‘Slow Horses’ Really Reminds Me Of ‘Mobile Police Patlabor’

Kiichi Goto in ‘Patlabor 2: The Movie’.

Sentai FilmworksNow with the second and entirely excellent season of Slow Horses behind us, it really struck me how much it reminds me of the classic mecha anime, Mobile Police Patlabor.

The premise of Patlabor has a bunch of outcast misfits of the Japanese police force assembled into a new division to tackle crime involving civilian mecha known as labors.

Headed up by Kiichi Goto, a seemingly lazy and absent-minded captain, he is actually remarkably keen of mind and was actually demoted to look after labor crime by his superiors for actually being too clever.

Goto also looks over Asuma Shinohara, son of the head of Shinohara Heavy Industries that makes most of the labors that they have to police. Very much head strong and eager to prove himself, Goto often points Asuma in the direction of leg work he’d rather avoid all the while being several steps ahead of him.

While Jackson Lamb’s graceful foul-mouthed flatulence is a far cry from Kiichi Goto’s quieter persona, both are keen smokers and care about the people under them, They both like to win as well.

Not to mention that the outcast location of Slough House is also very reminiscent of the almost derelict warehouse on reclaimed land that Section 2 find themselves in.

I could go on really, as many of the characters and setups in Patlabor seem to have their equivalents in Slow Horses. This is by no means a criticism or an accusation, as I genuinely think these are entirely coincidental, but they are striking none the less.

Whether Mick Herron is an anime fan is anyone’s guess but watching through Slow Horses did really remind me of Patlabor.

Obviously, Patlabor can be a lot more slapstick with at times, but the whole underdog setup with a band of misfits making good under a seemingly inept but actually wily leader did hit home for me.

If you are at all curious about checking out Patlabor in light of all this, then you may want to start with the first two movies. The first movie is a straight up detective story and decently done, but the second movie is more involved politically and is arguably one of the finest anime movies ever made.

Thankfully you can pick up the entirety of Patlabor on Blu-ray and you can also check out my review of the set here.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I also manage Mecha Damashii and do toy reviews over at hobbylink.tv.

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