Synonyms: Red line
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Aug 14, 2009
Producers: Tohokushinsha Film Corporation
Licensors: Anchor Bay Films
Duration: 1 hr. 42 min.
Rating: R+ - Mild Nudity
Score: 8.351 (scored by 52,230 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
As a film about racing, the plot is fairly standard fare, but the larger than life presentation coupled with the sheer imagination and creativity that has gone into Redline is second to none. The story - despite cliches - is both exhilarating and incredibly well paced. The action is, as you would imagine; fast, fantastic and full of adrenaline. The drama is at times cheesy, but it fits well with the films over-the-top attitude. The crazy antics in Redline make it clear the film isn't to be taken too seriously; it isn't a production that sets out to challenge our minds, but rather an exhilarating thrill-ride that's sole purpose is to entertain. In that respect, the story delivers and then some.
The tagline for Redline during its release was 'Witness the Future of Animation' and it's safe to say the studio never doubted the creativity of the team behind the film. Madhouse handled the production, with second key animation from Gainax - the films full development totaled seven years, with over one hundred thousand hand-made drawings. The amount of action and detail on screen at any one time is so vast the film begs for repeat viewings. The animation - in a word - is mind-blowing. The film is full of colour, detail and beauty like no other, the art style is vigorous and unique, and the character designs are fresh, exuberant and interesting.
The music - chiefly a variety of electronic compositions - is sublime. It blends seamlessly with Redline's fast-paced visuals, the sound editing is first-rate and the vocal tracks leave warm, fuzzy feelings - especially the ending song. The vocal talent is superb and particularly noteworthy; the film employs actors rather than seiyu in the leading roles. The leading man - JP - is voiced by Takuya Kimura, a member of the pop group SMAP and veteran actor who starred in Yoji Yamada's The Hidden Blade, part of the directors Oscar nominated samurai trilogy. The leading lady - Sonoshee - is portrayed by none other than Yu Aoi; an actress with many award-winning films under her belt, multiple of which were directed by national treasure and acclaimed auteur Shunji Iwai. Lastly, JP's right-hand man Frisbee is handled by Tadanobu Asano, one of few Japanese actors making a name for himself in Hollywood (recently he starred in Marvel's Thor). To quote journalist Helen McCarthy; "casting him was a stroke of genius."
The main characters all very much fit into conventional archetypes, but they're not made to be complex, deep, thoughtful beings. The characters, like the story and presentation, are themselves larger than life, quite literally. JP and Sonoshee alone make up about half the human population in the entire film; all of the other characters belong to their respective alien races, besides two other humans. The characters are written to be entertaining, to build the scale of the film and to perform as the archetypes we know and love, but that's not to say they're by any means flat; the main characters receive a sufficient amount of development, and the supporting cast is comprised of an exceedingly rich, varied, exciting and incredibly fun horde of wonderful characters.
Redline is a film not to be taken too seriously and anyone doing so has certainly missed the point. Needless to say, if you want a realistic racing film then you have come to the wrong place. However, if you want a fast, funny, eye-watering, explosive experience that will suck you into a world which words barely do justice, this is the film you're after. But, more than a film, Redline is an experience. Every element works in melody, bouncing off and complementing one another, ultimately creating a tremendous overall work that is magical to behold, completely unlike any other anime production to date. read more
The first 10 minutes do an excellent job of letting viewers know what’s in store for them. It’s here that the film treats us to an intense and gorgeously animated race sequence and equally beautiful backgrounds and character models. From there on out it’s clear that the films intent is to overwhelm the viewer with adrenaline-filled races brought to life with mouth-watering animation and sound. Storyline and character development are of the lowest priority.
It’s no surprise, then, that Redline sticks closely to the usual 3 act structure. We’re first given a taste of things to come while the personalities and motivations of the major players are established, topped off with introducing the long term goal. The second act is all about the preparation with some rudimentary attempts at character development while act 3 is the main attraction: a 40-minute onslaught of non-stop racing packed with over-the-top, high speed moments and more explosions than 3 Michael Bay films put together.
Sounds good on paper. But Redline goes so overboard with its spectacle that it somehow becomes a bit dull. It’s simply too much.
First off, there are too many characters. The main characters are pretty forgettable and the only contestant who was somewhat cool was the established champion. The film further hurts itself by introducing subplots and characters who aren’t related to the race. A sizable chunk of screentime is reserved for a b-story involving an evil government (basically space-China) that’s out to stop the race and dig up some ancient weapons or something. Ultimately they’re only there to cause tons of explosions and other kinds of destruction. This in a film that’s already filled to the brim with explosions and spectacular set pieces.
This is Redline’s second excess. There is simply too much going on in the third act. A big race alone would have made for a wonderfully thrilling climax but Redline throws in an obligatory mafia subplot as well as the aforementioned evil government. What it all leads to? Stuff getting blown up and more stuff getting blown up.
This wouldn’t have been so bad if there was a reason to care or even some sense of urgency but there isn’t. All the cars race at impossible speeds and run just fine even after taking enough damage to wreck 10 spaceships. The result is that tension is basically nonexistent in this film. Nobody of note dies and damage to the vehicle is shrugged off so easily that one gets the feeling the only thing at stake is the film’s running time.
It’s a real pity seeing as the film is brilliantly animated and incredibly stylish. The film had a production history of 7 long years and you can tell when watching it that all that time was well spent in honing the stunning visuals to perfection. It’s no exaggeration that this is a new benchmark in terms of pure animation. The film’s many characters have detailed, instantly distinguishable models and are fluidly animated, machines roar and rush over surfaces with incredible speed and there’s even the occasional use of deformed animation for stylish effect that’s very effective. The visuals in Redline are a labor of love and the best part is that it overwhelms the senses in a way that seems difficult (perhaps impossible) to replicate in another medium.
