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News and Updates Archive 2012

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2 December 2012 - Two More "My First Big Special" Manga, Madman makes Some Progress on Patlabor and Live Action Patlabor Actually "The Last Druid: Garm Wars"?
Shogakukan will release two more Patlabor tankobon in their "My First Big" imprint; "Mobile Police Patlabor - Division 2's Case Files", due 14 December 2012 costing ¥600 (ISBN 4-09-107815-X), and "Mobile Police Patlabor - Griffin Returns", due 11 January 2013 costing ¥680. The second book has yet to be officially solicited, so I have no retailer links or even the ISBN.

On the region 4 (Australia/New Zealand) front, Madman has posted this rather encouraging message on their Facebook page. One can only hope they get the entire series out in 2013.

With Mamoru Oshii
announcing his new live action project, "The Last Druid: Garm Wars" (a project originally titled “The Record of Garm War” which we first saw as a pilot film in 1997), I think we've been duped on the rumours of the live action Patlabor. I'd be very surprised to see an announcement of any more Patlabor material, live action or anime ever again.

8 November 2012 - More "My First Big Special" Manga, Clarification On Live Action Patlabor, Cospa Re-releases and No More English Manga
Shogakukan will release a third Patlabor tankobon in their "My First Big" imprint; "Mobile Police Patlabor - Industrial Waste Product No. 13", due tomorrow, 9 November. The cost will be ¥840 and the ISBN will be 4-09-107796-X. Other than that, I have no idea what new material these books will contain (if anything).

Also I didn't mention this when the Oshii directed live action Patlabor rumour surfaced a couple of months back, but
Crunchyroll posted a clear translation of the dialogue between Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki and Mamoru Oshii at a 17 September 2012 Nico Nico Live talk show event;

Suzuki: "I've heard this from someone..., are you going to make another Patlabor film?"
Oshii: "What's that?"
Suzuki: "Patlabor. A live-action film. That's what I've heard. I've heard it from Ishii." [producer Tomohiko Ishii]
Oshii: "Ahaha!!"
Suzuki: "Is it true?"
Oshii: "I can't say anything to that, of course!!"
Suzuki: "So you're working on it! I've got it!!"
Oshii: "Actually, I'm also working on so many other projects now. I've suddenly became very busy. I haven't done so much in the past three years, though."
Suzuki: "I've also heard a foreign company will invest money. They liked your old materials that you showed to them."
Oshii: "That's another project."

Make of that what you will. I'll believe it when I see it. The "other project" Oshii is talking about is presumably a live action Hollywood "Ghost in the Shell" which has been in the works for a while.

Cospa has yet again decided to re-release a select few Patlabor items over the next couple of months. See "Upcoming Product Releases" above. And to finish off, I have also noticed that the Right Stuf have removed their listing of both Patlabor graphic novels. Viz was never really interested in continuing with the series anyway (or any of Masami Yuki's other manga unfortunately). I think this is finally the end for all Patlabor products in English in the US. Everything Patlabor is out of print In English besides the DVD and BD releases of the movies in Hong Kong, Australia and Japan. Sorry for the sporadic updates. First there isn't much news about, and second I was overseas for a bit. Yes, Japan. I did manage to get a Patlabor t-shirt from the Cospa shop in Akihabara and get some Patlabor artbooks from Mandarake I've been wanting, but that was it in terms of Patlabor. I did see a lot of Gundam stuff while I was there, like Gundam Front Tokyo in Odaiba.

18 September 2012 - Mamoru Oshii Having Another Stab at a Live Action Patlabor Movie?
Some very curious news via
Anime News Network (by way of Cinema Today) today. At a Nico Nico Live talk show event on 17 September, Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki asked Mamoru Oshii if the Patlabor franchise was getting a live action movie. The response was surprising (culled from the ANN article); “Oshii answered "Like I'd be able to tell you that!" but followed up by noting that he had "suddenly become busy." Suzuki then suggested that the project he suggested would be foreign-funded, and Oshii replied by saying "That's a different story"”.

When quizzed on the matter, Masami Yuuki
denied any knowledge of any future Patlabor works, and surprisingly said that he wished people would not make "political moves like that". I’m not exactly too sure what that means. I always thought as Patlabor was owned by all members of Headgear, then they all had to agree on future projects. Perhaps Oshii has decided not to consult the other members and Yuuki is annoyed? Who knows? If this is more than just banter between Oshii and Suzuki, this will be the third time a Patlabor live action film has been planned. You may recall that in 1998 Oshii created a two minute live action Patlabor pilot film (it was created alongside another pilot film called “The Record of Garm War” which later morphed into the feature “Avalon”). But it was never entirely clear why this pilot film was made. In 1997, "Brotherhood of the Wolf" and "Silent Hill" director Christophe Gans stated he was going to make a live action Patlabor film, however the project was shelved due to budgetary concerns.

17 September 2012 - New "My First Big" Tankobon, Cospa Re-releases and All Quite on the Madman Front
As you can see, not a great deal of Patlabor news this year. However this month Shogakukan have released two new Patlabor tankobon in their "My First Big" imprtint. The series was originally being released under this imprint but stopped after 10 tankobon in 2002. The first volume, "Brocken Assault" (ISBN: 4-09-107752-8) was released on 14 September 2012. The second, "Ingram VS Griffin" (ISBN: 4-09-107777-3) will be released on 12 October. Both retail for ¥650 each. The first tankobon has over 550 pages and judging from the cover there is a little bit of new material in form of interviews. Other than that, I can't find much info at all about these releases.

