Non mi spingerei la` dove si spingono molti per cui un anime sui mecha senza praticamente i mecha e` un capolavoro a priori. E` un esperimento per quello che verra`, denso e astratto allo stesso tempo, che fugge via in mille direzioni per poi raccontare poco. E dire tanto, ma raccontare poco e` roba che riesce solo ai grandi.
One of the great 'near-future' science fiction films and definitely one of the better political thrillers of the '90s, this vision of a terrorist attack via hijacked planes pushing a gentrified city towards marshal law is alarmingly prescient, to say the least. The long lyrical montage of military force watching over tokyo, mostly reflected in monitors and windows, is enough to argue for early Oshii's lasting power.
From giant mecha to noir detective story in a single sequel. Here Oshii is honing the sensibilities that would metamorphose Shirow Masamune's influential but tonally inconsistent manga into the masterpiece that was Ghost In The Shell; Patlabor I bears the same relation to its sequel as GITS does to Innocence - from an (albeit exceptional) exercise in genre anime to a full-fledged introspective sci-fi noir.
Technically the animation is impressive and detailed with camera shots highlighting day to day life that's mixed with ambient music, those parts are mesmerising. But the overthinking philosophical discussions and the lack of any actual 'Patlabors' doing anything aside from lying down (yes, the film points that out) and you've got something that sends you to sleep with dialogue and keeps you docile with it's scenery.
Although slightly different from what the franchise was before it, Patlabor 2 is not only the best installment in the franchise, but also Oshii's best work. Simply stunning visually (one can see Kon's touch) with a solid and thought-provoking plot as expected.