In the end, that makes it all the more tragic that these gorgeous visuals aren’t telling a story worth caring about. Worse yet, its main hook (the visuals) simply can’t be used to carry a 100-minute feature film. Some serious editing could have reduced it to have its length and it would’ve made for a better-flowing and much more enjoyable viewing experience.
As it is, Redline is a stunningly animated but overlong film with such incompetent storytelling that it cannot reach its full potential. One can only hope that first-time director Takashi Koike’s next project will be a lot more polished. As it is, the talent is there. It simply needs to be honed and guided properly.
Now in when it comes of the plot of Redline it is short, sweet and straight to the point. The film follows our main character JP, a driver who wants to race in a tournament called Redline which is held every five years. However he fails to qualify for it and just when he believes his dream is over, by chance two people drop out of the tournament which gives him a qualifying place.
It has been mentioned by critics and viewers, that Redline lacks a plot or that the story comes across as lackluster and while I can understand that point of the argument I can also argue against it. The film has enough of a plot to work in cohesiveness with the rest of the film and while it's not overly complex or thought-provoking it doesn’t have to be. I would like to think of it this way: Would your rather watch film with an overly drawn out plot and character development which could be potentially tedious and slow down the fast-paced nature of the film? Or would you want to watch a film with a condensed plot that has enough story and personality to make you care about what you are watching? Personally I prefer the latter.
When it comes to the visual presentation of Redline, words fail me. I mean seriously, no words can truly say how beautiful this film really is. Japanese animation studio Madhouse have crafted one of the most visually stunning animated films in existence, you really have to see it in action to comprehend its awesomeness. Firstly there's the character design, from the human-based characters to all of the other alien races and cybernetic beings that reside within Redline's world, the designs are diverse, unique and interesting. Secondly you have the vehicles which are also fabulous, coming in many different shapes and sizes, from simple to completely crazy designs, with individual quirks and weapon arsenals to be admired. And lastly there's the locations of the film that vary from the rocky crayons where races are done to spaceships floating above planets, all of which have an incredible amount of detail that draws your eyes in especially on a large cinema screen.
But I feel that the main aspect that makes Redline so great is the fluidity of the animation. The quality of the animation in this film is actually insane, with several sequences of high-octane action crafted with some beautiful choreography, nicely placed camera angles and great use of speed. Everything moves in such a smooth manner, with no moments of slowdown or inconsistencies whatsoever. The film delivers an experience like no other in the animation department and really conveys on the concept of speed, pushing you to edge of your seat and beyond.
But what is a film without a good soundtrack? Luckily Redline happens to have a brilliant soundtrack crafted by James Shimoji, which compliments the visuals wonderfully. The soundtrack is mainly composed of techno-based music, but it works well with the action on-screen, its explosive, fast-paced and it sounds so good! Also personally I felt that Redline's soundtrack really reminded me of the video-games F-Zero GX and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, both of which have great soundtracks with explosive music that sounds great on the highest volume level. I also have to note that the sound editing in this film is tackled perfectly as well.
In terms of the enjoyment of Redline, I say be prepared to fall in love with this film. After watching the trailers for this film you get a rough idea as to what you will be watching, however those trailers cannot prepare you for the whole film. As a lot of people know this genre of film has been done before, after all Redline is a film about guys, girls and cars. But what Redline as film does well is give us a familiar format to work with, but it's covered in such an innovative, stylised and charismatic fashion that you will be left in awe after you see it. Also throughout all of the chaos and mind-blowing visuals, Redline never feels like it's heading into unnatural territory, in fact a lot of aspects about Redline feel realistic and believable.
Overall Redline is an experience that I feel everyone should enjoy. It's a like a rush of energy that's exhilarating, fast-paced and unforgettable. Takeshi Koike, Redline's director should feel very happy about the film that he has crafted and considering his previous work before coming onto this project I'm not surprised that this film turned out to be a success. Again I feel the need to mention Madhouse's insane skills as an animation studio as they have created a film full of action, charisma and style unlike any other film. There are so many individual things about the film that's weird and wonderful and completely unexpected, but overall I say watch this film and experience the epicness that is Redline! read more
Redline took over 7 years to make, reportedly used 100,000 hand-made drawings, and was released later than its originally intended release date. Needless to say, this was a monumental effort by the animators; something you can feel while watching this movie. Every single shot in the movie is amazingly well detailed, brimming with attitude and audacity. There isn't a moment in the movie that doesn't demand your attention, there is just so much to look at: there are strange looking aliens, outlandishly awesome vehicles, their equally as awesome operators, fantastical spaceships, legions of killer robots, crazy bounty hunters, insane speed-freaks, biologically created weapons of mass destruction, scantily clad and topless women, and thousands upon thousands of explosions. The animators took every crazy idea that popped into their heads and brought them to life in stunning detail, all for the sole purpose of making your eyes explode from the sheer awesomeness of what you are watching.
The artwork itself is something unique. Heavily lined, highly defined, and more reminiscent to western comic-books or adult aimed animation than traditional anime. It is nothing like the bishounen/bishoujo look that dominates modern anime; it doesn't have a hint of that sort of 'attractiveness'. Instead, part of the appeal of Redline's art style is how freakishly outlandish the characters can look; one of the main characters looks like a goblin with a pink streak going across his face from ear to ear, in a suit. He looks relatively normal in comparison to many side characters. Even the human (or human-like) characters have strange or exaggerated features. The animation is smooth, and under first time director Takeshi Koike, infused with frenetic energy. The dynamism of the animation perfectly compliments the unique art style; making for an insane visual thrill ride.
Redline's soundtrack is also very strong. Composed of mostly high energy electronic beats and guitar riffs with equally as enthusiastic vocals, there is nary a quiet moment in Redline's soundtrack, which is entirely fitting for the movie. The music is perfect for the movie's purposes; its crazy, often funny, and pumps up the adrenaline for the bombastic action set-pieces. In addition, many of the characters have their own themes, all of which are delightful in their own way.
