Patlabor Goes Live-action in 2014

Posted By yonghow on March 25th, 2013

At the recent Tokyo Anime Fair 2013 held last week, an offcial announcement was made by Tohokushinsha that the popular anime series/film Patlabor will be going live-action in 2014.

Further information regarding the project is scarce and it is not known if anime director Mamoru Oshii (who made the first 2 animated films) will helm the project, or if it is a TV series or film. (I am inclined to think its the latter – can anyone confirm this ?)

We do know that production will be handled by Tohokushinsha and the animation/visual effects by Omnibus Japan.

(above) A giant announcement billboard at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2013. (image courtesy of CNN Japan)

As a big fan of the whole Patlabor franchise I’m certainly excited, but I also have reservations as to how successful the final product will be. CG technology today can surely realize convincing robots, but integration with live-action footage is trickier and the whole package needs to be really well integrated to be immersive and realistic.

On top of the technical challenges, casting will be interesting as well. To begin with, if they can’t find an actor who can pull off a good performance for the nonchalant but deeply charismatic Section 2 chief Gotoh, I’m going to be deeply disappointed.

I’ll be following the development of this project with great interest. :]

The official website for the project is at

Posted in Animation, Anime, Japan, Mecha

5 Responses to “Patlabor Goes Live-action in 2014”

Tobias Lind

So my vote (hope) for Gotoh would be Takeshi Kitano.

And as a fan I’m a seriously worried about the CGI as well.


Based on the image I don’t have any confidence.

The mechanical design is horrible. The labors were already pretty realistic looking. The pieces of armor were small enough and shaped in a way that looks like they could be fabricated in real life. And design-wise, they look fantastic.

And there’s no mention of Headgear. I think Headgear is a unique and special group of people and I think they are essential for a proper Patlabor movie.

It looks like someone decided that a live action adaptation would make money and they got the rights for it.


As always, I’ll reserve judgement until I see it but I’m not that keen on all the bits and bobs they’ve bolted onto Alphonse (it is meant to be Alphonse, isn’t it?). Looking forward to more info, definitely.


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