Follow TV Tropes



Go To
JP and Sonoshee McLaren.
"Someone's havin' doubts, huh? Hell, I'm just trying to keep this thing interesting. You can't write me off like that. You're just a voice, pal! YOU DON'T KNOW A DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!"

Set in the far future, REDLINE is about the galaxy's biggest and deadliest illegal road race, only held every five years at a secret location not unveiled until practically the last minute. Naturally, everyone wants to take part, but to do so they have to qualify in one of the Yellowline races first. One such racer, Sweet JP, almost achieves it. Unfortunately, his prized yellow machine TRANSAM 20000 suddenly "malfunctions" just short of the finish line.

Waking up in hospital with an arm and a leg in casts and his dreams in tatters, JP is shocked to find he has in fact made the grade. It turns out the venue has been announced: the fascistic, authoritarian military superpower state of Roboworld, who aren't exactly pleased about their world being used as an impromptu racetrack and make it perfectly clear that they intend to stop the racers with extreme prejudice before the starting flag has even been dropped. As a result, two racers have already dropped out, and JP is voted in through a popularity contest.

The directorial debut feature of Takeshi Koike, produced by Madhouse Studios and released in 2010 after spending half a decade in development, REDLINE is a racer movie unlike anything seen before and potentially one of the most daring and important anime movies of the decade. Visually, it's easy to see that Koike is a huge fan of western graphic art, and has been influenced as much by French comic artist Mœbius, the US animated film Heavy Metal, cult UK sci-fi comic 2000 AD and Star Wars as much as he has by the likes of Katsuhiro Otomo, Hiroyuki Imaishi or Leiji Matsumoto. Not that REDLINE feels or looks like a mash-up of different styles – somewhere in the visual chaos it unrelentingly throws at its audience it becomes something that is far more than the mere sum of parts, a unique piece of animation that at times doesn't even feel like anime in the traditional sense. It was also drawn - by hand - over the course of seven years.

Check out the totally sweet trailer. As of late December 2011 it has been released on Bluray and DVD in the US and UK. It was dubbed and released under Manga Entertainment.

REDLINE contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: JP's mechanic: Old Man Mole has a revolver shotgun that fires screwdrivers, and he uses it to devastating effect during his Big Damn Heroes rescue of Frisbee.
  • The Ace: Machinehead. A cyborg built to race and certified badass who has won the Redline several times in a row. Mind you, this is a race that only happens once in five years.
  • Action Girl: Sonoshee. When faced with a missile bearing down on her, she pops open her cockpit, draws a gun, and pops the sucker right out of the air. She also does a good job of fending off Lynchman with the missiles and machine guns on the Crab Sonoshee.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: JP's car is the TRANSAM 20000.
  • Aerith and Bob: James (see below) and Frisbee.
  • Affably Evil: Secretary Titan, with a dash of Wicked Cultured as well. Although he's loyal to Roboworld, he's friendly, polite, and seemingly close with the President.
  • All Work vs. All Play: Sonoshee and JP as revealed in a flashback. Incidentally, rather than jeering with all the other onlookers at her as she tried to get her car out of a ditch on her own while proclaiming that she'd compete in the Redline race, JP admired Sonoshee's determination and so as a result took up racing professionally.
  • Almost Kiss: Two. One when JP and Sonoshee are talking about steamlight and are interrupted by Shinkai. The second one is interesting as it's involuntary: when Machinehead uses his steamlight nitro boost in the final stretch, Sonoshee does the same in JP's car and the extreme speed forces their faces together, though they don't lock lips.
  • Ambiguously Christian: Trava makes the sign of the cross over his chest as he is preparing to start the race. Old Man Mole also briefly crosses himself after killing the Inuki boss and his goons. Nobody makes any other mention of religion.
  • Amphibious Automobile: The Crab Sonoshee, which uses a hovercraft engine.
  • Anti-Climax: Just before the Redline starts, the president of Roboworld orders the planet's Kill Sat to be fired on the dropship. Nothing happens, as Lynchman and Johnny Boya had sabotaged it beforehand. Thankfully, this is made up for on spades once said Kill Sat finally sees action against Funky Boy.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: According to Old Man Mole, the TRZ Airmaster engines have a lot of power, but are very unstable (the one they manage to get has 35,000 horsepower). They hook it up anyway.
  • Badass Boast: Done by a few of the racers as you might expect, but Machinehead has real grounds for it. "I'M THE KING OF REDLINE."
  • Badass Driver: Hell yes! All Redline racers would have to be if they not only want to take part on the titular Redline Race but also take on on Roboworld's racetrack while fighting the military forces there.
  • Badass Pacifist: JP is the only racer who doesn't pack weapons of any kind on the track. He makes up for it with Hot Blood and pure driving ability.
  • The Berserker: Little Deyzuna, as demonstrated during his introductory scene, or rather, beatdown of Trava.
    • Berserk Button: Just the mere mention of Trava is enough to set him afire.
      Little Deyzuna: Bet you feel sorry for leaving me behind in the army now ...I've been waiting for this a long time, TRAVAAAA!
