Top positive review
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The Best Anime of the new millenium so far....
on July 14, 2001
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.