Based on Oshii Mamoru's manga, 1999 animated feature Jin-Roh
is set in an alternate world 1950s Japan that is beset by riots and terrorism and ruled over by a fascist government. Jin-Roh
is preceded by two Oshii-directed live-action feature films set in the same world, The Red Spectacles
and Stray Dog
, though timeline-wise it is a prequel to the other two films. Unable to finish off the trilogy himself (as he was working on Ghost in the Shell
at the time), Oshii tapped for the job first-time director Okiura Hiroyuki, an animator who had worked on Ghost in the Shell
and Patlabor 2
. Packed with political, historical, and literary allusions and metaphysical musings, Jin-Roh
is a brilliantly animated, emotionally jarring allegorical tale that both entertains and challenges.
Fuse Kazuki is a member of Japan's heavily armed anti-terror police unit, Kerberos Panzer Cops. They are trained to defend and attack like ravenous, blindly loyal dogs - like Kerberos, the hellhound that guarded the gate to Hades. During a mission, however, Kazuki hesitates to shoot a young girl from a terrorist guerrilla group, leading to her suicide bombing. A troubled Kazuki is sent back to academy, during which time he gets pulled into a secretive Kerberos unit called Jin-Roh, or Wolf Brigade. He meets Kei, the older sister of the suicide bomber girl, and as the two grow closer, Kazuki realizes that they are both pawns in a greater rivalry between Kerberos and the Metro Police.