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Redline (REDLINE, Reddorain?) is a 2009 science fiction auto racing anime film produced by Madhouse and released in Japan on October 9, 2010. The directorial debut feature of Takeshi Koike, it features the voices of Takuya Kimura, Yū Aoi and Tadanobu Asano, and an original story by Katsuhito Ishii, who also co-writes and sound directs.[2] The film is set in the distant future, where a man known as JP takes on great risks for the chance of winning the titular underground race.
After a total of seven years in production, Redline was intended to premiere at the 2009 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and follow Summer Wars, Mai Mai Miracle and Yona Yona Penguin as the fourth and final feature film Madhouse planned to release between summer 2009 and spring 2010. However, further delays saw its world premiere pushed back a few months to August 14, 2009, at the Locarno International Film Festival and its Japanese release to fall 2010.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Plot

"Sweet JP" - rightfully named for his personality, retro style, and refusal to mount weapons on his racecar - nearly wins the "Yellowline" race against a host of semi-pro alien drivers, most of whom use oversized vehicles with jet engines mounted with guns and missiles, but just before the finish line JP's car is sabotaged by an explosive device placed by his friend and mechanic; Frisbee. In the past, Frisbee and JP were sent to prison for fixing races for the mafia, and are doing so again so they can keep racing. While recuperating in the hospital and reminiscing over his loss, JP finds out that he was selected for the "Redline" despite not qualifying in the last race due to popular demand, and because 2 racers withdrew.
The Redline race takes place on Roboworld, a militarized planet ruled by cyborgs. The Roboworld government is violently opposed to the race being held on their planet as they have several ongoing secret projects, including a colossal bioweapon called Funky Boy that they wish to be kept top-secret. JP and the other racers are transported to a backwater moon near Roboworld to prepare. There he meets Sonoshee the winner of the Yellowline, who he met before either of them started racing professionally. After meeting several oddball racers, he has to repair and refit his car damaged from the Yellowline. With Frisbee acting as the designer and a friend of theirs, a 4 armed old man procuring parts, they aim to make a high powered racecar that will hold up against the other racers.
Various colorful and dynamic characters compete in the Redline race such as "Machinehead" a huge machine man and the reigning champion, "Super Boins" a pair of pop idols from a magical planet, "Gori-rider" a corrupt gorilla-like traffic officer, "Lynchman&Johnnyboya" a pair of bounty hunters, "Miki&Todoroki" a pair of semi-pro racers who get selected alongside JP to race in the Redline, and a few others. Guerilla forces on Roboworld as well as the Bounty Hunter team, sabotage a number of Roboworld's planetary defenses, making the race less than suicidal. JP, Sonoshee, and the other racers speed across the planet under heavy attack from the Roboworld military, which have targeted each of the racers with intent to kill. During the race the guerillas attempt to unleash and control Funky Boy, but are unable to as one of the racers crashed into the containment facility, bringing Funky Boy prematurely out of its slumber. Funky Boy goes on a rampage, destroying many of the Roboworld units and much of the landscape around them. Even their most powerful weapon, the Hyper-disintegrator cannons, unable to stop the beast, one of the Roboworld high ranking generals decides to merge with another Bioweapon to fight against Funky Boy while the race continues on.
In Funky Boy's rampage, Sonoshee's car is destroyed, knocking her out in the process. JP however finds her alive and allows her to join him in continuing the race together. Frisbee who was forced to make another deal with the Mafia is almost killed when he refuses to sabotage JP's car again, but is saved by the 4 armed scrounger, who shoots down the mafia and after sits down to watch the rest of the race with Frisbee. The final sprint to the finish shows Machinehead with JP/Sonoshee both fighting for victory. In his haste, Machinehead uses the steamlight; a form of energy that can release an unimaginable amount of power, to give him the edge over the race. Sonoshee quickly reciprocates with her own piece of steamlight, given to her by her father on her seventh birthday. Both racers blaze towards the finishing line with their cars tearing away due to the super-sonic speed.
With much of the planet in ruin, the red line, marking the end of the race is broken up, but is quickly remedied as the Redline Mothership warps from space onto the planetary surface to serve as a ramp leading to the finish. JP and Sonoshee are neck to neck with Machinehead but unable to get past him. The explosive placed in JP's car by Frisbee earlier on, is activated by the scrounger who presses the detonator counting on the resulting explosion to give what's left of JP's car a boost of speed to pass Machinehead. Machinehead follows by morphing into rocket form to increase his speed. Just before the finish line JP's car completely falls apart, but he, Sonoshee, and Machinehead reach the finish line. JP and Sonoshee touch the finishing line less than a fraction of a second before Machinehead and are declared the victors. Audiences throughout the galaxy celebrate JP's amazing victory. The other racers, exhausted and in awe remark about the incredible feat performed by JP. While suspended in weightless motion, JP pulls Senoshee close and kisses her and the two victors confess their love for each other.