    • Berserker Tears: Always sheds some tears whenever he's in this state.
      Shinkai: Scary, huh? When he starts crying, he gets super-strong.
    • Shinkai is a more nuanced version but ultimately feistier example of the trope. Off the track, he's rather calm and cautious, but even as Trava and he are about to enter their car at the start of the race, he begins to erratically scream, his movements becoming spastic and frenzied which carries over into the competition proper.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: JP and Sonoshee. While in mid-air, in a magical field, after having just barely won the titular race.
  • Big Eater: Sonoshee's order at Oasis appears to consist of four plates of alien seafood, with the main course being an entire cooked lobster on top of a huge pile of spaghetti. She loses that appetite when she realizes the spaghetti noodles are actually living worms.
    • Shinkai also proves to be one in the same scene when he shows up later and scarfs down each entire plate between sentences.
  • The Big Guy:
    • Machinehead is a gigantic cyborg, towering over all other characters by almost a torso length. And he's every bit as strong and tough as he looks, a berserk Little Deyzuna almost broke his hand punching him, then Machinehead sends him flying with a flick of his hand.
    • His vehicle, Godwing, is no slouch in this department either. While everyone else's vehicles are at least believably car sized, Godwing is titanic, being almost as big as a small spaceship. And just like its driver, Godwing takes the brunt of Roboworld's firepower and is still able to carry him to a commanding lead, even if it has to destroy the racetrack itself to do so.
  • The Big Race: The titular Redline is this, a massive point to point race taking place on a planet full of hostile cyborg soldiers. The first part of the film focuses on the run up to the event, with the race itself taking up over half an hour of the movie's runtime.
  • Bio Punk: Roboworld very unexpectedly turns out to be this, with plenty of Organic Technology and a Living Ship housing their Kill Sat.
  • Blatant Lies: The President of Roboworld's speech about how Roboworld is a world of peace and equality, while he yells angrily with ominous music playing in the background.
  • Blush Sticker: Sonoshee had them as a girl. They show up again near the end of the movie.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The representative of the Inuki Group gets a two screwdrivers shot into his eyes from a shotgun. There's also one of his goons whose the first to get said screw drivers from said shotgun if you pause it correctly you can see that it's three screwdrivers impaled on his head, one in each eye and one in his mouth.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • JP's TransAM cars are the puniest racing vehicles among those of the Yellowline and Redline contestants. They also don't have any weapons or armor and their (relatively) small engines take a while to reach a competitive top speed. However, they're much more manueverable, capable of performing daring stunts and hairpin turns that none of the other cars can, its compact size makes it very hard to hit, and its primary gimmick is its ability to get the most out of using Nitro as shown at the start of the film where he and Sonoshee use the boost at roughly the same time during a straightforward dead heat only for him to pull ahead because his car isn't burdened by the weight of the Crab Sonoshee's larger build and armaments.
    • Trava and Shinkai's car is the also this for roughly the same reason, as they built their car for speed and manouvering and don't seem to have any onboard weapons yet still managed to keep pace with everyone else by the final leg of the race.
  • Bounty Hunters: The Dynamic duo: Lynchman and Johnny Boya are a pair of these.
  • Captain Crash: Any vehicle on it that JP sets foot in will end up becoming a smashed wreck, although it's never intentional.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Somehow manages to manifest even in a race where anything goes; Gori-Rider, Miki and Todoroki try to shortcut the route by digging, only to wind up in even bigger trouble and way behind all the other competitors.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Sonoshee's steamlight pendant and the detonator on JP's car, though not in the way you'd expect— instead of being used to kill off JP's chances of winning, it was used to gain even more speed. Just as the Steamlight nitro was running out, the engine exploding gave the car enough speed to straight-up turn into a rocket and catch up to Machinehead. When the car is finally torn apart by the blast, JP and Sonoshee are launched with just enough speed to win the race by a literal hair's breadth.
  • Colonel Badass: Colonel Volton, who commands his own special forces, has the authority to mobilize the planet's entire military force, and even turn into a Kaiju monster capable of matching Funky Boy.
  • Commissar Cap: Appropriately enough for a man of his station, Colonel Volton's helmet resembles one of these.
  • Competitive Balance: Each of the Redline competitors can be broken down in a particular category:
    • Sonoshee's Crab Sonoshee, while not as fast as the TransAM 20000, has some decent offensive options and can take a lot of punishment, making it a Jack of All Stats. Its main gimmick, amphibiousness, falls into Situational Sword. On a course like the Redline, where any path (other than presumably outright air travel) is allowed as long as you get to your destination, an amphibious car can turn into a huge Game-Breaker in the right situation, even then on a course without water, it's still remarkably fast.
    • The Superboins' Boincar, which is able to transform into a humanoid mecha and use magic to destroy military vehicles, is a Magic Knight. However, the magic is apparently a bit of a Game-Breaker, as they swear off using it on other racers and only unleash it against Roboworld's forces.
    • Lynchman and Johnny Boya's Lynchcar, which boasts powerful Sidewinder missiles and a mean rocket-anchor, yet gets thrown around a lot in the race, is a Glass Cannon.
