Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
(taken from the back of the DVD case)
In a very different Tokyo from the one we know today, the totalitarian government rules with an iron fist. But a group called "the Sect" is staging demonstrations and challenging the government's martial law. Constable Fuse of the Capital Police's Special Unit is on a mission to stop a Sect demonstration when he encounters a girl in the sewers under Tokyo. When he fails to shoot as ordered, he is put on trial, questioned, and "re-conditioned" as a soldier. But the dead girl haunts him, both in his dreams and in the face of her sister, whom Fuse has befriended. But Fuse has made himself a target for some very powerful men. And as his world comes crashing down around him, Fuse is continually challenged to decide what is real and what is right.
A long time ago I asked when this title would be reviewed, and now here I am reviewing it. Rather amusing, I'd say, and now it's time to fulfill my own request.
First off, it looks great. Absolutely great. The animation is fluid, the backgrounds are well drawn, the weapons are detailed and the characters are very detailed, with even such small details as a clothespin holding shut a hooded cloak being visible. Everyone looks normal, no outrageous hair or physical proportions, they are all perfectly normal looking people. And the body armor is very cool, I must mention that.
The characters are very well done, and they all interact very well. Fuse is passive, and, although he is troubled, he is still a strong character whom I find very interesting. The other characters, such as Henmi, a friend of Fuse, all have personalities that aid the story. The DVD also comes with a small chart/tree which shows how the different branches of the government(and the people within them) relate to each other, so that is relatively helpful (despite the limited number of people shown on the chart).
The music fits perfectly with everything, it never clashes with or drowns out the scene that it accompanies, and strengthens the atmosphere nicely. But, while nice and fitting, it won't be continually on your tongue, being great with the movie, but not too well suited for absently humming, for instance.
The story is complex, having a couple of hidden agendas throughout, but it still makes sense, and won't leave the viewer staring at the screen in confusion as the credits roll. The very beginning of the movie is a small documentary of sorts, and helps to acquaint the viewer with the world where all of this is going on (why on Earth Germany would have occupied Japan after WWII isn't explained, but it does provide a reason for the pistols, cars, and automatic weapons to be there, so I won't complain), and with the state of affairs in Tokyo at the time. I will add, though, that although the Capital Police's Special Unit is supposed to be brutally violent, I have trouble seeing them as such, due mostly to the fact that I extremely dislike guerrilla tactics, and consider the method in which the Special Unit deals with the Sect as fitting with their crimes.
And now, to put it bluntly, Jin-Roh looks great, sounds great (sound effects being excellent as well), has great characters, and a wonderful story, combining to make an awesome package which I heartily recommend to anyone and everyone who likes good - nay - GREAT movies.
This film is not a non-stop action film, so those expecting the Special Unit to be shooting at anything that moves may be disappointed and should remove one or two stars. Also, those who dislike thinking when they watch something should also drop one star. — Samuel Arbogast
Recommended Audience: Definitely not for children; when the Special Unit does use its guns, people die, and they do so in a very, very bloody manner. There is also a very violent nightmare which could disgust those with a weak stomach, so I label it older teens and up.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade © 1999 Mamoru Oshii / Bandai Visual • Production I.G
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