The Wolf Brigade
Genre: Action/Drama
Format: 1 Movie
Allegiance: Production I.G./Pioneer Ltd.
Director: Oshii Mamoru
Vintage: 1999
Intelligence Agency Report by: Djudge
In an alternate conclusion to the Second World War, Japan has not lost to the Americans, but to Nazi Germany. Strife and violence run rampant in the streets of a poverty-stricken Japan and the new fascist government has adopted a special police force to combat the restless populace. A developing terrorist organization known simply as “The Sect” has grown to become the nation’s biggest enemy and a special armored anti-terror unit is mobilized to neutralize them. Fuse Kazuki, one of these new officers, is dealt into a life-and-death situation during one of his missions. The decision that he makes during that one tense moment has repercussions that will forever alter his destiny.

Field Agent Report by: Djudge
Overall 9.50
(not an average)

Jin-Roh is the latest offering that critically acclaimed director Oshii Mamoru (of Ghost in the Shell and Mobile Police Patlabor fame) has delivered to the anime community. Without a doubt, Jin-Roh stands as the man’s finest work. With a great audio/visual presentation and a hauntingly realistic premise and scene direction, Oshii crafts a quality anime movie with very few equals using the finest ingredients at his disposal.

The graphic presentation utilizes hand-painted cels that provide rich and beautiful scenes with an extraordinary attention to detail. This particular facet of the production, coupled with the move to using photo-realistic character designs and a number of plot-related factors, create a world that one can nearly acknowledge as real. The choreography in the movie’s tenser action segments have been researched and executed to perfection. Believable movements add an important layer to the realism that Oshii was seeking with this piece. Supplementing the fantastic visual work that Oshii and his crew have put together is a moving soundtrack that adds to the dark and disturbing world of Jin-Roh. Each score certainly qualifies as emotion-driven, particularly in each of their respective scenes.

The plot development is a mixture of both your standard start-buildup-climax-conclusion approach as well as an extensive examination of Fuse’s character. Over the course of the movie the plot development switches from one focus to the other, all the while throwing a fistful of revelations and twists to a dark and melancholy plot. Yet while this exercise in dark prose does have its admirable traits, it is all the while fueled by a repeatedly, and exhaustively used series of metaphors to the Red Riding Hood fairy tale. The relationships between the two titles are indeed significant and should be duly noted — the first couple of times through. It is through the overuse of this particular literary device that Jin-Roh has its only real flaw. Oshii calls upon these connections few times too many and the result can unfortunately be quite annoying.

Jin-Roh is a notable accomplishment in the world of animated storytelling. The attention to detail that Oshii sought becomes the very standard to which this anime would be built and the fruits of this labor are indeed sweet. For anyone looking for a dark and moving story set in a world that could have very much been our own, Jin-Roh is a ticket with your name on it.