Between forty and fifty years ago, a movement that would come to be known as superrealism began within the visual arts. Pioneered by artists such as Chuck Close and Audrey Flack, superrealists (sometimes referred to as photorealists) sought to infuse a then-unparalleled level of detail into their work, seeking to replicate a photograph as nearly as possible with paint or sculpture. The early twenty-first century saw the next step in the movement: hyperrealism. While the superrealists viewed the imitation of reality as their goal, hyperrealists wanted to go beyond reality and imbue their art with a message, a point of view (which had the effect of depicting reality as reflecting that point of view).
I believe that animation from the mecha battles in Patlabor the Movie falls into this category of hyperrealism.
Suggested Soundtrack for Reading: Wolf Parade “Modern World”