Critic’s Log - Earthdate: September 14, 2013. Review #58: Redline
Racing, it sure is a popular sport. There’s Nascar, Drag Racing, and whatever form of racing you can think of. There’s even video games of Racing like Mario Kart, Gran Turismo, Need For Speed, and other racing games. There are also Racing Anime such as Speed Racer, Initial D, Oban Star Racers, and other Racing Animes. There’s also the Fast and Furious series. There is an Anime movie that is set in the future, plus the elements similar to Speed Racer, Initial D, and Mario Kart. The end result is REDLINE.
In every 5 years, there is a race called "Redline". This event is held at a surprise location revealed shortly before the race begins. This time around it's being held on Roboworld, but much to the dismay of Roboworld's militant government which has no intention of allowing the race to proceed. The race has no rules—whoever crosses the Redline first, wins. Sweet JP is a rare kind of racer who prefers an old-school style and raw power over high tech gadgets and weapon inventory. Troubled by their involvement with the mob, Sweet JP and his team just want a clean shot at winning the race. Sonoshee McLaren is a skilled and highly competitive rising star in the racing circuit. She beats JP in the last qualifier and caught his eye. Up against lethal hostility from Roboworld's government and their fellow racers, JP and Sonoshee are pushed to their limits in the race for the Redline.
All I can say now is that I am perfectly okay if you don’t give a damn about the sypnosis I just gave you because if you go through 10 minutes in this movie, this film will probably will hook you in.
To be technical, this is a Madhouse production. Remember that name people. Madhouse has gotten recognition for years of high quality productions and I bet you 100% that Redline does not disappoint there. It took 7 years for Redline to be made and it undoubtedly shows in this movie. Lately, computer graphics is common in anime today. Not too bad when used right. There are some animes that use computer graphics cheaply and it does not look good in the end result. I do miss the hand-drawn cel style that Anime used to have often years ago. Here’s a fact. Redline was completely hand-drawn from the first animation cel to the last. Lately anime is using computer graphics for their animation, Redline was a rare treat. It may look like it was done by computer, but it really is hand-drawn. This movie can be a little deceiving when it comes to animation, but it payed off well. The animation is the movie’s strongest suit and undoubtedly the movie’s selling point.
The music is by James Shimoji who debuts in this movie when it comes to music composition. For starters, he really had a fitting soundtrack that is probably just as fine without the show. It has techno as the main genre. Techno music fan or not, it is a fitting soundtrack to the movie because of its futuristic settings. The soundtracks for The Fast and Furious movies had electronic and hip hop, because it had a modern setting. Electronic music and/or Techno music can be just as effective in a modern setting of a fictional racing story. The music is pretty nice and compliments the movie greatly.
The animation and music go well together. But the characters is sort of one of the problems with Redline. Sweet JP is pretty cool and that’s pretty much it. Sonoshee is smoking hot and gorgeous (even though she’s animated), and she’s pretty much just there, but she does compliment JP in terms of character personalities. There are characters like Frisbee and Old Man Mole who are nice characters in this movie. Then of course we got the racers, The President (of Roboworld) and Volton, what am I kidding? Why the fuck would you care if the movie looks fucking awesome that it’s at an orgasmic level of animation.
I have noticed that the movie mostly sacrifices substance for the extreme style that was put into the 7 years of producing this movie. The characters is not the biggest problem with the movie, it is the overall story of Redline. I will say that the amazing animation distracted me alot while watching this movie. I think most people are paying attention to the visuals rather than the story. From the get-go, I knew this movie wasn’t going to turn into a Masterpiece. And you know what? It didn’t need to be. Sure, the story is very weak and I could barely remember most of the shit that happened in this movie. The reason is because the movie is filled with crazy, bat shit insane moments that often happen in certain scenes in the movie, and it distracts the plot at times. The plot is also very, very, very, VERY STUPID. But here’s the catch… IT ALL FITS IN THE MOVIE. The animation is amazing, but even with a stupid plot. The characters are over-the-top, and even hilarious. This movie is actually pretty funny at times too. How can some guy that looks all tough and cry like a pussy not be a good source for humor. Not only the characters are over-the-top, but so is the animation. The amount of effort put in the animation is just Fast and Furiously…FUCKING INSANE. Redline is (like the lady said in the Title screen) “Directed by Takeshi Koike”. Koike-san’s debut film and he does not disappoint in this film and It seems he wanted to make this an adrenaline-pumped animated film. Redline lives up to that. This is also the kind of movie that would just shout out FUCK LOGIC. This is definitely a movie you don’t have to put a lot of thinking to while watching it. Redline is a spectacle and we probably won’t get to see something this hardcore for a long while. Keep your fingers crossed for another spectacle of an anime. This movie is simply made to entertain and it is entertaining as hell, and Redline gets the checkered flag at the finish line for doing just that.
Redline is available by Anchor Bay Entertainment. An OVA series called “Trava” which was made back in 2003 and related to this movie was never released stateside.
With all that said, Redline is an adrenaline-pumped anime film that is extremely entertaining. it has a fitting soundtrack that compliments the movie as well. It does suffer with lack of character development and a plot that is forgettable, but those factors deserve a pass because of the entertainment value this movie has and because of the incredible animation that took 7 years in the making.
I give Redline a 7.8 out of 10. It is GOOD!
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