Redline (レッドライン?, stylized as REDLINE) is a 2009 science fiction auto racing anime film produced by Madhouse and released in Japan on October 9, 2010. The directorial debut feature of Takeshi Koike, it features the voices of Takuya Kimura, Yū Aoi and Tadanobu Asano, and an original story by Katsuhito Ishii, who also co-writes and sound directs. The film is set in the distant future, where a man known as JP takes on great risks for the chance of winning the titular underground race.
After a total of seven years in production, Redline was intended to premiere at the 2009 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and follow Summer Wars, Mai Mai Miracle and Yona Yona Penguin as the fourth and final feature film Madhouse planned to release between summer 2009 and spring 2010. However, further delays resulted in the delay of its world premiere, pushed back a few months to August 14, 2009, at the Locarno International Film Festival and its Japanese release to fall 2010.
Development and release
Redline was produced by Madhouse and directed by Takeshi Koike, who also wrote the storyboard and served as unit director and animation director. The film's producers were Yukiko Koike and Kentarō Yoshida. Masahiro Fukushima served as executive producer. The task of writing the script was shared by Yoji Enokido, Katsuhito Ishii, and Yoshiki Sakurai. The film's character designs, original and otherwise, were done by Katsuhito Ishii, who also served as one of the film's sound directors, the other being Youji Shimizu. The film's music was composed by James Shimoji.
According to Tim Maughan of Anime News Network, Redline was released several years later than originally planned. Its development took seven years and used 100,000 hand-made drawings, which Maughan notes is all the more unusual as it is Koike's directorial debut.
Redline was initially meant to premiere at the 2009 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it would have competed in the Feature Film category. Instead, it premiered during the Locarno International Film Festival in August of the same year. Several more advance screenings were done at international film festivals during 2010. In May, Redline was shown during the Sci-Fi-London9. In June, it participated in Annecy 2010 in the category "Feature Films out of competition". During September, it was shown in Australia and New Zealand as part of Reel Anime 2010.Redline was shown in Austin, Texas on September 23, and in Edinburgh, Scotland, on October 15 as part of the Scotland Loves Anime film festival. At the 2010 Nantes Utopiales Sci-Fi festival, the film received the special mention of jury and public.
The film opened in Japan on October 9, 2010. Coinciding with this, the film was shown in a San Francisco-based Viz Cinema theater from October 8–14, 2010. Distribution in North America is handled byManga Entertainment.