Now for the plot, it's a mess. It's a crazy, fun, and thoroughly entertaining mess albeit, but a mess nonetheless. Granted, this is an animated racing movie, so it is not as if a meaningful plot is expected. Indeed, Redline has all the thematic depth of a dixie cup, but that doesn't mean there is not a lot going on. With the romantic sub-plot between protagonists JP and Sonoshee, the conflict with the militaristic Roboworld, a sub-plot involving JP's friend Frisbee being entangled with the mafia, and all the rivalries between the racers; there might actually be a bit too much going on. Of course, all if this is building up to the spectacle of the big race, however, that doesn't make this cluster of plot-lines any less convoluted. The pay-off of these plot-lines alto varies; in the worst cases they're just dropped or forgotten about, in the best cases they're resolved with explosions and violence. While this isn't a bad thing, since it means more great animated action sequences, it does show that while the animation is stellar, the writing is severely lacking.
Something the writing does succeed at is the humor. This is an outrageously funny movie, tossing jokes and silly antics left and right, and mostly hitting the mark. A lot of the humor comes from the ridiculous, exaggerated personalities of the characters. The cast is essentially a collection of caricatures, yet all are colorful and memorable. There is the egotistic cyborg who is the longstanding Redline champion, and claims to be in a league of his own because he is literally one with his ride. Lynchman and JohnnyBoya, a pair of bounty hunters who look and act like superhero parodies. The Super Boins are a hyper sexualized pop duo with a vehicle that transforms into a woman-shaped robot that has their cockpits as its boobs. The segments in the middle of the movie that introduce these characters are hysterical. Then there is all the weird situations and circumstances characters find themselves in. Not everything is comedic gold, but even when the jokes don't completely work, they are entertaining enough in their weirdness. It is all very tongue-in-cheek and in-your-face ridiculous, and that is what makes it so much fun.
Redline is a movie that thrives more on pure entertainment value than a strong plot and cast of characters. It runs on adrenaline and showmanship rather than a well crafted narrative or complex themes. While this does prove to be the movie's biggest shortcoming, it is also the best thing it has going for it. Though the plot falls flat on many aspects, the movie itself never fails to entertain. Admittedly, you might have to turn your brain off and stretch your suspension of disbelief to fully enjoy Redline. However, if exciting pop-corn munching material with a ton of passion is what you are craving, then Redline is just the thing for you. read more
You have never seen an anime like this before.
Redline is an experience.
The story is about some punk-ass racing driver JP. He’s gotten himself into some match-fixing scandals but, due to some unforeseeable coincidences, he wound up qualifying for Redline, the worlds biggest racing event. The only rule is your vehicle must use wheels. Plus, to make things interesting, they decided to hold the race on Roboplanet, home to a warring civilisation who vow to kill any racers who dare enter their planet. Why hold the race there? So the TV ratings for the galaxy airing of Redline shoot through the roof and so the animators have plenty of opportunities to animate pretty explosions.
Not that any of this really matters. The plot is a tedious frivolity that’s just there to justify the crazy sequences they put these characters through. You couldn’t even hear the exposition and explanatory dialogue over the explosions, revving engines and thumping soundtrack, to the point that subtitles would often appear on the screen when I couldn’t hear anyone actually saying anything. The real sign of this is the final scene, which I won’t spoil, but acts as a sign by the creators that you weren’t meant to be taking this seriously in any way, shape or form. It’s such a brilliantly corny way to end the movie that you can’t help but applaud the audacity of it all.
Redline is all about the visual experience. As little importance as they might have had, it’s really a shame I had to pay some degree of attention to the subtitles because I probably missed so many little details. Each scene is full of little eyecatches to compliment the overall picture. From the Redline champion Ironhead, a 3 metre tall fella with a head of, surprise surprise, iron, stroking his teeny tiny dog during an interview, or the hero in JP’s dream snogging two girls at once, the movie is full of these little amusing details that act as winks to the audience. I’d almost say it didn’t have enough of these, which is kinda like saying Death Note needed more Latin chanting, but I could have done with a few less explosions and a few more cars flying through the air with their windscreen wipers on. There’s only so many ways you can make an explosion look interesting. I’m pretty sure Redline used up every single method, and made up a few of it’s own, but the eccentricities with animating other incidents is what made me love this movie.
Redline is aiming to have as much fun as possible. That’s how the brain behind the series works and drives what the movie does next. Compare this to Panty and Stocking for a second. P&S uses the audacity of it’s animation techniques to provoke shocked responses of “OMG did they just do that!?!”. Redline uses it’s animation for the power of fun. You can tell how much the creators enjoyed working on this. If anything, it looks like they might have had too much fun and were forced to cut out parts of the movie to make it more manageable. There certainly appeared to be a chunk of the final race missing as it leaped from midway point to the finish line. All things considered, they probably made the right choice if they cut out some scenes from there. The movie was just the right length, anymore might have killed the fun just that little bit, but it did leave the final race feeling a little bit disjointed.
Ultimately, because of the disregard for narrative, the movie doesn’t hold much weight. Hence I don’t think it will make quite the splash some of the early reviews predicted it would make. But Redline is such an incredibly fun film that I find it hard to see how people won’t get sucked in by it’s atmosphere and intentions, grinning like a maniac right the way through the film. Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
::Edit:: I've seen this movie 3 times now and decided to hike the score up from an 8 to a 9. If anything, it gets more fun with each rewatch read more
Before you watch Redline, there are a few things that you must know, chief of which is that this movie is not being made for the intellectual. The story is simple and understated, but never aspires to be anything compelling on its own.
