Jin Roh
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
Wolf Brigade, The
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Music - KANNO Yoko
OOKI Tamio
OSHII Mamoru
R1 License - Discotek
In an alternate world, around 1960, Japan suffers serious civil disorder. The Capital Police with their deadly Panzer Cops are the solution but few like them, even among the police. Conspiracies are brewing and at their center is Fuse, the lone wolf.

[Movie, 1998, 101 min]
1:57min Movie Trailer - YouTube Video
1:55min English Language Trailer - ANN (high res) Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 9 9 10 Ggultra2764 [series:197#1552]
Man, what a great movie. It's not too often I see a movie that features development on a character's mental state, as well as having enough plot twists and depth on political situations to make it worth my time. And Jin-Roh definitely delivers in those departments. Fuse finds himself trying to hold onto his humanity in a Japan where such morality is considered weak thinking in his line of work, especially with the bond Fuse develops with Kei. The chilling take of Little Red Riding Hood in Jin-Roh paints a very symbolic depiction of the bond that Kei and Fuse share, as well as the type of person that Fuse is trying to keep himself from becoming. The story is also loaded with enough plot twists galore featuring a realistic take on corrupt military motives like the methods used by the police and military to rid themselves of the Capital Police and even the rumors of the top secret counter-intelligence group, the Wolf Brigade. The events depicted in this movie are even symbolic of actual events that occurred in Japan after World War II such as the student protests of the late-1960s focused around Japan-American relations and the fear of uncertainty facing many people after Japan's loss from the war.

Visually, Jin-Roh puts a great amount of detail into its settings and character designs. The movie makes use of dark colors to paint its scenery and characters that go well with the dark and merciless mood of this movie. Music does well at complementing the dreary environment of Jin-Roh, especially the powerful ED song Grace.

Jin-roh's a powerful film that paints a bleak depiction of an alternate Japan with military corruption and the struggle of a man trying to hold onto his humanity. If dark and depressing films aren't your thing or you want a pure action title, then Jin-Roh's not gonna be your cup of tea. But if you don't mind a brutally realistic depiction of an alternate Japan, then Jin-Roh will make your day.

Last updated Saturday, July 18 2009. Created Saturday, July 18 2009.
Buy Marcus [series:197#679]
Jin-Roh could have been one of my favourite anime, hands down. The animation is of exceptional quality, the characters look and act like human beings, and the story is genuinely interesting. If nothing else, Jin-Roh is REALISTIC; Japan could so easily have descended into anarchy and chaos after WW2, and the complex political moves behind the scenes mirror any real-life power struggle. The characters and events are brought to life so well it is easy to forget this is animation. Some may find the plot too complex, and the pacing too slow, but those who enjoyed other Oshii films (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell) will find many of their favourite elements in place.
I only had one problem with this movie, but unfortunately it was a big one; I couldn't reconcile the two halves of Fuse's character. Surely any 'wolves dressed as humans' would have had all traces of emotion and morality brutally purged out of them. Yet Fuse is clearly a man of conscience, who spends most of the movie wrestling with his guilt. I couldn't accept that the Wolf Brigade would tolerate such a man. As such, the ending didn't connect with me as much as it should have. The concept of the Wolf Brigade is itself under-developed, perhaps more time could have been spent exploring this.
I still highly recommend Jin-Roh, because without this one drawback, it could have achieved a level close to perfection. And if, in the end, it does fail to reach those heights, it certainly comes close.

Last updated Wednesday, March 03 2004. Created Wednesday, March 03 2004.
Buy 10 10 9 10 MarX [series:197#1033]
What a twist to "Little Red Riding Hood" Heh.. But I like it... (Never will tell my kid that one though...)
Good movie... No, more than good excellent... The alter Japan is a messed up place to live in... (Nazi bastards).. The story is has a very intriguing concept.. The cold exterior & interior of Fuse is something to look at (He is so screwed up it would take a shrink to get more than a decade to get more than rank and name out of him).. He has emotion just not very visible till the end... (So, sad...)
The suit designs are top notch... Gotta give credit to Mamoru Oshii...
Blood and More Blood is the mantra of this movie... You know what... I like it...!
Yoko Kanno for music... Need I say more..
Check it out if you get a chance....
~ ~

