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On your mark ... get set ... anime!

Rod Lott January 6th, 2012

Japan anime “Redline” imagines a future where racing isn’t such a big deal in the sports world any more, with the clear exception of the titular race, an anything-goes event held every five years.

While director Takeshi Koike’s (“The Animatrix,” TV’s “Iron Man”) animated extravaganza depicts a world where aliens and animals walk and talk and dine on Hexagonal Worm Spaghetti Soup, our hero is an old-school human named JP, who’s cast in 1950s Elvis Presley mode, complete with Johnny Bravo pompadour. 

With a Patrick Warburton-esque delivery in the English dub, JP really really wants to win Redline, but on his own terms. See, in past events, he’s happily participated in race-fixing schemes, but after barely surviving a crash at the lesser Yellowline, he’s going his own way. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is that he gains fond feelings for his potentially biggest competition, the green-haired gal-go-lightly Sonoshee.  Feature-length animated films from other countries rarely work for me, given their tendency to indulge in mind-crushing fanboy nonsense, but “Redline” is incredibly accessible.

It’s as if Speed Racer grew a set, as if Ralph Bakshi had made a “Heavy Metal” sequel, as if “The Fast and the Furious” franchise were laced with GHB. In other words, the work is packed with visuals alive with energy from the start, right to the candy-coated end credits.  Note: Cartoon nature aside, this flick isn’t for kids, as it contains some coarse language and, in one scene, a rather buoyant set of bare breasts on the aforementioned Sonoshee. Hey, at least it’s not tentacle rape. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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