Anime / Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

And at that, the wolf pounced upon the girl and devoured her, rending apart her flesh and bone, eating her alive, ignoring her screams.

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade is the third film adaptation of Mamoru Oshii's Kerberos Saga manga, released in 1999. It is also the only animated adaptation, the animation done by Production I.G.

The main character is Kazuki Fuse, a member of a heavily armed special forces unit (Kerberos) of the police. At the beginning of the film he witnesses the desperate suicide of a young girl who was delivering explosives to an anti-government riot. The suicide bomb cuts power lines causing a large blackout; as a result the police lose control of the situation and Fuse gets into trouble with the brass as he could've prevented this by shooting the girl. The audience is then introduced to a power war going on behind the scenes, between the police unit Fuse is part of and a rival entity called Public Security. Later on, Fuse meets Kei Amemiya who looks like the dead girl and claims to be her older sister. Is it the truth, or is she hiding something? Despite his suspicions, Fuse doesn't reject her company.

The film's title "Jin-Roh" note  comes from a rumored counterintelligence cell operating inside Kerberos itself as it slowly builds up to be an important part of the story.

Somewhat jarringly for a cynical political drama, Jin-Roh is mostly remembered for the impressive and menacing heavy armor worn by Fuse. It is often confused with the armor worn by the Helghast faction in the first person shooter Killzone (which it possibly inspired).

