Synonyms: Red line
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Aug 14, 2009
Duration: 1 hr. 42 min.
Rating: R+ - Mild NudityL represents licensing company
Score: 8.351 (scored by 49,013 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.
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
Set in the future where there are dozens of different planets all over the solar system there is still one past time all species can relate too. Racing. With the new advancement of hover cars, vehicles that can float above the ground, there is one man name JP Smooth who still races in his ancient, but highly upgraded Trans Am. With a kicks ass opening that sets the mood for everything to come, JP is injured in the Yellow Line, the qualifying race that gets you a spot in the covenant Redline race. But after two races duck out, he is given a spot. The race, which takes place every five years and is extremely illegal, is being held on the planet, Roboworld. Despite everyone's excitement, Robobworld's high conceal doesn't want the race to happen on their world in fear that their top secret weapons will be reveled, leaving them defenseless.
It's actually a good reason and you kind of understand why this world that has done nothing really wrong wouldn't want their secrets revealed on live television. But it doesn't matter, the eight racers are picked and the race is happening right smack dab in the middle of the planets main city. What ensues next, is high octane action that blurs the screen with its fast action and wacky, wild animation. I really did love the way REDLINE looked, it was a balance between old school looking anime, but felt completely new to the medium. The characters don't have a whole lot to say, probably because there are too many of them and the film only runs at a quick hour and forty-two minutes. But with its lack of main character development for the two leads, it makes up for giving us a fair does of all of its characters. JP Smooth gets as much background as everyone else, because just like him, everyone else is fighting for one goal, to win Redline.
Everyone from the sexy female driver, Sonoshee McLaren to the vicious, multi time winner Machinehead. To the wacky Boiboi and Bosbos of the grassland planet. Each character is cool in their own way and you can have fun picking a favorite. I dug REDLINE it was cool, smooth, fun, action packed, silly and just plain awesome. Oh yeah, and the cars could go really fast. read more
Koike has indeed been around the block, most notably working around Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Wicked City,Cyber City) and it does show. Redline bares many different influences but it has its own unique flair to it. I really don't like using this line, but I really haven't seen anything quite like it before. This anime is indeed something different in terms of style. It doesn't even feel like traditional anime, and for some of the more well rounded fans that will be a bad thing, but I doubt the fans who go ga-ga over everything anime will even notice it.
The production values are the talk here for sure; the animation which appears to be hand-drawn and completely free from CG has a very beautiful, yet zany look that kind of reminds me of Dead Leaves. The character designs possess a detailed variety you don't normally see in anime. There are literally thousands of different species from aliens to anthropomorphic animals, with very little reuse of character designs and they are well integrated into the backgrounds with a good amount of movements. The only human looking characters would be the two leads, Sweet JP and Sonoshee. JP's retro look is also one of the cooler features as his beefed up Trans-Am reflects his personality. The animation can probably best be described as chaotic-awesomeness. The races and battle scenes are so incredible and they're moving at a break neck speed with great fluidity. It's like watching a cross between F-Zero and Wipeout. This anime is exploding with so much style I can't even think of anymore words to describe it. The techno-dance soundtrack compliments the madness perfectly, and I was gripped from the very beginning when these super-powered monstrosities for cars were first introduced. I also have to give credit to the voice acting for the English cast which I enjoyed the most. The small amount of profanity tossed out there meshed very well with the personality of the anime.
I found the initial story that sets off the chain of events to be interesting in regards to the brazen sponsors of the Redline race. Completely without permission, they're broadcasting the race on the authoritarian military planet of Roboworld, despite the President's promise that if they race there he's going to blow them away. The plot is rather thin but not as bare-bones as some would have you believe. It seems to focus a lot more on character development, and Koike tries to develop too many characters in which I think he does succeed; along the way, he also fits in the usual government conspiracy in regards to Roboworlds president whom is hiding a weapon of mass destruction. The character interactions, development, a couple of brief fights, and superb visuals makes the plot fairly easy to digest in preparation for the next race. The movie only has two real races, and when looking at the length and just how good they are, I believe two was enough. The only real issue I can think of is this being kind of predictable.
