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News and Updates Archive 2013 to 2014

Please note that some external links may no longer be valid. For the latest Patlabor news and updates to the this site, please follow this link.

6 April 2014 - TNG Patlabor Chapter 1 Reviews + Episode 0 and Star Channel Special Legally Streaming for Free 
A day after the screening of the first chapter and the reviews are in. Certainly not a scientific or comprehensive poll, on Yahoo! Japan Movies, Chapter 1 has so far received a score of 2.73 out of 5 from 11 users. Make of that what you will. You can make up your own mind on Episode 0 at least by
checking it out on Nico Nico Douga for free (Japanese dialogue only). The video includes the entire special that was broadcast on Star Channel on 8 March 2014.


5 April 2014 - TNG Patlabor; Chapter 2 Trailer Released, Original Soundtrack to Be Released in May 
The trailer for Chapter 2 of TNG Patlabor
apparently went up on Wednesday, but I only just realised that now. Strangely the official website didn't announce it! Also VAP will be releasing the Original Soundtrack to the series on 28 May 2014. The CD retails for ¥3,240. Today is the premier screening of Chapter 1. I note that a few of the early sessions in some cinemas are pretty much sold out. I hope the series is a success for the producers, but I can't help thinking it is a bit of a risky project, especially with the slapstick nature of the series. I'm not sure how the fans will react to it. Again I haven't updated the site during the week, but I should on Sunday.


31 March 2014 - Chapter 2 Poster Unveiled, Naoto Takenaka to Guest Star in Episode 3 
The poster for chapter 2 was publicly unveiled a few hours ago. It revealed that Naoto Takenaka would be guest staring in the third episode "Iron Fist Akira". Takenaka provided the voice for Arakawa Shigeki in "Patlabor 2 the movie" but is better known for his roles in live action films such as "Shall We Dance?", "Shinjuku Incident" and "Tokyo Fist". Please see the TNG Patlabor news section
here for an image of the poster.


30 March 2014 - "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Updates 
I haven't had much time to update the site recently. Unfortunately the amount of info coming in about TNG Patlabor is making the section on it kind of unwieldily. I've tried to improve it a bit and will work on it a bit more in the next week or so. I expect the week leading up the screening of the first chapter to be info heavy. I'll do my best to keep up. All news relating to TNG Patlabor will be posted
here. Seriously, when I started this site I thought it was a dead franchise and didn't really expect I'd be updating the site to include a new series, let alone a live action adaptation.


15 March 2014 - "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" News for the Week, Team Strike! To Release 1/64 SV2 Mini Patrol Car Garage Kit 
First up all of the "TNG Patlabor" news of the last couple of days; The full sized Ingram prop and carrier will be displayed at "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" booth at AnimeJapan 2014 from 22 March to 23 March 2014. The convention is being held at Tokyo Big Sight at Odaiba in Tokyo. The booth number will be J17 if you're going. And the news gets weirder. The Roke-Ben Festival in Skytree Town (next to Skytree in Tokyo of course) will be opening a temporary "Shanghai Tei" restaurant (which is the fictional restaurant in the series) from 11am to 6pm, 1 April to 13 April 2014 in Sky Arena area of Skytree Town. Unfortunately a menu isn't available online yet. Also some crappy merchandise is being sold. Groove Garage will be releasing the first piece of TNG merchandise; a folding container. The size of the container is 530mm x 366mm x 334mm (folds down to a height of 95mm), has an internal volume of 50.1 litres and weights about 2.65 kg. It's due for release in late April 2014 and costs ¥6,250. And finally Kadokawa announced the sale of the second light novel. It will be due for release on 25 April 2014, but isn't up for pre-order yet. The TNG section has been updated with all the news of the week, plus images of the new footage of the series from the Star Channel Special broadcast on 8 March 2014.

Team Strike! has announced a new 1/64 resin garage kit of the SV2 Mini Patrol car. The kit contains parts to build the Movie version or the TV version. The kit costs ¥3,000 but can only bought from their website and which unfortunately only ships out to Japanese residents.


10 March 2014 - Episode 0 Thoughts, Madman Solicits Second TV Collection and "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Info Galore
Unfortunately I haven't been able to update the website over the last week or so. There is just too much Next Generation news (most of it on the promotional side), so I have compiled it on the
TNG section. The highlights include a new virtual tour of the SV2 hanger on the official website and an announcement of a satellite broadcast of the series on Star Channel only three weeks after the theatrical releases. Madman Entertainment have solicited the second volume of the anime TV series. The set will be released on 18 June 2014, will include episodes 25 to 47 and will cost AU$69.95. None of the online stores have it up for pre-order yet

And finally Star Channel in Japan broadcast "Episode 0" on 8 March as part of a 26 minute special on "The Next Generation - Patlabor -". As you can imagine, it's out there online already. Seriously it's not as bad as I expected. It's very Oshii with some atmospheric shots as Shigeo Shiba gives a run down of Labors, the SV2 and what happened after the completion of the Babylon Project. It looks great, the actors, including Erina Mano aren't too bad (admittedly only Mano, Shigeru Chiba and Yoshikazu Fujiki appear in the episode), but my hopes were dashed when the mechanics began singing... I'll see how the other episodes pan out before making a final judgment. Hopefully there's a little less silliness and a bit more seriousness, but I doubt it.


24 February 2014 - "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Light Novels To Be Released from 25 March
A few listings have popped up for the first volume of a light novel version of "The Next Genration - Patlabor - ". The
Ami Ami website states that the release date will be 25 March 2014. The Neowing website is stating that Mamoru Oshii is the author. The price will be ¥462 and will be published on Kadokawa's Bunko imprint. Despite the listings, none of the them are currently live, so it looks like it's not actually up for pre-order yet.


20 February 2014 - Erina Mano To Perform Theme Song for "The Next Generation - Patlabor -"
In slightly unsurprising news, the
official website has announced today that idol singer Erina Mano, who plays Akira Izumino in the series, will perform the themes song for the series. Titled "Ambitious!", the song was written by Ryuji Sakai (of the Japanese rock band the Arrows) and was composed and arranged by Tomohiro Nakatsuchi. The single will be produced by Taisei of the pop/rock band Sharam Q, who also produced Erina Mano's debut recording (post Hello! Project), "My Piano" in 2008. Surprisingly there has been no announcement of an actual release of the song on any format yet.


