There’s a schedule and a bunch of new production stills for the seven part live action Patlabor: The Next Generation series making the Internet rounds. The best news is that it is NOT a remake, but all new material.
For those of you not familiar with the series, Patlabor is about police officers who pilot robot mecha to carry out their duties. Patlabor stands for Patrol labors. The anime franchise was created by HEADGEAR, a talented group that included Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Kazuunri Ito (Dirty Pair), and Yutaka Izubuchi (Mobile Suit Gundam). The series went on to have two video anime, an anime television series and three feature anime films.
Here’s some of the impressive looking production stills:
This series will explore the “third generation” of Patlabor where:
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police has disbanded its Section 2 Division 1 of police robots, and Section 2 Division 2 barely survived the budget cuts due to the long recession.
The first part is set to premiere on April 5, 2014 in the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater, followed by the rest of the seven parts:
Part 1: April 5, 2014
Part 2: May 31, 2014
Part 3: July 12, 2014
Part 4: August 30, 2014
Part 5: October 18, 2014
Part 6: November 29, 2014
Part 7: January 1, 2015
Each episode is projected to be about 48 minutes long, with the prequel episode 0 scheduled for about 10 minutes. Finally, the feature-length film will open during Japan’s Golden Week holidays in spring 2015, and it is expected to run about 100 minutes long.
Erina Mano stars as pilot Akira Izumino and the cast also includes Seiji Fukushi, Rina Oota, Toshio Kakei as Captain Keiji Gotōda, and Shigeru Chiba, the man who voiced maintenance squad chief Shigeo Shiba in the anime will now play the role in this latest incarnation.
When we’ll get a look over in the States is up in the air, but I imagine many anime fans will find a way to get their hands on the series. Here’s an anime taste for those who might not be familiar with the series.