Stray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops
Stray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops is the second film entry in the Kerberos Saga, an alternate history political thriller series by Mamoru Oshii (Director of Ghost in the Shell and The Sky Crawlers). Set in the 1950's, The Kerberos Saga depicts a history where the United States chose not to intervene in either World War, Japan sided with the Allies, and Germany defeated and occupied Japan for nearly 10 years, leaving the country in a state of political turmoil.
To cope with the increase in anti-government movements, the Japanese government founds the Special Armed Garrison, more commonly known as "Kerberos". The Kerberos squad consists of highly trained, heavily armed soldiers who utilize special suits of armor known as "Protect Gear", and is tasked with quelling anti-government movements through lethal force. As the political scene shifts, the Japanese government orders the Kerberos squad to disband. They refuse to do so, resulting in a bloody confrontation between the Kerberos Units and the Tokyo Capital Police known as the "Kerberos Riot".
Stray Dog opens with the last moments of the Kerberos Riot, then skips ahead to three years after the incident. The film follows Inui (played by Yoshikatsu Fujiki), a member of the Kerberos Squad who survived the Riot, who has recently been released from prison and leaves on parole to Taiwan. Acting on a tip, he searches for his former commander, Koichi Todome (Shigeru Chiba), whom Inui is told is forming a new Kerberos unit to return to Japan and instigate a rebellion. What Inui finds in Taiwan will ultimately decide whether he embraces his newfound freedom, or whether he continues to cling to his old ties and old life even at the risk of everything he holds dear.
The film's events take place immediately prior to the events in The Red Spectacles and offer more information as to why Todome chooses to return to Japan.
A note on the dates: The Kerberos Riot was originally set during the mid- to late-1980's, with the events of Stray Dog occurring in 1995, but being listed as 1991 in the film. The Kerberos Saga timeline was retconned as being set during the 1950's after the release of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade).
The following guns were used in the movie Stray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops:
The Mauser C96 is used by Kerberos Squad as their standard sidearm. Inui appears to have acquired a C96 after being released from prison, as he is seen carrying one while in Taiwan, though no footage in the film shows him carrying or using one during the last moments of the Kerberos riot. A single Kerberos member can be seen holding a C96 outfitted with a stock during the Kerberos Riot.
The standard weapon of Kerberos members using Protect Gear is the MG42 machine gun. As the Protect Gear severely limits the movement of someone wearing it in exchange for added protection, the MG42 provides a source of devastating firepower to compensate for a lack of mobility. One of the MG42's biggest drawbacks is its ammo capacity (a 50 to 250 round belt) compared to its rate of fire (1200 rounds per minute). The Protect Gear provides an interesting solution; a Kerberos member simply unloads the weapon upon contact with an enemy, cutting their target(s) to shreds, then the Kerberos member retrieves a fresh belt which is dispensed from the Protect Gear's backpack. The backpack also holds a spare/alternate barrel. The film goes into great detail when showing the operation of the MG42, as Inui is seen taking full advantage of the MG42's quick-changing barrel and high rate of fire. The Protect Gear suit also has a small ballistic shield on its left gauntlet, that in this film is shown to serve both as emergency face protection, and in Jin-Roh, a surface to help feed the loose MG42 ammunition belt.
- Trivia Note: The standard machine gun of the Kerberos Squad was originally the MG34, but was retconned as the MG42 for Stray Dog.
Several members of the Kerberos Squad are seen using IMI Galil SAR rifles with synthetic furniture and shortened barrels, an unusual choice seeing as all of their other weapons are of German origin.
Norinco Type 86S
The Public Security Force agents from The Red Spectacles make a return for Stray Dog, this time carrying Norinco Type 86S rifles. The slapstick portrayal of the PSF (including mime-like white face paint and an accompanying lack of dialogue for no explained reason) is carried over from The Red Spectacles, so their Type 86Ss are seen in several unusual scenes.
IMI Mini Uzi
One PSF agent uses a IMI Mini Uzi submachine gun.
One PSF agent uses a Leuchtpistole with a wire stock and loaded with HE rounds.
The last surviving PSF member manages to make brief use of his Type 54 pistol before being mowed down.
Model 24 Stielhandgranate
In keeping with the Kerberos Squad's theme of using WWII German weapons, several Model 24 Stielhandgranate grenades are seen in a shot of the aftermath of the Kerberos Riot.