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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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 05:18 PM)
    Almost forgot to recommend this one: http://mangafox.me/manga/apocalypse_meow/
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 02:15 PM)
    show might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but its a detailed look into anime production that’s pretty damn rare, especially in english.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 02:09 PM)
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1287579779/art-of-making-santa-company-a-complete-guide btw, if anyone’s interested in animation, this might be of interest.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:23 PM)
    oh ok. that explains it lol. quite…brilliant,
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:21 PM)
    wait what. why is a love hotel so close to an amusement park. jesus, the permits they must’ve paid.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:21 PM)
    @Bagel: My brother and his friends don’t allow me to mention that film, it is a dirty word.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:20 PM)
    especially that earthbending. i will never forget how off-sync that earthbending was with the effects.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:19 PM)
    @Emma oh it better. The Last Airbender would’ve been watchable if it at least had the action to warrant it. But those sorry excuses of martial arts…it was like watching a parody movie.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:18 PM)
    @Emma well yeah, but those are from the past. speaking of which, don’t know if we can get films like that anymore. even the critics seemed to have moved onto the faster pace of contemporary films.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 01:17 PM)
    @Bagel: Oh it was still a middling film that I gave a 3/5 to but its moreso not as bad as people say, focus on the action, which there was enough of and its watchable.

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