'Patlabor' giant robot prop is broodingly awesome

The classic mecha series is getting live-action treatment with director Mamoru Oshii at the helm.

The real thing: A giant robot prop stares out over Tokyo Bay in this promo pic for 'Patlabor.' Tohokushinsha

Despite its plethora of giant robots and giant monsters, "Pacific Rim" has been box office disappointment in Japan.

The film seems tailor-made for otaku geeks, but apparently it's no match for anime god Hayao Miyazaki's latest, "The Wind Rises," a biopic about Zero fighter designer Jiro Horikoshi.

But "Patlabor: The Next Generation," a new, live-action giant robot film in the works, has something that "Pacific Rim" lacked: a powerful brand and an actual giant robot.

Photos of the full-size robot prop had circulated on the Internet before production company Tohokushinsha released official pics for the film, which is based on the anime, manga, and movie series "Mobile Police Patlabor."

The franchise centers on giant mecha piloted by police officers to fight crimes and deal with accidents involving other large robots, called "labors." While the brand isn't as popular as the Gundam series, it's been around since the 1980s and has staying power.

The prop for the film, which comes out in 2014, seems to be about 25 feet tall. It's unclear whether it has moving parts or any real robotics, but it definitely looks cool when gazing out at Tokyo Bay, above, or towering over extras, below.

It evokes other full-size robot statues erected in Japan, such as the eye-popping Gundam in Tokyo.

There's no trailer out yet for the live-action film, but renowned mecha director Mamoru Oshii of "Ghost in the Shell" fame (and a veteran of Patlabor productions) will apparently be at the helm.

That's probably more than enough to get mecha fanboys into a frenzy.


(Via io9)

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