14 February 2014 - Web Newtype "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Article
Newtype magazine's website has
posted a new article on TNG Patlabor. It covers a shoot on 24 December 2013 near the Wakasu Park camping ground in Koto, which is in Tokyo Bay. The article states that the media were used as extras that day and includes a few new photos of the shoot.


10 February 2014 - New "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Blu ray and DVD Extras
I thought I'd just mention the extras to be included in the first volume of the "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Blu-ray and DVD; physical bonuses include a booklet and slip cover (which is limited to first pressing only). Video extras include a 50 minute "making of", an interview with Erina Mano, teaser and theatrical trailers.
"The Next Generation - Patlabor -" section has also been updated.


7 February 2014 - New "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Trailer + Video Schedule
I haven't been able to update the website this week which is unfortunate as there has been a lot of news. First up, there's
a new 70 second trailer. Looks like there's a bit of humour which I expected, but luckily it's not slapstick stuff. Surprisingly it doesn't look too bad. I expected a lot worse to be honest. The other big news is that the DVD and Blu-ray schedule has been released; Volume 1 Episode 0 and 1: 26 April 2014, Volume 2 Episode 2 - 3: 28 June 2014, Volume 3 Episode 4 - 5: 2 August 2014, Volume 4 Episode 6 - 7: 27 September 2014, Volume 5 Episode 8 - 9: 8 November 2014, Volume 6 Episode 10 - 11: 26 December 2014 and Volume 7 Episode 12: 31 January 2015. As expected, no mention of English subtitles. The discs are up for pre order at Amazon.co.jp and other online shops. I hope to have links up over the weekend.


24 January 2014 - "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" to Be Broadcast on Star Channel
This website (which bizarrely seems to be a online make up shop) is reporting the broadcast satellite station Star Channel will screening the "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" series from (northern hemisphere) Spring 2014. 


20 January 2014 - 13 New Stills From "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Published
"The Next Generation - Patlabor -" official website has
published 13 still shots from the first episode. Three of these have been previously been published (two via the teaser trailer, the third is from the Kuratas press photos). I think an additional one was previously published on the "In & Up!" Facebook page


19 January 2014 - "The Next Generation - Patlabor -" Chapter One Home Video Release Date
There's been a couple of reports via Twitter in regard to the first home video release of "The Next Generation - Patlabor -". Happinet Pictures will be releasing the first volume on 26 April 2014. The Blu-ray will cost
¥5,800 (catalogue number BIXJ-0121) and the DVD will cost ¥4,800 (BIBJ-8461). No retailers have the discs up for pre-order yet. I seriously doubt these releases will include English subtitles. 


7 January 2014 - Real 4 Metre Tall Commercial Robot to Be Used in "The Next Generation - Patlabor -"
Yesterday afternoon, Eiga.com posted an article that stated that Suidobashi Heavy Industry's 4 metre tall "art piece" robot, Kuratas, would feature in the project. The website also posted two new images which feature the Kuratas in the film. The second shot shows the robot holding a hapless man by his leg. The article states that after the production staff saw the robot, they thought it looked like a Labor and decided to use it in the project. Mamoru Oshii  stated that now that they have the Kuratas, there would be no need to use CG shots it was in. Though an "art piece", Kuratas has limited movement and has a wide range of functioning robotic accessories. 100 million yen robot was unveiled to the public in 2012 and is built to order with a variety of paint and accessory options.. The robot was designed and created by Japanese blacksmith Kogoro Kurata, who is most famous for creating a full sized Armoured Trooper from the 1983 anime series "Votoms". 



21 December 2013 - New Patlabor Shoulder Tote Bags From Cospa
Cospa will be releasing a
SVII Shoulder Tote Bag and a HOS  Shoulder Tote Bag in December 2013. The bags will cost ¥2,100 each and the size of the bags is 40cm x 36cm and 13cm deep. The bags feature an inner pocket which can be closed with a press stud, and is big enough to hold commuter pass or mobile phone. Currently it is only available to buy via Cospa/Gee! Store outlets and on the Cospa website, however it will be sold in other shops from February 2014. 


20 December 2013 - First "Next Generation - Patlabor -" Trailer, Episode Directors and Theatre Listing
First the the most important part,
the trailer. I must say it looks a lot better than I thought it would be. Very slick. The episode directors have been confirmed too; Takanori Tsujimoto ("Bushido Man") will direct episode 2, 4 and 8, Kiyotaka Taguchi (assistant special effects director for "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack" and "Godzilla x Megaguirus") will direct episode 3, 5 and 11, and Hiroaki Yuasa (director of photography for "Assault Girls") is handling episode 9 and 10. A list of cinemas screening the series can be found here. The films will play in Shinjuku, Kanagawa, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Ebina in Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Utsunomiya, Isesaki in Gunma, Hokkaido, Sapporo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Miyoshi and Hakata in Fukuoka. The screenings will be limited to two weeks for each part. The Next Generation website has also been updated and a twitter account has been launched. 


17 December 2013 - "Next Generation - Patlabor -" Theatrical Dates, New Poster, Titles for First Two Episodes + New Cast Members
An absolute info dump of material today on the live action project. First, go
here for the new poster. Second, the dates for all seven parts have been announced; Chapter One: 5 April 2014, Chapter Two: 31 May 2014, Chapter Three: 12 July 2014, Chapter Four: 30 August 2014, Chapter Five: 18 October 2014, Chapter Six: 29 November 2014, and Chapter Seven: 10 January 2015. The Youkids News blog is saying the titles for the first two episodes are; Episode Zero: "Glory to Special Vehicles Section Two (Eikoo no Tokusha Ni Ka)" and Episode One: "Mobilize the Third Generation (San Daime Shutsudoo Seyo)". They have also listed four new characters (who appear on the new poster); Otawara Isamu played by Horimoto Yoshinori, Yamazaki Hiromichi played by Shigekazu Tajiri, Shinji played by Kohei Shiotsuka and Buchiyama played by Yoshikazu Fujiki. I think I may have screwed up some of the character names (I'm sure I've got the actor names right) and maybe the titles of the episodes as Japanese is certainly a language I'm not fluent in at all. If anyone wants to correct me, feel free.


