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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: A - N. America, S. America, East Asia
  • Released By: Bandai Visual USA, Inc.
  • MSRP: 79.99
  • Running time: 102
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 1080p
  • Disc Encoding: H.264/AVC
  • Series: Jin-Roh

Jin-Roh

By Bryce Coulter     December 06, 2007
Release Date: November 27, 2007


Jin-Roh
© Bandai Visual USA, Inc.


What They Say
Set in an alternate history Japan in the 1950s, the story unfolds around Kazuki Fuse, a member of the military police force, who shuts down his human side for his duty. It develops into a psychological drama of Fuse who is torn between love and his loyalty to the Wolf Brigade.

The Review!
"...and then the Wolfie ate up Little Red Riding Hood."

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in the English dub. We also sampled some of the Japanese 5.1 soundtrack to get a glimpse of the original voice actors’ depiction of the main characters. The English dub sounded great as well as the overall soundtrack. The sound effects and musical score were fantastic. The English voice actors did a decent job of portraying the standard set by the original Japanese cast. There were neither any drop outs nor any distortions. The audio for this release matches up excellently with the superb video quality in this Blu-ray release.

Video:
This version of Jin-Roh, originally released in 1999, has set the bar for all future anime releases and for that fact, all classic anime remasters. Jin-Roh is absolutely gorgeous to watch in this Blu-ray rendition. The video transfer for this release does not show its age at all. There is some very miniscule artifacting that appears. You really have to strain to see it. Bandai really went all out on this release in terms of video quality for Blu-ray. The transfer for this release truly displays dark scenes cleanly and clearly while allowing brighter scenes to feel almost realistic.

Packaging:
The Blu-ray release of Jin-Roh comes in chipboard case that houses the Blu-ray DVD case, along with the storyboard book, and the Hiroyuki Okiura interview booklet. The front side of the case features Kazuki Fuse in his Protect-Gears armor while carrying his German MG42 machine gun. The background features Kei Amemiya in what resembles a red cloak with a hood. This of course depicts the strong influence of the tale Little Red Riding Hood as played out in the plot of this story. The backside of the case features a black stencil of Fuse in his Protect-Gears armor with an overlay image of a rifle scope crosshair’s in white. The spine of the box contains a smaller version of the front image along with the story title. The DVD case itself features another Red Riding Hood image of Kei Amemiya in the background with Kazuki Fuse in the foreground holding his helmet and gun. These images portray the overall feeling that the viewer is left with after viewing this anime classic.

Menu:
The disc is designed to work both in the US and Japan. Upon load, a static screen comes up asking you to select your language of choice. If you select English, you get the FBI warnings before it starts into the movie. If you select Japanese, you get the warnings as well before it starts into the movie. Upon selecting the language, the movie immediately starts without going into the main menu. This is not the norm for most DVDs and could cause the viewer to miss the extras or have problems finding the extras. Of course, pressing the menu button on the DVD remote will solve this. The menus are very simplistic and display the options along the bottom portion of the screen. This is set to the classic image of a Kerberos Panzer Cop standing on top of a pile of rubble. The menu options are easy to use and had quick response times. I really wish Bandai would have put more emphasis on menu design to accompany this masterpiece in anime.

Extras:
The extras for this release include:
  • 20-page Booklet exploring the world of Jin-Roh with new interview of director Hiroyuki Okiura
  • Complete 522-page storyboards book (Japanese)
  • Theatrical Trailers

    The interview booklet gives a nice perspective on Hiroyuki Okiura’s influence in anime throughout the years. It also gives a depiction on how he got started and reflects on the Jin-Roh production. It was really interesting to see how he molded this into the masterpiece it has become. I really wish that there would have been a section on the history of Jin-Roh and how it was adapted from Mamoru Oshii's Kerberos saga manga, Ken-Roh Densetsu. The storyboard book is a nice addition, but the writing is in Japanese. Most storyboard books don’t reveal a whole lot of dialogue, but it would have been nice to have been able to read. Flipping through the storyboard book after viewing the film gives the viewer a nice quick resurveying of the story plot. It’s amazing how much one can remember about the story while flipping through a bunch of pictures, even with Japanese notes on it.

    Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
    As an avid anime fan, this is another film that I have unfortunately missed out on. Again, I am most thankful for the opportunity to review this anime masterpiece. This is, yet another classic that no anime fan should miss out on. And, if you are a Blu-ray nut, you must buy it, regardless...

    As stated earlier, Jin-Roh is an anime that was adapted from Mamoru Oshii's Kerberos saga manga, Ken-Roh Densetsu. The story is set in a parallel Japan where it appears as if Germany won World War II and its influence has spread around the world. The era in which this story takes places is very similar to the 1950s. The main character of this story is Kazuki Fuse, a member of the elite Kerberos Panzer Cops. The Kerberos Panzer Cops are a metropolitan antiterrorist unit equipped with heavy personal armor ("Protect-Gear"), Stahlhelm helmet enhanced with masks containing breathing and night-vision gear, and German-built MG42 machine guns. These guys look like German super soldiers that you often see in World War II based video games, comics, etc..
    Trained to behave like a pack of dogs, "Kerberos", Fuse confronts his own humanity when he fails to shoot a young female terrorist, who sacrifices herself to detonate a bomb. This brings about an internal paramilitary investigation in the midst of an already dwindling Kerberos Panzer Cops reputation within the Japanese government.

    Many people in this fictitious time fear the return of the Fascists and anything that involves paramilitary government groups. Protests often lead to violence, which is often influenced by an underground terrorist group known as The Sect. In the recent past, the Kerberos Panzer Cops have been involved in defusing many similar terrorist plots. Individuals within the Japanese government see this as an opportunity to get rid of the Kerberos Panzer Cops. The Kerberos Panzer Cops rival is Public Security, who is secretly trying to make a case for permanently deactivating the unit.

    This would seem like a great setup for a political suspense based story. But wait, there’s more… Fuse is subject to being retrained for his failure to eliminate the terrorist girl. During his training, Fuse encounters an old friend who is a member of Public Security. His old buddy is doing everything he can to help Fuse make the best of his current situation. Fuse, also encounters a woman who looks strikingly similar to the girl who blew up herself. Fuse’s inner turmoil over the bombing incident leads him to reach out to Kei Amemiya, the little girl’s big sister. Kei responds in like and thus begins a relationship that quickly creates a strong bond between the two.
    And thus, begins the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Jin-Roh draws heavily on the hard core version of the classic German folktale of Little Red Riding Hood. Many quotes are made from the tale and references to The Sect’s young female bomb carriers make it all the more tragic. The latter portion of the film focuses in deeply upon this storyline. The final result leaves the viewer awestruck and downright amazed. In the end, it will leave you wondering who is right, who is wrong, and what the planned deception was all along. It can even leave the viewer with a sense of bewilderment and sadness. Upon further evaluation, the viewer will realize the brilliance in this masterpiece that truly belongs in the best of all anime.

    Summary:
    Another masterpiece for the anime fan has finally appeared in a video format that truly reveals its brilliance in artistry and story telling. Nearly 10 years after its theatrical debut, Jin-Roh is a film that still stands high above many anime releases, both past and present. The artistic animation, masterful storytelling, and deep character introspect are what make this anime a true masterpiece. Strongly recommended

    Features
    Japanese 5.1 PCM Language,Japanese 2.0 PCM Language,English 5.1 Dolby Digital Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Subtitles,Special Artbox Slipcase ,20-page Booklet exploring the world of Jin-Roh with new interview of director Hiroyuki Okiura,Complete 522-page storyboards book (Japanese),Theatrical Trailer

    Review Equipment
    Hitachi 62VS69 62" UltraVision LCD Projection HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000.

  • COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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    jnager 3/13/2012 7:14:16 PM

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