Jin-Roh: Special Edition (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, March 15, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 05, 2002
I have never seen Jin-Roh before so I have been highly anticipating this movie since January. This movie has been widely popular with a theatrical run in North America but I sadly missed it. I have enjoyed Oshii's past works and I celebrated when I finally received this, by watching it twice in the same night!
Audio: I do not have DTS setup so I listened to the Japanese 5.1. Good clarity with lots of surround sound especially in the sewer and action scenes. Three small line noises occurred around 32:45 into the movie, and lasted about four seconds each. It was only that scene that I heard it in, happening roughly ten seconds apart from each other. I rewind a couple of times with the same result. Other than being temporarily distracted, they did not cause much damage. I've had no problems with my player before. On my DVD-Rom, I got no such line noises. Sound seemed great from there on though.
Video: Picture looks amazing, both on my television and DVD-Rom. Nice dark and light tones of gray and black. Great transfer, no more can be asked.
Packaging: At first glance, the packaging looked solid. Nice, black cover with the picture of the Panzer cop, and another shot on the back. After a closer inspection, I found some flaws with the digi-pack and plastic sleeve. The digi-pack did not secure the discs well, and the sleeve damaged the sides. The booklet provided some interesting info about the movie, the tracks on the soundtrack and chapter stops. Solid all-around packaging though the plastic sleeve could have been made better.
Menus: Loved the menus. Not much loading time, great animation from one menu to another. Great pictures used for each one with lovely music playing. The red mist really added to the atmosphere!
Extras: A whole bunch of them. First, the interviews, explains the work behind the movie, the idea and many other topics covered by the creators. Just watch the movie, watch the interview, and know more about the movie. Four Japanese trailers and the one English one used for the theatrical release. 107 pieces of production art, shows the earlier drawings of the movie. Basically, the extras are what to be expected of a 'Special Edition'. You got your interviews, your art and your trailers. Need any more?
Content: The story of an alternate timeline. Japan is in a world of political chaos. Resistance groups are formed underground to fight against the government they strongly stand against. Problems arise in the Capital Police and the Local Police. Power struggles, betrayal, trust, and love.
In the beginning, violent protesters are rioting on the streets while the police try to contain them. Meanwhile, the underground resistance, the Sect, has special bombs with a high school girl as their deliverer. As a small group of the Sect travels through the sewers, they are confronted by the Special Unit. With their heavy artillery and armour, the Sect group is no match for them and is quickly vanquished. The young high school girl, Nanami, panics from the sight of the Special Unit and turns to find an exit. She then is confronted by Fuse, our protagonist, in his armour. She is terrified and threatens to pull and set off her bomb. As the situation worsens, she uses her last resort, killing her instantly and setting off a chain reaction with a power failure throughout the city. Fuse sustains minor physical injuries but serious psychological damage. He is questioned in front of the Board, and is sent back for re-training.
Later on, Fuse meets the dead girl's older sister, Kei. We are introduced to characters such as Henmi, Muroto, and Tohbe who are crucial to the story. We see the slow psychological pain Fuse deals with as the memories of the dead girl. As the story untangles, we see the real effect of this movie and questions are answered. This movie could not have had a more complete ending. Though predictable, this ending was best suited for such a movie. The effect just would not have been there without it. As the closing credits roll and the ending music starts, everything that I just watch sunk in.
Here's some advice, spend the extra $30! Unless you are one of the people who find this movie incredibly slow and boring, the extras and soundtrack will more than satisfy you. Even if you are currently broke, I know I am too, dip in deeper and fork over the $30. This movie is believed to be one of the greatest movies of the last millennium and of the new millennium. This movie cannot be described with words alone, only watching it will one understand and feel.
27" JVC Television, Pioneer DV-444 (Secondary Equipment: Compaq DVD-ROM GD-2000, 17" Color Monitor, Matrox 32mb G400, JBL Pro Speakers, WinDVD 3.0)
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: A+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 142
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2