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Patlabor The Movie (PG) + Introduction

Anime's Human Machines


Based on a successful franchise (high concept: city cops with robots instead of patrol cars), this movie takes the team and their machines into darker territory as technology and mysticism collide.

Set in a recognisable Tokyo just a little in the future, the city is depicted as a huge redevelopment site, with whole suburbs being revamped and man-made islands dotting Tokyo Bay as part of the Babylon Project. Robots known as labors make construction faster and less dangerous, and have moved into many areas of life. So Tokyo needs robot-assisted cops to police robot-assisted crime.

One man-made island, the Ark, is the nerve centre for the whole Babylon Project, manufacturing and controlling all its robots. But a rogue programmer obsessed with Biblical imagery and a technology problem that can be triggered by wind resonance around high-rise buildings combine to create a threat to the whole city - with a massive typhoon approaching Tokyo.

Japan 1989 Dir Mamoru Oshii 99 min

Screening in Japanese with English subtitles

Sasakawa Foundation
The Japan Foundation logo - a purple butterfly
Japan-UK Season of Culture

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything
anime of cityscape containing shop signs in chinese characters

Watch: human shape and cityscape in Anime


Luís Azevedo (aka Beyond the Frame) looks at the way anime presents and builds cities on screen.

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Podcast: Cinema

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