Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade: Special Edition (DTS) (1998)
Trailer-Theatrical, TV Spots
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Madman Anime Releases
|Year Of Production||1998|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (70:32)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Hiroyuki Okiura|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Set in a parallel Japan, 10 years after the end of World War II, Jin-Roh is an anime exploration of the political paranoia that gripped the country for decades following the great war. In this alternate reality right-wing forces rule the government and tension from the left-wing supporters has erupted into domestic terrorism. The government have formed a highly militarised police force known as the Capital Police, operating separately to the domestic police, to deal with this threat to the State. Known as Kerberus, these Capital police are trained to be as ruthless as a pack of wolves (hence the film's title).
Kazuki Fuse is a member of Kerberus. Fuse manages to embarrass the force when he fails to shoot a young female terrorist, who proceeds to detonate a bomb that kills her and severely damages a city block. Besides being reprimanded for his failure, Fuse begins to question his own humanity as he reflects on the incident. He finds some solace in an awkward romance that he drums up with a woman he believes to be the dead girl's sister, but this only further tests his loyalties.
In many ways with the alternate world of Jin-Roh is really an exaggeration of the real world. The Capital Police force is an exaggerated version of the militarised police force that article 9 of the Japanese Constitution necessitated. The left-wing domestic terrorism is very much an exaggerated version of the tensions that followed the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma.
Jin-Roh, like most good aime, is based on a manga (Kerberos Panzer Cop). This particular manga had previously been turned into two separate live-action films, neither of which were particularly successful. This film was a gamble that paid off well. The story works particularly well as anime as the rich world in which the film is set has been captured perfectly. The story itself is a lot deeper than you would expect of a typical cartoon, or any film for that matter (though what do you expect from the writer of Ghost in the Shell?), and the film's tone is pitched to suit all potential viewers (even those who wouldn't normally watch anime).
The high quality animation and moody production design, particularly of the Capital Police body armour, also rate a mention.
Jin-Roh is highly recommended to a wide audience.
The film is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video looks excellent. The image is sharp and there is virtually no sign of film grain. A mild degree of low-level noise can occasionally be detected, although you would have to be paying extremely close attention to notice.
The film's colour palette is somewhat on the soft side, however this is quite intentional so as to give a hand-painted look to the film.
A handful of very small film artefacts, all very small flecks of dust, can be noticed throughout the film. There is no sign of MPEG compression-related artefacts.
Bold yellow English subtitles are available, which translate the Japanese dialogue. The subtitles appear to be accurate (though I'm not a Japanese speaker) and well timed.
This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 70:32 but was not noticeable on my equipment.
The film features English and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) audio tracks as well as a Japanese 5.1 DTS (768Kbps) audio track.
Dialogue is clearly audible at all times and appears to be well synchronised.
The film features an excellent, though rather depressing, orchestral score by Hajime Mizoguchi.
The surround channels are put to excellent use throughout the film. The subwoofer gets a good workout during the action sequences.
|Surround Channel Use|
An exhaustive set of subtitled Japanese interviews with the writer (Mamoru Oshii), director (Hiroyuki Okiura), an animator and a voice artist. Pretty much evey angle is covered, though it's slow going stuff.
20 assorted black and white character sketches.
A fairly standard theatrical trailer followed by three brief TV spots.
A 16 page booklet featuring a Hiroyuki Okiura filmography and an essay on Mamoru Oshii and production history of the film.
Trailers for other Madman anime classics.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This Region 4 release is virtually identical to the US Region 1 special edition, although the Region 1 special edition features an additional CD featuring the film's score. The Region 4 booklet is 4 pages longer than the Region 1 booklet, although the only extra content is a filmography and chapter list for the DVD.
Bare bones releases of Jin-Roh have been released previously in Region 1 and Region 4.
An engaging, occasionally confrontational and frequently thought-provoking anime action drama.
The extras are modest in number, but reasonably worthwhile.
The video presentation is very good. The audio is excellent.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|