So why watch it? Despite Redline's lackluster story, it excels is practically every other area to the point of perfection, far over shadowing any of its lacking elements. Chief among these perfections are Redline's visuals. Made with over 10,000 hand drawn key-frames, and an absolutely unique style to boot, Redline is the single most visually stunning thing I've ever seen in all of anime. Of course that's simply my opinion, and while it might not be your favorite looking anime (assuming that you, the reader, have seen it), it is undoubtedly a visual masterpiece.
As I mentioned before, Redline also boasts an absolutely fantastic soundtrack. The different character themes are unique and catchy, and the movie's title tracks, Yellow Line and Redline, offer up wonderful techno beats that perfectly accompany any fast paced ride. Great to listen to in the car, though you may wind up speeding for some unknown reason.
The final thing that Redline does well is its world building. Redline takes the "show don't tell" approach to world building and it really does show just how effective that strategy is when it's done right. It's so chalk full of interesting planets and people and sceneries that you can't really process it all in one viewing. I notice new things about the world every time I rewatch the movie. I actually feel like the many vibrant side characters in Redline help to add to the world. Between the different species, personalities, attitudes, and appearances, these characters do a lot to flesh out the rich universe that Redline inhabits. The world is full, yet Redline never feels the need to explain to you how awesome it is, it simply shows you how awesome it is.
I gave Redline a 10, not because it is a perfect movie, but because it does so many things so well that it doesn't deserve anything less. Redline is just pure fun, shooting into your heart on a gold-nitro blast of awesome. Don't miss out on this fantastic movie. read more
Story is so-so for a racing movie. Little predictable but you will enjoy it nonetheless. Story is about racer trying to win races and government being baddies. Pretty standard plot, don't expect any deep plot development.
Art is the selling point of why you should watch the movie. It's so well detailed and well fleshed out. Over thousands of frames it has been done for 7 years, it hasn't been done in vain. Animation is also very good in the movie, so no flaws over animation or art.
The soundtrack fits perfectly with the suspense of driving and action scenes. The voice cast for the movie is also good, no complaint over someones voice.
Very slick soundtrack over course of the movie.
Really no surprise here, don't think of any complex characters like you see in movies like Evangelion. Characters are somewhat relatable. Overall they are just bit cliche and small character development you will see while watching the movie. Main character being somewhat thinking he is too cool and gets himself in bad situations.
Note: There is a tiny bit of romance.
I really enjoyed the movie for visuals and simple plot to understand, also the bombastic soundtrack it comes with. Pacing was well done, I never got bored and time flew so fast so I thought it just went 30 minutes but actually a hour and half.
What it tries to be? It tries to be a beautiful movie with bombastic music and simple plot to understand. Does it succeed? Hell yes it does! read more
For those of you who haven’t seen it, Redline is the result of Madhouse founder Masao Maruyama practically bankrupting his former studio before his move to Mappa and the result was a visually spectacular anime remake of Wacky Races that astounded many anime fans with its “UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ” soundtrack. When I foolishly blind-bought the DVD rather than pay for the blu-ray at half the price online and watched it on my brother’s PS3, I was spellbound by just how much of an “experience” the thing was. It was like nothing I had ever seen before in anime or animation in general with anime tropes having their own alien species and sexiness leaking through every tense well-animated second of it. But most of all, those racing scenes man. I’m not a fan of racing in real-life or in video games, but watching it through an anime filter cranked up to the max was something else.
That said, the story is pretty popcorn, even in comparison to some other “style as substance” movies I can name (Drive, Jackie Chan movies, and even the live-action Speed Racer), and rewatching the film again made that fact clearer than a sculpture at Seattle’s Chihuly Garden and Glass. It’s about this guy with a giant pompadour named JP who was inspired by a young girl to take up racing, but in order to secure good parts, he and a friend got involved with an alien mafia and ended up having to participate in fixed games in order to clear their debts. Unfortunately, JP really wants to win the Redline tournament as well as impress fellow female racer, Sonoshee, so you get a bit of classic Hollywood romance thrown into the mix along with the fact that said race is apparently run by an organization that makes FIFA go “you’re fucked up, dude”.
Why? Because the race is willingly held on an alien planet run by a bunch of military nuts who make no effort to hide the fact that they are opposed to the tournament’s existence, and not just because they’re crafting secret weapons underground, although that doesn’t help. I know racing in general is a dangerous sport, but there’s a difference between evolution and holding the Olympics in Nazi Germany…oh wait. So in addition to the alien mafia stuff, JP’s two main driving (harhar) motivations for the story, and objectifying women at levels that Fast and Furious wouldn’t touch, you’ve got a potential military force planning to commit Galaxy War II and the only thing threatening them is a race hosted on their planet. Bit overstuffed for a simplistic narrative that isn’t even two hours long, isn’t it?
Said overstuffing became more of a problem for me than it did in my previous years. I found myself nodding off whenever that alien military stuff reared its ugly head because it was barely connected to the story or any of the characters that mattered, and it got in the way of their development to the point that JP’s underdog story wasn’t all that engaging. It’s a pretty simple narrative sure, but it could have been bolstered with strong character interactions rather than the serviceable Hollywood-style ones we ended up getting. The only time I ever felt the story became more than it usually would be under normal circumstances was in the last ten or so minutes when JP and Sonoshee were neck-in-neck with some giant metal jackass towards the finish line, with the determining factor for who wins coming down to an explosion and ending with a hyper version of the “romantic hand-holding whilst flying in the sky” scene that most people associate with Eureka Seven. And by hyper version, I mean there’s some actual tongue used.
