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AICN Anime - In-depth On the Ultimate, Once in a Life Time Anime Movie, "Redline!"


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Column by Scott Green



Anime Spotlight: Redline
Released By Manga/Anchor Boy on January 17th 2012

The universe is a weird, wonderful place. The catena of odd, alien shapes writ large across the expanse of stars. One guy.. a guy with a leather jacket , ridiculous pompadour and switch blade comb, is going to scrawl his name across that space. "Very Sweet Weaponless Prince" JP is going to take his souped up classic Trans Am and outrace the infamous rogues, sorceresses, gods and legends; validating his comrade’s sacrifice and winning the girl.

I'm not going to say it's not hyperbole, but there is also a whole lot of truth when the makers of Redline call the movie "once in a life time" and "the ultimate anime film; one that defies all logic." This should be a fire cracker under the posterior of anime.
However, though the movie itself is positively exhilarating, if there is one thing anime is good for, it's engendering and dealing with apocalyptic feelings. Look at Akira, created during a boom, imagining a gig-bust. Look at Astro Boy and Cyborg 009 and how their heroes flew and fell towards oblivion. In regards to what it means for anime, Redline feels apocalyptic. Even its producers have suggested that it's something more along the lines of a last hurrah than it is a vanguard.

Anime's gotten more than a bit unpopular. Not invisible. Not unknown or unfamiliar. Unpopular: known and broadly unliked, or, in more sympathetic circles, at least not sufficiently liked that is deemed worthy of time and attention.

Yeah, "Manga Man Says Parental Discression Advised," because anime is "not for kids." By in large, it's for kids and otaku.

Back since Osamu Tezuka inked his Astro Boy TV deal, back since it was Toei making movies, anime has been a tough business. In a tough economy it has focused on the safer targets. So, with anime and otaku, you get a marriage of consumers and the industry producing their 2D paramours. With input from the sponsors, it fine tunes itself to the tastes of a dedicated crowd, who will buy the unedited Blu-rays, the character goods and so on. Not say that it's an easily maintained marriage. You have an audience prone to hanging onto some favorites, prone to abandoning once hot for the new sensation and prone to the occasional berserk reaction. Focused on that, there isn't the opportunity to avoid qualities that will be turn-offs to other audiences. A part from exceptional productions, a lot of anime doesn't even bother attempting to woo audiences beyond those dedicated ones.

The consequence it that most anime isn't enticing to non-anime fans. There are few works that I'd push on people who wouldn't identify themselves as anime watchers. If something is well made, I'll suggest it to lapsed anime viewers, but since even many fairly solid works carry otaku audience baggage it's become a subculture as much as a medium.
Take the recently popular Steins;gate for example. It's a fun pseudo-science time travel puzzle that's fairly well constructed, especially in regard to introducing a cast of characters, then only using that specific set to affect the story. I'd recommend it to anime fans, but it's so tied to Akihabara culture and otaku types that, while I think non-anime fans would get it, they'd also be turned off by its by-otaku-for-otaku mannerisms.

So, say you want to cheat on the otaku spouse and win the adoration of the whole neighbor. How do you go about that?

Since 2005, Fuji TV has been trying that with its late night noitaminA block, which is anime programmed for audiences who aren't typically anime watchers. It's featured adaptations of classic Noh horror, a literary psychological comedy and dramatic novels. In Japan many manga audiences aren't anime fans, and the block went to genres, specially josei, that don't generally attract anime adaptations and whose readers don't generally watch anime. The results have been depressing ratings and even more depressing video sales. Basically, it proved the tautology that non-anime-watchers watch want anime. In response, noitaminA has moved deeper and deeper into otaku territory, featuring things like [C]: The Money and Soul of Possibility - a look at economic collapse with a cute girl in a bright, skintight outfit, or, next month, full otaku bait, Black Rock Shooter.

Beyond that, how do you rock those broader audiences? Nostaglia apparently isn't a bad route or go. "From Studio Ghibli" help a lots.
A combination of the two seems seems an even keener plans.

So, what can anime do beyond aiming safe, low or small; adapting some other works or taking some other tried route.

Kung fu movies were once produced in almost a production line. Sure, you still get cheapies, but now, you get a fewer, grander events/spectacles. How about that "go big" direction?