14 December 2013 - Yutaka Izubuchi Art Prints, Next Generation Phone App CG Labor Footage + Site Updates
The
Tokuma Shoten Art Gallery has released a number of high quality framed art prints by Yutaka Izubuchi. These include two Patlabor prints; "Multilegged Walking Police Robot" and "Black Evil One". Both were pieces used as exclusive artwork on the cover of "Patlabor the movie - Limited Collector's Edition" DVD box set originally released by the ill fated Bandai Visual USA in 2006. Both prints measure 388mm x  297mm and cost ¥23,310 each.

On to Live Action news; on 23 November 2013, the Next Genertaion - Patlabor - website announced a new smart phone app which included a whole 6 second CG sequence of an AV-98 Ingram walking backwards on to it's service platform inside the SV2 hanger. As you can see, it's not the most exciting piece of footage. I haven't been able to update the site at all of the last month which has been a bit frustrating. I'm expecting to be able to fix few things up by the start of the new year or hopefully a little earlier. Over the next month or so, I expect more promotional material for the live action project start to be released to the public, with an avalanche of material from February onwards. I'll endeavour to update the site, but I recommend checking out the "In & Up!" Facebook page as well as the "In & Up!" blog for behind the scenes photos of the shoot. It's a bit odd, but western fans don't seem to be linking to these sites, but instead are more interested in other western fan sites compiling the same images, often weeks after they were first published.


23 November 2013 - New Patlabor Messenger Bag from Cospa
Cospa will be releasing a
Shinohara Heavy Industries reflective messenger bag (courier bag) in December 2013. It will cost ¥4,410 and the size of it is 48cm x 27cm and is 16cm deep. It can hold up to 5kg of weight. Currently it is only available to buy via Cospa/Gee! Store outlets and on the Cospa website, however it will be sold in other shops from January 2014.


18 November 2013 - Madman Solicit First TV Collection + Delete the 2 Disc Movie Collection
Work has finally eased off, but I still haven't found much time at all to update the site. Luckily not much has happened in the last month or so! Today the first Patlabor TV set
appeared on Madman's B2B site. A 3D mock up of the package can be found here. Titled "Patlabor - The Mobile Police TV Series Collection 1", it will retail for AU$69.95 and contain the first 24 episodes on DVD only (4 discs in total), so it looks like the series will be complete in two sets. Apparently the extras will include; "Meet the Director", "A history of Patlabor", "Meet the characters" and "Art gallery". We'll see if any of those actually appear on the final product. I wouldn't hold my breath, but as Maiden Japan isn't actually involved in this release per se, maybe we might get lucky. Currently there is no word if the dub is cut or not on this release. No retailers have the set up for pre-order yet. Also of note is that the two disc movie collection had vanished from Madman's site, presumably out of print for good. This is notable as it was the only version still in print which had the original 2.0 stereo Japanese audio (which was completely rerecorded in 1998 and never issued on DVD or BD in Japan) and Manga Entertainment's English dub.


21 October 2013 - Site Downtime and Future Updates + Live Action Film Shoot in Atami
You may have noticed that the site was down from at least Friday until Sunday night. The hosting company said it had to do with changing of servers, but I thought that had been completed in July, so I'm not sure what to make of it all. Hopefully everything is sorted now. Not much news to report except that there was some filming for the live action series in Atami (Shizuoka Prefecture) from 13 October to about 15 October 2013. There were a number of photos of the shoot that appeared on Twitter from onlookers but also from Kazunori Ito's Twitter account (who I don't believe is working on the film, at least not in terms of screenplays). I want to upload them, but unfortunately work is eating into any spare time at the moment. Hopefully I'll have time at the weekend. 



5 October 2013 - Maiden Japan Solicit Final TV BD and DVD + In & Up! Facebook Page Asking For More Extras
Maiden Japan have recently solicited the last volume in their Patlabor TV release. The DVD and Blu-ray versions will have episodes 37 to 47 and as per usual no extras whatsoever. As per the previous collections, the DVD set will retail for US$59.98 and BD set will retail for US$69.98. Both will be released on 7 January 2014, and of will have CPM's English dub (uncut, I hope) as well as the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. The cover artwork comes from the second volume of the original 1990 Japanese VHS and LD release (see
here for Maiden Japan's covers). See Upcoming Product Releases above for retailer links. One can only assume that the the New OVA Series (aka New Files) will be released in March 2014. I also note that there hasn't been a peep out of Madman Entertainment since June regarding their DVD only Australian release. I suspect the cut dub is causing problems for them. I have also noticed that the "In & Up!" Facebook page is asking for more extras for the live action project. The extras are needed between 10 to 14 October 2013. 


26 September 2013 - Patlabor – The Next Generation Nico Nico Live Press Conference Wrap Up
I've just got enough time to give a reasonably thorough run down of the information which came out in the last day or so. As has been previously reported via leaks and as hinted by the project’s title, the project is not a remake of the original but a new story set in Tokyo 2013. The production staff refer to the characters in the project as the third generation of the SV2. Somewhere in the intervening years between 2002 (“Patlabor 2 the movie”) and 2013, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police disbanded Division 1, but Division 2 managed to survive despite budget cuts due to a long recession. However Labor crime is still rampant in the city. Division 2 consists of a new set of officers which seem just as oddball as the original first generation officers (in the original anime).