[edit] Development

Redline was produced by Madhouse[3] and directed by Takeshi Koike, who also wrote the storyboard and served as unit director and animation director. The film's producers were Yukiko Koike and Kentarō Yoshida. Masahiro Fukushima served as executive producer. The task of writing the script was shared by Yoji Enokido, Katsuhito Ishii, and Yoshiki Sakurai. The film's character designs, original and otherwise, were done by Katsuhito Ishii, who also served as one of the film's sound directors, the other being Youji Shimizu. The film's music was composed by James Shimoji.[4]
According to Tim Maughan of Anime News Network, Redline was released several years later than originally planned. Its development took seven years and used 100,000 hand-made drawings,[5] which Maughan notes is all the more unusual as it is Koike's directorial debut.[4]

[edit] Soundtrack

An official soundtrack to the film by James Shimoji (ジェイムス下地?) was released under GBC label on October 6, 2010,[6] and contains 42 tracks.[7] It ranked 207th on Oricon's album chart.[8]
[show]Track listing: Redline Original Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "Yellow Line"  
2. "Inuki"  
3. "Redline Title"  
4. "Boy's Memory"  
5. "Winner March"  
6. "Roboworld TV"  
7. "TV Show"  
8. "Roboworld"  
9. "Europass"  
10. "Mogura Oyaji"  
11. "Oasis"  
12. "And It's So Beautiful (feat. Kitty Brown)"  
13. "Shinkai"  
14. "Machine Head"  
15. "Capture Operation"  
16. "Let Me Love You (feat. Veronica Torraca-Bragdon)"  
17. "Get The Stones (feat. Andrew O. Jones)"  
18. "Crab Sonoshee"  
19. "彼のシフトはブンブンブン (feat. Super Boins)"  
20. "Lynch Man & Johnny Boya"  
21. "Redline News"  
22. "Gori-Rider"  
23. "Miki & Todoroki"  
24. "Put-up Guy"  
25. "Red Angels"  
26. "Three-point Decomposition Cannon"  
27. "Tension"  
28. "Chatter Void"  
29. "Volton Unit"  
30. "Vertical Drop"  
31. "Moniter Room"  
32. "Sand Biker"  
33. "Spinning Car"  
34. "Trouble"  
35. "Semimaru"  
36. "Gangster"  
37. "Flying Finger"  
38. "Funky Boy"  
39. "Redline"  
40. "Exceed Limit"  
41. "Dead Heat"  
42. "Redline Day (feat. Rob Laufer)"  
 


[edit] Release

Redline was initially meant to premiere at the 2009 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it would have competed in the Feature Film category.[9] Instead, it premiered during the Locarno International Film Festival in August of the same year.[10] Several more advance screenings were done at international film festivals during 2010.[11] In May, Redline was shown during the Sci-Fi-London 9.[12][13] In June, it participated in Annecy 2010 in the category "Feature Films out of competition".[14] During September, it was shown in Australia and New Zealand as part of Reel Anime 2010.[15] Redline was shown in Austin, Texas on September 23,[11] and in Edinburgh, Scotland, on October 15 as part of the Scotland Loves Anime film festival.[16] At the 2010 Nantes Utopiales Sci-Fi festival, the film received the special mention of jury and public.
The film opened in Japan on October 9, 2010. Coinciding with this, the film was shown in a San Francisco-based Viz Cinema theater from October 8–14, 2010. Distribution in North America is handled by Manga Entertainment.[3]