    • Miki and Todoroki's Semimaru, which is an odd, bug-like vehicle that takes advantage of Gori-Rider's excavating, uses a lot of Confusion Fu.
    • Sweet JP's TransAM 20000, alongside Trava and Shinkai's Speed Master are both poorly/not at all armed and with a power-to-weight ratio that borders on insane, slotting them both neatly into Fragile Speedster.
    • Gori Rider's Gorilla Tank has a built-in drill allowing it to brute-force it's way through most obstacles, even surviving drop of several stores without damage, to compensate for the fact that it's slower than the other racers making it The Brute.
    • Meanwhile Machinehead's Godwing is heads and shoulders above the other racers in almost all categories, but the strain of piloting it would kill a normal human, making it Difficult, but Awesome. Unfortunately for the other racers, Machinehead specifically modified himself to either be immune to its drawbacks or take advantage of them, instead turning him and Godwing into a Game-Breaker (small wonder why he's won three consecutive Redline races).
    • Little Deyzuna, who shows up midway through the race in a standard issue Roboworld motorcycle, is a Joke Character. Although he could be considered a Lethal Joke Character as despite being in a bog-standard vehicle he still managed to stay hot on the tails of the racers right up to the end.
  • Cool Bike: So many to choose from.
    • JP uses a souped-up anti-gravity bike (that looks like a love-child between a chopper and a custom motorcycle created by a Bōsōzoku member) to get around Europass. Old Man Mole gives it a ride and uses it to great effect against some Inkui goons
    • Miki and Todoroki's bizarre racing vehicle, "Semimaru", which has two wheels and six legs. Whether it's a cool bike or a spider tank depends entirely on which mode it's in at the time.
    • Crab Sonoshee is arguably this due to being a hovercraft that has it's "steering wheel" be just chopper-style motorcycle handlebars.
    • Gori Rider's "Custom Rider" that's hidden inside his "Gorilla Tank".
    • The Sand Bikes used by the Roboworld military.
  • Cool Car: But of course, though JP's TransAM 20000 is the most traditional example.
    • The Lynch-Car. Lynchman and Johnny-Boya’s ride. Imagine the Batmobile designed by a demon and made for killing.
    • Super-Boins’ ride, the Boin Car. Course it’s less a car and more a giant and…suggestive Mecha with car parts attached.
  • Cool Shades: Sonoshee when she's racing; also Bosbos and Boiboi (and everyone else from planet Supergrass).
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The setting is much more expansive than what we see; there are occasional references to a recent galactic war, and the Redline racers all have adventures and careers off the track, but we only see the slightest hints of any of this.
  • Curse Cut Short: twins Miki and Todoroki during their interview.
    Miki and Todoroki: GORI-RIDER, YOU MOTHERF-*BEEP*
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Little Deyzuna vs. Trava. It's more like Little Deyzuna beats the ever-loving shit out of Trava. While crying the whole time.
  • Cute as a Bouncing Betty: Funky-Boy, Roboworld's top secret biological superweapon.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Big Deyzuna.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Nitro. A single dose can exponentially increase the power of an engine, but most engines can only handle one tiny cap of the stuff at most before the vehicle starts to break down from the strain and unless you're a really great driver, it's hard to maneuver a Nitro boosted car on any course that isn't a straight line. Most racers prefer "safer" upgrades like gadgets, armor, or firearms (Pops considers grafting a cannon onto the TransAM a more reasonable mod than installing an engine that can take three caps of Gold Nitro without blowing up). Some like Trava and Shinkai try to spoof the speeds granted by Nitro by using larger engines or even several at once. The fact that JP relies heavily on this feature and can weave past obstacles and other racers while using it makes him a favorite of the crowds and a Wild Card dark horse upstart for his opponents.
    • Steamlights are enormously more powerful than nitro boosts, but the drawbacks are also amplified to such an extent they're all but unusable - no rider could possibly handle the speed, and no engine could possibly handle the power without being torn apart, relegating steamlights to the status of rare collectibles and jewelry pieces. The only racer to be able to use such power is Machinehead, who can handle the speed thanks to his cyborg augments and whose vehicle is likewise powerful enough to handle the boost. At the climax of the movie, JP and Sonoshee pop one into the TransAM to match him, the immensely powerful TRZ Airmaster engine can handle the recoil and their combined driving skills manage to handle the ungodly speed boost.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: JP. While working off his and Frisbee's debt to the mafia, he had been caught red-handed once in fixing one of the races, which led to him spending some time in the prison. Sonoshee learns about this when watching the news report on TV.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Away from the race track, Sonoshee is very reserved and has little inclination to meet with other people let alone romance, but JP quickly whittles away at her.
  • Deranged Animation: Think of a more realistic Dead Leaves.
  • Determined Expression: JP during Yellowline, complete with a closeup of his nose bleeding from the excessive speed.