Akira Izumino (played by Erina Mano) is the first Labor pilot. She loves Labors and Police TV Dramas. Apparently she’s also a genius gamer who enters a state of super concentration when “in the zone”. Captain Keiji Gotoda (Toshio Kakei) is Captain Kiichi Goto’s successor. Like Goto he is resourceful and cunning. Because of these attributes he is considered to be like a reincarnation of Goto. Yuma Shiobara (Seiji Fukushi) is Akira’s backup. According to his profile he is a gun otaku and can be found drinking on duty and making plastic models. Ekaterina Krachevna Kankaeva (aka Kasha, played by Rina Ota) is a Russian officer on loan to train with the SV2. She is back up to the second Labor. She drinks heavily, owns an AK-47 and rides a Ducati bike. Finally we have Shigeo Shiba (played by Shigeru Chiba, who voiced the original character in the anime). Seemingly the only surviving member of the original SV2 in this project, he took over Seitaroh Sakaki’s job as head mechanic sometime before “Patlabor 2 the movie”.

The project is split into two parts. The first part is a 12 part series of 48 minutes each with a 10 minute “Episode Zero” prologue. Confusingly the series will be released in seven sections as limited “Roadshow” theatrical screenings beginning in April 2014. The total budget of the project is 2 billion yen with principal photography running from June 2013 to December 2013. Two full size AV-98 Ingram Labor props were built at a cost several tens of millions of yen. Mamoru Oshii will be chief director of the project (with other directors directing individual episodes) and he noted that the series will have a “slapstick ambience”. Oshii and Kei Yamamura are writing the screenplays for the episodes. Oshii will also be writing directing a full length (around 100 minutes) theatrical feature due for release in 2015. The feature film is presently untitled. Kenji Kawai will compose music for both projects. Shochiku will be distributor of the films and the official website notes that Shinjuku Piccadilly cinema complex will premier the theatrical feature in 2015.



25 September 2013 - Patlabor - Next Generation Nico Nico Live Press Conference
Unfortunately due to work commitments, I'm going to be really lazy and direct you to
ANN's coverage of what was announced today. There's some really interesting stuff in the report, but a lot of it has already been leaked. I will do a proper write up this weekend. Sorry! Also I have just noted the Patlabor - Next Generation website has been updated with a lot of information about the project. 


21 September 2013 - In & Up! Blog and Facebook Page Linked to Live Action Project Website
Yesterday the
Patlabor - Next Generation website updated it's splash page to link to the previously mentioned "In & Up!" Facebook page as well as an "In & Up!" blog. Both have the same content. New behind the scenes photos are posted daily on each site. Nico Nico Live has put up a new announcement page about the live action project which will be streamed live at 11am on 25 September 2013 (Japanese time). Apparently cast members for the project will be announced. Hopefully I'll be able to update the section on the project this weekend.


17 September 2013 - Live Action News: Nico Nico Douga Announcement and Facebook Page with Behind the Scenes Photos Appears + Anime News: Patlabor TV on Hulu
The special 15 September announcement regarding the live action project (previously mentioned on Mamoru Oshii's "Ticking off Half the World" blog on the Nico Nico Douga site) did yield a few new nuggets of information; Takanori Tsujimoto ("Bushido Man") will be the director and Noa and Asuma won't feature in the project at all. A further announcement will be made on 25 September 2013 on Nico Nico Douga site. In the last couple of days there has been a bit of buzz about a new Facebook page called "In & Up!". Quite a number of photos with rather vague descriptions have been posted since June 2013. All of the shots seems to be from the sets of the Patlabor live action project. Some of the more interesting photos include a fake convenience store and courier, a smashed police car and what seems to be details of the interior of the SV2 hanger. Of note is that Takanori Tsujimoto himself has liked one of the posts, so it seems legit. And finally Hulu is now streaming the first 20 episode of the Patlabor TV series (available to US residents only).


12 September 2013 - New Live Action Project Info; TV Drama Episode Count, Oshii to Director + Partial TV and Movie Staff List
The Youkids News blog has posted some new info relating to the live action Patlabor project, and some of it is quite surprising. The TV drama will be twelve parts long and will be broadcast towards the end of (the northern hemisphere) Autumn 2013. Mamoru Oshii will be the supervising director and Takanori Tsujimoto ("Bushido Man"), Kiyotaka Taguchi ("Neo Ultra Q") and Hiroaki Yuasa (director of photography for "Assault Girls") will be episode directors. Mamoru Oshii will be the director of the movie version which is due for a summer 2014 release. Takahide Sano and Isao Kaneko (assistant director on "Avalon") will be assistant directors on the film. Izumi Kazuyoshi is the line producer for the project. Cinema Sound Works are credited with recording and a company called Dummy Head will provide Special makeup design. There are no sources listed on the blog for this information, but going on the past record of the blog, I'd say most of this info, if not all, is probably correct.


5 September 2013 - Patlabor Live Action TV Drama First, Then Movie + Cast to Include Erina Mano, Fukushi Seiji and Toshio Kakei
According to the Nikkan Daily Issue website the cast for the upcoming Patlabor live action project will include Erina Mano (pop idol formerly associated with idol unit Ongaku Gatas. In 2008 she embarked on a solo idol career), Fukushi Seiji ("Swing Girls", "Nodame Cantabile" TV drama series and movies) and Toshio Kakei ("Bayside Shakedown", "Space Travellers"). The article doesn't mention their actual roles. The website also seems to confirm the rumours that the project will first be TV drama, then a movie will be made. It also mentions that principle photography will wrap up in October. Also according to Mamoru Oshii's "Ticking off Half the World" blog on the Nico Nico Douga site, he will be making a special announcement about the project on 15 September. And finally, I have updated the section on the live action movie a couple weeks back. I suspect I'll be updating it quite regularly from now on.


15 August 2013 - New Official Live Action Movie Images Released
A teaser poster for the forthcoming Patlabor Live Action film has been publicly shown at the TFC booth at the 14th Taiwan International Comic Expo. Also the official live action Patlabor website, patlabor-nextgeneration.com, has changed it's background image again. This time it shows an Ingram Labor out on Tokyo Bay. Both images show a new logo for the project.