The film was licensed and dubbed by Bandai Entertainment for a DVD release, but said release went out of print when the company ceased production. Discotek Media has since rescued the movie for a future DVD release.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Alternate History: The film takes place in the 1960s. Germany won World War II, occupied Japan and has only recently moved out, leaving it in economic and political turmoil. Most of the weapons and vehicles seen are German.
  • Ammunition Backpack: Downplayed. A Panzer Cop's backpack doesn't store a single long belt for his MG-42, but rather a number of separate belts, kind of like a paper towel dispenser that dispenses bullets.
  • Anachronic Order: Jin-Roh was the final movie made in the Keroberos Saga, but in terms of the timeline it's the first event in the series, taking place a good 30 years before the 2 live action films.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: A powerful moment in the film, Kei grabs onto Fuse crying and utters line from Little Red Riding Hood "Mother, what big claws you have! Mother, what big teeth you have!". All the while, Fuse is screaming in anguish as he finds himself forced to either shoot the woman he loves or turn his back on his fellow Panzer Cops.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted — Fuse's Protect-Gear shields him against close-range bomb blasts and automatic gunfire.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: During a training exercise, Fuse surprises the trainer who is about to storm the room he was in by crashing through the wall.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Fuse's near lack of dialogue is a testament to the power of animation to create a fully realized protagonist with only a handful of spoken lines.
  • BFG: The hand-held MG42 machine guns used by the Kerberos unit are completely overkill.
  • Bullet Sparks: One of the notable exceptions.
  • Caught in the Rain: Fuse and Kei kiss for the first time while hiding from their pursuers in a rain-drenched rooftop playground.
  • Cool Guns / Rare Guns: Ranging from the C96 "Broomhandle" Mauser to the StG44 assault rifle.
  • Culture Chop Suey: The movie's Japan is a mix of Southern Korea during The '60s and The '70s - rapid urbanization and industrialization, with following social and economical issues, and The '50s' Japan - with political strife and popularity of leftist ideas among the youth, as well as 1930s-WWII era Japan - with authoritarian regime that constantly struggles with infighting between various factions of government and military.
  • Deadly Hug: Fuse shoots Kei as she does a Cry into Chest.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The movie begins following a girl in a red hood sent to deliver a package. She shortly after detonates the bomb she's carrying, killing herself in front of Fuse, the real protagonist.
  • Diesel Punk.
  • Dirty Commies: Seem to make up at least a significant amount of the members of the Sect.
  • Dirty Coward: Henmi.
  • Downer Ending: It was written by Mamoru Oshii, after all. He really likes his cynicism.
  • Down in the Dumps: The finale
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: The original German version of Little Red Riding Hood is used metaphorically throughout the film.
  • Fan Disservice: A particularly disturbing scene with Fuse's Nightmare Fuel Imagine Spot.
  • Far-East Asian Terrorists: The Sect are Japanese leftist terrorists.
  • From Bad to Worse: Sums the film up, really.
  • Gambit Pileup: Everyone has an angle. Most involve manipulating Fuse. Turns out he already knows and is manipulating them.
    • Although he has been manipulated into manipulating them.
  • Gas Mask Elite Mooks
  • Get It Over With: When Fuse catches Henmi at the end of the final shootout, he just stands still and waits while Henmi demands to know once again why he didn't shoot at the beginning of the film. Fuse doesn't answer, and finally shoots Henmi.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Kerberos unit helmets have goggles with red lenses. The point is made clear.
  • Government Agency of Fiction
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Of the cynical kind. Might even be Black and Grey Morality depending who you ask.
  • Implacable Man: Fuse becomes this near the end of the film as he hunts down the Public Security agents that were trying to follow him. Can be applied to all Kerberos cops since the armor is very durable and most of the guns seen in the film have nowhere near enough firepower to begin with.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The entire film. The Public Security Division intend to create a fake scandal (the romance between cop Fuse and terrorist Kei) to give them the excuse to disband the Kerberos, which has become a political embarrassment. The Wolf Brigade in turn is able to out-manipulate them, kill the Public Security Agents who were supposed to catch Kei and Fuse meeting, and eliminate Kei while making it appear like they still have her to prevent any retaliation from Public Security.
  • Kill the Cutie: Fuse kills Kei Amemiya.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: Kei pleads to Fuse for them to run away together. She reminds him of this when it turns out he knew all along that she was an informer.
  • Little Dead Riding Hood
  • Love Redeems: Averted as Fuse's loyalty to his pack proves stronger than his love for Kei.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Most of the cast.
  • May–December Romance: Between Kei and Fuse.
  • More Dakka: And it only takes one fully armed Kerberos unit member to do this, with just one gun no less.
  • Mythology Gag: Many scenes are influenced by the manga, although the film makes them into pure art.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The English language trailer has a lot of wolf imagery and lines about "wolves disguised as men" and "a man destined to live as a beast". These are purely metaphorical, there are no werewolves in the movie.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Fuse.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kei, at the end.
    Captain Muroto: We are not men disguised as mere dogs; we are wolves disguised as men.
    Kei: Wolves...not men...
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. Near the end Henmi takes a stray shot across the thigh while behind cover, which immediately reduces him to a limp while the wound is clearly seen to be profusely bleeding.
  • Power Armor: This is one trope that the series is remembered for, the iconic Protect-Gear. Ample protection, glowing red night vision lenses, and the very picture of badassery. May have inspired other similar armors.
  • Putting on the Reich: This is the OTHER trope this series is most remembered for.
  • Recurring Dreams: And Bad Dreams to boot. Fuse sees the dead girl in his dreams and each time the dream gets worse.
  • Resignations Not Accepted
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The terrorists use adolescent girls as bomb couriers.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog
  • Shout-Out: The Protect Gear has three spikes on its left pauldron, not unlike those favored by another group of iconic anime sci-fi Nazis.
  • Shown Their Work: The gun foley (sound fx) is spot on, especially the MG42's. Also at the shooting range, there is a square indentation on the range lane wall, with 4 screw holes where the pencil sharpener was removed and the spot painted over; this is because shooting exercises are no longer graded by over-the-shoulder judges with paper and pencil. In a movie shot on location this would be an expected background item but in an animated film it had to be intentionally included, amounting to a Genius Bonus.
  • Smug Snake: Henmi, in spades.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Fuse and Kei
  • Stop, or I Will Shoot!!: Surprisingly Averted. Despite their fearsome appearance and the nature of their work, the Kerberos squad are never shown to be the instigators of the first firefight. During the first battle they give the terrorist ample time to surrender and only open fire when one of the terrorists starts shooting at them.
  • The Slow Walk: Fuse as he kills Henmi's men one by one.
  • State Sec: Kerberos, with its iconic armor and heavy firepower for police work, fit the bill.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Kerberos cops don't show much mercy to their targets and riddle them with bullets. The completely one sided carnage of pitting anyone against the Kerberos cops is animated in a glorious mess of muzzle flash, blood and smoke. To say nothing of Fuse's disposal of Henmi. In fact, this is drilled into them through training: the instructor makes sure that his trainees receive plenty of rubber bullets for doing anything that would have gotten them killed in the field.
  • You Can Never Leave: After Fuse kills Kei, another Kerberos cop is shown decocking his Broomhandle Mauser which he was aiming at the two, making it clear what would have happened to Fuse if he'd refused to kill her.
  • You Know Too Much: Kei must be killed to guarantee Public Security can't find her and do the same — as long as she's missing, they can't be sure Kei isn't under protective custody somewhere, ready to give evidence if needed.

