Imagine walking around, minding your own business when suddenly you see a giant robot being transported down the street. That’s what a couple of pedestrians in Japan experienced earlier today, when they took the following of a Patlabor mech prop being transported and shared them on twitter. The pictures went viral in a matter of minutes.
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The pictures clearly show a Patlabor being transported in a trailer to a certain location. Whether this mech can actually move or this big white hulk is just a gigantic static prop has not been revealed so far. Also, whether the mech was transported for filming purposes or just for storage has also not been revealed as of the moment.
During the Tokyo International Anime fair 2013, the group behind Patlabor, Headgear have announced that they will be releasing a live-action movie based on the series. The movie will be released next year, 2014 and will involve one of the people who have created Patlabor, Mamoru Oshii who directed the animated movie back in 1989.
Mobile Police Patlabor is set in the near future (which is at that time 1998-2002) where giant robots known as “Labors” are used to do all sort of jobs from construction, heavy lifting, fighting, etc. They are operated by human pilots who sometimes turn to a life of crime.
These criminals use the “Labors” to conduct their misdeeds. Outgunned by the criminals using these powerful robots, the police force have started using these robots to counter these criminals. They are called “Patrol Labor Units” or Patlabors and their sole purpose is to fight crime.
The original manga by Masami Yuki (also a member of Headgear) and the OVA’s were released in 1988 while the animated film was released in 1989. A 47-episode TV anime series followed afterwards in October 1988. It also inspired even more adaptations like light novels and video games.