4 August 2013 - Full Sized Live Action Movie Labor Props Spotted in Yokohama + New Live Action Patlabor Promotional Image Released
A number of photographs have appeared on twitter apparently yesterday showing a full sized Ingram, it's carrier and a command car. It is assumed these are for the live action Patlabor film which is currently in production. The photos were shot in Yokohama in the Nanbushijo area. And in slightly more prosaic live action movie news, the official live action Patlabor website, patlabor-nextgeneration.com, has a new background image showing mechanics inside the SV2 hanger. Unfortunately nothing else has been added to the webpage.


3 August 2013 - MVM Entertainment's "Early Days" OVA Release Date, Price Point and Pre-Order
MVM Entertainment's Anime-On-Line.com website has revealed the release date for the "Early Days" OVA, 18 November 2013. The retail price for both the DVD and Blu-ray will be £24.99. See Upcoming Product Releases above for retailer links.


1 August 2013 - MVM Entertainment to Release "Early Days" OVA in the UK
MVM Entertainment announced on their Twitter account today that they will be releasing the "Early Days" OVA series on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK in November. No price point has been announced. Most likely the Blu-ray version will be a dupe of the discs that Maiden Japan and Madman Entertainment released. It's plausible the DVD version will also be a dupe of the Madman release.


26 July 2013 - Maiden Japan Solicits Third TV Collection, No Extras On Collection 1 Discs + Guillermo del Toro Admits Patlabor Influenced Pacific Rim
Maiden Japan in the US have solicited the third collection of the TV series. This collection covers the episodes 25 to 36 of the series. As per the two previous collections, the DVD set will retail for US$59.98 and BD set will retail for US$69.98. Both will be released on 5 Novemberr 2013, and of will have CPM's English dub (uncut, I hope) as well as the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Currently only the Right Stuf has the sets up for pre-order (see Upcoming Product Releases above for links). As to the extras on this set and the other two, well there are none. The updated artwork for collection 2 doesn't mention any extras and despite the cover stating collection 1
contains clean opening closings, they don't actually appear anywhere on any of the discs.

This is old news, but I thought I might mention it anyway; in an interview on Ain't It Cool News in regards to the film "Pacific Rim", director Guillermo del Toro states that Patlabor was an influence on the film as well as "Tetsujin 28 (Gigantor)", "Voltron (Go Lion/Dairugger XV)", "Space Giants (Ambassador Magma)" and "Ultraman", but he didn't "consult them like a Bible". He also states that "the DNA of Patlabor is in the DNA of how we conduct business in the Shatterdome (i.e. the headquarters of the Pan Pacific Defence Corps in the film)". Having seen the film, I can say that the Shatterdome is nothing like anything depicted in Patlabor at all. The only comparison you could make is that the SV2 hanger and the Shatterdome are both used to repair and store giant robots, that's it. Finally I've been as sick as a dog during the last week and also have been exceptionally busy at work, so don't expect many (any?) updates at all for quite a while.


13 July 2013 - Maiden Japan's Patlabor TV Sets Have Edited English Dubs
Now to the almost never ending saga that is the current English language release of "Patlabor On Television"... Hard as it is to believe, according to
this post on the Fandom Post forums, the English dub on the first set of Maiden Japan's release of the Patlabor TV series is edited. According to the post, the edited dub is from a TV broadcast from seven or eight years ago. The differences between the original Japanese version and edited dub are dealt via seamless branching, so it seems the Japanese version is presented uncut. There are warnings presented on screen and in an insert inside the case in regards to the edited dub. But of course this info is NOT printed on the outside of the disc case, so you'd have no idea until you bought it. You may remember I previously questioned the solicitation for this release in regards to the disc listing an extra labelled "Undubbed Footage". Well, this extra compares the edited English dub with the uncut Japanese footage. Mystery solved. Why Maiden Japan couldn't get the uncut English dub from the original CPM DVD releases is beyond me. I should be able to confirm the post on the Fandom Post forums next week when I get my copy. However I will say that this current release (both Maiden Japan's and Madman Entertainment's) is turning out to be a bit of a dog's breakfast.


5 July 2013 - Mamoru Oshii "Involved" in Live Action Patlabor + Disappearing Extras on Patlabor DVDs and Blu-rays
Although this was
previously announced back in March by Japanese news blog Hobbylog, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (TFC) announced at its booth at the 14th Japan Expo in Paris that Mamoru Oshii is involved in live action Patlabor project. Though in what capacity, who knows? Remember that Oshii is currently working on "The Last Druid: Garm Wars" which is due for release sometime next year. I would guess that his role would be only a supervisory one, but who really knows. Rumours in April also had Kiyotaka Taguchi (assistant special effects director for "Godzilla X Megaguirus" and "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack", episode director for "Neo Ultra Q"), Takanori Tsujimoto (director of "Monster Killer" and "Bushido Man") and Hiroaki Yuasa (cinematographer for "Monster Killer" and Mamoru Oshii's "Assault Girls") attached to the project. In May casting director Junichi Tayama set up a blog calling for volunteers as extras and and as part of production team. TFC also updated the project's website to read "Mamoru Oshii X The Next Generation -Patlabor-". I'm hoping to update the live action section of the website this weekend with most of this information.

And now more news on those disappearing extras on the new Patlabor releases in the US and Australia. Having seen a copies of Madman's DVD and Blu-ray releases for the "Patlabor Early Days" I can confirm both do not contain a single extra on them besides trailers for other titles. Also a reader has helpfully pointed out to me
this post on the Fandom Post's forums from Maiden Japan's Janice Williams. She states the previously solicited extras for the second collection of their Patlabor TV release are actually for a completely different title they're releasing; "Medaka Box". This was apparently a "cut & paste error". I should have twigged when I read the first extra being "Jump Festa Promo". The Patlabor manga was published in Shonen Sunday, not Shonen Jump for starters... The company is still stating that the first BD and DVD set will include clean opening and closings, but I'd bet London to a brick that the sets will not contain these.


