So let’s start serious (don’t worry the madness is coming). Friday afternoon I was feeling glum, low, just one of those no real reason why you just feel rotten days. Had dinner, still felt low. Fortunately my friend had got a Blu-ray of an anime movie he said I would like called Redline. And after seeing it that low feeling had burned away by a extreme amount of adrenalin (yes, this movie cured my low feeling).
Redline is an anime Sci Fi racing movie. It’s set in the far future (as an opening text crawl will tell us) where people are now out amongst the stars, but that’s not what’s important. You see people have developed Flying cars . BUT some people still hold to the classic kind for one purpose alone RACING.
After the text crawl we go to a bunch of people at the stands. They are excited – looking forward to the racers passing by, also none of them are really human so you get a whole lot of weird designs. Anyway we also see a bunch of men in suits so we know some organized crime stuff is going on too. Our Lead JP is in what I can only describe as a souped up advanced New York taxi. He manages to get into the lead and his main competitor Sonoshee drives her racer into a river and it turns out it also works as a speed boat. The two are close but using a device JP gets a massive boost and is just about to win, when his engineer friend Frisbee activates a detonator causing him to crash just before the line and Sonoshee wins.
This race was the last elimination race before the biggest most intense race in the universe Redline, and because of the crash ,Frisbee owes money to the mob and thus has to rig JP’s losing despite them being old friends, he just missed out. Fortunately (or unfortunately as you will find out) 2 of the top racers drop out so he’s going to Redline… but you see the race this year is being held on Roboworld, which as my friend put it is cyborg Nazi North Korea. The rulers don’t want the race and have threatened death to any racer that shows up. Not that any of the people going there mind as they are all psyched to take part – wanting to win.
This is where I stop talking about the plot, because I want you to enjoy it yourself. You don’t go too deep into most of the characters’ back stories, just enough to get to know them. You more find out about them through their actions or other peoples actions with them. Any information given feels natural, you find out about some of the racers through a news broadcast that works as any big celebrity event would. Some are clearly inspired by other characters from manga and anime (one really looks like Mazinger Z… LOOK IT UP) but all of them are fleshed out enough that you know what you need to know to enjoy it.
And what a final act, after the initial race and then the race preps, you get an insane race just as promised. Eight racers all with their own race styles, vehicle styles (one transforms into a robot with boobs) not only racing against each other, but also being attacked by the robot armies of Roboworld. There’s racing on water, tunneling underground, MASSIVE BIO WEAPONS UNLEASHED, ORBITAL DEATH RAYS… yeah it gets mad.
You end up with a final stretch so intense that it just burned away all those low feelings I had earlier, my foot wouldn’t stop wiggling for some time after it. The best way to describe the race is think Wacky Races and Fury Road… now amp that up to levels where Scotty from Star Trek would tell you it cannae take it no more!
What’s more this entire film is hand drawn, not computer aided. It supposedly took 7 years to make because of that but it’s well worth it. I wish we would get more animated films like this. The film starts out rocking then let’s you have a gap in the middle as you learn a bit about the leads, enough about the rest to be invested but doesn’t take you out of the immersion to explain things.
And once the Redline race starts it doesn’t stop (except when the bioweapons and orbital death ray come out but that’s more a pause before it starts again). Go watch this you will enjoy the ride.