“At The Finish” – Redline (anime) – 8/10 Snowballs


Anything happens in Grand Prix racing, and it usually does. ~Murray Walker

Genre: Action/Romance

Review Status: Complete (1 Movie/1 Movie)

Licensed: Yes, this anime is licensed in the US. Currently unreleased.

Art/Animation: This is not your usual anime fare. Visually, it takes more cues from American conics for character designs, shading, and coloring. My closest approximation is the “World Record” short in the Animatrix. It looks really good, though, with bright colors and gorgeous animation, as expected from Madhouse.

Dub Vs. Sub: There is no dub.

Summary: Redline is about the biggest and most deadly racing tournament in the universe. Only held once every five years, everyone wants to stake their claim to fame, including JP, a reckless dare-devil driver oblivious to speed limits with his ultra-customized car – all the while, organized crime and militaristic governments want to leverage the race to their own ends. Amongst the other elite rival drivers in the tournament, JP falls for the alluring Sonoshee – but will she prove his undoing, or can a high speed romance survive a mass destruction race? (Anchor Bay Films)

Review: Making racing interesting to those who don’t really like it can be a challenge- one that Redline takes on and succeeds in. There are only two races in the movie, at the beginning and at the end. Good choreography and excellent direction make them really exciting to watch, while in between it delves into relationships- those between racer and mechanic, those between two racers, and even shows a little love blossoming between them.

Those things are what make this fun to watch. You see how people can support each other and still get in trouble over each other. A side plot with the mafia adds a little spice to race, and watching that play out is terribly exciting. Redline adds even more excitement and twists with some politics that play into how the race is conducted- and whether the participants can finish at all. What was nice was that the politics were only mentioned enough to get the gist of what was happening. That was all you needed to know to see how it was affecting the race itself, and that storyline never got pulled off-course.

To top off an exciting film, this goes in for some awesomely amusing characters. JP’s past and drive are brought to the forefront, but the side characters (with various degrees of screentime) are great for a laugh, adding some interesting scenes to something that could easily become tedious. Various shout-outs to other anime genres get tossed in with glee, and things that could easily become groan-worthy manage to bring out smiles instead.

I admit- I’m not much of a fan of the racing genre, but this had so much to it that I really enjoyed it. It’s not in my top scorers of the year, but made a fun watch.

Overall, if you want something that has some fun action and some great races, this is it!

Recommended: 16+. A handful of swears, that run the gamut from F-bombs to the d-word. There is also partial nudity- at one point a girl walks around her apartment topless and there is detail. Other girls wear some skimpy clothing that falls just short of revealing anything.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (anime)

Oban Star Racers (anime)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Best Anime of 2011 « Paper Chimes

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