Jin-Roh (Mania.com)

By:John Robinson
Review Date: Sunday, September 14, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, March 05, 2002

The Review!
Audio: The musical score here fits in with the film perfectly, and adds to it's atmosphere in a very helpful way. Jin-roh is a film were the music is used sparingly, but in the proper dramatic context. On the Japanese setup, sound effects mixed in with the music and dialouge seamlessly. Overall, Jin-roh is definately showcase matirial.

Video: Smooth animation coupled with a distinct style make Jin-roh distinguishable from any other anime. Notably, the particular style chosen portrays the Japanese characters so that they indeed, do look Japanese.
The film is rather dark and neutral in terms of color schemesm but when sparks and explosions take place, they look all the more fantastic. My only complaint is the odd kind of "soft" look to everything, but that is purly nitpicking and is probably intentional. Overall, this is a beautiful transfer.

Packaging: Seeing as anime is scarce in video stores, I usually take chance and purchase off the shelves now and again. Jin-roh is presented in the usual plastic keepcase, but what caught my eye was the front cover. It details the words "Jin-Roh" in bold reddish letters with the subtitle, the wolf brigade in similar fashion. Below this english text are two kanji, which I can only assume mean "jin-roh" or some such thing. The picture content here shows the silouette of Fuse in full armor with his weapon, with the moon as a backdrop. Gorgeous choice. The back of the case shows a few shots of the film and some flavor text, displaying the statistics legibly and accurately as well. As far as packaging goes, this title is hard to miss.

Menu: Kudos to the team of people who put this piece together. The menu for the film opens with red air flowing past the screen to reveal the helmet portion of the brigade's battlesuits. Wailing guitar coupled with slow-beating drums and a few other worthy instuments creates a foreboding but irresistably cool score for the menu. Navigation is quite simple and I came across no issues with the menu on the whole. Bandai has done well.

Extras: Having only bought and reviewed the regular edition, there isn't much here. A few movie trailers are the only things included with this disc, so you may want to consider forking out the extra 20 or so dollars for the 3 disc set, which does true justice to the show.

Content: In jin-roh, we are taken back many years to post WWII Japan.
Black and white photos, complimented by a factual narrative, tell us of an alternate outcome, and a far more negative one at that. Contrary to prospering, the economy of Japan is in shambles. Riots and protests are commonplace, while Tokyo is bursting at it's seams from Terrorist attacks.

To combat these volatile fellows, a para-militrary police force trained and equipped with most formiddable weaponry and armor parades the streets.
It's there, on those same streets, where intense battles take place.
Through this warped, alternate reality, we meet Fuse. Fuse's story begins when he corners a "little red riding hood." These woman and children are used by the terroists to carry and transport explosives. The girl fuse stops in very fearful and desparate, and even when fuse cannot come to shoot her, she snaps and detonates her explosives anyhow.

>From here on, the movie explores the relationship between Fuse and his girlfriend, the alleged "sister" of the little red riding hood.
What happens from there on I will not spoil for anyone, but be forwarned: Jin-Roh is an adaption of little red riding hood you'd shy away from.
This film is very thoughtful and reflective, but also brooding and haunting. It's because of this tragic story that Jin-Roh is very moving, and also sad. Although violent and perhaps unsuitable for most children, I would encourage you to watch it because it's the time of film that will grow on you over time, and that refreshes the way you look at life-and death.

Review Equipment
52" Sony Projection Television, Standard Sony DvD player

Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A+
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A+
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 102
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Jin-Roh