Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

"Excellent"

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade Review


Anyone growing up on Disney animation would be shocked by Japanese Anime, a genre now famous for giving human experience a different look. It does what family-enticing animation has refused to, including violence, sex, and other adult motifs normally reserved for live-action big blockbusters.

Jin-Roh takes Anime another courageous step forward. Its beginning is chock-full of useful information, adding a documentary feel by establishing the cultural setup in black and white with voiceover. It may sound like a high school lecture, but the images never get boring. Not to mention that without this necessary information, you'd be lost when the key story starts to roll.

The setting is Tokyo, but if Japan had lost World War II to Nazi Germany instead of the United States. More than ten years later, the occupation troops are gone, but domestic terrorists still fight against the fascist, government-sponsored, military forces: the Capital Police. Another faction adding to the mess is "The Wolf Brigade," a rumored extremist sect of the Capital Police that can't be pinned down.

We follow Kazuki Fuse (Michael Dobson), a young member of the elite counterintelligence force. During a city raid, Kazuki fails to kill a young rebel girl face to face and she blows herself up. As he tries to continue on with his duties, he begins to obsess over her, dreaming of her. He contacts her older sister, Kei (Moneca Stori), and they spend time together, finding a tenuous connection in the oppressive society.

As time goes on, the fight between personal needs and duty to his command increases in Kazuki. He is talented and therefore allowed to continue training, but he is constantly being watched and even plotted against with one mental test after another. His times with Kei are pleasant, but there is always an underlying tension as to just how much is really possible.

Like many Anime films, Jin-Roh is brutally honest. The storyline mimics real human interaction, and none of the subplots are easily solved because the terrorists' motivations are complex. Blood, sweat, and tears aren't covered up to save shock. And even if the animation isn't always as minutely detailed as the ever-popular CGI, this is made up for in realistic bodily movements. When a character gets hurt, his limp is real.

The dialogue can be predictable, mimicking almost any other political jargon heard in the average American blockbuster. This could be from a language gap in the translation from Japanese or simply a case of rushing things. It can be annoying but doesn't affect the overall quality of the film.

More depressing than enjoyable, Jin-Roh demands respect because the story is compelling and it's difficult not to be emotionally engaged with the characters. A far cry from something to show the kiddies, but fascinating for those who appreciate an original gem.

Roh Roh Roh your boat.



Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 17th November 1999

Distributed by: Pioneer

Production compaines: Production I.G., Bandai Visual Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Hiroyuki Okiura

Starring: Yoshikatsu Fujiki as Kazuki Fuse (Voice), Sumi Mutou as Kei Amemiya (Voice), Hiroyuki Kinosha as Atsushi Henmi (Voice), Eri Sendai as Nanami Agawa (Voice), Kenji Nakagawa as Isao Aniya (Voice), Kousei Hirota as Bunmei Muroto (Voice), Ryuichi Horibe as Shiroh Tatsumi (Voice), Yukihiro Yoshida as Hajime Handa (Voice), Yoshisada Sakaguchi as Hachiroh Tohbe (Voice), Tamio Ôki as Self-Police Member (Voice), Yoshisada Sakaguchi as Narrator (Voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.