Screeching tires, fast cars, and thrilling chases are some of the few things that get the heart racing and the blood pumping. Because racing anime is so uncommon, it’s impossible to ignore when a new competitor steps up to the plate. In Redline, directed by Takeshi Koike and produced by Madhouse Studios, you’ll get an exhilarating ride through space while sitting behind the wheel.
The Redline is a once-in-a-decade race that pits eight champions against one another. The reckless JP has a hard time qualifying because he has to win one of the smaller competitions. Despite his immense talent, JP has a bad reputation due to his involvement in match fixing, which left him deeply in debt. The girl who first inspired JP to become a serious racer shows up in qualifying for Redline by a stroke of luck. JP’s chances of winning are about the same as his chances of surviving on militarized Roboworld.
Redline is more about flash than substance, but the former is up there with the best. Madhouse’s art style is jaw-droppingly beautiful and one-of-a-kind, from the intricate transforming vehicles to Roboworld’s layout. The frantic animation is nonstop, with the studio using every tool at their disposal. JP is a fun protagonist, and the other racers have enough screen time to grow into interesting secondary characters despite the story’s lack of surprises.
Fans of Redline’s need for speed will enjoy these six similarly themed anime series.
1. Manie-Manie: Meikyuu Monogatari (Neo Tokyo)
Released: Released on: April 15th, 1989
Sci-Fi and technological themes recur throughout the series, giving it the name Manie-Manie: Meikyu Monogatari. Each of the short films, which run under 20 minutes, is a delight for the eyes and ears, with the animation and art style varying from film to film.
Directed by Madhouse founder Rintaro, the surreal tale of a young girl who gets lost in the maze is told in Labyrinth Labyrinthos. This short delves into the realm of horror with its unsettling character designs and eerie atmosphere.
The Order to Stop Construction by Katsuhiro Otomo tells the story of a businessman dispatched to a South American country to stop an automated construction project. Because of this, The Order to Stop Construction is a lot simpler to follow than the others.
The Running Man short will pique the interest of Redline devotees the most. As the undisputed champion in a futuristic world where races to the death are the most popular form of entertainment, Zach Hughes uses his telekinetic abilities to defeat his rivals in Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s film. Running Man’s visual style is more grounded than that of Madhouse’s 2009 feature film, but there’s still plenty of carnage to go around in this one.
Phase III of the Initial D Phase
2. Initial D Third Stage
Initial D Third Stage continues Takumi Fujiwara’s quest to become the greatest racer of all time, continuing the story told in Shuuichi Shigeno’s beloved manga. Takumi graduated from high school following the events of the previous two seasons and is contemplating his options for the future. A professional racing team wants Takumi’s signature, so he challenges Emperor leader to rematch in an attempt to avenge his previous defeat.
Initial D Third Stage is an excellent follow-up to Second Stage, and it goes into greater detail about Takumi’s family history. Leaving aside the Emperor leader’s storyline, Kai Kogashiwa, the son of a racer who served as Takumi’s father’s rival, is the real highlight of the film. This was an excellent addition because it deepened Takumi’s character and gave context to his early years.
Initial D has a proven track record when it comes to the actual races. Studio Deen’s film improves on its predecessors thanks to a larger budget and better animation. Initial D’s love of racing is contagious, even if Redline is way out there.
EX-Driver, a Film
3. eX-Driver the Movie
It’s an alternate reality, and cars are fully automated in eX-Driver. AI is used to control almost all vehicles today with the exception of a few professional drivers. When a vehicle malfunctions or is deliberately damaged, eX-Drivers are expected to intervene and restore order. Three high school students in Japan are put in charge of a dangerous civil service job.
Actas’ film concludes the short-lived eX-Driver OVA series by showing Lisa, Lorna, and Soichi getting ready to compete in an international racing competition in the United States of America. When an AI car loses control, the teenagers decide to lend a hand, which is not appreciated by the American police force, unfortunately, things get off to a rocky start. The team discovers that the car belonged to Angela, the sponsor’s daughter, who is kidnapped shortly after.
While the races stay closer to Initial D’s adherence to reality, the car chases benefit from a sci-fi twist in Actas’ action film from Redline’s futuristic craziness. Redline and eX-Driver, on the other hand, aren’t afraid to interrupt the action every now and then to crack a joke or two.
Leaves That Have Fallen to the Ground
4. Dead Leaves
There is no comparison between Redline’s exaggerated animation and the manic characters in Dead Leaves! It only lasts for less than an hour, but Production I.G. makes the most of every second. Even though the plot isn’t completely absurd, the animation in Dead Leaves is the real draw.
Pandy and Retro, both naked and amnesic, wake up on Earth before deciding to get their hands dirty! For their troubles, the anime Bonnie and Clyde are sentenced to a lunar prison guarded by the most vicious of guards. After being imprisoned on the moon with other failed genetic experiments, Pandy and Retro must figure out who they really are and how to get out!
Despite the absence of racing in the story, most of the action in Dead Leaves involves a chase through the prison’s various sections. Madhouse’s Redline pairs perfectly with the fast-paced action and tense characters in this game. Both stories have a villainous ruler out to get the heroes as they make their way across his or her land.
5. Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku
Originally broadcast on August 14th, 1999 at 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT
Just a heads up: if you haven’t seen Shoujo Kakumei Utena, do so first. Otherwise, it’s going to be hard to follow the story. The Shoujo Kakumei Utena manga series is about adolescence. Mokushiroku is a 90-minute retelling of the series, with some changes to the plot and characters. Although J.C.Staff’s anime is densely packed with metaphors and symbolism, the story itself is well worth delving into to fully appreciate it.
After transferring to Ohtori Academy, Utena Tenjou finds himself embroiled in a series of brawls over the fate of his romantic relationship with the wealthy Anthy Himemiya. This strange turn of events forces Utena to act quickly if she wants to save her friends from the Academy’s secrets.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena: Adolescence Mokushiroku is a true work of art in terms of visual design and detail. The animation is much more stylized and vibrant than the rest of the series. In both Redline’s Roboworld and Utena’s Ohtori Academy, the robots move and sway independently of the player. When it comes to the relationship between Utena and Anthy, it is similar to JP’s toxic relationship with the mob.
This episode originally aired on October 16th, 2009.
Tailenders, which came out a month after Redline, is the most obvious choice for this list. Picograph studio’s quirky racing film, which clocks in at just 27 minutes, is a one-hit wonder.
Terraformers will be used by humans to colonize other planets in the far future. There are times when this process has disastrous results, such as when machines set off huge earthquakes known as “stampedes.” The terraformer serves as the finish line for races on these worlds, but no one has yet beaten the Loser King’s century-long record. Tomoe Shiro, a promising young racer, is paralyzed in a terrifying crash just before the finish line. Fortunately, the enigmatic Mikagura appears just in time to provide him with a brand new heart and motor.
Redline and Tailenders have a lot in common aesthetically. Bright colors are contrasted with thick black lines on both, and each racer is given a custom design to stand out. In terms of animation and budget, Picograph’s short, “Tailenders,” falls short of Madhouse. This is a must-try for racing enthusiasts.
Redline by Madhouse is one of the most aesthetically pleasing anime ever made. Despite the fact that racing is a central plot device, the film’s main draw is its dynamic animation and distinctive visual design, not racing itself. There are funny characters and cool cars galore in this non-stop thrill ride. These six recommended anime don’t all live up to Redline’s level of intensity and craziness, but they all provide memorable viewing experiences.
Do you have any other recommendations for Redline fans who aren’t fans of anime? If you have any suggestions, please post them in the comments section below. Mark Sammut’s Top 5 Anime Films