots.
Suspicious events begin to materialize with the face of a military takeover of Tokyo by GSDF forces and martial law after the Yokohama Bay Bridge is destroyed by a missile, with belief that the JASDF was the culprit. Protests in various JSDF bases take place as a means of conveying their denial of the bridge attack. Before long, public panic comes as JGSDF-marked gunships attack in several bridges in Tokyo Bay, various communication centers and SV2 headquarters, coupled by the release of a supposed deadly gas after Special Assault Team snipers shoot down an auto-piloted blimp that was responsible for jamming all electronics in the Greater Tokyo Area.
Goto and Nagumo once more assemble the original Section 2 members in an abandoned subway passage as they embark on a secret operation to apprehend Yukihito Tsuge, a former GSDF officer who planned the terrorist attacks as revenge for the failure of a UN Peacekeeping operation in Cambodia back in 1999. With the threat of US intervention looming unless the government controls the situation, the team uses an old stretch of the Ginza Line to approach an artificial island Tsuge uses as his hideout. However, Goto also takes care of things on his end by facilitating the arrest of Shigeki Arakawa, a GSDF intelligence agent who is actually one of Tsuge's cohorts. After a fierce fight inside the artificial island's tunnel which results in flooding, the team evacuates the tunnel while Nagumo breaks through to finally arrest Tsuge.
Shigeki Arakawa (荒川 茂樹 Arakawa Shigeki )
- A supposed intelligence officer assigned with the JGSDF chief of staff's office to assist Goto and Nagumo in locating and apprehending Tsuge into custody, it is discovered that he is also a member of the National Defense Family who went renegade after disagreeing with Tsuge's plans and used the SV2 unit to his advantage in order to arrest Tsuge himself.
- In the course of the movie, Arakawa assists the SV2 by providing pictures of Tsuge's assets via American military spy satellites and secretly meeting up with Goto to pass on him intelligence obtained on Tsuge, earning Nagumo's ire due to her suspicions about him and his intentions.
Yukihito Tsuge (柘植 行人 Tsuge Yukihito )
- An ex-JGSDF lieutenant colonel who went missing after his UN Labor platoon was attacked by armed guerrillas in the Southeast Asian forests, Tsuge changed his brown hair to white and plotted terrorist activities in the Greater Tokyo Area under the assumption of a revolt from the ranks of the Self-Defense Forces. His main motive was for the people to see the reality that he had gone through during his UN peacekeeping tour.
- Years before the peacekeeping mission, he founded the Tsuge School to study the possible use of labors in military service. However, at the school, he would have an affair with Nagumo, who was one of his students. The scandal, which became known at the highest levels of the police leadership, would later force Nagumo to accept a position with the SV2 instead of a senior position with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Public Security Bureau.
Production of Patlabor the Movie 2 started after Kazunori Ito was appointed as the scriptwriter for the upcoming movie back in the early 1990s. The original plan called for the same plot used in the original OVA series episode "The SV2's Longest Day," which showed renegade JGSDF soldiers and officers conspiring to undermine and overthrow the Japanese government. However, it was soon abandoned when Mamoru Oshii told Kazunori Ito that maybe the scope of terrorists causing havoc under the cover of a coup would be a better movie idea.
Ito soon met with other members of HEADGEAR to create some ideas that can be used for the movie, based on the theory that Patlabor 2 will be their last work on the Patlabor franchise. Soon after realizing that he couldn't take most of their suggestions, Ito had told them that he would end his consultation with them and announced that he would brainstorm the movie's script alone and isolated himself from the rest of HEADGEAR to give him some space to work on the movie's script with Oshii working on the storyboard.
A reference placed in the move based on pre-World War II Japanese history is the SSN news broadcast of the Yokohama Bay Bridge attack was at 2:26. The time shown on the amateur footage in national television is a reference of the February 26 Incident, where Kōdō-ha fanatics of the Imperial Japanese Army tried to occupy central Tokyo as part of a coup d'état attempt.
