Hey folks, Valkor here. And welcome to AniView 2012, where all things animated are showcased for your enjoyment. For our first animated feature of the year I wanna give a shout out to the folks at Anchor Bay (theatrical) and Manga Entertainment (distribution) for picking up one sick anime in the form of "Redline"; it's not sick in terms of gore or hentai, just sick with speed... and a feast for the eyes!
Redline is an action/racing drama that centers on Sweet JP or JP for short. He gets the name Sweet JP because he's kind and doesn't resort to weapons and other harsh tactics to get ahead (though he has a bit of a shaded past). The film opens up with the Yellow Line race and JP is far behind. But at the last minute he injects nitro into his supped up vehicle and burst to the head of the pack. However his partner Frisbee along with a criminal Mob boss-type are watching JP closely. You see he isn't supposd to win this race and Frisbee will make sure that's the case. So just as JP is about to cross the yellow line finish, his engine blows and he loses the race leaving his rival Sonoshee the winner.
JP, while laid up in the hospital, is visited by Frisbee who pays him for the race. But JP rejects the payment and wants out. Suddenly the room is filled with press and it's revealed that due to two other races dropping out, JP just qualified to appear in the most prestigious of races – Redline, which takes place on Roboworld. Redline races are considered to be the biggest and most violent of all races because it's no holds barred – anything goes! On top of that the government of Roboworld forbids the races to take place on their planet and if they should do so everyone will be killed on sight. Those kinda odds start looking good to JP, who agrees to the race.
So, Along with JP he'll go against an eclectic group of racers including Machine Head, the sexy and super-powered Super Boins sisters, love interest Sonoshee, Lynchman and Jonnyboya, Trava and Shinkai, Gori-Rider, and Miki and Todoroki. So on top of dealing with the other races, JP has to deal with the Roboworld army along with a host of other surprises in store as he races towards the goal.
Extras on the blu-ray (which are also found on the DVD) include 2006 trailer of the film (that's how long this piece has been in production, but the payoff is gonna be sweet). Next is Perfect Guide to Redline, which includes interviews, storyboards, and clips of the film. And finally there's Quick Guide to Redline, which introduces the characters, the story, and the people who are involved with the film.
Believe it or not that's like the perfect summation for this film that I gave above; I mean there's definitely a bit more to it than that – and that won't even be spoiling it. And with that in mind, let's see how well the film fared in the TOV Breakdown.
Right out the starting gate, Redline is one BEAUTIFUL anime to look at. Whoever says 2D animation is dead should seriously take a look at this film because of the level of detail on this hand drawn wonder is a sight to behold – it's heavily detailed, pure eye candy! When you're not totally focused on the race, check out some of those sweet backdrops and the clever designs of the buildings. The styles of the characters are a complete 90's throwback and sorta reminds me of Aeon Flux with their lanky bodies and how they move. The look of the alien characters are very imaginative and work will with the style of the film. There isn't much in terms of their development and I really don't care because I'd rather focus of the race – which is really insane!! Not only is it wicked fast, but there's so much going on, it'll make your head spin. The look of the vehicles are gorgeous, the crashes and the explosions are eye-popping, and just wait until the Roboworld army steps in! I'm not even exaggerating, the shit is insane! The story is very simple, straight forward and easy to follow though it does drop in pacing midway, but you'll need that time to prepare your mind to blown by all the visuals the end presents. Two words: Funky Boy. The voice work, on both sides – Japanese and English, deserve high praise because in either language the voices match their animated counterparts perfectly. When it comes to English to Japanese dubs, I get skittish because I've heard some pretty bad dubs (Record of Lodoss still lingers in my head), but my mind was put at ease as I settled right in with the English dub. Overall an impressive film any fan of anime (and even non-fans) can enjoy.
That ending!!! I really didn't expect it to end the way it did, but when it did… Mind officially blown!
Redline will be speeding its way into your homes on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 17th. And take it from me it's worth the ride as Redline is one intense racing drama you won't wanna miss. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Redline a 4 and it's been Valkor Viewed, TOV Approved.