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Stray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops

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Stray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops (1991)

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 Yoshikazu 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).

See Also:Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, The Red Spectacles

The following guns were used in the movie Stray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops:

Mauser C96

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.

Pre-War dated Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" Commercial Version - 7.63x25mm Mauser
C96 "Broomhandle" Mauser fitted with holster/stock combo - 7.63x25mm.
Inui bursts into Tang Mei's apartment, C96 at the ready, expecting to find his old commanding officer Koichi inside.
After failing to find Koichi in the apartment's bedroom . . .
. . . Inui decides to chill out on some dust-jacketed furniture before being shaken out of his reverie by Tang Mie, who somehow moved from being bowled over by Inui's dynamic entry to hiding behind the couch in the interim.
Close observation reveals that Kerberos squad member on the right is holding a C96 with a stock, awaiting orders during the final moments of the Kerberos riot.
Nothing can ruin your vacation quite like a Mauser C96's muzzle in your face.
Before this shot, the pictured character Hayashi, Inui's contact and his sole liason with the Japanese government while in Taiwan, is shown to be awaiting Inui's arrival while a tune like a commercial jingle for Hayashi's drink plays. Just after this shot, Inui captures Hayashi and forces the latter at gunpoint to help Inui don Koichi's old Protect Gear.
Inui fires at the last PSF member until his Mauser locks back. A continuity error shows him firing only with his right hand on the gun in the next shot.


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.
MG42 with sling and bipod collapsed - 7.92mm Mauser
The Kerberos Squad in full Protect Gear and armed with MG42s.
Three Kerberos members with their MG42s during the Kerberos Riot.
Two Kerberos members with MG42s restrain Inui as he watches Koichi escape from the Riot in a helicopter rather than face down the invading Government forces.
An MG42 can be seen propped up on the right side of a makeshift memorial at the site of the Kerberos Riot.
Inui dons his Protect Gear for the grand finale. Why the Public Security Force would even be willing to try and take on one of these guys is anyone's guess, though Inui does have surprise on his side and the fact that up to that moment, no one outside of Koichi and Inui knew that anyone in the world still had a fully-functional suit of Panzer Cop armor and weaponry. Even more puzzling is how Inui managed to fit perfectly well into Koichi's Protect Gear, given that it has some parts (such as the armored face mask and the articulated finger joints for its gauntlets) which would likely have to be custom-fitted to its designated wearer and probably not fit someone else.
After gunning down three PSF members, Inui retrieves a fresh belt of 8mm Mauser from his backpack...
...and places it in the MG42's chamber.
Inui opens fire with his MG42.
Inui opens the barrel lock on his MG42...
...drops out the overheated barrel, which doesn't actually show any signs of overheating in this shot...
...and slides a new barrel into place, which shortly thereafter appears to be additionally cooled by Inui's dripping blood.

Galil SAR

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.

IMI Galil SAR - 5.56x45mm
A Kerberos member in Protect Gear fires his Galil SAR during the last moments of the Kerberos Riot.
A Kerberos member with his Galil SAR during the Riot.
A Galil SAR lays against the front tire of one of the Kerberos Squad's jeeps.
Several Galil SARs are used in a makeshift memorial at the site of the Kerberos Riot.

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.

Norinco Type 86S - 7.62x39mm.
A PSF member gets so bored during a stakeout that he actually places the barrel of his Type 86S up his nose. He must have a very boring job.
Who says alcohol and firearms don't mix? Wait... don't answer that.
A PSF member finds himself face-to-face with a Protect Gear-wearing Inui shortly before being gunned down.
The PSF unloads their Type 86Ss at a Protect-Gear-clad Inui during an ambush.

IMI Mini Uzi

One PSF agent uses a IMI Mini Uzi submachine gun.

Mini Uzi SMG with stock folded - 9x19mm
The PSF member tries to use his Mini Uzi on Inui shortly after being shot at by Inui's MG42, but is unable to inflict any damage before Inui finishes the job. An unrealistic detail in this shot is how there are no bullet holes behind the PSF member, despite the fact that the ammunition Inui is using would realistically overpenetrate the PSF member and how in an earlier scene exit wounds from Inui's overpenetrating bullets are visible on PSF members. The sound effects in this scene also imply that Inui simply unloaded his MG42 in the general direction of the PSF member, which would also realistically create a large number of bullet impacts in the wall behind Inui's target.


One PSF agent uses a Leuchtpistole with a wire stock and loaded with HE rounds.

Leuchtpistole - 26.65mm
The PSF member loads his Leuchtpistole.
The PSF member fires his Leuchtpistole. Note the stock.
A close-up shot of the PSF member's Leuchtpistole just before a bizarre action sequence.

Type 54

The last surviving PSF member manages to make brief use of his Type 54 pistol before being mowed down.

Type 54 - 7.62x25mm
The last surviving PSF agent cocks his Type 54.
The agent fires his Type 54 before Inui cuts him 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.

Model 24 Stielhandgranate "Potato Masher" High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Two Model 24 grenades lie discarded along with a supply crate, a helmet, a pair of boots, and a belt of ammunition.

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