Patlabor: the Movie [機動警察パトレイバー 劇場版] (1988)
AKA Patlabor 1
Starring Miina Tominaga, Daisuke Gouri, Issei Futamata, Kouji Tsujitani, Michihiro Ikemizu, Osamu Saka, Ryunosuke Ohbayashi, Shigeru Chiba
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
This film takes place back in 1999 when the police used giant robots called labors, hence the abbreviation of “patrol labor” into patlabor. What, you don’t remember getting pulled over by a giant robot? Man, if you were that drunk, then you really did deserve that ticket.
The film is a sequel to the TV series of the same name, but it stands on its own very well. I could tell that the characters and their roles had already been established, but I never felt too far out of the loop to understand the plot. The story itself is the primary focus of the film, and while the characters definitely have their personalities, it never focuses on any one person for very long. Instead it focuses on an investigation that the entire team is working on, with all the characters performing different duties.