18 June 2013 - Madman Entertainment Not Releasing TV Series on Blu-Ray + Geoblocking on Maiden Japan’s TV Blu-Rays
Some really disappointing news on the Patlabor Blu-Ray (BD) front. First is Madman’s
announcement that they will not be releasing the TV series on BD. The TV series will still have a DVD release. Bizarrely it seems they still confirmed they are releasing the New OVA Series (released by CPM as the “New Files”) on BD. Only four of the sixteen OVA episodes were ever dubbed in English (unless Maiden Japan has plans to dub the other twelve, which I find highly unlikely). The company’s statement also said that they will only release the movies on BD if the Early Days OVA BD does well. Seeing as the movies are far, far more popular than the Early Days OVA series, and can be enjoyed without having seen the OVA series, Madman Entertainment’s reasoning seems really flawed and downright stupid. Luckily Australians can purchase all three movies on BD from Amazon.co.jp complete with English subtitles and English dubs (the third film doesn’t have an English dub on the BD), and avoid this nonsense.

And now to Maiden Japan... A major problem with Blu-Ray and anime is that Japan and US are both Region A. This means Japanese anime fans can import cheaper versions of anime BDs. There have been various methods to attempt to stop “reverse importation” such as locked subtitles and the occasional "English dub only" disc, but now there is a new method; geoblocking (see
here for a discussion on the Fandompost.com forums). Apparently some US BDs are able to detect if the BD player is not a US player and will refuse to play the disc. The good news is that it only seems to apply to Japanese players. However this may not be true for all discs. The unfortunate news is that the first Patlabor TV BD from Maiden Japan has geolocking. Currently there is no information as to if the discs in this set will play on players outside the US and Japan. Early reports on some other discs (such as the Funimation BDs) seem to indicate there won't be a problem.


31 May 2013 - Maiden Japan Solicits Patlabor the Television Series Collection 2 DVD and BD
Maiden Japan in the US have solicited the second collection of the TV series. This collection covers the episodes 13 to 24 of the series. The solicitation curiously says the sets are two discs each rather than the four disc DVD and three disc BD that collection one was. The DVD set will retail for US$59.98 and BD set will retail for US$69.98. Both will be released on 10 September 2013, and of course will have CPM's English dub as well as the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Currently only the Right Stuf has the set up for pre-order (see Upcoming Product Releases above for links). Again, there’s weirdness in the solicitation’s mention of extras. This time around the discs will supposedly include; Jump Festa Promo, Teasers, Home Video Spots, Clean Opening Animation and Clean Closing Animation. Yet the Japanese BDs didn’t include this material. In fact only the home video spots have ever made it on to a home video version of the series anywhere in the world. Considering that the clean opening and closings never materialised on the Maiden Japan’s “Early Days” release, I seriously have no hope that these extras will appear either. The preliminary artwork for collection 2 can be seen
here. This time they've used the artwork from the original “Patlabor on Television P-5 LD and VHS” release from 1991 (click here for the LD cover). The final artwork for the first collection can be seen here. It’s not that much different for the preliminary artwork. Of note however is the new listing for the extras which now read “Undubbed Footage” (whatever that means) the usual non-existent clean opening and closing animation.


15 May 2013 - Live Action Production Team Call For Extras and Behind The Scenes Volunteers
A blog called
patlaborextra.com has been set up by casting director Junichi Tayama. On the blog he is asking for volunteer extras to appear in the forthcoming live action Patlabor film. Filming will take place from June 2013 and the production staff require extras to play the parts of labor crime witnesses, people passing by, policemen, detectives, fire fighters, ambulance officers, self defence force officials and various others. The blog says you don't need previous acting experience and that age and gender doesn't really matter. Though you won't be paid, you will get a small souvenir for your efforts. The registration page also mentions the production team is after volunteers to who have experience behind the scenes. The deadline to register seems to be by the start of June.


25 April 2013 - 25th Anniversary of Patlabor, 10th Anniversary of Schaft Enterprises/Patlabor.info
It’s a little hard to believe, but on this day a quarter of a century ago, Bandai Visual released the first OVA episode of “Mobile Police Patlabor”. Incredibly there is still interest in the series with numerous merchandise releases in Japan, and even Blu-ray and DVD releases of the series in the US and Australia this year. And of course there is the forthcoming live action Patlabor film due for release sometime in 2014.

This year also marks a decade of this very website. Of course as I originally explained in the website’s introduction page, I built the site because there was practically no information dedicated to the series when I searched for info on the web. Looking back through the stats, it seems that nearly 1,500 people visit the website monthly and surprisingly the amount keeps increasing every year. It sort of mystifies me as to why this would be. There hasn’t been any new Patlabor anime since the rather lukewarmly received “WXIII Patlabor the movie 3” in 2002, I haven’t really updated the site for a number of years, and websites dedicated to anime series are really old hat in this age of Wikis, Tumblr and Twitter. Embarrassingly this site has become a “go to” site for Patlabor information. It is even referenced on various Wikipedia pages as a source and even my synopses for the TV series episodes have been copied verbatim into
this page.

At any rate I will continue to keep this site running into the foreseeable future and have no plans to shut it down (and um, update much of it to be honest…). I plan to keep plugging along with news updates, making the site look less ugly (working on that slowly) and continue updating the section on the forthcoming live action film. Thanks for the emails of support over the years as well. Who knows, the website may well celebrate another decade in 2023.



24 April 2013 - Patlabor Live Action Movie Rumours
Some very interesting rumours concerning the forthcoming Patlabor live action movie have been posted on the
Youkids News blog, apparently from an actor who auditioned for the production. Principal photography for the project is scheduled from May to October 2013 with a release date of (Northern Hemisphere) Summer 2014. Not only that, there appears to be a TV version as well. Unfortunately my Japanese language skills are pretty hopeless to nonexistent (closer to the latter), so It's a little confusing as to what is being said on the blog. It seems to suggest a TV version will be broadcast version sometime after (Northern Hemisphere) Autumn 2013 and there's mention of an original anime, but I'm uncertain what has actually been written. Rumoured to be attached to the project are Kiyotaka Taguchi (assistant special effects director for "Godzilla X Megaguirus" and "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack", episode director for "Neo Ultra Q"), Takanori Tsujimoto (director of "Monster Killer" and "Bushido Man") and Hiroaki Yuasa (cinematographer for "Monster Killer" and Mamoru Oshii's "Assault Girls"). There is no source for this story other than the unnamed actor nor where the blogger sourced the information from, so as the Youkids News blog post says in closing, take the rumours with a giant grain of salt.