Last updated Saturday, January 10 2004. Created Saturday, January 10 2004.
Buy 10 10 10 10 9 9 pashunfrut [series:197#979]
This is of rare quality, the kind of movie that impacts you at the end. So often movies set you up for something important than fall short of the expectations they set for you, this does not. The animation is very nice, but not that important. The visuals are well done but really even if they werent it would not have detracted from the movie. It is slow moving, but it never stagnates. I found the lack of action a source of tension rather than boredom. my only complaint is that their were some minor plot holes, or at least points where I had to stretch my ability to believe that things were happening in such a fashion. I dont want to leave any spoilers here so i will not elaborate further, inspite of the few elements that did not jive it was definetely a high class piece of artwork. If you have an attention span that can last for an hour without needing to see decapition or some form sexual conduct then I highly recommend this.

Last updated Thursday, October 09 2003. Created Thursday, October 09 2003.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 BarrenSoul [series:197#859]
Awsome movie worth your time and money! This is not your typical "anime" it's more real than normal. don't want to say to much because it's easy to give away the plot. P.S. the weapons the panzers use are MG42's incase anyones wondering http://www.seek-and-destroy.de/weapons/mg42.html
(i love weapons)

Last updated Saturday, August 02 2003. Created Friday, August 01 2003.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 I am just a wanderer...thats all that I am. [series:197#745]
Anime is hugely popular in Japan and has a growing fan base in America. However, most anime titles appear in video stores, not on the big screen. It's fairly rare to see an anime movie (even rarer to see one not dubbed) in movie theaters, which is why Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade seems an odd choice for release. Well, maybe not, since it's writer, Mamoru Oshii (In the Aftermath, Mrs. Pepperpot) directed the legendary Ghost in the Shell. On a broad, stereotypical level, people enjoy anime for a number of reasons including complex stories, detailed mecha, fantasy, or even sex. Jin Roh falls into another category, one of boredom.
One supposes that director Hiroyuki Okiura intended for Jin Roh to be an introspective, thoughtful movie, but he puts so much mood into it that it lumbers along at a plodding pace. The movie takes place in an alternate past, a decade after Germany won World War II. In Tokyo, the police battle with guerillas with suicide bombs. Kazuki Fuse (voiced by Michael Dobson, Free Willy 3: The Rescue, Night Warriors) is part of the Special Unit, an elite group of policeman. Fuse meets on of these suicide bombers, a young woman dressed like Little Red Riding Hood. He hesitates before shooting her, allowing her to detonate the bomb, which has larger ramifications. In the subsequent months, Fuse is haunted by the girl, At her grave, he meets Kei Amemiya (voiced by Moneca Stori), and the two begin a tentative relationship/friendship with each other, seeking comfort in each other over Kei's sister's death.
It takes an awful long time to get here, and then the plot bogs down in a hopelessly confusing jumble of politics, dreams, and conspiracy. Fuse dreams about a young girl chased by wolves. The bombing causes Fuse's superiors to keep a close eye on him. People may not be who they seem. Everything is dull and no one can understand what is going on. Okiura and Oshii add in lots of labyrinthine politics, never making things interesting enough to merit one to pay attention. If it's any consolation, the animation is dark and moody, befitting the mood that Okiura wanted to establish. He makes excellent use of fog to add atmosphere to the scenes and to describe the clouded nature of the story.

Last updated Monday, June 16 2003. Created Monday, June 16 2003.
Buy 9 9 8 10 9 0 Devil Doll [series:197#752]
[Score: 89%, one of my Top 5 Anime movies]
  • Drama: Med/High (with some nice story twists)
  • Comedy: None (I chose the "Dark" category for a reason)
  • Action: High (not permanently but when the gunplay hits then it hits really hard)
  • SciFi: Low (alternate reality but could happen here as well)
  • Ecchi: None (some schoolgirls involved, but... none)
Although I am usually more addicted to the longer anime series where character and story line development have more space to grow, this one-piece movie fully satisfied my expectations.
Concentrating on a gloomy scenario depicted in the introduction (and not questioning its plausibility, which isn't really important here), there is enough time to focus on the main characters, to let you guess what will happen, to make you wonder about who are the good guys, and to even get you by surprise in the end.
It is somehow annoying that they needed to spill so much gore and flesh to make a point... but once you are over this, Jin Roh is a great movie. And I should explicitly mention that the music for this movie is my favorite anime soundtrack (Main Theme (OP), Curse), the only one I am frequently listening to from start to end without skipping any title.

