Giant robots are a perennial facet of Japanese animation; although Patlabor is no exception, it is more of a mystery or a conspiracy thriller than an all-out science fiction adventure. The title of this animated Japanese feature refers to a special police unit assigned to patrol the use of giant robots, or "labors." When the robotic laborers used in industry begin to go on unexplained rampages, Captain Goto of the Patlabor division must investigate; an upgrade in the labor software called the Babylon Project seems to be at the heart of the mystery. Although audiences are rewarded at the end by an exciting battle sequence, the subtle story reveals the influence of cyberpunk and Blade Runner noir on the Japanese animated cinema.
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