  • Dirty Cop: The racer "Dirty Policeman Hamesh Frini, AKA Gori Rider" was caught on camera beating up his opponents (Miki and Todoroki to be precise), and having an affair with a Fair Cop. When asked about it by reporters, he attacked them too.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: JP loses the qualification round for the titular Red Line race. However, when multiple qualifiers back out (due to the race being set on a Death World), JP qualifies due to popular vote.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Boincar is a pink dragster styled to look like a woman lying on her back with her legs in the air. Make of it what you will. It doesn't help matters that, upon its transformation into a bipedal form to fight off Roboworld military vehicles, Boiboi and Boibos' cockpits shift into the car's transparent breast cavities.
    • Godwing's tip looks suspiciously phallic when Machinehead activates the platinum nitro charge. It doesn't help that Machinehead is right at the tip of it glowing red and orange from the friction.
    • The final scenes build to a furious climax as the racers blast toward the finish line. In a triumphant denouement, after the racers have finished, every one of them is panting, sweating and grinning in what looks like a state of post-coital bliss. They look up with approval at Sonoshee and JP, who tenderly embrace one another and declare their love.
  • Double Meaning: Representative of the Inuki Group, worried JP might not throw the race, says that they're about to see how close JP and Frisbee are. On the face of it, he's asking if JP cares about Frisbee enough to take the dive for him, but it could also apply to whether or not Frisbee cares enough about JP to keep from detonating his car to make sure he doesn't win.
  • The Dragon: Volton is actually this to the Roboworld President, being in control of nearly all military operations against the Redline racers.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Everybody. Considering how crazy the race is, it's the only way to drive.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: JP and Sonoshee ultimately win the Redline race together, and the rest of the racers are quite satisfied with the competition. As an added extra, there's The Big Damn Kiss shot.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Sonoshee is not happy to discover that the racing title the media have given her is 'Cherry-Boy Hunter'.
  • Everybody Lives: All the Redline racers manage to make it through the death trap race. In fact, the only casualties in the whole movie are Big Deyzuna, the mob boss and his two goons, and a bunch of Roboworld mooks that get vaporized by Funky Boy.
  • Everybody Smokes: As part of its retro style, many of the cast are smokers. Frisbee and Old Man Mole both smoke, Sonoshee enjoys a cigarette while watching news about the Redline and JP appears to be a chainsmoker, rarely seen without one.
  • Evil Brit: Secretary Titan, who lets out a rather phlegmatic air compared to the rest of the Roboworld officers.
  • Evil Counterpart: Like the Crab Sonoshee, the Lynchcar is a (and is the only other) Redline vehicle that hovers instead of using wheels, allowing it to "drive" on water. However, while they're both loaded with weapons, the Crab Sonoshee was built with a higher emphasis on durability and speed while the Lynchcar puts a premium on either pulling its rivals out of the way with its anchors or simply blowing them up with its other armaments. Their drivers quickly earn one another's ire at the very start of the race with Lynchman and Johnny Boya becoming secondary antagonists to Sonoshee as a result.
  • Exploding Fish Tanks: An entire restaurant full of fish tanks.
  • Expy: Most of the other racers and characters are imported from previous Takeshi Koike / Katsuhito Ishii productions (e.g. Miki and Todoroki are from The Mole Brothers, and Trava and Shinkai were from a four part series called Trava: Fist Planet)
    • Johnny Boya and Lynchman's car is the Batmobile. And Johnny Boya is Beavis, down to the voice.
    • JP looks somewhat like Travis Touchdown.
    • According to some, Shinkai looks and sounds reminiscent of Dr Zoidberg.
    • Funky Boy is a hideously powerful baby-like being kept dormant in an underground military facility only to be let loose and wreak unstoppable havoc, even after being shot with an orbital cannon. Remind you of anyone?
      • Or an even more similar, intentionally giant bioweapon that spits lasers and was activated too soon.
  • Facial Markings: Frisbee.
  • Fast Tunnelling: Miki and Todoroki hitch a ride on Gori Rider's Gorilla Tank as he tunnels under a minefield before embarking on their own tunnelling adventure and winding up in the lead.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: When she's off the race-track, Sonoshee is no tomboy. She can also cook one delicious looking sukiyaki-like bowl.
  • Flapping Cheeks: When Sonoshee triggers her Nitro Boost, her cheeks wobble, eyes bulge, and tears and spittle fly as she accelerates. Moments later, JP uses his Nitro Boost to catch up with her. The exact same thing happens to him.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Not as cutesy as other examples, but you wouldn't expect the name Funky Boy to be given to a nigh-unstoppable, Godzilla-sized Lovecraftian bioweapon who screams Wave Motion Beams and has a Healing Factor so powerful that it can come back from being head-shotted by a Kill Sat with the power of a nuke.
  • Foreshadowing: Sonoshee's talk about the steamlight on her pendant: "They say if you pop it in your tank, it releases 100 times more energy than gold nitro". She pops it into JP's TransAm to get the final boost near the end of the Redline.
  • Foreign Queasine: Sonoshee ordered the exotic looking seafood sphaghetti stew. Then JP pointed out that the thing is actually an alien lunch when the "sphaghetti" starts moving around. That said, Shinkai thought it was delicious when she handed it off to him.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The mob boss is the same man who inspired JP to race in the first place, judging by his appearance and his two girls.