Aside from Bandai Visual having the license to North America and the UK, Panorama owns the license for Patlabor 2 to Hong Kong and Macau with a Cantonese dub and subtitles aside from the original Japanese dub.
In Japan, Bandai Visual/Emotion has released Patlabor 2 on DVD, Blu-ray and on UMD. Only the double disc DVD/Blu-ray and DVD/HD DVD sets as well as the single disc Blu-ray release has the remade English dub and subtitles. The Blu-ray also includes a booklet that includes illustrations and screenshots fro the movie.
In Australia and New Zealand, Manga Entertainment UK still holds the rights to Patlabor 1 & 2 and is sub-licensed and distributed by Madman Entertainment on DVD. Due to this ongoing license and the popularity of Manga's dub of the 2 movies in Australia amongst Anime fans, Madman & Manga were refused the remastered DVD & Blu-ray license from Bandai Entertainment which contained the new Elastic Media dub. Since Bandai Entertainment is no longer releasing new anime and letting current licenses lapse, the chances of a remastered release in Australia is slim.
Most of the prevailing theme in the movie has been cast on the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and on their legality as Japan's military force since Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, created on May 3, 1947 by the Allied Forces, meant that the JSDF is only allowed to defend Japanese territory from hostile invasion and not to be deployed in any manner on foreign soil. On June 15, 1992, Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa had pledged to contribute JSDF personnel to head to Cambodia and participate in UNTAC, which called for 2,000 Japanese personnel to be deployed including various personnel from the JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF, police officers and election observers with the condition that most of them would not see any combat operations due to Article 9 regulations, though this deployment was seen as a testing ground for potential future peacekeeping operations in foreign soil in order to obtain a seat in the UN Security Council.
There was some opposition from this after the Diet of Japan had passed the UN Peacekeeping Cooperation Law, allowing the JSDF to be in UN peacekeeping operations  with a low approval rating of 20% after its enactment. In a public poll taken, 70% of the public had been against sending JSDF personnel to Cambodia due to memories of World War II with an SDF public relations group polling the first 600 troops deployed to Cambodia with a poll of 19% saying that they would refuse any order to be deployed in other UN Peacekeeping operations due to their confusion as the JSDF has not been engaged in any hostile activity after World War II. Among those who had opposed this deployment were Kazunori Ito and Mamoru Oshii themselves from the public level. Further opposition became noted in Japan when Atsuhito Nakata, a civilian election observer and police Superintendent Haruyuki Takada  were killed during a gunfight in Cambodia, resulting in protests calling for remaining Japanese UN volunteers to go home before Takada's father went on national television and told the protesting crowd that he was proud of his son's sacrifice in order to let Cambodia have peace. In addition, ministry representatives issued a press statement that their deaths were regrettable, but have insisted that the JSDF's participation in UNTAC would continue and said that their deaths "were very regrettable for Japan, also indicated that world peace and security are sometimes only achieved at the sacrifices of precious lives."
After the UNTAC mission was complete, 50% of the polls taken suggested that they actively supported JSDF personnel that were sent off to Cambodia and were hailed as heroes upon returning home.
At the time of Patlabor 2's release in 1993, a lot of issues had faced the Japanese government in both the domestic and international level. Most of the issues include the end of the Soviet Union, Japan's economic prosperity in the 1980s and the 1990s, and outbreak of the Gulf War with the 1990 market crash that left many Japanese devastated. In an interview with Animage magazine on October 1993, Hayao Miyazaki said that the opening scene of the movie was inspired by the local Cambodian scene, especially with the appearance of what seems to be Angkor Thom since Miyazaki said that it is the case. He also mentions with Mamoru Oshii on the nature of the limitations that JSDF personnel faced in Cambodia, since the JSDF was formed originally not as a sort of military body of the post-WWII Japanese government.