So whilst I can still enjoy Redline for the visual execution alone, it’s not up there in terms of the best Hollywood blockbusters, or even the live-action Speed Racer, and I don’t particularly feel the need to watch it ever again, bar maybe those last ten or so minutes which I wish we got more of through the film. What can I say? I’m a romantic guy at heart, and whilst the main couple in Redline isn’t particularly great, it’s better than any of the romance in Knights of Sidonia. But that’s not saying much, because a romance between an ugly small person with herpes and Miley Cyrus would be more tolerable to watch than Sidonia’s read more
Plot- Redline is about the biggest and most deadly racing tournament in the universe. Only held once every five years, everyone wants to stake their claim to fame, including JP, a reckless dare-devil driver oblivious to speed limits with his ultra-customized car—all the while, organized crime and militaristic governments want to leverage the race to their own ends. Amongst the other elite rival drivers in the tournament, JP falls for the alluring Sonoshee McLaren.
- This movie is a gem 1 hour 40 minutes long. I enjoyed every second of it, even the credits because of the beautiful song in the end. I never felt this good watching a racing movie, since "speed racer" times. This movie has everything, what I wanted in a racing movie "Osts, Pump up moments, romance, beautiful explosive artwork, no CGI shit everything is hand drawn". It is a futuristic sci-fci racing movie, it might remind you of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace racing scene.
Genres- Action, Cars, Sci-Fi, Sports, Romance
Story- 9.5/10 (Not a unique story, if you have seen Speed Racer everything seems bit predictable but I still enjoyed it a lot. Every other character perfectly blends into the story. Since, it's just a movie, I won't spoil anything else)
Characters- 10/10 (JPXMcLaren is what steals the show, they both have this unique chemistry from the start, that reveals in the near end)
Artwork- 10/10 (2nd best thing about the movie, everything is beautiful. The colorful artwork,Cars and Characters looks so damn good and we are talking about Madhouse here and make sure you watch this movie in 720p nothing below that. It will just destroy the beauty of it with pixels)
Sound- 10/10 (The music that starts right at the pump up moments, feels the best not just that, character's voices are so good. You can feel the effort, I highly recommend you to watch it in Jap Dub and English Sub!)
Enjoyment- Over 9000 (This movie sure made my Sunday. If only this movie had a sequel or 12 episodes long T.V series. I would have enjoyed it a lot more than with more character's development)
The story isn’t much: an illegal road race where only the bravest can compete, opposed by a corrupt leadership, and surrounded by gambling and drugs. The story of a racer and his ambition to win the world’s greatest competition isn’t new, but Redline is this concept at its best – fabulously over the top, and always maintaining its high pace. Given the 100 minutes running time, I unexpectedly found myself appreciating not only the racing, but how well every mini-story is tied together. Redline provides a large cast of both the story-driving characters and the fun ones that bring fun and life into the hectic action. JP is our classic good guy in a bad situation, with a talent for racing but surrounded by a history of race-fixing. He’s the loveable underdog who’s easy to root for, simple and good with the ladies. It’s cheesy and clichéd in the best sense of the words. The focus is not just on JP though, and we have a wonderful supporting cast with their own distinct styles and eccentricities – most notably Sonoshee, JP’s instant love-interest and a talented racer with an endearing backstory of her own. In truth, each member of the Redline race is given the screen-time to be a character in their own right, and the only aspect of the plot and pacing I would criticise in Redline is that given the film’s length, arguably too much time is spent focusing on the side characters. As a result though, each character manages to have a distinct flavouring to them, such that, when your gaze is thrust on the side characters, it’s a cause to celebrate and revel in each character’s individual wackiness. Wacky really is the best way to describe every character.
Whether you like the actual over the top art style is a matter of personal opinion (JP’s hair is undeniably a thing of beauty though). On the animation side however, it cannot be said Redline does not look sublime, and the greatest benefit of the film’s limited running time is that every scene manages looks amazing. The slum-like conditions and environments are drawn with an attention to detail that entirely justifies Redline’s five-year development hell. Nothing could be act as a better debut for the talents of Takeshi Koike, whom I’m hoping to see much more of in the future.
Musically Redline is never invasive, but there are tracks that stick out during the races. The best thing to say about the soundtrack is that it’s incredibly easy to enjoy when you just want to take in the awesome music, and when you want to enjoy the action, the music is there to kick start the adrenaline rush, but never to flood out the neverending chorus of explosions.
Redline is familiar without feeling overly so. Most of all though, it embraces the concept of sensory overload and expresses this style down to the smallest details. It’s ridiculous, but wonderfully enjoyable, and I think the best way to summarise Redline is by enjoying the experience of plunging your head into a washing machine infested with fresh cheese for 1 hour and 42 minutes.
But yes, the film does indeed have racecars/mechs/boats/whatever with rocket launchers as the first few minutes will prove. But the race the contestants are in isn’t the namesake, but a qualifying event called Yellowline. The story itself follows the exploits of JP, who lives and breathes racing, but unlike the other contestants his ride isn’t armed to the windshield. As Yellowline concludes, an unfortunate event causes him to lose the race, but as preparation for Redline starts, a string of coincidences give him another chance to compete in the race.
From there, most of the film spends its time building character relationships and motivations. I would say world building, but most if it is made on the spot for whatever would be cool to happen in that situation. The titular race is going to take place on Roboworld, a planet whose rulers really don’t want the race taking place there. Somehow, they’re obligated enough to let the racing committee set up shop for the race, but violent enough to attack the racers, whether at a diner or at the race itself. Said racing committee has rules about race rigging to protect its entrants, despite all of the racers being allowed to drive what are effectively war vehicles. Yeah. Really.
Don’t mistake my facetiousness for disdain though. There’s a certain charm in knowing that flirtatious twins who command a racing stripper mech...come from the royalty of a magical kingdom planet. And the incompetence of Roboworld’s rulers makes the thought of how they run the planet humorous. Very little of the setting from its rules on racing to eligibility for racing don’t align. The racing committee has rules in place to protect its entrants, but they don’t seem to mind letting a police officer and the convict he’s chasing compete. The only consistency here is how inconsistent everything is. It’s cool things for the sake of cool things.
