Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade is the third film made in Mamoru Oshii’s Kerberos Saga multimedia franchise set in an alternate 1950s Japan that is under German totalitarian rule following World War II with mass resistance from civilians due to the country’s high poverty rate and a special paramilitary force called Kerberos Corp created to counteract the resistance movement. The central character of focus in Jin-Roh is Kazuki Fuse, a fresh officer in the Kerberos Corp who hesitates to kill a young girl serving as a bomb courier for the resistance fighters before killing herself with a bomb she has on hand. Fuse is punished by being sent back to the training barracks and comes to encounter the girl’s sister, Kei Amamiya. While Fuse comes to befriend Kei, both find themselves getting in the middle of a political conspiracy that aims to threaten the formation of the Kerberos Corp.
At its core, Jin-Roh is a political thriller exploring the life of Fuse within the ranks of the Kerberos Corp and the conspiracy being planned within the ranks of his city’s police department to sabotage the paramilitary force. I do want to tread carefully with what I dabble into with the film’s story and themes, as it would otherwise heavily spoil one’s viewing experience of this film. But basically, the film has some rather engaging twists in its developments concerning the conspiracy and how those involved and caught up in it play out their actions to have things swing in their favor. As far as Kei and Fuse’s involvement in this is concerned, I’ll just say that there is more going on with both of them than what one would initially assume when they first appear in the film and their growing bond adds some complicated developments with their actions later into the film. There is a good deal of subtlety and foreshadowing in the film’s story buildup with where things are going with the conspiracy’s developments, and the film carries a consistently dark, somber mood throughout its run to show where things are going with the film’s plot developments. Said developments give Jin-Roh some rather powerful and effective drama with how it affects Kei and Fuse.
Perhaps the only blemish with the film’s storytelling is its heavy use of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale to connect elements of its story to the political conspiracy Kei and Fuse are caught up in. Jin-Roh makes use of story elements from a version of the tale that predates the more well-known Charles Perrault and Brothers Grimm versions, with earlier versions of Red Riding Hood being a folk tale that have a more darker and disturbing ending. The use of the Red Riding Hood story for Jin-Roh does have its effective implementations with exploring Kei and Fuse’s bond, though the film tends to get a bit too liberal with expressing these parallels at points throughout its run, particularly with characters reading out passages from the tale during key points of Jin-Roh.
Visually, Jin-Roh opts to go for realism in the designs of its settings and characters. Characters are designed to be lifelike with believable bodily details and proportions and the film believably depicts elements of 1950s Japan with the design of its settings, vehicles, technology, and firearms used for the time period. The Protect Gear donned by Fuse and other Kerberos Corp officers while in action make for the visual highlight of the film with the menacing design it has with the heavy armor and machine gun donned by officers using it. While action isn’t the main focus of the film, Jin-Roh does still offer up fluid animation that is nicely shown during the film’s occasional action scenes during Fuse’s time back in training or while in action dealing with terrorists or officers.
In short, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade makes for an engaging and powerful political thriller film focused on Kei and Fuse’s growing bond being complicated by their entanglement in the political conspiracy both have a role in. The Red Riding Hood symbolism can usually get a bit too heavily applied at points in the film. But beyond that blemish, Jin-Roh is still one of the more memorable titles I’ve seen under Mamoru Oshii’s direction.
Rating: 9 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Taka: It's a gigantic mech franchise. I haven't seen Macross myself. I know it's a big one.
Apr 9, 2021 6:17:00 GMT
Old Man Dream: Guess we don't get it. Make things short and sweet: Through some unintentional legal wranglings, Harmony Gold's owned international rights to the Macross name for decades and its Japanese developers, disgusted by the move, had not allowed...
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Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
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