(Originally written for Anime-now! in 2016)
Sequels, reboots, remakes and side stories are everywhere today. But many times, the key to success—and longevity—is in the assurance that no matter how many incarnations an intellectual property goes through, the core ideas remain constant and relevant, if perhaps in a different guise.
Sometimes, the people who understand this best are the people who have been impassioned by those very elements. The story behind 2016’s Patlabor Reboot is just such a tale. Behind the scenes, the production itself is almost an allegorical narrative about a master bequeathing an heirloom to a young successor who has proven his worth.
A version of this article previously appeared on Anime-Now! in 2016.
Early in 2016, news of an animated Mobile Police Patlabor remake in the fall had anime fans excited for the return of the Special Vehicles Section 2, a ragtag band of crime-fighters saving Tokyo from bad guys who misuse technology for their own evil means. While that description is accurate, the charm, depth and complexity of the characters, storylines and settings is what has granted Patlabor an enduring decades-long appreciation around the world, since the series’ debut as a 6-part OVA in 1988.
Raise your hand if you like the VF-4 from 1987’s “Flashback 2012”.
For a valkyrie that only ever had a scant few seconds of screen time, it’s proven to be a fan favorite over the years, partially due to its mystique – no-one knew how it actually transformed until Digital Mission VF-X was released for the Sony Playstation a decade later in 1997 – and partially because of the potential it hinted at for the future of valkyrie design.
There is another mystery surrounding the VF-4 though, one that has reared its head before but has become topical again with the release of Bandai’s Hi-Metal R VF-4 Lightning III earlier this month – the mystery of the SDF-018.
Originally Written by Renato on February 25, 2009
Fans all around the world tear their hair out over which version of which story in the Macross franchise is the “real” one, and which is the “dramatization” or “parallel world” version of events…. In Japan, most fans are rather chill. Why not just relax, everybody? Just over 20 years ago, Shoji Kawamori was kind enough to sit down and answer some fan questions, and among them, he gave us some insight into his philosophy of media-based storytelling. The takeaway from all this, is… You’re thinking about it too hard.
The following is part of a transcript from an interview with Shoji Kawamori on “Macross 7 Fun Net” from September 24th, 1998.
Click the “Read More” link to read the words of wisdom from Kawamori himself, which I have translated for your pleasure.