  • Friend in the Black Market: In addition to being JP's chief (and only) engineer, Pops is also a prolific junk dealer who's aiming to make a tidy sum through trading his wares during the Redline frenzy and is savvy enough to snag the very last Airmaster engine for the TransAm.
  • From a Single Cell: Funky Boy is vaporized by Roboworld's Kill Sat, but still manages to regenerate from some leftover bits.
  • Gainax Ending: JP and Sonoshee race Machinehead at incredible speeds, with JP winning by the tufts of his hair (literally) and the movie ends with JP and Sonoshee kissing while floating in blue fire. Oh, and the final second of the movie is just LOVE with curly letters.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Mr. Minerva Hanness, former Redline champion and current Redline news anchor.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Happens several times into the Redline race.
    • When Volton is just about fed up with his special forces getting owned by the racers, he orders the mobilization of the planet's entire military force.
    • The Superboins break their 'no magic' promise when Roboworld's troops corner them.
    • Colonel Volton transforms himself into an Eldritch Abomination in order to fight evenly with Funky Boy.
  • Gorn: There isn't much blood in this movie (It's a racing movie. Why would it need blood?) but they have enough blood for several movies of this type during Old Man Mole's Big Damn Heroes moment with the screwdriver shotgun.
  • Graceful Loser: Everyone who didn't make it to the finish line, for a refreshing change. The entire race comes off as a badassery competition, and part of it is this trope. Everyone seems honored to be present when JP and Sonoshee ride the shockwave of their own damned exploding engine over the Redline. Machinehead pops not one but two Steamlights, and still shows an amazed pride at the event.
    • Which is kind of a mood backlash given that he was talking trash to them just a moment earlier, but it's implied that Sonoshee is his daughter/junk dealer, gave her a Steamlight, meeting her for dinner). Perhaps he was trying to motivate them both, and saw winning the Redline as a Rite of Passage for her, and proof of JP's suitability for him.
      • Alternatively; the trash talk was just a side-effect of the Steamlight running through his augmentations and getting his blood up.
    • None of the other racers save JP, Sonoshee, and Tetsujin entertain any chance of winning first place at the final stretch of the race, but keep going full throttle anyways purely to get first-class, front-row seats to see how the race ends.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The racer's taunts and dialogue between each other can get downright silly. Here's an example:
    Trava: You think you're going to take me out that easy, you scumbag?
    Deyzuna: I've been waiting a long time for this... TRAVA!
    Trava: Come and get it, DEYZUNA!
  • Hood Ornament Hottie: When they're not racing, Bosbos and Boiboi pose and preen so much that it's almost ridiculous.
  • Hero of Another Story: Plenty. Most obvious is Lynchman and Johnny Boya, who not only are in-universe crimefighters/bounty hunters, but also have their own movie series and toy line. Then there's Trava and Shinkai, who are actually from another series and have some sort of offscreen story with Little Deyzuna. Basically anyone who gets a significant amount of screentime but isn't part of Roboworld or involved with JP, Sonoshee or Machinehead has their own little story offscreen.
  • Hot-Blooded: EVERYONE.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Superboins' Boincar is able to transform into one of these. The flight-capable mechas from the Roboworld army also qualify.
  • Idol Singer: Bosbos and Boiboi found time to release a CD in between the racing and Fanservice.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Bosbos.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: JP's epic pompadour; how he keeps it that way without product is a mystery. It's even the reason he won, because it was the first part of him to cross the finish line.
    • Oddly enough, he is shown combing it in the first 15 minutes to keep it out of his eyes. Still a mystery how it stays up though.
  • In-Series Nickname: All the racers have one. For instance, "Sweet JP" is a snarky epithet hurled at him by the others because he’s too fair-minded to use landmines, rocket-propelled grenades or tactical nukes just to win a race.
  • Incendiary Exponent: In a movie this awesome, you knew it would happen. But JP and Sonoshee manage to achieve it by having Frisbee and the Old Man detonate their engine remotely, which somehow leads to them going even faster, and being little more than strapped to a hunk of metal propelled by a continuous explosion.
  • Incoming Ham: JP has one particular moment of ham when he announces his intent to drive in the Redline.
    JP: "here, give me that *grabs the closest video camera and points the lense at him* ROBOWORLD! HERE I COME!!"
    • And Psychoman, the racer from early on in the Yellow Line who takes pressing a button up to Invader Zim levels of ham. He yells 'TAKE THIS!' so loud spittle flies out his mouth, and pushes the button so hard the glass over it shatters.
  • Interrupting Meme: When discussing some parts of the truly awesome soundtrack people have the tendency to UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ. Observe.
  • Kaiju: Funky-Boy, Roboworld's bioweapon, which is locked in Zone 7X. Then Gori-Rider accidentally awakens it. Later on, Volton transforms himself into one in order to fight Funky Boy.
  • Kill Sat: Roboworld has one, and they use it twice: the first attempt, targeting the Supergrass ship carrying the REDLINE racers, fails thanks to Lynchman and Johnny-Boya sabotaging the cannons. The second attempt manages to destroy Funky Boy; however, it regenerates.
