Jin-Roh (1999)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking film with some twists

Sometimes difficult to follow, probably better on second viewing

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jin-Roh (aka Jin-Roh:  The Wolf Brigade)

Studio:  Bandai-Visual

Genre(s):  Animated/Drama/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/War

Release Date(s):  November 17, 1999 (France)/June 3, 2000 (Japan)

MPAA Rating:  R

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So…come to these sewers often?

It is the 1950s, and the war and fall to the Germans has weighed heavy on Japan even after the fighting ended.  Military patrol the streets and terrorists fight to break the control.  When Corporal Kazuki Fuse fails to kill a terrorist girl, he falls under suspicion and has threatened the Kerberos Panzer Cops organization itself through his failure.  When he secretly goes to the grave of the girl, he meets Kei Amemiya who reveals herself to be the girl’s sister.  With a secret relationship that could get him killed, Kazuki sets down a dangerous road…but there might be a wolf in the fold.

Directed by Hiroyuki Okiura, Jin-Roh (人狼 or Jinrō which translates as Man-Wolf) is called Jin-Roh:  The Wolf Brigade in the United States.  The movie received mostly positive reviews upon its release.  Since its release, the film has gained a small cult following and is often listed as one of the better anime films to have received wide release.

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Gunning for you!

I’m 50/50 on anime.  I really like some of the ideas and concepts developed in the anime style and sometimes the art really is quite spectacular.  Unfortunately, I often find a disconnect to a lot of anime which might come from cultural differences.  Jin-Roh doesn’t suffer from this but does struggle with pacing.

I like the set-up of the movie, but it remains kind of confusing.  There isn’t enough explanation of the set-up and the different factions.  It throws a lot of information at the viewers at the onset of the film, but it is quick and needs refreshing toward the middle of the film when the real espionage begins.  I didn’t feel like I had a good grasp of the relationships between the groups.  The military’s relationship with the terrorists and the government would have benefited the audience.

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The wolves are coming!

I do like the Little Red Riding Hood themes throughout the movie.  The story’s smart incorporation of the fairy tale is great for the ideas of people hiding in plain sight and reminds me a bit of themes of The Company of Wolves.  The use of the story also shows how Little Red Riding Hood is interpreted in Eastern cultures, and it is fun to hear a slightly different version of the tale.

The movie visually is quite stunning.  Watching the film, you would guess that it was rotoscope due to the natural movement of the characters.  It actually is just really smooth animation.  I like the war suits of the soldiers and the movie does make great use of the visuals.

Jin-Roh was a pleasant surprise and quite a watchable movie.  I enjoyed the first watching of the film, but I think it is the type of film that would even be better the second time you watch.  It is a movie of nuances and conspiracies, and it is a movie that begs to be watched again.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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