Robot Police Officers, Patlabor (1988)
Another key influence on del Toro's Pacific Rim was this Japanese franchise, which started as manga and branched into an anime TV series and eventually films. It centered around tales from the streets of near-future Tokyo, where powerful robots change crime and law enforcement. ''Perhaps more than any other series, this served as an inspiration for the Shatterdome, the world of Pacific Rim,'' says del Toro. ''The mundane details in the maintenance and repair of the Patlabor [robot police] units was fundamental.''