  • Large Ham: Several, given this is a World of Ham.
    • The president of Roboworld, who makes grandiose speeches about "ensuring justice" and "being a symbol of humanity that exists for peace", despite building various weapons of mass destruction.
    • Also, Machinehead (well he is voiced by Michael McConnohie after all).
    • Then there's Colonel Volton, voiced by the largest ham of voice actors: Jamieson Price.
    • The unnamed announcer introducing all the racers (In Japanese, mind you) might just out-ham all of them:
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Sonoshee complains that the TV crew focuesed her butt during her interview, while the audience can see her topless while eating fruit very suggestively during that particular moment.
  • Left Hanging: Due to the way the movie abruptly finishes as soon as JP and Sonoshee win the race and share a tender moment in midair, a lot of plotlines remain unresolved. Did Colonel Volton manage to get Funky Boy under control? What will happen to Roboworld now that their bioweapons have been exposed? What will happen to Deyzuna for his desertion? All these questions and more are left completely unanswered. Presumably trying to answer them would have taken a few more years of animation...
  • Leitmotif: Most characters have them, though the notably reoccurring ones are Machinehead's, Lynchman and Johnny Boya's, and the Superboins'.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: ALL of the racers (well, except Gori Rider). On the track, they're perfectly willing to blast each other with Sidewinder missiles, but off it, "We're all racers, we're here to show off how badass we are, not slaughter each other like those fuddy-duddy Roboworlders." Machinehead shows up while Little Deyzuna is picking a fight with Trava, and the mere presence of a seven-foot tall cyborg distracts the Roboworlder enough for the racer to wander off. He then gets in Machinehead's face, but the big man merely says "Fine. I'll walk around you." Heh. Manly men are Redliners, even when they're sexy girls.
  • Loveable Rogue: JP.
  • Love at First Sight: Sonoshee doesn't remember, but JP saw her when she was a kid and he was smitten ever since.
  • Ludicrous Speed: The entire goddamn movie. Even more so when Nitro/Steamlight is used by having time slow down and the cars/drivers stretching before launching away. Near the finish line, JP (while using the Steamlight boost plus the explosive under his wheels) sees the finish line in extremely slow motion.
  • Made of Iron: Everyone qualifies for just surviving in their cars, but JP and Sonoshee deserve props for the former surviving at least 4 car crashes (One was at 300 km/h. JP was miraculously unharmed.) that we know of over the course of the movie, 3 without any sort of bodily harm, and Sonoshee being in his car in the final crash, both of them with no noticeable harm. Oh, and they were both on fire at the time.
    • Also, Tetsujin. He swallowed not one, but TWO steamlights and survived.
  • The Mafia: Inuki Group.
  • Magitek: Supergrass technology.
  • Manly Tears: In a 20-year-old recording, Machinehead Tetsujin cries the first time he wins Redline.
  • Mauve Shirt: Big Deyzuna, whom we see a close up of when he's being vaporized by "Funky Boy"
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: While on the track the racers will do whatever it takes to win and will engage in endless trash talk with their opposition. Off the track they are perfectly reasonable and nice people.
  • Meaningful Name: Bosbos, Boiboi and the boin part of "SUPERBOINS" are all japanese onomatopoeia for large bosoms bouncing.
    • Tetsujin, part of Machinehead's name, means Ironman in Japanese.
    • Pun aside, the Semimaru is named after a cicada, hence the shape and burrowing feature.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: While there is no "mid-season" per se, after the Yellow Line Sonoshee and JP both get upgrades to their vehicles. Sonoshee has a third engine attached to the back while JP's Trans AM is completely overhauled, gaining a superior engine, fifth wheel and overall more angular design. In the segments featuring the other racers, this happened to Machinehead's Godwing (with each successive Redline win) and Lynchman's Lynchcar (the last model of which is now on sale in model-form in-universe). The other riders seem to have kept their original rides.
  • Mister Muffykins: Machinehead owns a Maltese dog that he cheerfully strokes during his interview.
  • Moment Killer: The page picture was heading in the direction of an Almost Kiss — until Shinkai decided to step in.
    • As the power up music got good during the final stretch, it suddenly stops and cuts to the remnants of the Roboworld army commenting on how they can't catch the Redliners. It then resumes with omnious music instead.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Bosbos and Boiboi. Sonoshee races in at a solid second place.
  • Naked in Mink: The "SUPERBOINS", Bosbos and Boiboi, are dressed like this during a televised interview.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The reason why the Roboworld government doesn't want the race to happen on their planet aside from having all their illegal arms building programs and laboratories exposed is because they're afraid the commotion caused by the racers will wake up a Cthulhu-esque bio-weapon that they've created in said illegal research program. Guess what happens when Gori Rider digs too deep.
