English: Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
Synonyms: Jin Roh
Japanese: 人狼 JIN-ROH
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jun 1, 1998
1 hr. 42 min.
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.831 (scored by 16686 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama police psychological
SynopsisAfter witnessing the suicide bombing of a terrorist girl, Constable Kazuki Fuse becomes haunted by her image, and is forced to undergo retraining for his position in the Capital Police's Special Unit. However, unknown to him, he becomes a key player in a dispute between Capital and Local Police forces, as he finds himself increasingly involved with the sister of the very girl he saw die.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Kenroh Densetsu
Characters & Voice Actors
There's a scene in Jin Roh, where a human being is being eaten by wolves, Fuse starts crying for help, "No, stop" He says, wishing that these disgusting creatures might understand his language, but they don't. However unpleasant this scene might be, those wolves are nothing but us, we are not men disguised as mere dogs, we are wolves disguised as men.
There was once a girl, called Little Red Riding Hood, she blew herself for the sake of freedom, pulling the line, quietly looking at one of the members of the capital police's special unit, Fuse, "Why?" He said, unable to pull the trigger and shoot her. Once witnessed the event, Fuse becomes incapable of getting her image out of his mind, though it's not his problem, he finds himself the reason for her death. Why do we do this, why do we eat each other?
If you asked an individual, any anime fan about a psychological movie he'll probably point at your face and shout "Ghost in the Shell", a depressing anime, someone will stand up and say "Grave of the fireflies", or a dark one for example, Akira will objectively be in the list. Don't get me wrong, those are wonderful examples to me. It's just that a few if merely no one will mention, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. The one that mixed up them all in one place, a realistic violent movie with no mercy, do not expect any happy endings, nor an over the top protagonist, this is the real world, and this's how most movies should be, this's not a Good versus Evil film, in fact, you barely know who's the right one or whether the protagonist has done the right choice in the end, I did not even get what're the wolves, what's that organization, all I understood is that the government is fighting versus the terrorists, whether the terrorists are the right ones or the capital police's special unit/military police. That's the result of focusing only on the characters and not the whole issue, a 5 minute opening will not do.
If you questioned yourself whether the characters in Jin Roh are dull and tedious or not, you'd find yourself in a mixed feeling, yes they are, but keep in mind that this movie takes place ten years after World War II, people dying here and there like mere ants so it's quite reasonable for their personalities to be as such. The film has a spectacular and fitting soundtrack, not to mention, top-notch art the likes of Akira and Ghost in the Shell, the characters look real and odorless of the improbable expressions, the backgrounds are also dark and gorgeous suitable with its gloomy and dreary atmosphere. Most movies that try to stay dark become so emo-ish at the end, Jin Roh did not, it tried to be as realistic as possible.
It's really tough to talk about a colorless concept as we humans try to search for the light, we can look at space for hours, but barely illustrate what it is.
For the fans of: Ghost in the Shell and Mobile Police Patlabor II (Realistic and dark movies in general).
Sorry in advance for the unbearable mistakes, your feedback is greatly appreciated, I really want to hear your thoughts and suggestions. read more
The only thing stopping Jin-Roh from achieving masterpiece status is the screenplay.
Nothing is wrong with the backdrop, it's clear Oshii has a respectable knowledge of politics and the craft of writing. He also has very interesting motif and metaphor at play. The problem is that, while there are glimpses of character development, there isn't enough to let the themes, motifs, metaphors, and obvious meanings shouldered onto the characters reach a point where it resonates. This leaves us with a deliberately meditative directing approach which mostly fails; it focuses intently on images which work as symbolism, while the script gives us nothing underneath which allows the static shots to inspire or captivate to their fullest potential. The characters don't feel compelling; often less like people and more like chess-pieces moving around in a display of technical skill. This is not always the case, as one scene seems to show a blossoming of two personalities. It's promising, and interesting, but the focus quickly changes to violence and representation.
That isn't to say that everything is entirely ineffective. The major players aren't fleshed out, but the topics are, and they're even stronger due to the film's sense of realism. The characters feeling dialed back may even be a part of it, as it does paint them and the situation they're in as cold and alienating. Dingy settings are eerily reminiscent of the real world and are polished with a grim palette. Which leads me to the biggest compliment I can give Jin-Roh : it has a firm grip on everything visual, Production IG truly brought their A-Game. The reality miming physics of the two-dimensional world can be impressive; sometimes it seems subtle enough as to match reality, other times it's bended and filtered through a (more refined than is typical) stylistic anime touch. The music is a detached element, serviceable albeit dated, which isn't a hindrance since the sound design is most effective in it's use of silence. All of the visual and aural elements work well in tandem with the cleverly constructed places and ideas. Though it's true the characters never distract or compete, for that department to underwhelm is still an opposite extreme.
In the end, Jin-Roh mimics and suggests enough to evoke intelligent thought and thus succeeds as a dark statement, with the added benefit of being rendered with beautiful visual detail. However, it doesn't have enough character merit to function as an enjoyable narrative with long lasting appeal.
Suggested viewing for :
- Oshii fans for completion purposes, since he receives writing credit.
- Self-titled anime buffs at least once, as it is essential viewing.
- Those partial to critical assessments of war and it's psychological aspects.
- Anyone skeptical that anime can drive home a well constructed point, or reflect on mature themes.
- If you just want to sit back and watch pretty animation.
Avoid if these are dealbreakers:
- Slow pacing.
- Characterization forsaken for plot or purpose.
- Realistic violence. read more
Opening Theme"Jin-Roh - Main Theme" by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Ending Theme"Grace - Jin-Roh - Main Theme - Omega" by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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Heijin [Heijin] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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