22 April 2013 - No Extras On Maiden Japan’s "Early Days" Release
It’s been confirmed on
the Fandom Post forums (by people who received their copies early), that Maiden Japan’s BD and DVD releases of “Patlabor The Mobile Police: Original OVA Series Early Days” do not contain the clean opening and closings. This is not all that surprising as no Japanese home video release has included clean opening and closings of any Patlabor anime (either the OVAs or TV series), let alone the “Early Days” OVA series. Not only that, the Maiden Japan sets do not include any extras at all. Compare with the U.S. Manga Corps (CPM) 2003 DVD set which contained audio commentary from Mamoru Oshii with Shigeki Mori for the first three OVAs, dub outtakes and even a sew on cloth patch! As Madman Entertainment is probably using the same authoring as Maiden Japan for its BD version, I would expect the same lack of extras on their release, or at least no audio commentaries. I would be highly surprised if Maiden Japan's Patlabor TV series sets contain clean opening and closings as the pre-order info says.


14 April 2013 - Patlabor Novels Reissued and New Madman Artwork for Early Days OVA
Numerious light novels in Kadokawa's Sneaker Bunko and Fujimi Shobou's Fantasia Bunko series are to be reprinted and sold via Animate, Gamers and Shosen book stores. This will include the first five Patlabor light novels which were originally released between 1990 and 1993 and written by Michiko Yokote (who wrote most of the the TV series screenplays), except the first novel, an adaptation of the first movies, which was written by Kazunori Ito. The first novel, "Mobile Police Patlabor: Wind Speed 40 Metres Per Second", goes on sale on 20 July. "Mobile Police Patlabor: Syntax Error" and "Mobile Police Patlabor: Third Mission" will be issued on 20 August and the final two books, "Mobile Police Patlabor: Backjack Part 1" and "Mobile Police Patlabor: Backjack Part 2" will be released on 20 September. The price of each novel will be ¥672, except for "Mobile Police Patlabor: Syntax Error", which will retail for ¥693. Currently only Animate has the books up for pre-order online.

Madman have issued new cover art for their forthcoming "Early Days" OVA release. The DVD artwork is
here, the BD artwork here. As you can see, it mirrors the Maiden Japan release.


30 March 2013 - Patlabor To Appear In "Super Robot Wars Operation Extend" PSP Game + Site Updates
Banpresto's PSP game "Super Robot Wars Operation Extend", due for release during (the northern hemisphere's) summer 2013, will include both Noa and Ota's AV-98 Ingrams from the Patlabor franchise. The game will be released in eight separate downloadable parts. The first chapter of the game will cost ¥500 yen and following chapters will be ¥1,000 yen each. The full set of eight chapters costs ¥6,480 yen. A promotional video for the game will released in May.

In other news I have included a new section for the forthcoming live action film and and corrected and updated the section on Oshii's 1998 live action pilot film. The site does need a major clean up and does look rather crap in Internet Explorer 10, so I'll be fixing up sections as I see problems (i.e. very slowly).


29 March 2013 - Maiden Japan Solicits Patlabor On Television Collection 1 DVD and Blu-ray Sets + Preliminary Cover Artwork and "Deleted Scenes"?
Maiden Japan in the US have solicited the first collection of the TV series. The collection covers the first 12 episodes of the series. The four disc DVD set will retail for
US$59.98, while the three disc BD set will retail for US$69.98. Both will be released on 16 July 2013, have CPM's English dub as well as the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Curiously the solicitation also mentions the extras will include creditless opening and closing animations (never included in any Japanese video releases as far as I'm aware), but bafflingly states that the set will included "Deleted Scenes". Um... What...? Again, as far as I'm aware no Japanese release of the series on any home video format has included these "Deleted Scenes", so I'm sort of wondering if this is a mistake in Maiden Japan's solicitation. The company has also issued the initial artwork for the cover of the first collection (which can be seen here). The cover artwork is edited from the VHS and Laserdisc artwork for the original "Patlabor on Television P-7" release in 1991 (a shoddy scan of the VHS cover can be seen here). Currently only the Right Stuf has the set up for pre-order (see Upcoming Product Releases above for links).


23 March 2013 - Preview Up For Mobile Police Patlabor 25th Anniversary Memorial Book
Publisher Takarajimasha has put up preview pages for it's forthcoming “Mobile Police Patlabor 25th Anniversary Memorial Book”. The preview can be accessed by clicking the book symbol under the image of the cover of the book on
this page. The book will compile material mostly from thier 2007 book "Mobile Police Patlabor Chronicle" as well as their 2003 book "Mobile Police Patlabor Perfect Book". The new book will be released on 23 March 2013, around 191 pages long and in B6 sized format. The price will be ¥1,575 and the ISBN is 4-80-020917-X.


21 March 2013 - Tohokushinsha Film Corporation Announces Live Action Patlabor Project For 2014
2013 has been a bit of strange one for so far for Patlabor news. You may remember back on 17 September 2012 at a
Nico Nico Live talk show event, Studio Ghibli Producer Toshio Suzuki asked Mamoru Oshii if Patlabor live action movie was in the works after apparently hearing a rumour from Production I.G producer Tomohiko Ishii. Oshii didn't really confirm or deny it was happening, but with the announcement of Oshii's live action project "The Last Druid: Garm Wars", I dismissed the Patlabor live action movie rumours completely. Looks like I was wrong. Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (TFC) have announced at first day of Tokyo International Anime Fair that they will be launching a Patlabor live action project in 2014. A website entitled patlabor-nextgeneration.com has been set up, but currently only shows a splash page. Omnibus Japan is co-producing the feature. No director or screen writer has been mentioned nor is there any information that any members of Headgear will be involved. 