Online web publication Slate has a weekly culture podcast that often returns to this metaphor. Wine critics frequently talk up fruity wines. One reason for this is that they sample so much wine that they're desensitized to it. It's when a flavor really blasts them that they take notice.

Even with the prolonged bad economy, there's still a gargantuan glut of media choices. It’s made us all critics. Very few media consumers are going to give anime the time of day for lack of anything else worthy of note. Fewer still are going to wait for it to get good. We've all sampled enough wine that if it isn't noticeable and enjoyable, we spit it out and check if there's anything cool up on youtube.

Redline goes big, daring and blasts. Famously, it was created over the course of seven years, at times taking several months for a single scene, and using 100,000 hand-made drawings. At Otakon 2010, Masao Maruyama state that he expects it will be last hand drawn animation of its complexity.

If a studio was going to do this, it was going to be Madhouse.
There are few major anime producers more laudable than Madhouse. It was founded by Masao Maruyama, Osamu Dezaki (70's classics like boxing tragedy Tomorrow's Joe, the girl's tennis title Aim for the Ace! and famed shoujo anime The Rose of Versailles), Rintaro (Galaxy Express, X), and Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll) after leaving the home of Astro Boy at Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Productions. Over the year's it's balanced commercial works (many CLAMP adaptations, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Trigun, Death Note, Beyblade) with artistically ambitious ones, like the work of creators like Satoshi Kon (Perflect Blue, Paprika) and Mamoru Hosoda, (Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars).

With a lot of design and writing input from Katsuhito Ishii (character designer on the anime section of Kill Bill, creators of notable OVAs Hal & Bons and Trava - Fist Planet, both of which find places in Redline), the movie is thoroughly the work of Madhouse lifer Takeshi Koike (animator of Animatrix: World Record, creator of the Afro Samurai pilot and the Iron Man, animator on Yoshiaki Kawajiri anime like Ninja Scroll, Wicked City, and Goku: Midnight Eye) who directed the film and got his hand into its guts as storyboard artist, unit director and animation director.

What they produce is anything but a sloppy production that is just distinguished by the volume of sensationalism being stuck to 11.

Lately, the wheels have come off "Cool Japan." Japanamerica author Roland Kelts has called it the product an outdated notion of branding. De facto figure head Takashi Murakami, whose "Superflat" contemporary art career has spun off Luis Vuitton purses, the “Akihabara Majokko Princess,” music video with McG and Kirsten Dunst, $4,000 watches and $1000 action figure has gotten pissy about ad agencies trying to make a business out of Cool Japan. An announced in October, cancelled in December program to pay the air fare of visitors willing to talk up Japan suggests that politicians are now afraid of being burned by funding efforts to foster the increasingly out of favor concept.

Say, for the sake of argument, that there were things that embodied what "Cool Japan" was supposed to represent; creations whose merit translates globally, that made you sit up and say, "wow, Japan produced outstanding things!" Maybe there aren't that many media or artifacts that fit the bill. Maybe the fact that something called "There's No Way My Little Sister is This Cute" is a notably popular anime suggests that anime's trends aren't towards cool, and aren't likely to get people marveling at the wonderful things produced by Japan.

Still, I'd say that there are games, anime and manga that fit the bill.
I think of the original Pokemon, which combined an addictive, still used game system with 100 monsters, the majority of which were brilliantly designed. I think of the great Nintendo Wii game Mario Galaxy, which kept on on shifting its mechanics, always delighting the player by giving them something new and then moving on before it got tiring.

If there is a "Cool Japan" Redline is one of its key manifestations.

Like Pokemon, like Mario Galaxy, it is fantastically well crafted.

Hand animation is more than a throw back. It enables the go for broke spirit of Redline. The anime is teeming with stuff. It has aliens and explosions and pixie dust coming out of its ears. And all that isn't fine tuned or algorithmic. Instead it's messy, inventive energized, artistic creation. It's the kind of wild outpouring that that saw a Budweiser can draw into the Macrosss missile circus and a Pepsi can in Project A-ko. All the quick, movements that you had to study to ensure you didn't miss anything. It's what anime did when anime grabbed global attention. That it takes that sublimely expressive route in a production full of mechanical designs, the kind of which really send anime productions screaming for the 3D models makes it that much more wonderful.

