Hiroyuki Okiura Jin-Roh The Wolf Brigade

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Reviews Views Date of last review
2 7050 9/6/2009
 
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.0
Jin-Roh The Wolf Brigade is an animation film released in 1999. The creative team behind the film is spearheaded by Hiroyuki Okiura, whose illustrious resume include anime classics such as Ghost in the Shell, Metropolis and Cowboy Bebop the Movie to name a few.

Setting

Jin-roh literally means man-wolf. The movie is set in an alternate Japan society: the Axis powers have won over the Allied forces in World War 2 and Japan bends to the will of the Germans instead of the Americans. The weapons featured in the film are inspired by German design and the overall mood is set by the use of dark, gloomy colors.

Main Characters

The main character of the film is Kazuke Fuse, a member of the elite an anti-terrorist unit the Kerberos Panzer Cops. Fuse embarrasses his unit by failing to shoot and stop a young female suicide bomber. Demoted from soldier to cadet, he is sent back to the academy. His path crosses with Kei Amemiya who claims to be the bomber’s sister and a complicated love story blooms. As the war between the “terrorists” and the military worsens, Fuse finds himself facing an even greater dilemma than the opening scene – to shoot or not to shoot Kei, a suicide bomber herself.

Connections with Little Red Riding Hood

Jin-Roh is a Rubix cube of the popular children’s fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. There is a very obvious parallelism between the fairy tale and the film: the Wolf Brigade is the "wolf" and the young female suicide bombers are the "little red riding hoods" – who happen to wear red hoods.

Fuse is depicted as an above average soldier with a natural instinct for combat and violence, the perfect wolf. As told in the fairy tale, red riding hood outwits the wolf even if he went through the trouble of disguising himself as the girl’s grandmother. In the film, Fuse is outwitted twice – the first instance is when he hesitates to shoot the suicide bomber because she is a young girl, and the second is when he fails to realize Kei’s true identity. On the other hand, it can also be argued that Fuse is either the grandmother or red riding hood. He is an easy prey of military politicking and is a mere pawn of the unit; he is seduced by a spy of the enemy. Whereas young girls are the real wolves; their youth and gender serve as cloaks to their real selves – cunning, seductresses and suicide bombers.

Overall

Jin-Roh is a film with complex layers. The themes shown are very adult; they are neither toned down nor made less obvious by the medium used - animation. A single viewing of the film may not suffice to explore the various nuances the film has to offer.
Keywords: Wolf Brigade World War Combat Metropolis
Sound & Graphics Excellent
Entertainment Value Very Good
Replay Value Very Good
Plot Excellent
Genre Action, Drama, Science Fiction
Starring Michael Dobson, Moneca Stori, Doug Abrahams
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  1. 24/1/2007 11:15pm
    1. OdysseanPromise
      Otaku

      Join Date:
      November 2004
      Location:
      Montclair, NJ (School), Severn, MD (Home)
      Posts:
      153
      Would you recommend the product? Yes     Price you paid? None indicated     Rating: 8
      Pros: Fantastic Animation
      Cons: Slow starting
      First of all, I want to say that this movie has a profound richness that you do not see in a lot of anime. War anime seems to be largely focused on giant robots, and my attention aws brought to "Jin-roh" because of its greater focus on the soldier.

      Having said that, I want to say that this movie is very slow. The action in the beginning is about the only action throughout the movie. If you're not a fan of thinking movies, this one is not for you.

      However, if you are a World War II buff, you will appreciate, and at the same time be confounded, by the plethora of weapons shown from the time, ranging from the Thompson, Lee Enfields, MP40's and PPsh's.

      Note that this is not a movie to watch if you are tired. I watched this after the convention I picked it up at and I zoned in and out, and passed out part of the way into it. I hope I have made it clear that it is a movie that focuses more on the complex symbolism of urban warfare and human discretion rather than death and destruction.

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  1. 9/6/2009 5:25am
    1. beast
      Banned

      Join Date:
      September 2008
      Location:
      Michigan United States
      Posts:
      1499
      Would you recommend the product? Yes     Price you paid? None indicated     Rating: 8
      Pros: Good story, More realistic technology.
      Cons:
      This anime is set in post world war 2 japan, and is gritty. Anime that portrays contempory japan ripe with realism is few and very far between. And onto that few do it very well. Jin-roh is one such movie. history buffs will love teh vailed references to actual historical figures in Japanese reconstruction. While the visuals are normal the story is amazing, and wil reach to those who have been in Fuse's situation and there are a few. Jin-roh is an anime that has become almost lost being a decade old but is more relavent now in a time of upheavel then it was when it was released over a decade ago.
         


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