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"Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade" Put This Wolf To Sleep, Before It Puts Me To Sleep

Japan is under attack. The class struggle between the government and its citizens has reached a fever pitch; young girls have been cast in the role of suicide bombers. As part of the Panzer Cops, Kazuki Fuse knows he’s supposed to fire when he sees a bomb, no matter who is about to detonate it. But since the bomb-runner is a cute little girl, he refuses … until the cute little girl is a cute little smear on the sewer walls.

You would think a version of “Little Red Riding Hood” with terrorists/liberators would be a little more interesting, wouldn’t you?

Years ago, one of the first anime I rented was Ghost in the Shell. Not the series, not the sequel, but the original movie from 1995. I rented it from a Blockbuster that doesn’t still exist, I think.

Later that night, I fell asleep as it played.

Jin-Roh? I decided to throw it in the Playstation 3 (it is a Blu-Ray I’m covering here) before class. Class is at 5:00, waking up at the standard college hour of noon, with many of my cohorts having gone to bed at Beer:30 the night before. Can’t really go to sleep, as I have class later.

Man, this is boring. It seems familiar.

Mamoru Oshii did both.

It’s not that the story is bad. Both Jin-Roh and Ghost in the Shell feature some very well-written vignettes. For a two-hour run time? Put something in there that passes the time. Given that Jin-Roh is all about replacing the heavy-handed plot of “Little Red Riding Hood” with soldiers, you’d think there’d be more bullets fired.

Solid Snake fires more rounds in the average playthrough of a Metal Gear Solid. Well, I hear he kills everything in his path in Metal Gear Solid 4, but as a game disc for the PS3 has yet to enter the PS3 in a non-academic guise, I have yet to see it.

It’s even nice as a “Little Red Riding Hood” remake, but it would have been great as a vignette. Heck, I could see its plot and action taken out of the 1950′s/1960′s it’s set in, moved to the near future, and be an episode of Ghost in the Shell. As a full-length movie, you get to parts where it pretty much spells out the analogues. A girl in a red hood? Wolves? Someone reading the script of “Little Red Riding Hood”? Jin-Roh‘s got it all, and is willing to shove it down your throat.

Fans of Jin-Roh will like the Blu-Ray edition, if they’re willing to shell out for it. Included with it are a copy of the storyboards, over 500 pages, alongside a 20-page set of interviews. All this accounts for why the Blu-Ray comes in a DVD case.

I know Jin-Roh is well reviewed, has many fans, and so forth, but I’ll just be honest and say it bored me. There’s good stuff there, but it’s not to my taste.

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