Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Race to Redline!

I'd been waiting to see the just released (in the US) anime, REDLINE, for over a year. TwitchFilm.com had featured it back before it hit the festival circuit, and it was jawdropping. Insane design, technically flawless, drop dead sexy animation. It's also the directorial debut of Takeshi Koike, whom you may know from the amazing Animatrix "World Record" segment, and he was also a key animator on my all time favorite anime, the blisteringly cool DEAD LEAVES (with Redline sharing a fairly similar style). It didn't hurt that it's produced by renowned anime studio Madhouse either.

Got a chance to watch last weekend, and it does not disappoint!

The animation is sublime throughout, but where Redline maintains the next level cool is with the vision and scope of the story. Sure, it's ultimately a simple race tale, and for those amped up by it's high octane race visuals from previews and scenes online, it doesn't disappoint. However, there's more to this anime then just mindless racing action (not that it might not have been better served with more of that), but it offers a full story, on a few levels, with many sub-plots, character arcs... more than you'd expect from a title like this. Also, with it's intergalactic race circuit, it's of course rich with supporting characters of amazing variety. Basically, there's a lot to love, and that makes Redline utterly re-watchable. It did not supplant Dead Leaves at the top of my anime list though. Here's hoping we don't have to wait several years for another anime to challenge for the title!


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