Category Articles

Yasuhiro Yoshiura and Yutaka Izubuchi On Rebooting the Essence of Patlabor

(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.

Pondering the Role of Present-Day Tokyo in Patlabor Reboot

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.

NHK’s Ultimate Macross Poll

(Photo from the Ultimate Macross Poll Official Website)

What is Macross to you?

“It’s something that surpasses time and space. It’s like music or passion or love, surpassing time and space in search of their true potential. Something like that.”
-Shoji Kawamori, Ultimate Macross Poll

On Saturday, May 4th, NHK BS Premium broadcast the results of its Ultimate Macross Poll.

Held over a period of two months, from March 1, the Ultimate Macross Poll received 254,131 entries, tabulating votes and comments from over a quarter million fans in four categories to decide the most popular songs, characters, mecha and overall series from the Macross franchise.

While the resulting 3.5 hour long tv special was structured around the unveiling of the poll results in these categories, it was much more than mere vote tallies – it was a celebration of all things Macross, gave the fans a voice, provided a snapshot of the current state of the franchise and dropped some interesting hints about what the future might hold.

The VF-4 and the curious case of the SDF-018

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.

Shoji Kawamori on What is, and What is NOT, “Canon”

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.…aku/5000hit.HTM

Click the “Read More” link to read the words of wisdom from Kawamori himself, which I have translated for your pleasure.