What it’s about: Every five years, the various alien races of the galaxy are brought together by their love of racing, with the infamously deadly and spectacular *Redline* race. “Sweet” JP, a rockabilly racer with a fondness for driving a Transam souped up by his childhood friend and mechanic Frisbee. But is the clean weapons-free driving he gained his nickname for going to be enough to survive the upcoming Redline race, which is to be held in the territory of a hostile military power?
Why you should watch it: Many sports series use the genre as a jumping off point to expore other themes. Not Redline. This is a racing story through and through. The biggest draw of the film by far is its animation, which is unlike anything seen in anime before or since. It draws heavily on Western graphic novel styling, all bright colours and harsh shadows. The common anecdote is that it took six years to complete, and it really shows. It’s a non-stop adrenaline ride where the characters and plot are there to serve the spectacle, and not the other way around. That’s not to say that either are bad, it’s just a film that knows its strengths and plays to them. This is not a movie that would benefit from overly complex character progression or plotting.
Caveats: If there’s any anime out there where you don’t want to skimp on resolution quality, it’s Redline. Don’t resort to fuzzy garbage-level streams; use a premium service or just go and buy the DVD – it’s not that expensive.
Themes: Nothing particularly deep here. Doing what you love and sticking by the people you care about.
Similar works: Not much, really. There’s Trava, which is a side-story exploring the background adventures of another of the Redline racing pairs.