[edit] Reception

Luke Halliday of Capsule Computers praised the film's action stating; "You will leave Redline with no pants, socks or even underwear as they would all be blown away by the sheer bombastic brilliance of Redline." He went on to conclude by saying; "If you are looking for a good action film, a good anime film, or a good film in general, Redline is the movie for you." [17]
Tim Maughan of Anime News Network describes the film as "something very special, very different, and insanely exhilarating." In particular he praises the film's director, saying that "Koike has managed to make all this chaos believable." He goes on to say that "Redline is animation not only at its best, but also largely animation for animation's sake." Although Maughan says some may dislike its techno soundtrack and "minimal plot," he calls Redline "the most insanely exciting, visually exhilarating anime film you've seen in decades."[4]
Thomas Zoth of Mania.com comments that while the film does not provide "a deep plot or unique premise," it still "demands to be seen." He said that if Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was "an assault on the senses ... Redline is a declaration of war." Zoth went on to praise the film for its "imaginative creatures and clever designs", to compare Koike's work to that of Quentin Tarantino, and to compliment the film for its "soundtrack, with its memorable high-energy tracks that greatly complement the chaos onscreen." He concludes by saying that if "the life of the industry has been drained and replaced with rote, cookiecutter shows-by-committee, Redline shows a path out."[18]
Nicolas Penedo of the French magazine Animeland describes it as the "Paris-Dakar revisited à la Ōban Star-Racers",[19] a remake of Hanna-Barbera Wacky Races with arts inspired from Jack Kirby comics and know-how, rhythm and energy inherent of the best Japanese anime movies.[20] The reviewer praises the animation quality as breathtaking,[21] and declares that Takeshi Koike made an homage to comics and films of the 70s and 80s.[21] On the negative, he notes the lack of scenario stating "Don't hope to find any scenario in Redline".[21][clarification needed]
Kwenton Bellette and Peter Martin reviewed Redline for Twitch Film. Bellette describes it as a "truly out of this world experience", "Speed Racer on crack" and praised the supporting characters for being memorable and the background galaxy made of different races and creeds to be very solid.[22] Martin expresses that "it feels like every centimeter of every frame is filled with some kind of kinetic color or action or bit of business, making it an experience that is sure to overload the senses" and asserts that writer Katsuhito Ishii succeeds at making a feature-length anime as insane as his film Funky Forest.[23]
Jon Liang of UK Anime Network comments that "A sense of the cool and outrageous is seeped into every pore of the design, ... exaggerated is an understatement here", and notes that the film's "cinema-quality smooth animation" makes "even the most alien of things move naturally and the sense of speed that is often achieved is frequently mind-blowing." He remarks that "the visuals and over-the-top action will most likely overload sensitive brain cells," but concludes by calling Redline "an incredibly exciting cinematic experience that doesn't take itself at all seriously."[24]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Kelts, Roland (7 August 2009). "Anime with Texas roots to debut in Switzerland". The Daily Yomiuri. Yomiuri Group. http://japanamerica.blogspot.com/2009/08/redline-update-world-premiere-814-at.html. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  2. ^ "English-language promotional film poster for Redline", Leeds International Film Festival Free Guide (24th ed.), 2010 (published October 2010), http://www.leedsfilm.com/online-guide
  3. ^ a b "Redline Opens in California, Japan in Same October Weekend". Anime News Network. September 22, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-09-22/redline-opens-in-california-japan-in-same-october-weekend. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Maughan, Tim (May 19, 2010). "Redline – Review". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/redline. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "Crew: Subbed Redline to Open Throughout U.S. in 2011". Anime News Network. October 6, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-10-06/crew/subbed-redline-to-open-throughout-u.s-in-2011. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  6. ^ "REDLINEオリジナルサウンドトラック/ ジェイムス下地" (in Japanese). good-beat.com. http://good-beat.com/good/2010/09/redline.html. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "REDLINEオリジナルサウンドトラック" (in Japanese). Oricon. http://ranking.oricon.co.jp/free_contents/search/detail.asp?itemcd=889820&samecd=1. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  8. ^ "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" (in Japanese). Oricon. http://ranking.oricon.co.jp/free_contents/search/ranking_list.asp?itemcd=889820&samecd=1&chart_kbn=11A&linkcd=31481136. Retrieved Oct 24, 2010.
