Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: This anime film presents a Japan that lost a different Second World War -- not to America, but to Nazi Germany. Now, more than ten years after the defeat, the occupation troops have left, but their legacy is Jin-Roh's twilight-zone city where the domestic terrorism of "The Sect" plays out in everyday bombings and street battles against the counter-terrorist Capital Police -- and their elite armored, helmeted, and red-goggled Special Unit. (Viz Communications, Inc.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. The plot is often bewilderingly complex and the dense layers of subterfuge hard to follow, but by the climax the fairy tale has been twisted into a fascist fable of realpolitik mercenary opportunism.
  2. Reviewed by: David Chute
    Where Okiura leads the art of animation into truly uncharted territory is in his character work, the precise behavioral strokes that bring people to life in two dimensions.
  3. 80
    A superbly crafted science-fiction fairy tale that's both Grimm and grim.
  4. Its plot and political symbolism manage to be both over-familiar and confusingly muddled.
  5. The story's emphasis is on action, but there are some sensitive moments and interesting ideas along the way.
  6. Dubbed for U.S. audiences, the film has suffered in translation.
  7. 40
    Something to behold; it's just not much to watch, despite admirable ambition and a few tense, well-thought-out sequences.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. JoshS.
    Apr 8, 2007
    Some of the negative criticism is spot-on, I will admit. The animation does not adequately convey the emotional agony that I think Fuse is going through. The background information provided in the movie is barely enough to make the plot sensible - a little more would have helped. But having said all this, I still find myself compelled to watch it again and again. I am only a casual fan of the genre, but the good things I could say about this movie would not fit in the available space! I strongly recommend it. Collapse
  2. WilliamK.
    Feb 20, 2008
    Rather heavy-handed in the Red Riding Hood symbolism, and the various conspiracies are not well-explained at all. Why exactly are there so many terrorist organizations? What is the Wolf Brigade? Why is the girl so important? Who the hell is the protagonist and what is he trying to do? Even at the end you will have no idea what the answer to any of these questions are. Also it's way too slow-paced to be taken as a straight action movie, so it's not like these flaws can be ignored. That said some of the action scenes were great, and the beginning scene was pretty sweet. It only starts to disappoint near the end, where the characters begin to overtly refer to the symbolism and you realize that the movie will NOT be explaining what the hell is going on to you. I don't really get the criticism that the characters didn't express enough emotion. They expressed plenty. These are all stoic and traumatized people, they're not going to go around revealing their emotions by making goofily exaggerated faces. I think the subtle approach works much better than whatever Looney Tunes crap people were expecting. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews