Director: Takuji Endo and Fumihiko Takayam (chief)
Screenplay by: Miki Tori
U. S. Distributor: Maiden Japan, Section 23
U. S. Release Date: September 8th, 2015
Format: Blu-ray / Feature Film / 107 minutes & 38 minute extra
Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha
Age Rating: TV 14
Overall Personal Rating B+
The SV2’s giant Ingram Patrol Labors may be the ultimate in crime-fighting technology, but there are never enough to tackle every pending case. So when a mysterious series of deadly attacks targets Labor operators across Tokyo’s harbor region, the job goes to “conventional” detectives Hata and Kusumi.
After all, just because it looks like a giant robot-created crime doesn’t mean that it is a giant robot-created crime, and deep inside a web of half-truths and government cover-ups, the detectives uncover a secret biological weapons project called WWXIII. But while this secret may have been buried, it’s still very much alive. And that’s when having the armored force of the SV2 as backup may become a literal lifesaver for the entire city!
The last of the Patlabor franchise films is something very different then the rest of the series, but it is not detached. The one thing that is very consistent is the high quality of story development. One thing that may lose people is the strange concept behind the story. Although the Japanese are not too afraid to take on the issue of monsters derived from mutations and experimentation.
I can say that I was drawn into the story right off the bat and continued to stay with it all the way trough. I loved the way they wrapped it up but I would have liked to see more Patlabor. As a police drama it is solid.
The animation was a let down for me. Almost 10 year passed from Patlabor 2 and the production quality just doesn’t match up. It almost felt older than and lacked the special visual prescience the earlier film had.
Overall Grade: B+
Patlabor the Movie 3: WXIII is a fine film but maybe its title should not have been Patlabor the Movie 3 because of the lack of the Patlabor Mecha and team. Maybe it should have been called the Promise from Space and Death.
Honestly I found Patlabor the Movie 3 to be a wonderfully strange and at the same time a little disappointing. It is telling how production ideals and approaches changed over the years and also the interest that is given to some of the small details. This alone is a simple pleasure that comes with much beloved dramas. I have always marveled at how the Japanese can take some of the strangest story lines and make them interesting and good.
If you are trying find that real “diamond in the ruff” then WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3 is what you might be looking for.