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

by on July 9, 2008

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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