  9. ^ "Koike, Madhouse's Redline Pulled from Annecy Fest Slate". Anime News Network. May 20, 2009. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-05-20/koike-madhouse-redline-pulled-from-annecy-fest-slate. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "Redline". Locarno International Film Festival. http://archive.pardo.ch/filmdetails.do?oc=326536. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Redline's N. American Debut at Austin's Fantastic Fest". Anime News Network. August 27, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-08-27/redline-n-american-debut-at-austin-fantastic-fest. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  12. ^ "Manga All-nighter". festivalBiz Group. http://www.sci-fi-london.com/festival/2010/programme/all-nighter/manga-all-nighter. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  13. ^ "UK Anime All-Nighter at Sci-Fi-London Film Festival 2010". Anime News Network. April 19, 2010. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2010-04-19/uk-anime-all-nighter-at-sci-fi-london-film-festival-2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  14. ^ "Film index: Redline". Annecy International Animated Film Festival. http://www.annecy.org/annecy-2010/festival:en/official-selection/film-index:f20101925. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  15. ^ "RedLine". Madman Entertainment. http://www.madman.com.au/reelanime/redline. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  16. ^ "Redline". lovesanimation.com. August 11, 2010. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5u4P7QdJq. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  17. ^ Halliday, Luke (January 5, 2012). "Capsule Computers: Redline Review". Capsule Computers. http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/2012/01/redline-review/. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  18. ^ Zoth, Thomas (September 24, 2010). "Redline Movie Review: Madhouse takes racing to the next level". Mania.com. http://www.mania.com/redline-movie-review_article_125340.html. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  19. ^ Penedo, Nicolas (July/August 2010). "Redline Les fous du volants" (in French). Animeland (163). ISSN 1148-0807. http://www.animeland.com/articles/voir/859/AnimeLand-163. Retrieved October 1, 2010. "le Paris-Dakar est revisité façon Ôban Star-Racers!"
  20. ^ Penedo, Nicolas (July/August 2010). "Redline Les fous du volants" (in French). Animeland (163). ISSN 1148-0807. http://www.animeland.com/articles/voir/859/AnimeLand-163. Retrieved October 1, 2010. "remake des Fous du volants, ce vieux dessin animé d'HANA & BARBERA, mais matiné d'un graphisme inspiré des comics book de Jack Kirby, le tout avec un savoir faire, un rythme et une énergie propres au meilleurs films d'animation nippons!"
  21. ^ a b c Penedo, Nicolas (July/August 2010). "Redline Les fous du volants" (in French). Animeland (163). ISSN 1148-0807. http://www.animeland.com/articles/voir/859/AnimeLand-163. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  22. ^ Bellette, Kwenton (September 16, 2010). "Reel Anime 2010: Red Line". Twitch Film. http://twitchfilm.net/reviews/2010/09/reel-anime-2010-red-line.php. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  23. ^ Martin, Peter (September 24, 2010). "Fantastic Fest 2010: Redline Review". Twitch Film. http://twitchfilm.net/reviews/2010/09/fantastic-fest-2010-redline-review.php. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  24. ^ Liang, Jon. "Anime Review: Redline". UK Anime Network. Etharius. http://www.uk-anime.net/anime/Redline.html. Retrieved September 26, 2010.

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review by . February 20, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Japanese Anime That Provides An Outrageous, Heart-Pumping Rush!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw director Takeshi Koike’s “Redline”. I mean it is the type of anime that has a simple plot, outrageous characters, vehicles with bombastic technology all executed with a style that ranges from mecha-cyberpunk, 70’s references, and even 80’s atmosphere of rich vibrant colors that I had a hard time really trying to put together what I was seeing. The creativity of “Redline” isn’t the way the story goes, …
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