Considerably more sedate and somber than its predecessor, Patlabor 2: The Movie has everything you could possibly want from a Mamoru Oshii film. It’s got a heady, convoluted plot involving political and military conspiracies, glacial pacing punctuated by intense action, philosophical discussions about the nature of war and peace, highly detailed military activity, contemplative scenes enhanced by Production I.G’s gorgeous cel animation and Kenji Kawai’s moody ambient score, and there’s even a basset hound for good measure. 1995’s Ghost in the Shell is usually lauded as Oshii’s signature work, and understandably so. But you could make a strong argument for Patlabor 2: The Movie being a very close second. In fact, I’d daresay that Patlabor 2: The Movie, which was released in 1993, laid the foundation for Ghost in the Shell’s contemplative cyberpunk.