At the recent Tokyo Anime Fair 2013 held last week, an offcial announcement was made by Tohokushinsha that the popular anime series/film Patlabor will be going live-action in 2014.
Further information regarding the project is scarce and it is not known if anime director Mamoru Oshii (who made the first 2 animated films) will helm the project, or if it is a TV series or film. (I am inclined to think its the latter – can anyone confirm this ?)
We do know that production will be handled by Tohokushinsha and the animation/visual effects by Omnibus Japan.
(above) A giant announcement billboard at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2013. (image courtesy of CNN Japan)
As a big fan of the whole Patlabor franchise I’m certainly excited, but I also have reservations as to how successful the final product will be. CG technology today can surely realize convincing robots, but integration with live-action footage is trickier and the whole package needs to be really well integrated to be immersive and realistic.
On top of the technical challenges, casting will be interesting as well. To begin with, if they can’t find an actor who can pull off a good performance for the nonchalant but deeply charismatic Section 2 chief Gotoh, I’m going to be deeply disappointed.
I’ll be following the development of this project with great interest. :]
The official website for the project is at http://patlabor-nextgeneration.com/3