One of the lesser known but thoroughly engaging films that Mamoru Oshii has worked on has now found its way onto another streaming service with Jin-Roh. The feature originally came out in 1999 and was a big release from Bandai Entertainment back in the day and I believe had a flirtation with Bandai Visual USA as well. It ended up in Discotek Media’s hands a couple of years ago and has had both DVD and Blu-ray releases for it.
The feature has now arrived on Tubi TV for streaming in both its original Japanese language form with English subtitles, which you can find here. It’s definitely pure Oshii material and is best watched late at night in a darkened room where you can just breathe in the mood, atmosphere, and politics of it all.
Plot concept: In a very different Tokyo from the one we know today, the totalitarian government rules with an iron fist. But a group called “the Sect” is staging demonstrations and challenging the government’s martial law. Constable Fuse of the Capital Police’s Special Unit is on a mission to stop a Sect demonstration when he encounters a girl in the sewers under Tokyo. When he fails to shoot as ordered, he is put on trial, questioned, and “re-conditioned” as a soldier. The dead girl haunts him, both in his dreams and in the face of her sister, whom Fuse has befriended. But Fuse has made himself a target for some very powerful men. And as the world comes crashing down around him, Fuse is continually challenged to decide what is real and what is right.