In the early 90’s anime was starting to come into the United States. There were dealers at conventions raking in serious dough by offering VHS copies of anime series. One of the shows that I was exposed to in this time was a show called Patlabor. The series focused on a division of the Tokyo police department that dealt with giant robot crimes. These robots, called “Labors”, had various functions from military to construction. Patlabor had a 47 episode TV series with 16 episodes for an OAV and three movies, so it’s safe to say it was very popular during its run. Now the folks at Special Vehicles Section 2 are getting a new series and the best part is it is going to be live action!
The new show is going to focus on all-new faces, but Chief Shigeo Shiba, the character in charge of labor maintenance in the original series, will reprise his role and even be voiced by the original actor, Shigeru Chiba. There are going to be twelve 50 minute episodes a movie is slated to follow the series in 2015.
One of the best things about this live action series? They made a 1:1 scale replica of the labor for this show! There are pictures depicting what looks to be an AV-98 Ingram and it towers over the cast (See below). I would expect that the live action show will feature large-scale CGI battles with the labors, but it was a combination of action, story and likeable characters that bound the original series together and made it special. We’ll have to wait until sometime next year to see exactly how the new Patlabor compares, as it won’t be out until 2014 in Japan.