In other news, Cospa has yet again re-released some of their Patlabor range. See "Upcoming Product Releases" above. And finally Madman Entertainment has surprisingly not resolicited the "Patlabor - The Mobile Police OVA Series 1 the Early Days Collection" DVD after cancelling in back in April. Not sure what the hold up is, but I'm kind of doubting the series will be released this year.

20 May 2012 - More Cospa Re-releases
A bunch of Cospa Patlabor items have been put up for pre-order on a number of websites this week. They include the Shinohara Heavy Industries nylon jacket, lanyard, and iron-on and velcro patches, and SV2 iron-on and velcro patches and the SV2 coffee mug. See the product schedule release list above for details. All of the items are due to ship in late June.

29 April 2012 - Japan Airlines To Introduce "Sky Manga" On International Flights
Japan Airlines as of April 2012 have introduced
digital manga on their Magic-V in flight entertainment system on international Boeing 787 flights (English version here). A list of manga available on flights can be found here (pdf) and the titles are in Japanese only. The first three volumes of the Patlabor manga are included in the list.

25 April 2012 - Update on Cospa Re-releases
Cospa continue to re-release a number of Patlabor items. I've now updated the ones which Hobby Search have pre-orders for in the product release schedule above. Some of the ones in the pervious updates seems to be no longer available, which is odd seeing as they were scheduled for a early May release. I'm having trouble finding other online shops who have these items up for pre-order, so I only have links to Hobby Search so far.

17 April 2012 - Madman's Early Days OVA Collection "Delayed Indefinitely" + Re-releases Galore
On Friday, Madman Entertainment
announced on it's blog that "Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, we regret to announce that until further notice we will be indefinitely delaying the release of PATLABOR OVA THE EARLY DAYS COLLECTION from release in June". Unfortunately I only discovered this today. There has been no other comment from the company and curiously no other releases from that month have been pulled. I can only assume the series will be solicited again at a latter date.

Also Cospa and Kotobukiya are re-releasing a number of Patlabor items starting from May. Unfortunately I can't find many online shops which have the products up for pre-order. I'll do a bit more of a search and post an update sometime before the weekend (hopefully).

1 April 2012 - Early Days OVA Collection Available for Pre-Order on Madman's Website and Extras Revealed
"Patlabor - The Mobile Police OVA Series 1 the Early Days Collection" is
finally up for pre-order on Madman Entertainment's website. Also the retail price is a little cheaper than what I expected, AU$34.95. Other than Madman and, no one else has the series up for pre-order. I'll add shops to the product release list as I find them. Madman's B2B website has also revealed the set's extras. Unsurprisingly all seemed be culled from the old CPM DVD set; a commentary track on episodes 1 to 3 by Mamoru Oshii with Shigeki Mori, English dubbing outtakes and what seems to be US promotional trailers for the TV series DVDs.

23 March 2012 - Madman's Early Days OVA Collection Solicited
Ezy DVD have put up their pre-orders for June today, and it shows that "Patlabor - The Mobile Police OVA Series 1 the Early Days Collection" (MMA4387) will be released on 6 June 2012. The retail price should be AU$49.95, but currently
only Ezy DVD has the set up for pre-order. The Classification Board also released the ratings for the set late yesterday; "PG" with the consumer advice "mild animated violence, nudity and coarse language". The only "nudity" I can remember is from the fourth OVA, "The Tragedy of L", however there's no nudity in the OVA per se.

5 March 2012 - Artwork for Madman's Early Days OVA Collection DVD Released
Artwork for Madman Entertainment's release of the original 1988 Patlabor OVA has
emerged on their website (via this post on the Madboards). The artwork reveals that the TV series and two OVA series will most likely be released separately and not together in one set as previously reported by Anime News Network. According to a mid February post by Madman Entertainment's Assistant Brand Manager, Sylvester Ip, the set will probably come out in June. Intriguingly Madman are using the Japanese title of "Early Days" for the OVA series, a name which was only given to the series with the 1995 Japanese laserdisc box set re-release and all subsequent Japanese releases. Perhaps this is due to the insistence of the the licensor. The artwork for the release is also interesting. Rather than the rather awful CPM artwork they have gone with the artwork from the very first Japanese laserdisc and VHS/Beta of the first OVA in the series. The artwork was also reused for the "Patlabor the Mobile Police Collect 1" laserdisc and VHS compilation of the first half of the OVA series from 1993 and the 2005 DVD rental version. There's no price or actual date for the set yet. The catalogue number will be MMA4387.

10 February 2012 - M-System to Sell Patlabor Inspired Wireless Network Towers
And in really unexpected and weird Patlabor news today... Japanese company M-System has announced that it will release
three Patlabor wireless network towers. A Ethernet and CC-Link version of the towers will be released in February and a wireless LAN version in April. The devices are 67 centimetres in height and 6 centimetres wide. The towers supposedly resemble the Ingram's "ear" antennae. Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea where you can order these or how much they will cost.

6 January 2012 - The End of Beez Entertainment
Earlier this week, Bandai Entertainment, the US releasing arm of Japanese company Namco Bandai,
announced it was pulling out of the home video distribution market. According to an interview with Bandai Entertainment CEO Ken Iyadomi, this was due to a fit of company rationalisation by it's parent in Japan. Now today comes the news that it's French based European home video distribution arm, Beez Entertainment, has suffered the same fate. Beez released the first two Patlabor movies in the UK. Buoyed by the success of the international release of "Gundam UC (Unicorn)" and obviously not impressed with the dwindling profits from the US and European markets, it would seem that Bandai Visual wish to release and market anime to English fandom in the "Gundam UC" way (i.e. Japanese prices through limited distribution channels). While I doubt many titles except a very limited high tier anime will be released this way, this new way of releasing anime to an English audience doesn't make me especially happy.

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