The majority of anime fans are probably aware of the existence of Redline, even though everyone may not have seen it. The whispers about “seven years hand-drawn” is the main reason, but the visuals are not the only remarkable thing about the movie, at least not in my opinion. From what I’ve seen, especially in more recent years, Redline is not considered an all-around masterpiece, but it’s definitely still held in high esteem when it comes to the visuals.
And that’s no surprise, because it really does look fantastic. I can imagine not being a fan of the visual style, but it’s also not one of those “unique and eccentric” styles, that is to say it’s not “trying to look different”, it just goes for maximum technical refinement. Well, “just” may be an unfair word, but hopefully you know what I mean, especially if you’ve seen the movie. Anyway, as I said earlier, I think the movie has other things going for it than just the visuals. I particularly like the music, even though my favourite track is the one that is played right at the start (Yellow Line) and never again after that. I also have a… fascination for the characters, to the point where I will randomly think about them even when I haven’t watched the movie in over a year. I don’t know exactly why this is, maybe I just like these kinds of casts where the characters are all competitors with unique quirks.
And now for the well-animated elephant in the room: The story. As far as I know, the story is the most commonly criticised element of Redline. And I can’t actually disagree with most of it. I like some elements of the story, such as JP’s and Sonoshee’s relationship, but as a whole I think it has a lot of flaws. To clarify, though, I don’t think the problems are due to any bad qualities of the writing in itself, I just think the story is implicitly way too large-scale for a 102-minute movie. To sum it up, there were many individual parts to the story that I would have liked to see more of, such as the interplanetary politics and the giant weapon monster, but I mostly only got half-told stories. In addition, I think the lack of an epilogue really hurts the impact of the final scene. It basically just ends on a climax. Not that it was a bad climax, but I think an epilogue would have made it a more memorable climax.