Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (review by Mike Chavez)
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade "may be fairly counted as the last great anime film of the 20th century–or perhaps the first great one of the 21st" as it's official website labels it. And it is a title well deserved.
Jin-Roh (which in direct Japanese-English translation means "man-wolf") is the most artistic and daring anime to ever leave Japan. The crew of Jin-Roh consists of some of the best talent in the anime field. A script by Mamoru Oshii, maker of the wonderous "Ghost in the Shell", and directed by Hiroyuki Okiura, assistant to Oshii on "Ghost in the Shell". Although this is not a "furry film" it does contain some of the most fearsome wolf hunting scenes I have ever seen. The main character, Fuse, and his entire police unit's personalities are portrayed as wolves.
The story revolves around Japan's alternate history of World War II, as they did not lose to the United States, but to Nazi Germany. The well crafted storyline presents a world of violence and fighting. The Tokyo of the past becomes so violent that the Japanese government sets up a special sect of police: The Special Unit. These heavily armed and armored soldiers single job is to rout out the terrorists causing havoc in the city in any way possible. When one of the Special Unit, Constable Kazuki Fuse (said "foo-seh") confronts a young member of the terrorists, he orders her to surrender. But her conviction to the cause is so great, she detonates a sachel charge she had been carrying. Fuse watces as the young girl blows up in front of his eyes. Afterwards, he is haunted by her phantom, giving him new insight as to the evil intentions of the Special Unit. Jin-Roh's story vein is in the spirit of the original Little Red Riding Hood; however, this story did not have the nice, playful ending that the American version had. The original was far more sinister and more violent.
Jin-Roh is a graphically rich movie, playing out with none of the "schoolgirl, big eyes, small nose" anime style that plauged movies such as Vampire Hunter D and the Macross series. Jin-Roh goes for the meat of any good political film and keeps everything on the most believable edge it can. In fact, the only difference between Jin-Roh and a live action film is Jin-Roh's beauty could not be portrayed by live actors. This movie is the BEST anime ever made and will continue to be.
This movie has been rated for mature viewers only. It contains graphic and sometimes gruesome violence.
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