Several real-life incidents were also mentioned or used for the movie. For instance, references to Viktor Belenko's defection to Japan in 1976 were mentioned by Arakawa himself when he spoke to Goto and Nagumo. Another incident with the nearly fatal dogfight over Tokyo was supposedly based on an accident in a computer simulation that forced the US military to go onto DEFCON 3 and almost went to nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
A comparison used here was with the JGSDF intervention in declaring martial law with planned intervention of United States Forces Japan military units over the crisis in Tokyo shadows the last days of Japan's defeat in World War II when rogue Imperial Japanese Army units planned to stage a revolt against the Emperor after he declared the country's surrender to the Allied forces.
Views on Patlabor the Movie 2 have been very positive. One review from the Anime Cafe states that Patlabor the Movie 2 is an "intellectually stimulating anime", combining the movie's mecha concept with the plot similar to a Tom Clancy novel. Anime World Order states that while the sequel is better than the first in terms of action and drama, some viewers may not understand the political aspects of the film, though its philosophical themes may be easier to understand, especially with the concept of just war and unjust peace. Japan Hero's review of the movie commented well on the side story that the movie showcased the main characters who had to let go of their past and to move on and grow up, with the fact that they had to get back together and face a threat that could make a country ruled by civilian authority or one ruled by fear and paranoia. Anime News Network has noted the background music used in the movie "favors heavy, pulsing techno beats backed by airy, haunting vocals for the intense scenes and soaring synthesized scores in other places."
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- Goto: "You were one of Tsuge's comrades. But you were betrayed. When Tsuge revamped the plans from a demonstrative political appeal to an all-out plan to start a war and disappeared, you were left hanging out in the cold. Because of the nature of the conspiracy, you couldn't start a public investigation. That's why the SV2 caught your attention. You used us while keeping an eye on Inspector Nagumo."
Shigeki: "But that's all pure conjecture." (English, Bandai Visual, 2006)
- Goto: "But would you have given me permission to meet with Arakawa had I asked you?"
Nagumo: "No. Of course not. Meeting with a man like him. If word got out that a police officer from the Security Bureau was having secret meetings with an SDF intelligence officer at times like this..."
Goto: "But it's important to have contacts at times like this." (English, Bandai Visual, 2006)
- Tsuge: "Three years ago, I lived in that illusion after I came back. I tried to get people to realize what it was. But, no one noticed until the first shot rang out. And.... Maybe even now." (English, Bandai Visual, 2006)
- Goto: "Shinobu Nagumo. She became one of the brightest stars of the Tsuge School. And the greatest partner of Tsuge himself. But there was a slight mishap. None of it got recorded of course. Despite rank or position, he was a man and she was a woman. Stuff happens."
Shigeki: "If it hadn't been for the fact that Tsuge was married, none of that would have mattered." (English, Bandai Visual, 2006)
- Shigeki: "You did some investigating?"
Goto: "Everyone back in HQ heard about it. Even a guy like me. I don't go digging up skeletons in my colleague's closet."
Shigeki: "Right. Colleague. I'll just leave it at that."
Goto: "The police force tends to be touchy about things like that." (English, Bandai Visual, 2006)
- Goto: "She was on the career fast track, rising up the ranks of the Security Bureau. But instead got exiled to a strip of reclaimed land. Could that be why?"
Shigeki: "Who knows?" (English, Bandai Visual, 2006)
- Patlabor the Movie 2 Archives Book, page 20.
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- Japan to dispatch police to East Timor at the Wayback Machine (archived October 8, 2007)
- In some sources, including those from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Takada has been reported to be a JSDF soldier and not a police officer.
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- "Manichi Film Concours: 1994.". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Official Site (Japanese)
- Patlabor 2: The Movie (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- 機動警察パトレイバー２ ｔｈｅ Ｍｏｖｉｅ
Patlabor 2 the Movie at allmovie
- Patlabor 2: The Movie at the Internet Movie Database