  • Nitro Boost: Several different types, with varying colors, strength — and, of course, amount of damage to the car using it. JP uses "Gold Nitro", little capsules of awesomesauce he drops right into the transmission through a dash-mounted valve. Above everything else is the legendary "Steamlight", which appears to be collapsed antimatter stored in beautiful little sapphires. Sonoshee wears one as a necklace and drops it into JP's tank so they can match Machinehead in the final stretch.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Roboworld's solution against the Redline racers entering their atmosphere? One Kill Sat. And that's without considering that it was very easily sabotaged and vandalised by two of said racers beforehand.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Despite threats of intergalactic war from Roboworld, the REDLINE race playfully ignored all warnings, managed to cause reckless, irreparable destruction to Roboworld's military, government, and secret biological weapons program, all for entertainment and sport. The Pricess of Planetgrass playfully painted the finish line by *crashing her ship* into the Roboworld headquarters. Is it all for Refuge in Audacity or could that have been the plan all along?
  • One-Gender Race:
    • The magic-using people of Supergrass seem to be all female: you never see any men, even in crowd scenes. Makes sense, since they are apparently all Magical Girls.
    • The cyborgised denizens of Roboworld, on the other hand, seem to be all-male.
  • One-Winged Angel: Colonel Volton, who transforms himself into a Kaiju-like monstrosity in order to fight evenly with Funky Boy.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Going in expecting a wacky series about futuristic illegal street racing is all well and good, and gets you most of what you'd expect. But then, during the final act, Funky Boy escapes containment and goes on a rampage, and now the race suddenly has a Kaiju movie going on in the background.
  • Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: Featured prominently and often. Some of the most noteworthy include JP feverishly pressing on the gas pedal at the final stretch of Yellow Line, and then Sonoshee kicking her foot on his to give them the necessary speed to reach the outer lane in the titular Redline's last run.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally, in Machine Head's case.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: TRANSAM 20000 is always the tiniest of the cars in any race JP enters, but also one of the most powerful.
  • Planet of Hats: Roboworld, though slightly different to how you might expect.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: one of the pre-race profiles of the racers features a brief piece of western music, which has also been heard in web-game Cactus McCoy as the main theme.
  • Punny Name / Bilingual Bonus: Miki and Todoroki's racing vehicle, Semimaru. Maru in Japanese can translate to circle, making it a play on words of semicircle.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Roboworld flag resembles the Nazi flag, and their Mooks have a stormtrooper-esque look to them.
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: While the mustached, cephalod-like manager of the Oasis stares at Sonoshee, who is about to dig into her meal, with infatuation, JP took advantage of his inattention to yank down his pants, causing him to pull them back up and run away in embarrassment after Sonoshee notices his indecent state. He even tells the manager to "put on a belt." He had a point, however, considering that the manager's trousers were hanging low enough that his underwear is showing from the back.
  • Rated M for Manly: Latches onto the part of the brain that likes high-speed racing, breasts, explosions and bright colors.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Trava and Shinkai.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The Redline Mothership; with its young princess at the helm, it just warps wherever the fuck it wants and makes a race track. How to achieve this? Well, first you go to your standard heavily defended fascist state and:
    • Declare you're going to have an illegal road race on their home planet.
    • Evade their point defenses and paint a pink finish line on their headquarters.
    • Have two of your racers disable and vandalize their satellite defense system.
    • Teleport in and drop your racers from low orbit.
    • Aid in setting their resident giant monster free to rampage.
    • Teleport the whole ship underground, lift it up under their headquarters, and make the spine of the ship the final stretch.
    • The method of teleportation they used was only possible in theory, which is how they protected their racers from being attacked enroute. The Roboworld president actually called this an audacity. They literally took refuge in audacity.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: While watching TV, Sonoshee complains about the camera crew focusing on her ass while she's fixing her car. Right after she says this, the scene changes and the audience gets to enjoy a shot of her bare breasts.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Little Deyzuna is so set on making Trava and Shinkai pay for 'abandoning' him that he ends up going AWOL and joining the race.
  • Rule of Cool: From the absurdly stylish car designs, to the sheer amount of action happening throughout the story, this movie supremely lives on this trope.
  • Rule of Fun: This ends up being the reason why Machinehead and JP/Sonoshee end up pushing for the finish line using their steamlights. Machinehead ends up using his just to "make the race more interesting".
  • Rule of Romantic: Compared to the aforementioned Rule Of tropes this one is a little more subtle; most of the character motivations usually stem from what is a genuine love for racing, a point most evident when you consider how glitzy and glamorous Redline is presented across billions in the galaxy despite technically being illegal. By the end of the movie, any hint of animosity between the racers is exchanged for mutual admiration and euphoria, and as if to drive this declaration home, J.P. and Sonoshee profess their love for one another complete with a Big Damn Kiss and an end card that just reads LOVE; pretty much reframing the movie as not just a story about the love for the race; but finding love within it. It's particularly apt given how the movie was essentially a similarly born passion project.
  • Scenery Porn: To quote Anonymous: "Every single frame is a goddamn wallpaper!"
  • Schizo Tech: Apparently V8s and chopper style bikes will remain popular in the future.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Frisbee eventually becomes this when he sees just how close JP is to winning Redline, alongside a combination of guilt for nearly trashing JP's hopes and dreams twice and Representative of the Inuki Group trying to alter the deal by having the TransAm 'malfunction' before it reached first place.
