Redline (2009)

Faster and more Furious


When people talk about milestones in cinema history, particularly from an animation standpoint, many will think of movies like Akira, Spirited Away, or even Mind Game. All of these are standout movies of their generation, but what about the new-gen anime fans?
What will be the gateway movie that introduces them to the wonderful world of anime… introducing Redline.

Redline is a fusion of the Fast and Furious franchise if it existed in a Star Wars universe designed by Guillermo del Toro. Throw in a scoop of Death Race 2000 for good measure, and you have yourself one hell of a fast-paced Wacky Racers style race to glory.

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Welcome to Yellowline – The Story

Enter Sweet JP, a smooth-talking racing driver who just so happens to be one hell of a cool guy. To top it all off, he was voiced by anime veteran Patrick Seitz. JP wants nothing more than to compete in the galaxy’s most dangerous and prolific race: Redline, a no holds barred race to the finish line where anything goes. Redline centers around Sweet JP as he stumbles his way through the qualifier, Yellowline, by the skin of his teeth. The movie is filled with a tank-full of incomplete subplots, leaving you with a feeling of intrigue and mystery; from an evil government army trying to cover up their biological weapons Resident Evil style, to a magical princess showing up in a dreadnought of a space craft just to lay down the finishing line then is never giving any meaningful dialogue or screen time for the rest of the movie.
I digress; this can be a pro more than a demerit against the movie as a whole because when it come to Redline your imagination can be your best friend. These subplots help to strengthen the main story and help flesh out the large array of side characters ranging from a slapstick duo of bounty hunters to a cyborg heavyweight with a god complex. All of them receive a limited amount of screen time, but what they do with the time they have makes them a memorable bunch of eccentrics.

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When it comes to the old debate of Sub vs Dub, I have always been a sub man just for the fact that many thing can be lost in translation from game to anime to manga. This has always been a great fear of mine, but in recent years the quality of translation and voice acting has increased substantially and we are no longer limited to the elite few voices for every third character for all shows. Redline is home to a diverse and dedicated cast of voice actors ranging from Liam O’Brien (Garra of the Sand from Naruto) to David Lodge (Kenpachi Zaraki from the Bleach series). The dub dose not disappoint as everybody gives it their all and, in my opinion, even surpasses their Japanese counterparts. This isn’t to say that the Japanese voice cast are sub-par (far from it), it’s just that Redline is a movie that needs to be seen every second from start to finish and reading subs whilst watching an eye-popping movie like this one is best experienced when your mind is not partially focused on reading the subtitles.

Must Go Faster!! – Art style

What makes Redline stand above many of its contemporaries and predecessors is the film’s production values.
The quality of each and every panel, all 100,000 hand-crafted images, is a testament to the the seven years Madhouse spent on the construction of this singularly towering, adrenal experience. Even after numerous delays, never once did they succumb to rushing this product, a sure sign that the creator’s are true lovers of animation. This masterclass in over-the-top animation is Takeshi Koike’s most visually exhilarating movie of the last ten years and, taking into consideration all which came before it, I do not say that lightly.

Punch It Chewy – The Verdict

Redline is a stand-out production not only from a technical viewpoint, but as an early entry into the Anime medium successfully embodying everything there is to love about the genre, from is exaggerated character archetypes to the movie’s over-the-top plot that is off-set by an amazing soundtrack which perfectly captures the fast-paced and heavy beats found constantly throughout.

REDLINE receives the most prestigious rating of “MUST-BUY FOR ALL FANS OF ACTION AND SCI-FI – GET THE BLU-RAY”


– Aaron

 

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