You have the main thrust of Jp's (voiced by SMAP's Takuya Kimura) relationships with rival/love interest Sonoshee McLaren (the adorable Yuu Aoi, by the way, her amphibious car is the awesomely named Crab Sonoshee) and his relationship with his long time partner Frisbee (voiced by "Japanese Johnny Depp" Tadanobu Asano ). The latter effects his dreams of winning the Redline, and that in turn effects the former.
Beyond that, the anime withhold nothing. There's a pantheon of fascinating racing competitors. Each of which evidently has their own stories, which just happens to intersect with Jp's at this juncture. In the process, they crash into all these other incidental stories occurring in the background, from minor family narratives to major political uprisings. While the anime withholds nothing in including all of this, while the Jp/Sonoshee/Frisbee core is complete, with all of the other racers and all of the other incidental stories, Redline does work on the Mario Galaxy principal. Don't exhaust the fun. Leave the viewer wanting something more.

The second, critical "Cool Japan" element here is that Redline is perfectly accessible.

Show this to a non-anime fan, tell them to just watch, and after the typical "why don't they look Japanese?" they're going to stop asking questions. The racing sells itself. Even if you don't shared a need for speed, and I don't , the clenched, frantic intensity commands attention.

Beyond that, the complexities of Redline's universe are simple.

The place is called Roboworld. It has guys with names like Volton. They're protective of their turf, militaristic and wear fascist regalia.

It's Funky Boy. It's a giant f'n Tetsuou out of control like bioweapon.

The guys name is Machinehead he's a god of racing champion who has merged with his vehicle, the God Wing.

While being dead obvious it applies verve to the coolness of trying not to be too cool such that just starting to list out the litany is fun

Part of "Cool Japan" was that the creations were supposed to be "culturally odorless," which was to say that while they raised Japan's profile as a creator of great things, the creations themselves were not gobmackingly Japanese. You look at Hello Kitty, and she's a cute reflection of your feelings, not some foreign artifact. In terms of anime, it's not Gintama (about aliens rather than Commodore Perry opening Japan, full of all sorts of cultural references and language puns) or many of the other gag anime or something based on manzai comedy routines. "Sweet" Jp falls along the lines of a Japanese tough guy's emulation of American toughs, but, really, you don't need to know what a bancho is to appreciate the character. All the significant dimensions are evident either at the glance or what the anime shows of his life.

Here's an extra, now key, element of the "culturally odorless" equation. You don't get the scent of otaku from the Redline. Sure, there are nods and in-jokes. There's a big magic girl bit. There are plenty of Easter egg references to Koike/Ishii works beyond the Trava appearance, like a robot doing Party7 dance moves. But really, you don't have to spot the reference when the evil doppelgangers of Lupin and Jigen come on screen to appreciate the movie. More crucially, you don't have to appreciate moe or tsundere or answer any of the other otaku wolf whistles to be excited by Redline.

On the commentary track for Appleseed: Ex Machina, an anime movie made with international audiences in mind, producer Joseph Chou made the point that while Japanese audiences are satisfied by dazzling set pieces, American watchers want something with a governing narrative. To put words in his mouth, it doesn't have to be The Godfather, but it needs a line between points A and B. Redline's script works perfectly well as a governing narrative. It's a bang, build, boom! pattern: it starts with the attention commanding Yellow Line preliminary race, it builds in the middle, then it's all screaming Redline to the end. In terms of action movies that set up, then have a sustained ferocious assault, it sits impressively alongside movies like "Bodyguards and Assassins" and 13 "Assassins".

As far as depth goes, this isn't one of the great anime movies for grownups. Redline is not in the league of human celebration Mind Game or Tekkon Kinkreet, which seems design to impart a degree of ambivalence. Instead, it goes a route that is a bit romantic, a bit Romantic, conventional, and does the trick.