Last updated Tuesday, June 21 2011. Created Sunday, June 08 2003.
Rent 10 10 9 9 8 Barry [series:197#122]
No one can deny that JIN ROH is a finely-crafted piece of animation. The amount of effort put into the design of this film is astonishing and every superficial facet of it gleams like a well-polished rifle. It is the bullet inside this rifle, the complex story of JIN ROH, that will leave many casual viewers wounded and confused as they are shot in the heart with a depressing and dramatic tale of political manipulation and the destruction of innocent ideals. Personally, I found the movie to be a compelling exercise in the "what if?" vein of fiction, but a friend of mine (who I would call a "casual viewer") who watched it with me was completely turned off by the lack of the standard "good guy/bad guy" archetype of storytelling. His favorite parts included the showcasing of the Special Unit's cool, sinister-looking hardware and the scenes in which humans were turned into meat by vulcan cannons. So, if you're in the mood for something complex and beautiful, or if you simply want to see an example of a near-flawlessly animated film, pick up JIN ROH on your next trip to the video store. However, if you want some entertainment you don't have to think about, I can't reccommend this film to you.

Last updated Tuesday, July 09 2002. Created Tuesday, July 09 2002.
Buy 9 10 10 10 10 The Coyote [series:197#64]
Little Red Rideing hood will never be the same.... Wow I just got done watching this and The story line caught me tottaly off gaurd at least 3 times where I just sit stuned by the twist.
Briliantly wrighten wonderful charatcer designs possibley one of the most griping storys out Not in league with Sameri X or Grave of the fireflys but just short of them. To Say the plot was not impressive is stunning What more do you want. The irony, simbolism, tragedy, betrayal, emotion, it's all here. This takes energy to watch so be ready it will were you out. But if you like anime or just love a great story that grips you tottaly this is a must see.

Last updated Wednesday, April 24 2002. Created Wednesday, April 24 2002.
Buy 10 10 7 10 8 boo [series:197#262]
While it's hard to argue that Jin Roh isn't great, there are quite a few issues that could have been altered. The animation is fluid and the linking to Grimm's tales is solid. However this movie could have been so much more. You will notice beautiful seemless scanning of the camera and emotion-laden scenes that really make you appricate animation all over again. Then they ignore the tactics that stunned you in the beginning. All in all the movie is a must see but some will like it and some won't. The plot was not all that impressive if you think of the basis of the story off of "little red riding hood". Go see it but don't have as high expectations as i did.

Last updated Friday, April 05 2002. Created Friday, April 05 2002.
Buy 10 9 10 10 10 Midnighter [series:197#94]
Jin Roh is a breath-taking ballet of brutal violence and even more brutal political maneuvering.
As a WWII buff, I found the alternate setting fascinating, and the armored Special Forces very impressive looking. The uniforms are a plausible evolution and the weapons and equipment are all recognizable. Panzerfaust 60M's, MP-40's, and what appear to be modified MG 42's are all exquisitely detailed. Everything from helmets to ammo pouches is obviously based on the WWII German Uniforms, and they look incredible. The Special Forces uniforms are obviously intended to strike terror in enemies and, damn, these would. The ominous and expressionless glowing red eyes, the hulking armor, to say nothing of the massive carbines. It's always refreshing to see an "alternate history" based on WWII that attempts to be accurate and make sense rather than just say "here's what coulda' happened and it sucks, huh?" The military action is almost overshadowed by the political action, though. With enough twists to fill 3 movies, the brilliant writing will keep one guessing up till the end. It's also nice to see both sides presented as exploitive, with no defined "good" and "bad" side.
The animation is superb, and even more impressive when one realizes that it is all hand-drawn. Jin Roh is possibly the last full length anime done completely with traditional hand-drawn cels, and it looks fantastic. The attention to detail is obsessive, from hair movement to equipment detail, and as such is reminiscent of Wings of Honneamise. Mamoru Oshii's fondness for weapons and military equipment is obvious here.
The character designs were very good, with Japanese characters that actually looked Japanese. As with Ghost in the Shell, Jin Roh uses realistic character designs, in fact even more realistic than GITS's. This realism makes the violence and bloodshed that much more appalling and disturbing, and hence more effective.
The music was excellent, and in a nice touch, the special edition DVD comes with a soundtrack CD. Awesome.
Overall, Jin Roh is a masterpeice of Japanese animation. Though violent, it is still beautiful, moving drama driven by its damaged characters. Highly recommended.

