Patlabor WXIII - The Movie (2003)
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Critic Reviews for Patlabor WXIII - The Movie
[T]wo encounters with the beast WXIII - first in a darkened factory, and later in an empty stadium, to the strains of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in G Minor (Pathétique) - elevate the disappointingly flat animation into a vivid fable of monster and morality
This above-average anime puts character development before action, although there are still enough fisticuffs, robots and monsters to hold the interest of the genre's core otaku (fan boy) audience.
Its solid story makes for decent viewing.
The trouble is that it's impossible to say with any certainty what's going on from one moment to the next -- and that at the end it becomes clear it has been a great deal more inaccessible than necessary.
Audience Reviews for Patlabor WXIII - The Movie
The animation was top notch and the English voice acting wasn't too bad but this movie was EXTREMELY slow! It took me four sittings just to get through it! The music was done well but might have been too high and low for me. It's like one minute you are being rocked to sleep and the next you're being pumped up for a bad ass mech fight.
a visualy impressive movie with a solid character base, and a storyline that makes you really think.
Looking at the base of the plot, WXIII appears to be another monster movie. I was delightfully surprised when I witnessed this was a way above average film. So what exactly seperates this film from endless Godzilla clones? Simple: Focus more on the characters and a lot less on the monster.
It is the near future where robots called Labors are used for construction. When a Labor turns up underwater ripped to shreds for unexplained reasons, the police are on the case. Hata, a young detective, tracks down the source of these attacks with an old-timer detective called Kusumi. These two could not be more different. Hata keeps tabs on the internet and becomes too involved with the suspects while Kusumi gets around with a cane and seperates himself from his family. Their investigation leads them to a science institute where it turns out that the monster is actually composed of the skin for a new cancer treatment. The twist here is that the skin cells are from the dead daughter of Hata's latest girlfriend. Aside from the ties to the beast there is also an interesting element of sound that comes into play with the beast. WXIII is based on the Patlabor TV series the mainly focused on a group of police officers who pilot robots as defense. While these characters do show up, they are placed in the background to focus on two lesser characters of the series giving them a bigger role outside of secondary characters.
Of course, being a monster film, you can expect some violent attacks and a climatic battle involving the robot police force. However, there are only about two scenes involving these elements. The rest are spent developing the main characters and I'm glad the film went this direction. These characters are fun to follow and have their own interesting personalities. I also loved the enviornment these characters interact with. From the rainy scenery of the highway to gorgeous design of the institute, every scene is filled with beauty and the haunting soundtrack only adds to the atomsphere. The music from Kenji Kawai is some one of the most alluring soundtracks I have ever heard. The animation is nothing short of what I expect from Production I.G. Great character designs, terrific colors, and CG that doesn't overwhelm the 2D elements make for some beautiful eye candy.
For a film that is suppose to be about monsters and robots, director Takayama Fumihiko certainly chose to take a very subtle approach and it certainly works. This is a film that could have been lead down a predictable and ultimately boring route. Thank goodness there are directors out there willing to take a simple premise and make it interesting.
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