With full recognition that it's a broad, broad generalization, I subscribe to the notion that younger audience anime/manga works are about aspiration... I'll be strong... I'll find love... I'll be the best, ect. Older audience works are about reconciliation, accounting for how matters got to their current state and how to live with that.
Redline takes one of the most successful formulas in younger audience anime/manga in that it rests on tripod famously used by Shonen Jump (Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece and so on): friendship, effort and victory. Reline offers adult characters, and to that extent, it shifts the shonen formula by having the circumstances around "Sweet" Jp being of his own making. He's not Goku, born a Saiyan monkey king or Naruto, the cursed vessel of a fox spirit, in that, he has that adult element of reconciliation. Still, watch the anime. Spend a moment reverse engineering Jp's relationships with his partner and his crush, what he puts into the race and what he gets out of it... this would get a Shonen Jump's editor's seal of approval. But, hey, a crowd pleaser is a crowd pleaser.

The depressing hang over to the intoxicating experience is that Redline is destined to be an outlier and not a goal post. A new gold age of anime movies is not in the makings. While Redline executed its end of the plan to rock audiences, at least as far as Japan went, it didn't move the needle. The movie opened on 56 screens, which was substantially more than niche otaku fare like Haruhi Suzumiya or the movie edit of visual novel game adaptation Fate/stay night, but less than annualized franchise like Naruto. Ticket sales were less than the former, to say nothing of the later.

It is this an issue specific to the astoundingly unique Redline? Toei, the father of classic big anime productions had a vision to go big with their adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha. Studio veteran Kozo Morishita talked about how TV anime was different from movie anime, and how grand productions had a chance to reach broader audiences. Buddha did manage to open up at #4 in the Japanese box office, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2nd week), Princess Toyotomi (1st week) and Black Swan (3rd week), and spent three weeks in the top 10, but there's little sign that it has met Toei's expectations, started a trend, or even that Toei is hot to start on the next part of the planned Buddha trilogy.

The history of studio's like Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Productions shows that Redline is the kind of work that is more likeable to break a studio than it is to make one. Madhouse is doing relatively ok by the standards of an anime producer in 2012, and is still making quality mainstream anime like the new Hunter x Hunter, but the teas leaves for more boundary pushing material don't look great. Mamoru Hosoda spun off new Studio Chizu to work with Madhouse on his upcoming The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. Work on Satoshi Kon's Dream Machine was shut down in August 2011 due to lack of finances.

Koike and Ishii will probably continue to roll the artistic dice. The results might not end up licensed for English language audiences (Trava, Hal & Bons), it might not be audience pleasing (Party 7) or artistically successful (Smuggler by most accounts), but it almost definitely will not be anime with the sort of ambition and backing of Redline.

If you've been listening to the buzz, it is important to note that Redline is not everything you've dreamed and more. When I revisit a work like this, I notice that it is exactly how I remember it. Because it is so memorable, and because while complex, it just sort of loads itself into your memory. Fantastic to see again, but not something in which to find new depths or angles.
I think of it in terms of Hayao Miyazaki's Lupin III: Castle of Cagiolstro, which offer a similar experience. It's a classic. It's a joy. If you want to let your mind wonder back into depressing territory, consider that Yasuo Otsuka, responsible for much of its outstanding animation, thought of Castle more as a routine baseline than something that should have stood as one of anime's grand monuments.
Still, even if the boom is anime imploding and not anime rocketing onwards and upwards... don't wait for an online stream, because Redline is anime that you'll want on your shelf. Get the best format that you're home theater supports and get ready for a real spectacle.
Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by eloy

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    kinda idiotic of me

    by eloy

    I know, but I just felt like watching Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. Mr. Green, neat article

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    I've had my eye on this one

    by Autodidact

    I'm gonna buy it.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    I'll be on the lookout for this one!

    by bat725

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST

    this studio...

    by MurderMostFowl

    any relation to the studio that did the old Aeon Flux series? Just checked.... no. Weird. I'll check it out! Paprika and Paranoia Agent ( by this studio ) were freaking awesome.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Looks pretty damn good

    by Gregory schmerber

    If madhouse did it then I'm in. This sure was a long winded piece of investigative journalism!

