***This is a spoiler free review. Even if you are somehowed spoiled by this review, the plot is almost non-existent***
After sitting through Redline, a Madhouse animated movie, I am having quite a hard time trying to fathom what I just watched. Starting from the first scene where the clumsy old dad is trying to set up his camera to take a picture of the racers, I was instantly glued to the screen. The mouthwatering visuals and chilling sound effects are more than enough to please an average Joe’s thirst of racing but what about all that other mombo jumbo that people plea for? What’s it called…oh yeah story and character development?
The basic premise is that “Redline” is a race where only the best racers can complete in. Our main man JP goes through a lot of trouble to get to this race and with a little help from fellow racer Sonoshee, they might just win the entire thing. While everything about this movie screams production value, one thing that was overlooked (and maybe for good reason) was the plot. While it isn’t the best thought provoking material I have ever experienced, the movie does keep you invested throughout its entire one hundred and one minutes. The hidden beauty of this is while the plot is dubbed down to the generic first race--->break--->last race formula, they give us just barely enough to hold onto. I would of liked a better character development (it’s there but it is thrown together very half hazardly) but it worked well enough. What really drags the score down is the ending…it just seems like it suddenly stops. We have the super buildup to the final stretch and then…it ends. Plus they had the audacity to have the most unneeded confessing of feelings at the last frame. It was just…somewhat of a letdown because I thought we were out of old anime’s bad habits.
Here we go again…throwing out a perfect score is something I find very hard to do but boy I do not think I will ever see something this unique and beautiful in my life ever again. After doing a little bit of research, I found that it took around seven years to complete this movie (talk about a HUGE gamble). Everything is HAND DRAWN. Madhouse really created a visual masterpiece that will last into the endless future. Every scene flows very well into each other, the facial expressions are very believable, the lighting is so spot on, and the character models are so detailed. This movie sports the best lighting I have ever seen; when it’s out on the desert, the sun reflects off of everything. Inside the nightclub the fish tanks in the background glow and shine onto the adjacent tables. It’s just…so hard to put it into words how amazing the movie looks. Even if you are turning this away due to the lack of plot please just watch it for the visuals and sounds. Treat it like a Transformers movie; its complete s#!t but it’s amazing looking s#!t.
Again with the perfect score…Every car has their own unique and amazing sounds that stick within the entire show. From the crowd cheers to the main character’s voices, this anime just sounds orgasmic. Even the techno (correct me if that is the wrong way to express it) soundtrack is spot on and off the track.
While the characters of this anime are forgettable and uninspiring, JP does stick out a little bit. At first I thought he was just a junky gear head but after a while he did start to grow on me. Heck even Sonoshee made me gleam a little bit towards the end. Just know that the other characters will most likely not bring a lasting impression; they show up, race, and then leave stage left.
The score says 8 but in my mind it is a gear head’s bread and butter. If you want to turn your brain off and enjoy the best looking, sounding, and feeling anime to come out in years then this is your calling. I hope more animation studios take their chances on projects like this in the future.
***When JP triggers the nitro get ready to s#!t bricks***
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