Back in September 2012, Masami Yuuki
denied any knowledge of the project, and surprisingly said that he wished people would not make "political moves like that". In 1998 Oshii created a two minute live action Patlabor pilot film (it was created in tandem with the two pilot films, one anime, one live action, for “The Record of Garm War”). At the time it was never clear why Patlabor pilot film was produced as no live action feature what ever announced. Prior to that, 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. This new announcement from TFC is very intriguing, and though I really have a lot of doubts considering the poor quality of the majority of Japanese live action adaptations of manga and anime, I am looking forward to finished film.


21 March 2013 - Maiden Japan Announces Patlabor On Television DVD and Blu-ray Sets
While a complete given, it does come as a small surprise that US distributor Maiden Japan has
announced that they have the rights to the Patlabor TV series. I was a little surprised that the series is being released on Blu-ray as well as DVD. Central Park Media/US Manga Corps did take almost five years to release the series on DVD a decade ago and we know it was a poor seller for them, so this re-release on BD baffles me somewhat. Not that I'm complaining. It'll be very nice to have the series on BD in English (and I already have it on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD...). And hopefully the second opening theme will be in it's right place, unlike the the US Manga Corps release. The TV series will be released in four sets every other month starting form 16 July 2013. The artwork for the first set should show up within a week or two.


20 March 2013 - Madman Resolicits Early Days DVD and BD, New Artwork for US DVD and BD Releases and Cover Artwork 25th Anniversary Book
While I was away overseas, a bunch of Patlabor related stuff happened, and I had no way of updating the site. Oh well. The biggie is Madman Entertainment has resolicited the Early Days OVA series not only on DVD, but on Blu-ray as well. The release date will be 19 June 2013. Maiden Japan has issued new artwork for their release of the Early Days OVA series, this time inexplicably choosing the artwork for the original 1988 release of the third OVA "The 450 Million Year Old Trap" (VHS cover
here). Kinda boggles the mind... Interestingly the new back cover artwork shows a timeline of the OVA and TV series which strengthens speculation that not only do Maiden Japan have the rights to both OVA series and the TV series, but also the movies. You can see the updated artwork at the Fandom Post. Takarajimasha has released the cover artwork for their upcoming “Mobile Police Patlabor 25th Anniversary Memorial Book”. It can be seen on Amazon.co.jp.


27 February 2013 - Mobile Police Patlabor 25th Anniversary Memorial Book
On 25 April this year, Patlabor will have clocked up a quarter of a century since it's first OVA release. Publisher Takarajimasha is getting in early on the celebrations and will publish “Mobile Police Patlabor 25th Anniversary Memorial Book” on 23 March 2013. The 200 page book will cover everything in the franchise from the manga, all the anime and the novels, and will feature input from all of the members of Headgear. The price will be ¥1,575 and the ISBN is 4-80-020917-X.



8 February 2013 - The Final "My First Big Special" Manga Release
The final volume in Shogakukan's "My First Big" imprint of Patlabor manga will be "The Decisive Battle of Reclaimed Land" ("Umetate Chi no Kessen" - my shoddy translation is probably wrong...), due on 8 March 2013 with a price tag of ¥650. At this stage no one has it up for pre-order yet.



17 January 2013 - Maiden Japan Patlabor Early Days OVA DVD and Blu-ray Release Date, Artwork and Pre-Order
Maiden Japan has already set release dates for their upcoming Patlabor Early Days OVA DVD and BD; 30 April 2013 (just a couple of days after the 25th anniversary of the  release of the first Patlabor OVA). The DVD will retail for US$29.98, the BD will be US$39.98. The assumption is that the discs will include CPM's English dub from 2003, but this hasn't been confirmed. The artwork for the sets have also been
posted on the Fandompost.com forums. At this stage (the artwork is only tentative), they are using the same artwork as the second DVD from Bandai Visual's 2000 DVD release. Also of note is that they also using the "Early Days" title for the OVA. The Fandompost.com is reporting that the sets will have the clean opening and closing animation as extras, which is odd as they have never been released on any Japanese home video release as far as I'm aware. Only one retailer has put the series up for pre-order so far, the Right Stuf. I'll add more to the Upcoming Product Releases as retailers list them.


16 January 2013 - Maiden Japan to Release Patlabor Early Days OVA on DVD and Blu-ray
Well here's something that's really out of the blue; US anime company Maiden Japan (one of the many video companies that appeared out of the ashes of ADV Films), will be
releasing the original Patlabor OVA series (known as "Early Days" on every Japanese release since 1995) on Blu-ray as well as DVD and online sometime this year. This announcement probably explains why Madman put their release of the series on hold in April last year (this post seems to indicate a resolicitation from Madman soon, perhaps on BD). I do find it rather astonishing that someone actually decided to release OVA, and re-release it on BD, since it never did very well for previous distributor Central Park Media (CPM). In fact CPM cancelled the dub of the last 12 episodes of the New OVA series. It's pretty much a given that the CPM dub will appear on Maiden Japan's release. I suspect that Maiden Japan will also announce they're releasing the TV series and New Series OVA. At the very least, this announcement allows people to purchase the series without being ripped off by Amazon sellers who are charging more than $200 for a well worn used copy of CPM's DVD set.


12 January 2013 - The Next "My First Big Special" Manga and More Cospa Re-releases
The next volume in Shogakukan's "My First Big" imprint is; "Mobile Police Patlabor - Schaft Vs Utsumi", due on 8 February 2013 costing ¥680 (ISBN 4-09-107854-0). Unfortunately it's not up for pre-order at Amazon.co.jp yet. And in further predictable Patlabor news, Cospa has reissued a number of their Patlabor T-shirts as well as a business card holder and tie pin. See the "Upcoming Product Releases" section above for details
.

Schaft Enterprises

 

A GWEI Product. ©2003 - 2017 GWEI. Mobile Police Patlabor ©1988 - 1994, 2002, 2014 - 2016 Headgear/Emotion/Bandai Visual/TFC/Shogakukan/NTV/Production I.G./Akemi Takada/Masami Yuuki/The Next Generation - Patlabor - Production Committee/Khara. All other logos/trademarks are copyright of their respective owners/companies. Used for review and illustration purposes only.