Patlabor: The Movie

Patlabor: The Movie

Original theatrical poster
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Produced by Makoto Kubo
Shin Unozawa
Taro Maki
Written by Kazunori Itō
Based on Patlabor
by Masami Yuki
Starring Miina Tominaga
Toshio Furukawa
Ryunosuke Ohbayashi
Shigeru Chiba
Music by Kenji Kawai
Distributed by Shochiku
Release dates
  • July 15, 1989 (1989-07-15)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Patlabor: The Movie (機動警察パトレイバー the Movie Kidō Keisatsu Patoreibā Za Mūbī) is a 1989 anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, with an original story by Headgear. It was produced by I.G. Tatsunoko (later Production I.G.), Bandai Visual and Tohokushinsha.[1] It is part of the Patlabor anime and manga series.


Set in 1999, Tokyo is undergoing a huge re-development program: old suburbs are being demolished and man-made islands are being constructed in Tokyo Bay under the Babylon Project. Dominating the scene is the "Ark," a huge man-made island that serves at the Project's nerve center and chief Labor manufacturing facility.

However, several of the Labors being used in Tokyo, specifically those built by Shinohara Heavy Industries - suddenly go haywire even while unattended. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's 2nd Special Vehicles Section (SV2) is assigned to help reel in the errant Labors, but only the SV2's Division II is on duty around the clock (with Division I already on training duties elsewhere). The GSDF is also preoccupied as they send their own forces to stop an HOS-equipped HAL-X-10 Labor tank prototype.

As Division II goes out on the field, team commander Captain Gotoh, Sgt Asuma Shinohara, and mechanic Shige Shiba work with police Detective Matsui to find further leads on the case. They discover that all the errant Labors, plus other Labors in the Greater Tokyo Area, were installed with the company's new Hyper Operating System (HOS) software and can be triggered by high-frequency resonance emanating from wind-struck high-rise buildings. To SV2 pilot Noa Izumi's relief, no copies of the software were installed in Division II's AV98 Ingram police Labors. They also learn that HOS programmer Eiichi Hoba - who committed suicide days before - was obsessed with the Babylon Project's Biblical references (the Ark being alluded to Noah's Ark, for example; his own name. E. Hoba--Jehovah--for another) and planted a bug in the code that would cause the Labor to malfunction. A computer simulation predicts that gale-force winds acting on the Ark could send all the Labors in Tokyo into a massive rampage, especially since the Ark's size and steel framework helps the resonance reach farther. Worse, the weather bureau announces that a typhoon is expected to hit Tokyo within two days.

Gotoh discreetly gets clearance from the MPD leadership to destroy the Ark as Shige tries to dig up more evidence of Hoba's guilt to justify the operation. Kanuka Clancy returns from the US to help in the raid. Division II attaches flotation bags to their vehicles and head out to the Ark. Malfunctioning HOS-equipped Labors engage the team as soon as they land on the Ark. Ingram pilots Noa and Ohta, plus Kanuka in a hijacked AV-X0 Type Zero police Labor prototype, buys time for Hiromi, Asuma and Shinshi to break into the control room and activate the Ark's self-destruct sequence. However, Kanuka loses control over the Type Zero in the chaos because it runs on HOS as well. Trapped by the Type Zero in one of the last remaining ledges, Noa climbs out of her damaged Ingram and fires her shotgun into the Labor’s P-RAM system to finally shut it down. With the successful destruction of the Ark, SV2 sends choppers to rescue the team.

Voice actors

Character Original Japanese English (Manga UK) English (Bandai Visual)
Noa Izumi Miina Tominaga Briony Glassico Julie Ann Taylor
Asuma Shinohara Toshio Furukawa David Jarvis Doug Erholtz
Kiichi Goto Ryunosuke Ohbayashi Peter Marinker Roger Craig Smith
Shinobu Nagumo Yoshiko Sakakibara Sharon Holm Megan Hollingshead
Kanuka Clancy Yō Inoue Tamsin Hollo Lisa Enochs
Isao Ohta Michihiro Ikemizu Martin McDougall Sam Riegel
Mikiyasu Shinshi Issei Futamata Ron Lepaz Joe Ochman
Hiromi Yamazaki Daisuke Gouri Michael Fitzpatrick Jason C. Miller
Shigeo Shiba Shigeru Chiba Edward Glen Peter Doyle
Seitaro Sakaki Osamu Saka Blair Fairman Jamieson Price
Jitsuyama Mahito Tsujimura Don Fellows Milton Lawrence
Matsui Tomomichi Nishimura Mac McDougall Paul St. Peter
Kaihou Toshihiko Kojima Julian B. Wilson Paul St. Peter
Fukushima Shinji Ogawa Bill Roberts Bob Papenbrook
Kataoka Kouji Tsujitani William Dufries Liam O'Brien

Home release

The first two Patlabor films have been released on DVD numerous times. The original release uses the same master as the Laserdisc release and offers stereo Japanese. The next release featured remastered non-anamorphic letterbox video. The original North American DVD release from Manga Entertainment featured a VHS transfer and the original MangaUK English dub. The third release, which the latest R1s from Bandai Visual use, features remastered anamorphic letterbox video and 5.1 sound. The US release features a new English dub produced by Bandai Visual. The Australian Madman/Manga UK R4 release uses the Australian Manga VHS master, and includes remixed 5.1 Manga UK dub and the original 2.0 Japanese dub. . In 2008, both movies were released in Japan on Blu-ray with English audio and English subtitles. It was licensed in Europe by Beez Entertainment. Maiden Japan has licensed all three Patlabor films and the first film on Blu-ray and DVD was released on May 5, 2015.[2]


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