'Labors' are giant, driver-operated robots used to enhance industrial strength, speed and productivity and essential to the Babylon Project, an urban renewal scheme in Tokyo Bay. Criminal appropriation of some Labors has prompted the creation of a special police division equipped with Patrol Labors (Patlabors). Ace animator Oshii used these premises (from manga by Masami Yuuke) for six made-for-video shorts; their success led to this feature, more ambitious in scale and scope and much darker in tone. The designer of a new operating system for Labors has committed suicide after implanting a computer virus which causes them to run riot. The police have to find out what activates the virus - as a huge typhoon bears down on the hi-tech Ark in Tokyo Bay. Oshii assumes knowledge of the shorts (the main characters are taken as already established), but doesn't stint on spectacle or fears of technological disaster.
Kazunori Ito, Akemi Takada, Yutaka Izubuchi
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