Redline has its share of fan-service that never gets out of hand. It manages to maintain a consistent tone, which isn't the least bit serious. This anime was put together to be exciting and fun, and in that regard it doesn't fail. The years of experience gained working around other heavyweights indeed worked to Koike's benefit. I hope to see more from him later on.
Highs: Production values, an all around great time
Lows: Plot may feel weak to some, somewhat predictable
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
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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
Redline‘s strongest aspect is undoubtedly its chaotic nature, that is made possible by incredible quality of both animation and visuals. The art has a unique feel and is a mix of lively colors from traditional anime and a more well-defined style from mature animation, but also with its own twist. There is always something happening onscreen and it is always crazy. It would be impossible to make something even similar in live-action, even with top-notch special effects. The movie nails the sense of speed that this cars should have and the result is impressive.
The design of the aliens and their cars is incredible and exhales personality. Most of the seven-year-long production time was spent in the visuals and this care is evident from the get-go. There never is a dull moment visually, as everything from the background to the animation to the details is of top-notch quality.
The soundtrack just fits, it is made of high energy songs that accompanies the action seen on-screen perfectly. Even after watching it, I can still remember most of the soundtrack.
The story is just as chaotic as the visuals. It is simple, not completely original and jumps around more than it should, but it is also enjoyable enough. I particularly liked the romantic sub-plot between the two leads, but I also felt that it was too opportunistic (you’ll see why if you watch it). The characters, while unique and crazy, are largely forgettable, salve a few exceptions, such as JP and Sonoshee.
While its story is lacking, the movie’s visuals are incredible, chaotic and unlike anything I have ever seen. It is a phenomenal ride (see what I did there?) and its almost two hours duration just flew by. If you are looking for unique action and breath-taking visuals, you can’t miss it.
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)
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
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.
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
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
This comes from the style. It’s animated in a 1980’s Star Wars comic-esque way with lots of bright colors contrasting with very dark shadows. It makes the anime look dated in still-shots, but during race scenes you can feel the breakneck speed of the vehicles and it’s very pretty in an acid-trip kind of way. The characters are all very interesting and different with strange fish creatures and giant robot-battery men and normal human beings with crazy hair. It’s all very retro while maintaining a modern style. The music adds to this especially making the whole package a refreshing visual and auditory experience.
That said, the plot is basic. It starts with an exciting race, then plods along for twenty or so minutes in a boring middle act. It’s attempting to build JP’s character as well as fellow racer Sonoshee but fails miserably as they’re both two-dimensional and uninteresting. There are a few funny moments dotted in there, but mostly nothing worth discussing. As Redline (a huge race in which the universe’s best racers compete) approaches, the film gains a lot more momentum and becomes much more crazy and exciting. That said, it’s still punctuated with moments of pointlessness as the planet hosting the race wants to kill the racers and we’re subjected to a group of leaders discussing how to do so every few minutes. It’s irritating because these characters don’t matter and add nothing. The planet could be fraught with danger without having this empirical ruling body who is just there. Nothing is resolved between them and the racers in the end so I feel they weren’t needed.
The ending is abrupt. We get our conclusion, but no epilogue. There are a few questions left to be answered but the film goes straight for the romantic resolution then cuts out. What about the Robot Empire? What about the gangsters? What happens to the two lovebirds after the race? What do the other racers think? The betters? I hate when films cut at the resolution to the main plot while leaving you in the dark about what that resolution meant. Our heroes are going to a goal for a reason and we know the goal, but we want to know that after that goal the heroes are still doing well and have been changed.
So I’m not a big fan of the plot, characters, or execution. But I can suggest this film just for the style. Even beyond the style, though, this is still a good, entertaining movie with something for everyone. I’d suggest Redline to fans of Gurren Lagann and Space Dandy. Good dumb epic fun. read more