Last updated Monday, March 18 2002. Created Monday, March 18 2002.
Buy 9 10 10 9 10 Dan42 [series:197#21]
Jin-Roh is a bona fide masterpiece. I've seen many excellent animes, and Jin-Roh is without a doubt one of the most complex and thought-provoking. Director Hiroyuki Okiura's propensity for realism is demonstrated clearly in this VERY serious movie. The whole atmosphere is beautifully dark and the plot, if you're attentive enough to grasp it all, will blow you away by its richness. And, without giving it away, I can promise you that the climax is original and emotionally unforgettable.
The story is set in an alternate past Japan, some ten years after the end of WWII. Radical policies to get the country out of its post-war slump had caused serious social problems. The rising civil unrest had prompted the government to create a special unit of heavily-armored cop-soldiers (the Capital Police, CAPO) entrusted with the repression of the riots orchestrated by militant and terrorist groups collectively known as "the Sect". But times change and the economic prosperity renders CAPO as well as the Sect completely obsolete. With their reason for existence gone, the CAPO leaders see only one way to avoid dissolution : integrate with the regular police forces. However, this fusion is impossible because of the Panzers, the shock troops of CAPO, whose existence is a constant thorn in the foot for the police officials. So a conspiracy is set in motion to discredit them. But the Wolf Brigade, a rumored counter-intelligence vigilante group, is watching from the shadows.
At the center of this great struggle, Kazuki Fuse is a Panzer soldier who failed to kill a young terrorist girl before she blew herself up. As he grapples with the implications of such fanaticism, he meets the girl's sister, Kei Amamiya. Pawns of powerful forces, they end up unwittingly falling in love. Their story is told to us through an extremely original metaphor : the story of little red riding hood. And does it work! You simply have GOT to see it to believe how seamlessly that "children's" story is interwoven and interconnected at multiple levels with the love story of the two main characters. And just as the somber mood of Jin-Roh lets you suspect it, this version of little red riding hood is quite darker than the fairy tale we're all used to. It's a cruel world in which red riding hoods eat the flesh and drink the blood of their mothers and in which wolves, even if human, mercilessly devour red riding hoods. This is all tied in with the Wolf Brigade (the Jin-Roh of the title, which means literally "man-wolf") and the Sect (who use girls code-named "red riding hoods" to distribute explosives).
Finally, let's not forget the quality of the visuals in this movie which are just as flawless as its story. The art works perfectly to draw the viewer deep into the world of Jin-Roh and the animation has the incredible fluidity and realism typical of the highest quality anime. Extreme emotions (terror, anguish) are painted on the characters' faces with a skill that is rarely seen. The character designs are extremely varied and I don't think it's negligible to note that the faces actually look Japanese. The action scenes are rather infrequent but this only makes then all the more striking when they DO occur. In fact, some gunfights are simply chilling; the Panzer soldiers are not described as "heavily-armored" for nothing. They are unstoppable killing machines, portrayed so realistically that all the movements they make bring words like "deadly" and "dangerous" to mind. They feel like a pack of ravening wolves (again, the wolf theme) under a very thin human veneer. They'll bring a shiver to the back of your neck, it's guaranteed!
To sum it up in a few words : an absolute MUST-SEE movie as long as you don't completely hate complex plots.

Last updated Friday, June 14 2002. Created Friday, September 08 2000.

Other Sites
Dan42's Jin-Roh Lair http://dan42.com/jinroh
Jin Roh Official Site http://www.jin-roh.net/
Story line, picture gallery, and much, much more all layed out very nicely.

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