Two bits of exciting news for fans of giant robot cop drama Patlabor! The first is that Maiden Japan has license rescued the 47-episode Mobile Police Patlabor TV series, which was previously available from Central Park Media. The TV series is an alternate retelling of the events of the OVA (which Maiden Japan also rescued; their box art for the OVA actually hinted that more was on the way), and more comedic in tone. The good news is that this reissue, while still split over multiple volumes, will be a lot more compact in packaging, and the high definition remastering actually will make it look a lot better in this case. Here’s the old CPM preview:
Reissuing the old anime is exciting, but what’s really great is news of the first new Patlabor media since 2002’s theatrical film; a movie titled Patlabor Next Generation is coming in 2014 according to a teaser website (the “next generation” trope makes sense, given that the original 1988 series was set in 1998, a future which is now our past). What’s more is that this new project’s going to be live-action, a dream of fans and the creators alike for several years.
This is, of course, not the first attempt at a live-action Patlabor. Here’s a trailer that Mamoru Oshii did back in 1998 for a version that never materialized:
Advancements in CGI since then can only improve things; the only risk is that director Mamoru Oshii, who did the original OVA and first two movies, has a tendency to make torpid, philosophy-heavy action films, a trend which has only been exacerbated since he made the move to live-action. If he is in fact the driving force behind the 2014 project, it may not be as much fun as the original anime was.