But back to the characters, all of them are fairly archetypical. JP is the typical cool cat who lives for glory, Sonoshee the sexy love interest, and Frisbee the manager and friend who makes the tough decisions. There’s nothing else to say about them individually, but together their naturally connected backstories give a surprising amount of weight to their relationships. These backstories don’t say much, but they unfold in a deliberate pace to give an otherwise brash film a surprising amount of heart. It’s just a shame the main trio is held back by the film’s need to try and flesh out other characters.
But that doesn’t mean all of the other characters were poorly realized. Big Robot and Crybaby Robot (seriously, you won’t remember them by name) are naturally introduced as JP and his epic pompadour go around scouting out the competition. The other characters, not so much. They’re introduced in a brief way that makes sense, but at the same time it’s easy to spot that their only purpose will be an excuse to create explosions at the Redline race. If the film didn’t waste time to pretend it cares about its other characters, then that time could be used on the main trio to make them something more than solid.
Of course, watching this film for the deeper meaning of what it means to win or for a character study on JP would be missing the point. The reason to watch Redline is for its final act, where studio Madhouse delivers on the film’s tagline to ‘WITNESS THE FUTURE OF ANIMATION.’ Instead of seeing the visuals take shortcuts to give the illusion of speed, speed is seen as racers take shortcuts within the visuals. Every vibration from their engines shifts each vehicle ever so slightly as even their hair sways with each skid and drift. It’s smaller details on top of fast-swerving objects against gorgeous backdrops.
Part of what makes the backdrops—and characters—gorgeous is the artstyle of saturated contrast. Colors that are normally dull manage to shine, colors that normally shine are brilliant, and shadows don’t give colors varying shades, but are pure black and used to highlight details for stylistic effect. It’s an artstyle of extremes that creates subtlety to be appreciated during the slower moments of the film. And even when the film gains speed, the visuals never lose their radiance and detail.
Unfortunately, the soundtrack is underwhelming—not bad—by comparison. The number of distinct pieces can be counted on one hand. They’re fun while they play during parts of each race, but the limited number of tracks makes the action slightly boring to hear (but it’s always fun to watch). I say slightly boring because character dialog thankfully picks up the musical slack, as the refreshing trash talk between contestants breaks the monotony of engines roaring. The non-action parts of the film especially rely on dialog to keeps things interesting, and for the most part it succeeds.
But it’s that non-action part of the film that I need to bring special attention to. Understandably, a film focused on spectacle still needs compelling enough characters to make the action worth caring about. And they ARE solid characters. At the same time, ‘solid’ might not be enough to hold everyone’s interest for most of the film, especially when it’s the animation—the action-packed animation—that’s the main draw of the film. For a story with characters who make split-second decisions, viewers will ironically need a small measure of patience.
Still, these faults aren’t enough to make Redline a bad or even average film. It’s uneventful moments are still energetic, the setting pulls off a casual disregard of consistency for coolness, and the character interaction believably builds backstory. Overall, no part of the film is ‘bad’ because even its weakest parts are still ‘good.’ With just enough human drama to accelerate the spectacle of racecars with rocket launchers, Redline will leave you at the edge of your driver’s seat. read more
Redline, an animated production by Madhouse Studio, is nothing short of breathtaking. Beautifully hand-drawn, every frame masterfully composed, every character full of life and movement. This movie defines adrenaline fueled action; it will totally engross you with its style and wild, unthrottled momentum. I can easily recommend this to anyone. Even though this is far from perfect, if all you’re looking for is a recommendation, then this is it: go and watch it now. But even though it may be the most beautifully animated movie I’ve seen in quite a long time, there is so much “mehhh” that may keep me from watching it again soon.
watch any given ten minutes from this movie and you’ll see why it deserves its score. The animation is fluid, the drawing shows amazing attention to detail, and the overall sound design is top-notch. The animation itself, not just the scenario and setting, has a sense of internal-logic. There are visual motifs that present themselves at times, and a sense of movement in everything. I’ve heard complaints that it’s too much, but I think that just adds to the charm and gives astute viewers something to look for on later viewings. But watch it all the way through, and you’ll be rolling your eyes whenever there isn’t racing going on. The plot is paper-thin, all of the characters are static and frankly, boring. The only character that changes at all throughout the film is probably the most boring. And while this obviously doesn’t keep it from being enjoyable, I really can’t tell if the studio had actual literary aspiration, or if they simply needed to pad out a 50 minute film.
We follow JP as he prepares for, and eventually races in Redline, a semi-underground race with no rules. He meets and befriends another racer, Sonoshee McLaren, who is the only other racer worth remembering. The others at best are silly and fun, and at worst completely forgettable. The film opens with the Yellowline race, and the final 50ish minutes are of the Redline race. The creators filled the rest in with so much and fleshed out so little, it makes me wonder if they had a plan at all.
We have a love story… between people who the audience barely knows.
We have a story of what inspired JP to race…that is cryptic and doesn’t add much substance to the movie.
We have an evil government… that is a simple antagonist that doesn’t have any meta-commentary or anything else of note to offer.
We have some smaller side-stories… that are as forgettable as the characters that populate them.
The only story that really hit home was that of JP's crooked Frisbee. It did a great job of portraying a man in a tough position who, above all else is most concerned about his friend.
But in total, it is less than the sum of its parts. The sheer amount of pure adrenaline being pushed through the screen is undeniable. A beautiful atmosphere, at times visually oppressive, that is hampered not by a premise that is bad per se, but can be described best as half-hearted. This could have been a much better film if these parts were either expanded or cut, but as it stands, it just leaves the audience rolling their eyes. It’s like Gurren Lagann, but the story is sacrificed for more awesome animation and situations. It’s almost wrong to criticize this movie for that reason, and if it didn’t try to set up these sub-plots in the first place, there wouldn’t be anything to criticize. But because it attempts, and ultimately fails, to grasp the audience on a “deeper” level than the visual and visceral level at which it excels, it lessens the experience. So while it is unfortunately just short of a great movie, it is still a really, really good movie.
