" Why?" The primary character in Jin-Roh asks himself not long into the feature. Having reached the end of the movie I must ask myself the same. Why did I watch that through? And what just unfolded?
The movie starts off good enough, a slow explanation of the setting, followed promptly by intense rioting, showing how military police are not supposed to be involved unless the Civilian police need assistance. A girl transporting a bomb succesfully delivers it, causing many deaths, ultimately on both sides. As she escapes in the sewers a panzer cop catches up with her and hesitates in shooting her. In a tense moment he fails to shoot and she at length, pulls the string to a concealed bomb, causing him injury, and blowing her apart.
A pretty good start, that got my interest and then some. However the same feel of the beginning is in no way recaptured, and it makes the viewer feel as if they are only half there for some reason. I'm all for slow pacing but the rest of the movie turns into a crawl. We meet an antagonist who's personality and intentions are never explored in the slightest. A love interest who is clunkily developed.
There are a few noteable twists, though they warrant more of a unflinching "ah.." response than anything moving. The story just never impresses, and eventually sadly succumbs to mediocrity, constantly referencing a more twisted little red riding hood the whole way(one which I will use from now on hehe), rather than exploring anything worthwhile that it easily could have.
Even when we reach the "pick up" it is still walking pace and quickly followed by a pretty hollow ending.
Animation and sound are adequate, though for some reason the cover/back gave me the impression the animation was of a bit sounder quality. Either way this did not detract from the experience, and there were enough details to make the enviornment seem real.
Lastly I must stress how bad the characters are. The main character is so hollow I'm surprised he held my interest enough to stay awake. He is BA when called for, but he is devoid of both personality and development. As for his romantic interest she and even moreso, their relationship develop stiff and awkwardly. No anime has probably had a more meaningless relationship or kiss scene, seriously, just turning on a movie to a kiss scene would actually pack more of a romantic pack on the merit you didn't just see two rigid characters relationship develop to that point. And the antagonist hardly feels like one, you really don't know what any of his intentions or motivations are, nor really have a grasp on his personality, which is odd as he is more of an average guy antagonist than dark brooding overlord type.
Before wrapping up I should probably give the anime props for what it does do right. The beginning is solid and could have been the intro to another, much better, story. If the main characters seeming internal battle actually culminated in anything it would have certainly been an interesting psychilogical journey. The plot technically could have been sound, if backed by main characters who weren't more boring than all the secondary ones. And lastly it puts a nice spin on little red riding hood, for whatever that is worth in your book.
In closing this anime is very mediocre and dry. Is it worth watching? If you are looking for a slow paced(again not something bad, or what is wrong with the anime) and somewhat dark tale, and are prepared for dry characters, give it a try. But it really doesn't warrant any kind of recommendation.