The main male protagonist.
Just like I have mentioned in my previous blog post just a couple of days ago, today’s review is going to be for the long-awaited feature-length anime movie titled REDLINE. Seven years in the making, with all frames being hand-drawn, this 2009 title will then challenge the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ incumbent Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Not being saddled with the blurry animation technique penalty but has the sport genre handicap being applied to it instead, will this movie actually matches the hype I have heard about it and take the title?
Set up far away in the futuristic future, REDLINE is an illegal racing tournament that takes place every 5 years at a random location, and watched by fans across the universe. The main male protagonist managed to get into the race after a couple of the original finalists withdrew from the race and he has to dodge missiles from competitors and the army while trying to win the race and getting the woman.
Storywise, this movie is no different really than the anime I reviewed here before Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou; the plot has very little substance. Basically this movie shows some racing at the start, then shows some preparations before the big race, and of course, the REDLINE itself. The pacing of the thin storyline is thick and fast (a good thing I guess), even during the part when there is no racing. But unlike Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou and just like the Ponyo movie, the flow of the storyline in this movie is excellent from the start until the end, despite its lack of substance.
Character developments in this movie is pretty minimal, mainly consists of some well-placed flashbacks. And only certain characters benefits from this, and they are the main male protagonist and his mechanic. I don’t think the main female protagonist get the same privileges that those two has. The ending (the REDLINE race itself) is predictable but is still a very good watch, if you like action.
Character designs in this movie is excellent although not far removed from the designs seen in past titles in futuristic sci-fi shounen genre like Trigun or Cowboy Bebop. Lack of black hairs in this movie is forgivable because of the settings, I’m not even sure if the main protagonist is from Earth or not. Race car designs are also good, except for the main female protagonist’s. A positive aspect for this movie.
Voice acting in this movie is good overall. But what really stands out in this movie is the voices of the female characters, because they are much better than their male counterparts. This is not to say that the male protagonist and the rest of the male lineup in this movie are bad, it is just that the female lineup are clearly superior. The main female protagonist and the racers from Planet Supergrass are some good examples of this female superiority phenomenon in this movie. A positive aspect for this movie.
The bass-heavy OST of this movie is excellent and is integral in this movie’s watching experience. Better crank up those subwoofers and surround speakers when watching the racing parts of this movie, this movie has the best surround effects that is comparable to the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray I watched recently. The ED theme is forgettable though. Despite of that, the musical part in this movie is still a positive aspect for this movie.
Don’t watch this movie with stereo speakers. You miss a big part of the experience if you don’t have at least a 5.1 speaker setup.
The awesome kaleidoscope scenery in Europass, a sample of the visual pleasure you will get from watching this movie.
The hype that surrounds this movie mostly has to do with the excellent animation it has, and oh boy this movie does not disappoint. Seven years in the making? With hand-drawn animations? This movie easily topped what you can see from Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo movie, by some comfortable margin. Pristine animation overall even in fast-paced scenes. This apply even in very fast ones as is common in racing sequences. It is hard to overstate how good the animation is in this movie, you will have to see it by yourself. I’ll give this movie 2 extra points to the final evaluation just because of this.
Great animation, paired with thin storyline, this movie is basically the Japan’s answer to Avatar.
Choreography in the racing scenes is quite decent too, although I feel that this movie loses some steam in this regard after the appearance of the biological weapon in middle part of REDLINE. The directing is flawless, and I have no problems with it at all. Although maybe the director could employ some of the great camera work that can be seen in the likes of Fractale’s first episode.
9 out of 10, a respectable score considering its nature. This anime would have replaced Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei if not for the sport genre handicap. The next anime I will review here is a overly familiar one, a title that will make you go ‘oh snap’! Not very long, only 15 episodes, so expect it to come next week or so, unless it is crap.