Posted by psgels on 21 January 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Mamoru Oshii may have his problems, but I like how the guy has continued to produce adult-movies through the decades, away from all the teenagers that we see in 90% of all other anime. His movies are always very well-written; heck, the guy has an absolutely terrific sense of dialogue, rivalled by only a handful of people. It’s a shame that none of his movies so far came out perfectly flawless, though. He often gets too enthusiastic with his dialogue, which makes many of his works memorable, but missing that edge to truly become a great movie. Thankfully, after watching Jin Roh, I’m glad to say that this doesn’t count for all of his movies.

It’s here where Oshii throws away all his pretentiousness, and he deliberately keeps the pacing slow for the entire run, and for once he doesn’t mean to confuse his viewer with tons of dialogue. Instead, we get the character-study of a member of a special division of the police. Expect lots of realism here, this isn’t a story where a heroic warrior will save the world from terrorists. The plot is much deeper than that, despite what you might think. This movie was especially refreshing after watching A Tree of Palme. Nothing feels forced. Nothing feels out of place.

The real star of this movie is the main character, though. He’s so far away from your standard hero, and the depth of his character is immense, especially considering the limited length that this movie has to work with. This makes it a pity when the movie switches to the side-characters. They’re by no means bad, but they’re just not as interesting as the main one. This is just a minor flaw, though.

I’m really glad to see that Oshii did manage to produce one movie that doesn’t have any major problems, and the result is absolutely terrific. I can’t say this enough times, but a movie has a limited amount of time to work with. If it wants to be something memorable, it needs to know how to build up properly. Mamoru Oshii does know this, but he often gets ahead of himself. Thankfully, this isn’t the case for Jin Roh. Jin Roh is a definite recommendation if you’re looking for a slow and serious movie.

4 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I enjoyed this movie too, I saw it when I ws young but it went over my head, I saw it a year or two ago and I agree this is one good movie, the ending is just way too tragic and depressing but it is probably one of the most memorable endings in an anime.

  2. Wyrdwad says:

    Just be careful: if you plan on watching more Mamoru Oshii work, he’s got an experimental movie out there done entirely with paper standees and stop-motion photography called “Tachigui: The Secret Lives of the Fast Food Grifters.” It sounds cool if you’re just reading about it, but that movie was simply *AWFUL*. It was an experiment gone wrong… an exercise in tedium at best, and an absolute waste of film at worst. Highly recommended for avoidance. (:

    On a totally unrelated topic, PopoloCrois episodes should be appearing on BitTorrent again within the next couple weeks, as I finally got back on the project, and am half an episode away from full translation of both series. Sorry it’s been taking me so long!

    -Tom

  3. David says:

    Jin Roh: Wolf Brigade is interesting because it is representative of Oshi’s *personal* and long-term work – unlike Ghost in the Shell or Patlabor (for example) it’s based on a universe that he created by himself and has been working on for years in various media (radio drama, manga, live action, anime).

  4. ben says:

    Glad to see someone finally review my favorite movie of all time, anime or non-anime. There is so much emotion poured into the movie and the art work, which would have been very nice if you had mentioned is done by hand, is simply amazing. I would give it a 94 as I put it at par with Mushishi(the score you gave it was 94 i believe)

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:27 PM)
    @Wicked: That was a decent enough manga, that Partner series, I like a good dark shojo and it was well enough in that regard within what its genre/demographic could get away with and its story fit comfortably its three volume run.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:14 PM)
    @K-Off, DSII was a disappointment somewhat salvaged by the DLC. DSIII is much better but still doesn’t top DSI.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:05 PM)
    @K-off: sorry I’m actually in your (former) neck of the woods about 50 miles north of Orange, working at a music festival called lightning in a Bottle. You’ll love Dark Souls III if you’re patient enough. So much of it is a direct homage/copy of the original that it feels like a shelved fanfic at times, but there is polish and some ingenuity behind some of the deeper nuances of the game.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:24 AM)
    @Bam Finally going to start DSIII this monday, I’ll have to see what’s so special about this one since I wasn’t the biggest fan of DSII.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:17 AM)
    Pretty pleased with my Vita so far, finished Danganronpa 2 and completed 100% of Ray Gigant this week. June looks like a pretty good month for the Vita, currently deciding whether or not I should purchase Odin Sphere or Grand Kingdom when they release. Of course I really should repair my WiiU gamepad before Mirage Sessions comes out.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 08:11 PM)
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 08:10 PM)
    @Wicked: I might read that I liked Kodocha and parts of honey bitter.
    @Mario: I think shion sono made a live action movie of that.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 11:57 AM)
    @Maamoo: if you like datk twisted psychological thriller I would recommend my favorite manga: psychometrer Eiji. It’s a shame that they haven’t adapted it to anime yet
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 09:22 AM)
    @Maamoo I got one that might be right in your wheelhouse called Partner by Miho Obana. It’s dark, twisted, and crazy. Problem is I just can’t find it licensed and published in english anywhere.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 08:02 PM)
    @Maamoo: I suppose if you’re looking for a shoujo manga I’d recommend Black rose Alice, afterschool nightmare, Count cain(and its sequel Godchild), angel sanctuary.

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