Posted 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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  • moshokosho
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 02:03 PM)
    still feeling bitter about captain earth, had been hoping for a Eureka 7, Bounen no Xamd style anime richly told
  • moshokosho
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 02:02 PM)
    mushishi and ping pong are the only ones worth watching this season unless you don’t have anything better to do
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 01:18 PM)
    And the angst. Oh god the angst.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 01:17 PM)
    That said, Mari needs a choke chain and the card game itself seems to have no real logic or strategy to it. For one bitch idols avatar ability is ridiculously overpowered. She can boost her avatar and yet destroy her opponents deck at the same time. There’s no real way to counter this. Basically despite this being about a card game we still have no idea how this game is actually played.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 01:12 PM)
    And Idol girl number 2 seems inexpressive and has a card persona which is overly exprssive.
    When you look at it these card persona are how these characters wish to be seen by other people. Intruging considering the main characters card is dumb and childish, suggesting that she a good bit smarter than she lets on.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 01:07 PM)
    Hmmm…Wicross does have something interesting going on with it’s avatar personalities.
    We have incest chick who is straightforward and not very smart with a card persona that is more like a wise older woman. Library girl who is shy and self deprecating has a card persona who is encouraging and friendly. Bitch idol is overly expressive and judges people poorly has a card persona who is inexpressive and can see peoples faults and weaknesses with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 08:53 AM)
    I’ve seen Robot artbooks in the bookstores all the time, but never bought one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 08:51 AM)
    I think with robot I grabbed random chapters of it and did it that way as is the case with me and episodic stuff.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 08:48 AM)
    *here
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 08:48 AM)
    @Bagel: Didn’t know anyone else on hear read robot. Been so very long since I did so…but I never read his bit…

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