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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  • Nyangoro
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 03:01 PM)
    If it becomes an issue, it might just be best to put “more” tags (or however they’re done on this site) on posts beyond a certain word count.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 02:21 PM)
    @Hal, Ninja is excessive. I think his Psycho Pass 02 review was a bit too much of a wall of text. Though my ones are only a little bit bigger than Psgels posts in his prime. But again he didn’t have a set word count.
    Personally I find it odd that reading an episodic review becomes a chore simple because of an extra paragraph.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 02:11 PM)
    @Anraiki, If you could into detail about how they are “Not what they used to be” that would be greatly appreciated. If you can’t be assed to do that and just want to tell us we suck then screw you too.
  • hal
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 02:01 PM)
    I’m rather bothered by the length of the episodic reviews. I don’t really mind the way of writing or the content or anything, it’s the length that bothers me. If I wanted to read a novel, I’d read randomc or, well, a novel. Please try to keep them short at 300-500 words at max. k-off is doing this allright, ninjarealist and aidan write waaaay to much. It’s too much of a bother to read.
  • Anraiki
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 01:06 PM)
    boy… these reviews are not what they use to be
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 12:40 PM)
    @Bam, That sounds like the lamest Fan fiction of fate I have ever heard.
    @Miyako, Monty python and the holy grail never had a holy grail. Nor did they reference it much besides saying they were searching for it. Obvious troll is obvious, go back to your bridge.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:48 AM)
    @Wyatt@Friend: That exploitation/horror flick megan is missing was alright, doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence as Martyrs however , Marytrs was much better. This film had a good idea behind it for a horror, it did actually try to make the audience care and the ending feels rightly grimy with one decent working shock, it got on the wrong side of corny at points though. Average fare.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:40 AM)
    @Bam@Realist: Tow ubukata writing psycho pass over urobuchi and a possible more ghost in the shellish feel at some point may get me to look into it someday.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:38 AM)
    @Wyatt: Also new apocalypse no toride chapter.
    Also meant to ask you, what is your opinion of “sad and tragic themed hentai” .
    Also I am now starting my 12 days of halloween thing with The prowler.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Oct 20. 2014 11:36 AM)
    @Wyatt: To each their own but objectively/on assumption, those doujins you mentioned don’t sound that bad to me. And now I’ve gone and admit that a person of nutjob taste like me apparently likes the idea of vanilla hentai outside of yuri.
    I’d hope they have the permission of the creators to sell those doujins, but I doubt it. I’ve always used e-hentai instead.

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