Redline is the galaxy's deadliest illegal race, that just so happens to be held every five years at a secret location that nobody ever finds out about until the last minute before take off. The film follows the main racer who goes by the name JP, in addition to the race, and he ends up waking up in the ER, with his bones all broken up. He is shocked to find he has in fact made the grade to participate in the race. The films plot is more or less just a flimsy excuse to drop you into the action, but boy oh boy, is there action. Takeshi Koike's anime is probably one of the craziest films I've seen. Redline was in development for over half a decade and developed by the animating genius behind Animatrix and Samurai Champloo.
If the racing genre is your cup of tea, then this is what you have been waiting for. This is your wet dream. I don't see how this film won't become a classic over time and if you are still on the fence on whether or not you should see this, then please read on as I tell you why this is the best anime film nobody is watching right now.
Created by: Madhouse Studios
Published by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: August 14, 2010
Running at 100 minutes in length, I will advise that you put the kiddies to bed. Although it tackles the light topic of racing, there is plenty of adult situations. This is everything The Fast and the Furious films tried to be with fast action and a soundtrack of bass rattling, pulse pounding techno. However, it might be that hardcore audience that will look at Redline and see the over the top action and the way it is animated, and brush it off as something not to be considered anime. Well, Madhouse has a simple answer for that; out with the old and in with the new.
Redline throws elements of live TV shows, but the story is focused enough to be coherent and not confusing even though the frames are moving a mile a minute. It is easy to nitpick at Redline for being stupid on the surface, but you can't ignore that the attention to detail, everything from JP's Elvis-like hair, to the buildings and bikes, should overshadow the fact that realism has been thrown out the door. Yeah OK, this film won't add brain cells to your arsenal of smarts, but when was the last time you had fun watching an anime film?
Once the plotline develops, they strap you in and propel you off at high speed. Giant morphing robots, gore, obscene nudity, and villians with crazy masks will all meet you at the finish line. How often can you take those immature elements and wrap it up in a unique blend of art, passion and groundbreaking animation? The real winner here is the solid art and unique line placements. Oh, and did I mention, that the race is illegal!? So not only are the racers being chased by each other, but they have to worry about authority figures as well.
Director Takeshi Koike has done a fantastic job with this film. I came into it not knowing much about it and I came out fiending to own it on DVD. I am certain that if you watch this, you will have a one of a kind experience that you won't experience for years and years to come. The action scenes alone are worth everything as they're some of the best I've seen in a long while. In an era where anime films are quite scarce, Redline won't shatter any new ground but you will leave with a goofy smile on your face and that is rare nowadays.
All in all, if you couldn't tell by now, I have had extreme pleasure in watching, and having the opportunity to write this review. One of the most innovative films I have seen in recent memory that features plenty of loudness and bombastic swagger. It's brave venture into originality makes it seem at times like anime that isn't in the traditional sense. But, Redline shows a path out. Koike takes themes that normal anime is famous for, and turns it on its side. He proved to me that he is a genius at drawing, editing, pacing and characterization and this is the definitive anime movie to catch this Fall season.
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