Tropes in other works in the Kerberos Saga:

  • Action Girl: Midori, a woman in the Panzer Cops who is not afraid to take the lead.
  • Arc Words: "Who is your master?" and many other questions.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: Tang Mei from Stray Dog.
  • Chickification: This happens to Midori in Red Spectacles but the fact that Midori ends up this way is actually something that Koichi is dreaming up.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Shortly before storming an embassy, one of the Panzer Cops talks about how he wants to own a blimp. There are also numerous conversations written by Mamoru Oshii, especially about dogs and men.
  • Cool Shades: Koichi wears these all the time, even while wearing a Protect Gear helmet and while taking a shower.
  • Crapsack World: The poor conditions of Alternate History Japan are further elaborated upon. After the Panzer Cops were forcefully disbanded, things went From Bad to Worse.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The film Red Spectacles.
  • Dirty Coward: Many characters believe Koichi to be this, for taking a suit of Protect Gear and flying off to a foreign country rather than sticking with the rest of the Kerberos Panzer Cops.
  • Doom Troops: Protect Gear troopers.
  • Downer Ending: Repeatedly, some of which make Jin-Roh's ending look peaceful and nonviolent in comparison.
  • Drunken Master: Koichi, after enduring a harsh interrogation, breaks free after being force-fed some cheap alcohol.
  • Dying Dream: In Red Spectacles it turns out that Koichi died when he was first ambushed in the hotel.
  • Enemy Mime / Monster Clown: During the post-Panzer-Cops era, the government of Japan employs psycho-killer constantly-laughing-or-smiling white-painted-faced red-lipstick killers.
  • Far-East Asian Terrorists: An antagonist to Japanese security forces, especially the Panzer Cops. Most are pro-leftist.....
  • Fight In The Nude: Koichi fights off a lot of armed mooks with just a handgun and exaggerated martial arts.
  • Foreshadowing: Notice the Fight In The Nude sequence? How a fairly grounded drama has this out of place moment and gets increasingly more absurd as it goes along? The absurd nature is a hint as to movie we're watching is not quite reality, but Koichi's Dying Dream.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Midori, a.k.a. "The Crack Shot," can snipe with a Mauser C96.
  • Improbable Weapon User: After the Panzer Cops are disbanded, Souichiro's signature weapon becomes a pool cue. He can even throw it into a man's head.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Just as important as in Jin-Roh.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Played for Laughs as Koichi hilariously slaps and strips the clothes off of a gangster.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Most-prevalent in Stray Dog
  • MacGuffin: It turns out that the main reason Bunmei was hunting for Koichi was to get his suitcase which is supposed to contain a suit of Protect Gear, but the suitcase was actually full of Red Spectacles.
  • Meaningful Name: Inui, the "stray dog" from the manga who whose background and personality would later influence Kazuki Fuse. The name was re-used for the protagonist of Stray Dog.
  • Mind Screw: Hoo boy. The Red Spectacles is about as close to a David Lynch film as you can get without the man himself directing it. Stray Dog is less weird and more laid-back, but still has its moments.
  • Mysterious Woman: The Red Riding Hood from Red Spectacles - nothing is ever explained about her, or why she appears in the situations that she does.
  • Number of the Beast: Multiple times.
  • Retcon: The events depicted in the series, especially the Kerberos Riot, have been moved back from the 1990s to the 1960s.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: In addition to their actions in Jin-Roh, they also purposely recruit people 15-years-old and younger, take hostages, hijack airplanes, etc.
  • Scenery Gorn: One chapter of the manga has pages full of views of junkyards and landfills.
  • Scenery Porn: In Stray Dog, quite possibly some of the most ever seen in anything involving Mamoru Oshii.
  • Serious Business: Eating fast-food while standing up.
  • The Siege: The Kerberos Panzer Cops held out for over forty days before finally surrendering.
  • Special Effects Evolution: The firearm props in The Red Spectacles are all either cap-firing replicas or non-firing models. The MG42 used in Stray Dog is a real firearm converted to fire blanks.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Koichi does this.
  • Surreal Horror: Red Spectacles gets increasingly David Lynch like as it approaches the end.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Inui from Stray Dog, much like Kazuki Fuse, has a high ratio of bullets used to people killed.