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:47 p.m. CST

    long winded indeed

    by tonguestubble

    and not particularly well spell-checked either. Not going to convert many non-otakus with this kind of writing passionate though

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed "Summer Wars..."

    by bubcus

    ... but this doesn't win my interest. Just not my thing.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Anime's gotten more than a bit unpopular

    by Player01

    Says fucking who? Anime's still ENORMOUSLY popular. Perhaps Gen X Y Z or whatever in the USofA doesn't enjoy it so much any more but the REST OF THE FUCKING WORLD, INCLUDING ASIA are still huge anime fans. Fucking hell. Also, the movie is extremely awesome.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 1:05 a.m. CST

    about the unpopular anime...

    by bubcus

    There was a huge fad for DragonBallz and Sailor Moon across Europe and then in North America in the mid-90s. Into 2000, we started getting into shows like Mobile Battleship Nadesico, Evangelion, and LoveHina. But then the formulaic style of serial anime started getting the better of me and many of my friends. By about 2004, the only anime I personally cared about or was interested in was by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. And in the past two years, I've maybe watched three or four animes. My younger brother still obsesses over anime but I've moved on and struggle to get into it. I finally did watch the new Evangelion releases the other week and loved it.

  • One of the problems of anime is it can be hard to follow who's done what or what type of anime it is going to be. The japanese director names for example are not as easy to distinguish with, and often the animes are from the creators of such and such an anime, which could and does mean just about anything depending on how the cards are shuffled. One of the audiences for anime, is in it's stylistic format, and that is a case of really liking the way the art is done, in same way of graphic novels. But it's pretty obscure to try and follow in anime for title to title, what made an anime like it is and what to look for in seeking similar aesthetics for other animes. It really comes down to just taking a guess on the cover art or maybe, very maybe, remembering a trailer from an previous anime if it's particularly eye catching in some way. The best way to get an idea of an anime, is actually the makings of, that gives best sense of art and tone/type of story - but only see those once have taken the plunge. Then there's the good ole unfinished story Anime to contend with, due to the ongoing Manga or some other reason.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Trigun: The Movie barely made 12 mil? WTF?

    by Cash907

    That's just goddamn embarrassing. I love anime, some of my favorite tv shows and movies have been anime, but lately it's all been kiddy crap. I thought for awhile that maybe it's just because I'm 31 now, and as such have just grown out of childish things, but Ninja Scroll and Ghost in the Shell still hold my interest hostage whenever I watch them. So perhaps, then, it's that all these damn new series focus on kids instead of adults. No, if that were the problem, I wouldn't love Full Metal Alchemist. I think the issue is that while you once had your serious to semi-serious anime (since even shows about serial killers and rape have to start out with bullshit goofy fanservice BS for god knows why) and then you had your Pokemon crap. But now, all the new shows are geared towards either children, or the adult mental equivalent. One can only assume this is because Japanese "adults" in the same age bracket as I am refuse to grow up, instead choosing to live with their parents and hold onto their child-like fancies with a kung fu death grip. While it used to be true that Anime wasn't for kids (oh the memories of trying to explain to a mother in her 40's that "Golden Boy" was a series that focused on a teen trying to get laid in every ep, and not age appropriate for her 7 year old, to which she argued "it's a cartoon," because what did an 18 year old employee of Suncoast know anyway) those days seem to be gone, for awhile at least. Here's hoping the Japanese find their collective ball sacks soon, and get back to making exciting, edgy, ADULT anime again. And no, I'm not talking about that hentai tentacle bullshit either. The hell is wrong with the Japanese anyway. You eat seafood, you don't f*ck it.

  • There's also a massive time commitment that comes with watching anime and it's been tough to keep up with what's good once you're out of high school. I also think people associate it high school and in the end it becomes a perfect storm of stigmas against the platform.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 10 a.m. CST

    Cash907 LOL

    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    And no, I'm not talking about that hentai tentacle bullshit either. The hell is wrong with the Japanese anyway. You eat seafood, you don't f*ck it.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    wth? that was SUPPOSED to say..

    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    Read through the whole questionably-translated article, watched the clips, and read the few comments. And intended to give you props for your line, referenced above. Dunno why it only took your line and nothing else. Anyway, it cracked me up, awesome man. As for Redline, may be worth a look, I suspect it will hit the Redbox here pretty soon.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Anime: almost dead, but not quite yet...