That said, a Hollywood adaptation would probably add unnessecary subplots, cut down on the action, make it less weird and cut the topless scene - so let's be happy that this is what it is- a near perfect anime action masterpiece!
Also, the bluray picture and sound are magnificent. Watch it with your sound system cranked for maximum pleasure.! read more
Story (7/10) Good
The Story for Redline good and simple and some for a movie like this I don't really need and super deep story especially when you know the what the entire plot is. It isn't anything deep but like I said it doesn't have to be for a racing anime movie I thought it was good enough.
Art and Animation (10/10) Outstanding
The is probably the best thing about this movie, the art style and animation are outstanding some of the most unique and best I've ever seen. Everything is so damn colorful, vibrant and full of life. How everything movie was so unrealistically amazing.
Sound (10/10) Outstanding
For sound effects along I have to give this a 10, I watched it in english dub and the voice actor was very good nothing to complain about and not BGM music really stood out and I'm not saying just because it didn't stand out it's bad. I think it's because the sound effects on literally everything in the movie was so damn good it overpowered everything else when it came to enjoyment and authenticity on how a vehicle sounds and the fictional sound effects on the alien effects to the explosions everything sound effects related blew my mind.
Characters (9/10) Great
For an anime movie with only 1 hour and 42 minutes it really made me enjoy majority of the characters in the movie from the main character JP to the side characters just acting like fools in the background. It probably had something to do with the way they presented all of the characters they were going to be racing in Redline it gave me this Wacky Races feeling and I haven't felt that feeling since that classic show. This anime movie definitely captured that essence perfectly if that's what it was going for and the characters benefited from it.
Enjoyment (9/10) Great
This anime movie knows what it wanted to be not focusing on anything other than the main things it should have and needed to focus on and that's the world they live in and how crazy and over the top the racing in the movie can be. They start you off with the crazy race of Yellow Line the basically the rest of the movie is hyping up the race that is Redline itself and from an outside perspective it sounds simple which is probably when it came to story I only gave it a 7 but it as far as execution of that story I don't think they could have done a better job. No censorship in the version I was watching either I'm glad the held no punched blood, guys, nudity it was all there and I was actually surprised by it, I just didn't see it coming is all. The movie like I said earlier hypes of the final race that is Redline itself and I think the payoff was worth it as it was one of the if not the craziest race I've ever seen. Fast and Furious ain't got shit on this.
Overall (9/10) Great
Man I have no clue what took me so long to watch this movie and usually I like to go in blind not knowing anything about an anime movie before I hop in there so that might be the reason. But I was recommended this movie years back and finally sat down and got taken for a ride. This movie was great. The animation director Takeshi Koike and everyone else at Madhouse did their thing with this one I was blown away by it's hype and animation alone.
Redline’s story won’t raise any eyebrows. What will raise eyebrows is how it’s told. Redline doesn’t aim to woo the audience with its writing; however it does use its visuals to make the plot sincere and engaging. The plot is also pretty retro and it’s a callback to anime in the late 80s and 90s with its sci-fi setting and crazy character designs. This is reflected in every aspect of the movie, from its themes to romance and even the fanservice. This isn’t by sheer coincidence either, the old-school style is there to remind people of a time when anime was built solely on the sweat and tears of the animators and staff, when anime was just taking off and was a lot less commercial than it is now. Although Redline does nod its head to its predecessors, it never completely wallows in nostalgia either. It boldly stands on the shoulders of giants saluting the past yet painting the way forward for the medium, taking risks and daring steps forward. It may not amount to anything more than a pipe dream in the end but its stride is more than enough to inspire complete and utter glee from the audience.
The single most important factor and noticeable aspect of Redline is without a doubt its animation. Anybody can tell you that after watching 20 seconds of footage. So what exactly makes Redline’s animation so special? Well for one, it’s nearly animated entirely on 1s i.e about 24 drawings/frames every second. You don’t see this in many anime movies let alone TV anime, the animation itself is on the same level as Akira, Satoshi Kon flicks and Studio Ghibli movies. However unlike these movies, the animation is VERY stylized almost to the point where the subjects can look horrendously off-model but all of it has a point. The name of Redline’s game is speed, and that’s something it portrays very well, better than any live-action movie, better than any book and better than any video game. Redline is a revelation, it shows us why 2D animation isn’t obsolete compared to its 3D counterpart and most of all; it’s a towering triumph for animation as a form of storytelling. The animation tells the story in Redline, from the visceral car/mecha porn fights to the more subtle moments of romance and characterization. This movie doesn’t achieve all of this through exposition nor monologues and not even the cast. And yes, plenty of anime have done this before but Redline really drives home the power of animation and how it can be used to really enhance the experience. More importantly, could Redline be possible as a live action work? No, it only works in the medium it was created for. It’s not really possible to brush aside the visuals for this movie nor is it possible to say its all style and no substance. The style is the substance in this case; Redline is all about the visuals as a vehicle for storytelling and in that sense you can’t really talk about Redline’s story without also addressing the animation, mainly because they are so tightly knit together. There a certain art to delivering cheesy popcorn entertainment to the audience and Redline does it the same way many landmark works before did it, by showing the audience instead of telling them, by raw energy instead of robotic puppeteering. I can’t stress the importance of what Redline is trying to do and how it’s trying to do it. It’s a visionary piece of work that restates the strengths of 2D animation and plays exclusively to its tune. It’s uniformly the Akira of this generation in terms of influence it’ll propagate over the industry. The only real difference is the environment in which both movies were released and Redline comes at a time where its presence stands out all the stronger compared to all of its peers. The audio design is fantastic as well, the cars themselves on nitro often sound like jets, which really goes a long way into convincing the audience of the speed and momentum each vehicle has. The crashes and explosions are gratuitous and glorious and the soundtrack is techno. Not the hipster kind but the UNTZ kind, the music is tailor-made to pump up the audience and like the animation, is there to enhance the experience.
