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Patlabor: WXIII (Wasted 13) back to product details

Sad but Rewarding
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written by Redcoffin December 24, 2003 - 3:41 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Wasted 13 is a *profoundly* sad film, not stupid-sad, dead-kittens-in-the-snow sad but a solemn, thoughtful, often beautiful meditation on the persistence of hope in a world without transcendence. It lacks the political overtones of Patlabor 2, but continues the series' tradition of springing from some recent technical development, to frame a 'problem-story' that gradually resolves into a much more human and tragic narrative. I thought it lacked the emotional intensity of its predecessor but it's still a very good film, if you can handle the slow, even pacing and reserved, quiet characterization. Noa and Asuma, the heros of the TV series years ago, have all but vanished; you won't need to know much of anything about the Patlabor backstory to enjoy this film.

Anime for those with patience.
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written by Utagawa August 2, 2003 - 1:46 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
If you are already familiar with Production IG style films (Patlabor 1 and 2, Ghost in the Shell, Jin Roh), then this film should hold little surprise in terms of mood, pacing, and quality. In general, if you have seen and liked the above mentioned films, you should enjoy this one as well- it's made in the Production IG 'house-style', with all the usual trimming.

If you haven't seen the above films, you are definitely in for a new experience with this peice. Most anime produced is a manga come to life- big-eyed cartoon characters clearly stating their motivations and getting into various conflicts. What Production IG regularly produces is cinema- animated cinema, to be sure- but still cinema. It is an attempt to produce the realism, mood and feel of a live action film, but with beatufilly animated characters and surroundings.

The result in Patlabor: WXIII is impressive, possibly even stunning, if you haven't seen it before. The animation is smooth and realistic, the sound is suberb, the characters are fleshed out and believable, the story is solid. Everything you expect from a hollywood film, but they so rarely deliver. If forced to catagorize, the genre is sci-fi horror, or more accurately an action-horror film wrapped up in a detective story. If you enjoy animation and/or science fiction, and would like a little substance with your flash, this might be for you.

Two warnings,however. Firstly, if you have a short attention span, this film is not for you. The pacing is quite languid- except for the action sequences, which play out quickly.

Secondly, if you are a fan of the Patlabor TV series, you might feel a bit cheated, as our heroes really only appear in full gear a full 70 minutes into the film. Even Goto gets a tiny role this time. Since this is mostly a detective story, the plainclothes detectives really dominate the story. You do get a decent mecha battle at the end, however.

With the qualifiers above, I think you may find this an enjoyable film. Again, if you've seen Production IG films before, you know the drill. If not, then I envy you, because you're in for a treat. Enjoy!

Bleak, human drama
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written by PGraydon April 28, 2003 - 8:12 PM PDT
13 out of 13 members found this review helpful
Fans of the Patlabor series, which included a few seasons' worth of television episodes and two previous movies (1, 2), may be a bit surpised by this latest addition.

First, few of the makers of the first two films were involved in this. While the first two movies were directed by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Angel's Egg, Avalon, etc.), this one comes from Takayama Fumihiko (Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket). Where Kazunori Itou wrote the first two, this one is written by Miki Tori.

Also, the familiar special vehicles crew barely makes it into the movie. Instead, the plot revolves around detectives Takeshi Kusumi and Shinichiro Hata, who investigate a series of attacks made on undersea Labor robots.

Part monster movie and part film noir, Patlabor Wasted 13 relies mostly on its dramatic content. There are plenty of soul-searching moments set against a beautifully bleak and rain-soaked Tokyo backdrop.

It isn't necessary to have seen any of the previous Patlabor stories to appreciate Wasted 13. However, some viewers may find that a second viewing is in order, as some details of the political intrigue are easy to miss and are better appreciated the second time around.

While I confess that I liked Patlabor 2 a bit more, I would still recommend this to Patlabor and noir fans.

Tip: those who don't want to end an evening on a dark note may want to rent something lighter, like Fruits Basket or Chobits, to follow this up with. Enjoy!

Tip: you can find the official English-language site for the movie, including a trailer, here. The original Japanese site is here.


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(Average 7.22)
86 Votes
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