Director's Cut Version of Live-Action Patlabor Film to Open in October

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
New version to add 27 minutes of extra footage

At a stage event on Saturday to thank fans for the success of The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen (Capital City Battle) film, director Mamoru Oshii (pictured center in image at right) announced that a director's cut version of the film will open in Japanese theaters on October 10.

To explain the director's cut, Oshii said at the stage event, "Usually with films, when they are completed, things like which scenes to cut and which to keep are decided between the director and producer, but this time a lot happened. Because we wanted to try to save face, we made two versions."

The director's cut will contain 27 minutes of extra footage.

The Next Generation Patlabor: Shuto Kessen film opened in Japan on May 1.

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 film centers on the Section 2 team fighting against a terrorist group that has taken all of the 10 million residents of Tokyo hostage by using a state-of-the-art self defense helicopter.

The project began with a 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 about 48 minutes long. Oshii directed and wrote the feature-length film, which runs 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 Ito (.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 would have a "slapstick" ambiance, while the feature film will be serious. Oshii and Kei Yamamura wrote the scripts for the series, and Kenji Kawai returned to the franchise to compose the music for both the series and the feature film.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web via Hachima Kikō

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