    by blue meanie

    If anything, I feel that anime taken a major downward spiral in artistic vision. In the old days of classic, hand drawn anime, there were great character designers with very distinctive art styles, like Kenichi Sonoda, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Akemi Takada, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Yuki Nobuteru, Toshiro Hirano and so many others that brought their own individual art style to anime. Anime looked so different and was refreshingly varied. Today, ALL ANIME looks like that AIC computer shit. The character designs look alike: very flat, simplistic and indistinguishable, and even though there are very flashy CG backgrounds and effects, the animation is boring, dull and worst of all, generic. Storylines and ideas are rehashed again and again. How many cute schoolgirl anime do we really need? I have almost no interest in today’s anime. However, once in a blue moon, there comes a breath of fresh air from the anime industry, and Redline is one of those rare exceptions. For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s an adrenaline rush of exotic and visual beauty; great animation, drawn in a very contemporary art style, directed at breakneck speed pacing. I live for these rare occasions when someone steps up to the plate and creates something that is so unique and refreshingly exciting.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    90s anime

    by NotEnoughBiehn

    that was the peak in my opinion, but I'm sure someone could make a case for the mid-late 80s. They were putting out the best sci-fi and some of the best fantasy at the time. Battle Angel, Ghost in the Shell, Berserk, Macross Plus, Record of Lodoss War, Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Vision of Escaflowne. Anime was just doing a lot of awesome stuff unlike what anyone else was doing. There has been good stuff in 2000 as well (Paranoia Agent, Vampire Hunter D, Death Note, Count of Monte Cristo), but lately nothing has blown my skirt up.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    pokemon fail

    by Daniel

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Anime has definitely fallen out of favor in the US

    by CartoonFanboy

    I remember when anime was just a single shelf at my local Best Buy. During the late 1990s and early 2000s that selection grew to fill an entire aisle. Just this weekend I was shopping at that same Best Buy and anime had once again been reduced to a single shelf. Sad really. As for Redline, it's amazing. The first non-Ghibli "must buy" anime film I've seen in a long time. For anybody who hasn't watched this movie, you should give it a shot.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Well, I'm sold

    by NivekJ

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    by Chuck Beersteak

    This is an interesting article, but you've got dozens of typos all over the place ("a bad route or go," "help a lots," and "seems seems an even keener plans" all in the same paragraph.) And this has been up for a full day? Does this site have editors?

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    by Chuck Beersteak

    This is an interesting article, but you've got dozens of typos all over the place ("a bad route or go," "help a lots," and "seems seems an even keener plans" all in the same paragraph.) And this has been up for a full day? Does this site have editors?

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Re: big_daddy_nero

    by bubcus

    And no, I'm not talking about that hentai tentacle bullshit either. The hell is wrong with the Japanese anyway. You eat seafood, you don't f*ck it.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Re: big_daddy_nero (part2)

    by bubcus

    I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Thank you, you made my day.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I've been counting down the days till this releases!

    by Johnno

    Grabbing the blu-ray Day 1, providing HMV and the Best Buy stock enough of them, usually they only get a few, underestimating demand and sell out, then act surprised. Normally I succumb to watching a fan sub or something instead of waiting, but I've been holding off and waiting for the full release so I can savor it fully! All of you better support this stuff! I'd hate to see the phrase come true where this will be the last of its sort! 90s anime truly rocked. There's some good stuff now (The new Fate/Stay Zero for example), but a lot these days doesn't rock me like it did then! A lot can be blamed on the economy, initial audiences outgrowing it, piracy and online streaming etc. And I have admittedly been a aprt of the problem. But that's because I've been jaded and disappointed with a lot of stuff. Especially animation-wise, hardly anything today in this digital age comes close to the hand drawn spontaniety and charm of stuff like Macross Plus, Ninja Scroll, or even Akira, Memories... and you even get the occasional great stuff that blends CG and traditional animation together like Steamboy and Metropolis. REDLINE looks balls to the wall awesome! Anime is/was loved because of its design first and foremost and just how it damn well looked and moved! And with good characters and story underlying all that, it is elevated to great heights! It can be amazing stuff, and Disney has never in all their history managed to come close to capturing what makes the greats so damned good despite their budget and great in-house artistry. From everything I hear, REDLINE is a simple, but classic story well told. I'm desperately looking forward to it come the 17th!

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST


    by rben


  • Jan. 11, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Great article!

    by gotilk

    Could use a proofread here and there (ONLY because a couple of points I just didn't get because of wording) but great stuff! Always enjoy these columns, even when they cover things I'm not that excited about or in love with. Great work, Mr Green. Always.