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And at that, the wolf pounced upon the girl and devoured her, rending apart her flesh and bone, eating her alive, ignoring her screams.
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Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade is the third and final film of Mamoru Oshii's Kerberos Saga, which was released on November 17, 1999 in France, and on June 3, 2000 in Japan. It is also the only animated film in the series, the animation done by Production I.G. It was directed by Hiroyuki Okiura and written by Oshii.

The main character is Kazuki Fuse (Yoshikatsu Fujiki), 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 (Sumi Mutoh) 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.

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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.

Unlike two of the earlier films in the series, The Red Spectacles and StrayDog: Kerberos Panzer Cops, which were original stories, Jin-Roh is a very loose adaptation of the Kerberos Panzer Cops manga. Most of the characters have been renamed, reimagined or removed entirely and the plot has been compressed and simplified to fit a movie that lasts less than two hours.

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).

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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. A Korean Live action remake of the movie titled Ilang: The Wolf Brigade was released in 2018 and directed by Kim Jee-woon.

Released in the Kerberos film trilogynote  with StrayDog: Kerberos Panzer Cops and The Red Spectacles.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Adult Fear: Political repression, terrorism, deadly internal politics, and more abound here.
  • 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. The US remained neutral and did not join the Allies in either World War and Japan joined the Allies against the Axis.
  • 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 Kerberos 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.
  • Animal Motifs: As befitting of a unit named after the original Hell Hound, Cerberus, the Kerberos Unit is associated with wild wolves.
  • Arc Words: "Why?", is repeated throughout the film, used first by Fuse when the young terrorist is about to blow herself up, and is then used thereafter to question why Fuse didn't shoot her first.
  • 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.
  • Book-Ends: Both the first and final gun battles take place in the same sewers.
  • 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.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Any time people try to take on members of the Kerberos Unit while they're clad in Protect Gear, as the terrorists in the intro and PSD agents find out.
  • 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.
  • Defiant to the End: The terrorists in the introduction all attempt to kill the Kerberos cops instead of surrendering, even when plainly outgunned and surrounded. The PSD agents later repeat the pattern.
  • Diesel Punk: The story happens shortly after World War II had a significant difference and the technological base remains similar. The Protect-Gear is very basic Powered Armor — by which we mean some sense enhancements, a gas mask and a radio, and an absurdly tough plating encasing absurdly tough men.
  • Dirty Communists: Seem to make up at least a significant amount of the members of the Sect.
  • Dirty Coward: Henmi.
  • Downer Ending: Fuse's relationship with Kei was doomed from the start and his loyalty to the Kerberos Unit ultimately proves stronger than his love for Kei, as proven when he tearfully guns her down to tie up all lose ends for the unit. Just to get get a clear image of how cynical Mamoru Oshii is, this still manages to be one of the happier endings in the series.
    • As this was the final movie in the series if you watched the two previous films you'll know that in the end the Kerberos Unit will inevitably lose to the Public Security Division and dissolve, rendering Fuse's loyalty and sacrifice of Kei ultimately meaningless.
  • Down in the Dumps: The finale occurs inside of a sewer system.
  • 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The movie's Fairy Tail Motifs are used right from the start to explain how the relationship between Fuse and Kei will end.
  • 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: The Kerberos Unit's power armor makes them this.
  • 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: The Kerberos Unit and the Public Security Division.
  • 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.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Twice; first on a terrifying Imagine Spot where Fuse envisions a pack of wolves eating Kei alive with and Fuse himself shooting her into pieces with a machine gun while the other Kerberos unit members watch. All of this, combined with a disturbing shot of her exposed breasts as the wolves feast on her. Second time during the end of the movie as Fuse is crying and prepares to pull the trigger and kill Kei, he sounds awfully lot like he's about to have an orgasm. This is another part of the movie's Fairy Tale Motifs as Little Red Riding Hood was originally a cautionary tale for young girls about the dangers of alluring young men.
  • 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: The terrorist girl at the beginning and Kei both die.
  • 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: Kei is probably at her early '20s at best, while Fuse is probably somewere in his late '20s early '30s.
  • 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 is much better aware of the situation he's in than he initially lets on.
  • 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.
  • One-Man Army: The Protect-Gear has the ability to many anyone who wears it an unstoppable juggernaut, and it only takes Fuze in a single set of this armor to take out an entire squad of Public Security agents.
  • 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.
  • Putting on the Reich: This is the OTHER trope this series is most remembered for.
  • Quaking with Fear: As she confronts Fuse in the sewers, Kei's legs start to shake in fear.
  • Recurring Dreams: And Past Experience Nightmare to boot. Fuse sees the dead girl in his dreams and each time the dream gets worse.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: The very last scene in the film makes clear that if Fuse had decided to quit his unit, he would have been assassinated by his fellow members.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The terrorists use adolescent girls as bomb couriers.
  • She Knows 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.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: A variant. Fuse is wracked with guilt and post-traumatic stress after a terrorist blows herself up in front of him, having flashbacks to the event and having nightmares of killing Kei.
  • Shooting Superman: The terrorists and later Public Security goons unload on Kerberos Unit officers wearing Protect-Gear, to no effect.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Fuse kills the only woman who he ever loved and ever loved him back. To make things worse, future films have his unit disbanded.
  • 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, even if they had ran away while they had a chance, they would have become fugitives and been hunted down in short order.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me: The bomb courier in the film's beginning blows herself up instead of surrendering or getting shot.
  • 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.
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