"First, the good news: this movie is astounding. The opening riot scene is so realistic it's scary. The story, the artwork, the visuals, the soundtrack, all excellent. Some have complained it's too slow. I don't know why. There's no need to complain about how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B if the journey is as interesting as this one is. It's an excellent anime that is not too hard to follow (looking at the personnel flowchart helps keep track of who's who), yet it shows an intelligence and complexity far above the typical anime offering. And the visuals are so gorgeous, so realistic. Even the muted color scheme is evocative of the tone of the movie.So, why only 4 stars? Well, if you buy the 2-disc Special Edition, I have one question: How's your Japanese? Oh, the menu for the extras disc is in English, but all the interviews, everything, is in Japanese. No alternate audio. No subtitles. All Japanese all the time. Please note that the movie has both English audio and subtitles (as well as the original Japanese), but the extras disc does not. So, unless you speak fluent Japanese, save your money and just buy the single-disc movie-only version."
The Best Anime of the new millenium so far....
Mathew P. Peters | Brier, WA USA | 07/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw this film in theaters.It has got to be the most emotional film that got to me since perhaps Schindler's List. JIN-ROH, THE WOLF BRIGADE could maybe be described as a "politico-military love tragedy thriller". Produced by the renowned studio Production I.G., with a script by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), this is a very strong debut for young director Hiroyuki Okiura. This film looks incredible from beginning to end. Unfortunately, this may be the last anime movie to be done using hardly any computer assistance. The anime employs over 80,000 hand-painted cells and has taken 3 years to make. The character designs are excellent and individualistic(characters actually look Japanese.No large eyes to be found). There is great attention to detail in the movements of the people and objects on screen. Everything moves realistically down to the last motion. I also liked the dark and muted color scheme. There were many instances where I could question if I was watching animation or not. In fact, I think this movie looks more realistic than the real world. The sound is excellent. There is sound everywhere in this film from the murky and creepy sounds of the tunnels to the chirping birds flying through the town. The guns used by the Panzers sound *powerful*, the cars cough, and the trees rustle. Like the animation, everything is done down to the last detail. The music is written by Hajime Mizuguchi (Please Save My Earth/Vision of Escaflowne) which is melancholic, eerie and beautiful. It fits the film perfectly. I only wish that there was more of it since the film doesn't have much music in it. Everything is well composed and creates the perfect atmosphere for the scene it's in. I own the OST myself and listen to it almost everyday. The one track that I know will stick in your head is the ending theme which was composed by Yoko Kanno (Macross Plus/Vision of Excaflowne). The ending theme brought me to tears the first time I heard it in the movie (which I'd like to note is sung by Gabrielle Robin). I highly recommend that you buy the soundtrack. All of the Japanese voice actors voices fit perfectly and every voice expresses the character's emotions. From the cold and serious voice of Fuse to the quiet and sincere voice of Kei, this film delivers some great voice acting. The version of the film I saw in theaters was English dubbed but it was done carefully and each of the voices fit the characters excellently.Jin-roh tells a dark tale, of the tragedy of the failure of the human spirit. The way out seems to be there, but is it? The fairy tale must reach its ending. A wolf is still a wolf even if for a while he can masquerade as a man. Hopefully this movie will be released soon in the US so more people can experience it strange and dark beauty."
Jinroh - Enthralling story made in classic Oshii fashion
Mathew P. Peters | 02/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Masterpiece! Its hard for some to understand the Genius of Oshii. This man is a visionary. For those who thought Jinroh slow must not understand Oshii's style. Mamoru Oshii weilds morals, and ethics like a master story teller when creating his scripts. Oshii's movies aren't for the action hungry fan boys. Sure, for some jinroh is a slow paced movie with only bits and pieces of intense action, but the subtle moral drama, the build up of his characters, and the technical detail of this movie makes it worth while. Understanding Oshii isn't difficult. All one has to do is give up all preconcieved notions of what Anime is and should be. Anime like Jinroh, Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor I and II, and Akira define themselves as the anime genre. If you're only interested in watching big breasted girls, and giant robots than skip this movie (don't get me wrong. i enjoy the girls and robots too!). But if you enjoy story and content above action than Jinroh is a must watch."
Absolutely stunning, horrible masterpiece
Victor Chen | Hacienda Hts., CA USA | 06/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Jin-Roh" has got to be the darkest, most morbid movie I've ever seen, anime or otherwise. Make no mistake, this movie has no fairy tale ending and is black as the night. But it is a morbid masterpiece. The film is intricately woven with such epic complexity and depth that it might have collapsed under the weight of its own story under lesser filmmakers. A morbid spin on the old "Rotkäppchen" (Little Red Riding Hood) story is seamlessly and ingeniously integrated into the entire movie as the omnipresent theme. "Wolf" is given so many layers of meaning in this movie, as it is meant to. Jin-Roh also creates a dark gothic world with stunning effectiveness and believeability. This movie stays with you, with its chilling quotes and its unforgettable and shocking ending. The ending will make you sick to your stomach, yet at the same time will have you begging for more. I guarantee it. "We are not men disguised as mere dogs. We are wolves, disguised as men". "It is only in tales written by men that the hunter kills the wolf in the end.""
"Mother, what big teeth you have..."
CitiB | Texas | 03/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very impressive anime that works most effectively as a drama with suspenseful elements and some brutally real violence. The story of Fuse, member of the Wolf Brigade, a special military unit in a fictionalized Japan is captivating and very bleek. As he struggled to deal with a young girl's death and find his own humanity, I was completely involved in the character. In fact, as I watched I often thought to myself of how this story could have been made perfectly into a live action film, something that can't be said for the average animated feature. It's a very real, grim story, the love angle is handled with care and you can definitely feel for the characters. The only thing that REALLY bothered me was the entire wolf symbolism. About halfway through the film I was thinking "okay, I get it already." Between the images and dialogue it's delivered with all the subtlety of a Spike Lee movie, and I personally found it a little distracting at times. And still, when the conclusion comes it redeems itself entirely and everything comes together so neatly. Altogether it's an outstanding work with a few flaws, but will likely get better with age."