When the level of Labor accidents begin to escalate around Tokyo Bay, police detectives Kusumi and Hata are assigned to investigate. What they discover leads to a series of government cover-ups, conspiracy concerning a new biological weapon entitled WXIII-Wasted Thirteen and a tragic, personal connection to Hata. The only hope to stop this threat is to cooperate with the military and lead WXIII into a showdown with the Labors of Special Vehicle Division 2.
Something strange is happening in Tokyo Bay.Underwater labors are being destroyed,people are turning up dead and speculations begin to spiral once a picture of a strange creature is spotted.Detectives Kusumi and Hata must uncover the culprit of the Tokyo Bay terrorism while at the same time uncover a possible government coverup.
There's three main premise you expect from a Patlabor title;brilliant animation,a strong storyline and carefully choreographed mecha action.Patlabor movie 3 does a good job of blending all these.
The animation is top notch.Drawing are done with great detail and rich colour.The only minor flaw would be the character design which at times looks shoddy
and crudely done,but overall the animation is what you would expect from a Patlabor title.The story is definitely one that you have to pay close attention or risk getting lost in what at times may come across as a bit convoluted.I got a strange unfamiliar feeling watching this anime as for the most part it had the feel of a standard detective anime rather than a labor title.This could be due to unlike the first two movie and the series this one wasn't build around the familiar cast.
Patlabor was never as action oriented as other mecha anime eg gundam,macross" but instead tried to blend the action into the plot as it went along.Needless to say there is even less action in this movie as most of it surrounds the actual detective theme.The only time you'll even get to see the familiar police labor is in the closing stages.
The character while unimpressive comes across as realistic and fitted their role well without feeling out of place.
Overall a enjoyable movie and a must see for any fan of the Patlabor title.
The third movie is usually the weakest in a trilogy and WXIII is no exception. However, the third movie is also usually utter shite and WXIII is far from that! A well written and paced story, consistently great animation, a soundtrack that compliments the visuals well but for all of that... Patlabor 3 isn't close to as good as the first movie, let alone the second! Something to do with the fact that Mamoru Oshii did not direct the film no doubt.
Story - 9 The movie is a detective mystery focusing on detectives Kusumi and his junior partner, Hata. The story takes the premise of
a huge sea creature from OVA 3 of the Early Days OVA and the escaped lab experiment creature hunting down labors from episode 4 of the tv series and turns it into a feature length film. Everything that happens in the film is all traceable to the character Misaki, a scientist and Hata's love interest. Her backstory leads to some great revelations that adds layers to the plot and allows the plot to come to a conclusive end. The pacing is slow but reveals things at the right moment and as mentioned earlier, there are no loose plot threads left hanging. The themes of inter bureaucratic political strife and human bioresearch tampering with natural life is hinted at and very subtle. Where as Oshii is subtle with themes such as this through heavy layering of metaphors, symbolism and philosophical dialogue, WXIII simply never directly mentions these themes. Thus, the film lacks the lasting impact of the other in the series.
Art - 9 Produced by Madhouse rather than Production IG, Madhouse obviously does a brilliant job with both art and animation. It is consistently pleasant throughout the film and the artstyle is realistic. However, no part of Madhouse's fault, the film is nowhere as visually spectacular. Without Oshii, the dynamic angles, great choreography, slow panning shots, odd camerawork and a fck ton of symbolism that are his trademarks are non present. The film does have nice shots of the city but this, combined with the flight of birds only makes it look more like an attempt to emulate Oshii's work in the earlier films.
Sound - 8 Kenji returns to compose this film's soundtrack. It follows the format of the other two film's soundtrack and compliments what happens onscreen well enough. I'm no expert in techno/ambient music but it should be obvious that the music lacks the punch of the other two movies.
Character - 8 I suppose its nice to have Kusumi get his own story. His veteran knowledge and detective instincts compliment Hata's sharp observational skills and quick thinking well. Hata also helps draws out Misaki's motivations and thoughts. Misaki's actions are selfish and flawed but unfaultable. Its rather interesting. It is regrettable that most of the SV2 group barely appears in the movie; if at all. Noa, Ohta and Shinohara are no more than background characters! The Ingram itself appears barely as long as the aforementioned three characters do while thankfully, Goto as a supporting character per usual appears for 5 minutes at least.
Overall - 8
Given the lack of not only the SV2 cast but also the Ingram; especially considering that they appear 20 MINUTES before the films end and the fact that there is no excuse since this is NOT an Oshii film where story and visuals come first over characters, it can be argued that this is not a Patlabor movie. It is merely set in the same universe but instead, focuses on the exploits of two detectives of the regular police. Indeed, pacing could be a little slow for some people; especially annoying since the movie manages to have less action than the two first despite having even less visual and thematic development. All of that aside, a flick that hardcore Patlabor fans and newcomers to the franchise can easily enjoy thanks to its solid storytelling and animation.
Rating: M for people being eaten and a particularly foul mouthed film director (in natural English too)
For years, "Akira" was the Gold Standard, the movie that you showed to your non-anime fans to turn them into true believers. With "Patlabor WXIII: The Movie", "Akira" is dethroned. This movie, is, without a doubt the new feature movie anime that all others will be measured against. It's a movie that takes it's time, in a poetic way, to tell the story of two detectives who are trying to solve a series of brutal murders. Like the best episode of "Homicide: LOTS" or "NYPD Blue" the story gradually unfolds involving bioengineering, death of loved ones due to cancer, a tragic failed attempt at romance
by the younger detective, and the realization of age and decay by the older. Each frame is breathtakingly beautiful, the music is hypnotic and the director makes full use of the Surround Sound 5.1 in the effects. The Special Forces Unit 2, our regular stable of Patlabor characters are a small but important part at the end of the movie, but their absence is not important. What is important is the story and how it unfolds. This is the movie to rent, then own, to show others what anime is all about.