The technicalities of the animation are also very impressive. The movie was 7 years in production, 2-3 in pre-production (storyboards and planning) and 4 of actual animation. The amount of care and effort into this project is plainly obvious upon viewing the final product, the complexity of the storyboard, the rich and detailed animation and the energetic audio design. The staff involved is even more impressive, ranging from talent like Gainax’s own Hiroyuki Imashi, all the way to grizzled veterans like Shinya Ohira. The animation in this movie is a culmination of the evolution Japanese animation has undergone over the past few decades and the results are dazzling. This is juxtaposed thematically in the movie as well. In the beginning of the movie, we are told that only “fools” with vanishing spirit continue to race in cars, which is acknowledged as a dying sport because of all the superior technology out there. This is commentary on 2D animation in general and the racers are very much alike to the animators who work in a medium that is becoming less and less appreciated over time. If you want to take it a step further, Sonoshee, the heroine is a symbol of inspiration and chasing dreams while the hero JP is symbolic of the audience themselves, smitten with the wonders of racing (animation) as a youngster and forever chasing a dying ideal out of romanticism and passion. This movie isn’t “deep” by any stretch of the word but if it had a message, I’d say it was simply trying to inspire the audience, daring them to dream for so much more.
Redline isn’t really the product of a bygone era, but more like the product of its immediate surroundings. It can entertain on any level and really, it’s a wonder just to behold it as the visuals and sound completely and utterly assault your every senses while you sit in awe for an hour and forty minutes. Even if you don’t really appreciate animation all that much, you can still take away a lot of enjoyment from the movie because in the end its just one hell of a ride that really needs to be experienced by oneself.
It's a simple enough story, boy drives car good, gets to drive more gooder in the Mario Flower Cup - or the Red Line, and there are no rules except come first. Where everyone uses an enormous amount of weaponry. Also, it's on a hostile planet of robots. Where the start of the race is getting dropped from orbit. And the boy drives a friggin Pontiac Firebird, from space, against flying spacecrafts and transformable robot cars. It's a bit of an underdog story.
Saying this is a mile a minute film is slowing it down to a crawl. You won't have time to get bored, the writing keeps the pace quick and you won't be able to wipe the smirk off your face. Special mention to the "nascar" commentators that narrate the events of the race here, they're an especially nice touch. There's a lot of things played for laughs here, from the promotional work the bigger sponsored racers do, to the amount of effort the robot president puts into wiping those racing scum off his planet, most of which is quite subtle. Up until the last quarter mile anyway, from there, all bets are off.
Even with all those things going on, it never feels unbalanced, it's always about the race. The characters can be a little strange, but they're very human, even the aliens. The boy wants to win the race, the shady mafia boss wants to make money on bets, the robot president of the invaded race planet wants to protect his borders, so ya know, it's sort of relatable stuff.
Hell, it even has a side romance story that isn't shoved down your throat and doesn't feel shoehorned in, how many shows can say that? Don't you wanna see an underdog get the girl and win the race, while everything blows up around him?
You can show this film to Anyone, it doesn't matter if they've seen every anime or none at all. I use this as a newbie breaker if someone asks me about getting into series, and it's in regular rotation for film nights. The first time I saw this I stood up and clapped at the end. It always feels really organic. C'mon, what else are you gonna do in 102 minutes? Just sit back and let the ride take you read more
The art and sound though are really outstanding, and I only feel sad such mastery was not used in a better anime.
A fair (if a bit too long for what it delivers) anime...
Let’s get the obvious things out of the way first: the animation is god-tier. The incredibly smooth animation flows like water, and is potentially the best animation I’ve ever seen. A 10/10, hands down. The art is not quite as good, but still up there in terms of quality. The first thing one might notice is the high-contrast art-style. This might take a little getting used to, but it’s an interesting change of pace from the usual. The backgrounds are quite detailed, and establish a certain old-fashioned and space-western feel for the setting. The colors tend to be bright and highly saturated, which contributes to the exaggerated look and feel of the movie. The setting is fleshed out further by the presence of many interesting-looking and well-designed alien species. Speaking of designs, the characters in the movie all have distinct and exaggerated character designs, again contributing to the over-the-top nature of the presentation. However, this is about where the main plusses end.
The plot is incredibly cliché and uninspired, and the characters are terrible. Oh god, the characters. The characters are all one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs with no depth. Even worse, they’re not even entertaining to watch. So boring are they that nothing they do interests me in the slightest. In fact, the characters are what really kills the movie for me. The pacing is quite solid, and the writing otherwise, while riddled with clichés, is still tolerable. However, the abysmally bad characters drag the rest of the movie down with them. It is for this reason that I believe Redline should have been about half as long as it is, as that way the creators wouldn’t have even tried to pretend that their characters have depth, and wouldn’t have spent time trying (and failing) to convince us that they do. All attempts at characterization in the movie failed, and in fact only underlined how poor they all were. Furthermore, because of the boring characters, the movie was not nearly as exhilarating as it could (should) have been. It still was exhilarating, make no mistake, but more in a “wow, that was pretty awesome” kind of way, and less in a “holy hell, that was amazing! DID YOU SEE THAT? I CAN’T BREATHE” kind of way, which it certainly had the potential for.
Redline isn’t a bad movie, per se. It has its moments, and it is worth a watch if only because of the incredible visual quality. Unfortunately, quality animation alone does not a good anime make, and so I can’t bring myself to give Redline any more than a score of 6.5/10.
I wil recomend this film to people who like car races or good and colorfull animation, because the story it self, as I said before, it's simple, but the races and action scenes are pure hype! Not really anything more to say about it, I watched it because I saw an AMV and it was so impressive that I needed to go check it out!