Live-Action Patlabor's Part 5 Trailer Streamed

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Episodes about sniper Kasha, white crocodile mystery to premiere in October

The website began streaming a trailer for the fifth part of Mamoru Oshii's live-action The Next Generation -Patlabor- series began streaming on Friday. The project's fifth part will premiere in Japan on October 18 and include episode 8, "Enkyori Sogeki 2000" (Long-range Sniping 2000), and episode 9, "Crocodile Dungeon."

Episode 8 focuses on elite sniper Kasha as she confronts the teacher who raised and trained her in Russia. The Section 2 Division 2 team jokes around by putting on eyebrows and sideburns similar to manga assassin Golgo 13's. Kasha's past is gradually revealed.

Episode 9 is based on the Patlabor anime's "Chika Meikyū Bukke" (Underground Labyrinth Case) episode. Section 2 Division 2 ventures deep underground to investigate stories about a white crocodile that produces pearls. Then the team's nightmare begins. As they search for the truth, Section 2 Division 2 has to confront whatever is lurking in the tunnels.

The Next Generation -Patlabor- project is not a remake of the earlier Patlabor anime stories, but a completely new work. The story is set in Tokyo in 2013, and it represents the "third generation" of Patlabor. 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 project begins with this seven-part series, which is composed of the "episode 0" and 12 full episodes helmed by chief director Mamoru Oshii and other directors. Each full episode is projected to be about 48 minutes long. Finally, Oshii is directing and writing a feature-length film that will open during Japan's Golden Week holidays in spring 2015, and it is expected to run about 100 minutes long.

Former Hello! Project singer and actress Erina Mano stars as pilot Akira Izumino (as opposed to the earlier anime's heroine Noa Izumi). The cast also includes Seiji Fukushi as Yūma Shiobara, Rina Oota as Ekaterina Krachevna Kankaeva ("Kasha") from Russia, Shigeru Chiba reprising his anime role as maintenance crew chief Shigeo Shiba, and Toshio Kakei as Captain Keiji Gotōda (the successor to the anime's Captain Kiichi Gotō).

The Patlabor franchise's original concept of police officers piloting robotic mecha (patrol labors or "Patlabors") was developed by HEADGEAR, a group consisting of director Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Sky Crawlers), script writer Kazunori Itō (.hack, Dirty Pair), mecha designer Yutaka Izubuchi (Eureka Seven, Mobile Suit Gundam franchise), character designer Akemi Takada (Kimagure Orange Road, Urusei Yatsura, Fancy Lala), and manga creator Masami Yuuki (Birdy the Mighty). The franchise spawned two original video anime, a television anime series, and three anime films. The last anime film, Patlabor WXIII, was released in theaters in Japan in 2002.

Oshii commented that the seven-part series will have a "slapstick" ambiance, while the feature film will be serious. Oshii and Kei Yamamura are writing the scripts for the series, and Kenji Kawai is returning to the franchise to compose the music for both the series and the feature film.

The series' fourth part opened in Japan on Saturday. Part 4 includes episode 6, "Daikaijū Arawaru Kōhen" (A Giant Monster Appears Part II), and episode 7, "Time Dokan."


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