The consensus amoungst many is that this anime is simply worth watching for the animation, and the story is forgetable.
When rating or reviewing the storyline of any form of media, it's only fair and accurate to take into account certain other production factors, which severly effected the storytelling potential of the work in question. In this case, many of the ideas were impressive, unique and brimming with potential, but 101 minutes was simply not enough time for them to flourish. Compromising on two of the best racing scenes in the history of animation, would have allowed the 101 minutes of movie time to focus more on bulking the story out, and explaining certain details, however this compromise would have been a great shame. To have equal visuals, exciting action scenes and complex character and plot development, the running time would have to be about twice as long, and this film would have taken 14 years to produce instead of 7.
What I mainly intend to get accros though, is most easy to comprehend with a small change of perspective. The story came first, the visuals second. First and foremost, It is the ambition behind the action scenes, environments and character designs to praise, as well as the execution.
7 years of production for something which lasts only 101 minutes?
The effect is blocky with very vibrant, highly saturated colours. Furthermore there are certain things that appear simpler than in average animes, like some of the backgrounds, and ground textures for example.
The result however is amazing.
Many animes give me the illusion of 2d stensils moving around against a background, which for all intents and purposes look like photographs put through cartoony filters on photoshop. I often don't really feel like the characters are actually 'there'. The simplicity of the backgrounds, and intricacy of the lighting never gave me this impression. The characters shift in and out of perspective all the time, which to me is very important. I feel like most modern animes might aswell be 3d modeled, as they don't often deliver the sense of exaggeration that makes anime unique. The dispirity between the environments and characters and further detract from the feel of life and dynamism i long for in anime.
The overall artstyle along with the incredible racing scenes, make something that is really a must see for anyone enthusisat of animation as a medium.
The techno soundtrack adds to the action perfectly without becoming intrusive or distracting. The voice acting in the dub is pretty good, although some of the voices are a little flat at certain bits. Some of the music, especially the music associated with the romantic moments in the film, are pretty poor.