Redline: The animated masterpiece that failed.

Redline: The animated masterpiece that failed.

REDLINE is a high octane action-adventure movie released in 2009/2010 by studio MADHOUSE and directed by Takeshi Koike. With a budget of around $30 million and taking seven years to make, the film proved to be a box office failure after raking in only $8 million. Despite it being a financial and production nightmare, REDLINE has become a cult classic of anime films through its outstanding art style, high adrenaline soundtrack, and amazing world building. 

Set in the far future, the film is about the galaxy's biggest and deadliest illegal road race called the REDLINE, only held every five years at a secret location not unveiled until the last minute. The story surrounds a professional racer named Sweet JP, an underdog professional racer who unfortunately has wasted his talents by fixing races for the mob, however his love of racing wont stop him from competing in the REDLINE and achieving ultimate glory like his idols that inspired him to race to begin with. Without giving much more away the film is much more than a wacky races anime, it speaks on rejecting fascism, rekindling lost friendships, not people-pleasing etc. 

The film's development took seven years and used around 100,000 hand-made drawings. However the film did not entirely forgo technology, the coloring of the panels were all done digitally. The film depicts speed and velocity in such a unique way by stretching the vehicles and characters that could have only been achieved through hand drawn frames rather than through computer generated graphics, especially during the time in which the film was made.

Even with its amazing art style and solid story the film failed commercially. Its failure could have been due to poor distribution, lack of advertisement, and just simply taking too long to come out which resulted in people losing interest. For comparison in 2021  Belle released with a budget of approximately  $5.5 million and has so far as time of writing this article, recorded a revenue of $63 million. Showing that other anime films other than studio Ghibli can be successful. And the reasons previously stated could have unfortunately caused REDLINE’s failure. 

Furthermore a detailed toy figure line up was planned to coincide with the movie release. But most likely due to the financial troubles after the film's release, the figures were not produced. Moreover there isn't any official clothing or other merchandise released to promote the film. Here are some images of the toys that were planned:    

Do yourself the favor and put some time aside to watch this animated masterpiece. Moreover we wanted to announce a new design, coming from False Reality! Stay tuned for drop details (estimated to release sometime in March) !


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