    "He's so close... I want to see him win, I want to see him win for once in his life!!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The remaining pursuing Roboworld troops towards the end of the movie.
    "... Fuck this, they're too fast."
    • When Old Man Mole bursts into the Inuki Boss's headquarters armed with a shotgun and kills his henchmen, the two girls that had been doting on him the entire movie cheerfully say "Goodbye" before booking it out of the room.
  • Serial Escalation: Redline (and its lesser qualifying round counterparts: Blueline and Yellowline) has always been a no-holds barred combat racing competition that operates on the very fringes of legality, but using a mechanized hellhole like Roboworld as the venue is most certainly not normal. Two Yellowline winners actually bow out because having to deal with the other cutthroat racers and environmental hazards is bad enough without an entire planet's army gunning for you. From what little can be seen from the previous three Redline competitions in Machinehead's promo, they were far tamer than the one shown at the climax of the film.
  • Serious Business: The Redline race. Justified because the betting and advertising make a ton of money, and according to Lynchman 'there's enough money riding on this race to buy several planets!'
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: The Crab Sonoshee is upgraded with a modular third turbine for the Redline race which helps the vehicle go faster, but can also be detached in case it burns out or if it gets caught on something.
  • Shout-Out: To various anime and western shows.
    • Sonoshee McLaren is probably named after the Formula One team / road-legal supercar manufacturer McLaren.
    • Gori-Rider's pursuit of Miki and Todoroki is a take-off from the viaduct pursuit scene from Terminator 2.
    • Deadwon's Firebird and Bumms physical characteristics are a nod to Dick Dastardly's Mean Machine #00 and Muttley from Wacky Races
    • Lynchman & Johnny Boya's introduction uses the famous spotlight running scene from Lupin III series.
      • For that matter Lynchman and Johnny Boya are clear expies of Batman and Robin, and their car is a take-off of the Batmobile from the 1989 movie.
  • Sibling Team: Miki and Todoroki. Also, the 'SUPERBOINS' Bosbos and Boiboi.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Sonoshee uses a very large double barreled pistol to manualy take out a sidewinder missile headed straight for her. She manages to hit it, but slightly too late.
  • Smoking Is Cool: All over the place, a lot of smokers here.
  • Space Elves: The magical inhabitants of Supergrass, who are major backers of the Redline race and have submitted their own team, the Superboins.
  • Spy Catsuit: Bosbos and Boiboi.
  • Stealth Pun: The movie's title refers to the maximum engine speed at which an internal combustion engine or traction motor and its components are designed to operate without causing damage to the components themselves or other parts of the engine. It can also refer to the director's full embrace on the line quality of animation in this movie, since everything rendered in it is derived from a solid black line!
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Lots and lots of stuff. Especially JP. Twice. but he was fine both times.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Colonel Volton starts feeling this way when his own personal forces get their asses handed by the racers and when his three direct subordinates, especially Little Deyzuna and Dr. Sabose, stray from their objective.
  • Technical Pacifist: JP doesn't really believe in Vehicular Combat and scoffs at Pops' offer to install guns in the [TransAM]. It's implied that this is where his "Sweet" moniker comes from. Conversely, he doesn't see anything wrong in making it so that his fellow racers blow up one another or letting their bigger and louder cars soak up all the damage from traps, defenses, and other environmental hazards while he blazes past when the coast is clear.
  • Technology Porn: The amount of details in each racer car, ship and other vehicles is absolutely ridiculous.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The workers that sabotage the power station think it's a good idea to wake up Funky Boy, an extremely powerful bioweapon, hoping it'll help the Redline racers in the fight against Volton.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Superboins' pink racer "Boincar", as well as Roboworld's fighter aircraft.
  • Transhuman: Old-fashioned humans are in the minority. Roboworld is full of cyborgs, and there are people with dog heads, or extra arms, and all sorts of nonhuman attributes, but it's not explained if they're transhumans or aliens.
  • Troperiffic: This movie is adored by tropers. Not to the extent of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann or other Troper Critical Mass works, but it's impressive for a 100-minute movie that seems to have been destined to become obscure.
  • Unusual User Interface:
    • Reigning Redline Champion Machinehead and the denizens of Roboworld plug themselves into and literally become part of their vehicles.
    • Sonoshee's hovercraft racer uses a chopper style motorcycle handlebar setup for steering.
    • Miki goes into his part of the "bike" sideways.
    • While in car mode it's controlled conventionally, the Superboins' car is piloted with magic when it's in robot mode.
  • Vehicular Combat: When the Yellowline race is riddled with racers firing missiles at each other, you know it fits the trope. Taken to the next level in the Redline race, where the racers are practically fighting an all-out war against a planetary military superpower.
  • Villain Has a Point: Even though the people of Roboworld are warmongering assholes, they are merely defending their territory from what is essentially a foreign invasion, and also trying to make sure that their military secrets don't get broadcasted all over the universe.
  • Wacky Racing: Taken to the extreme. The Redline is a high speed rally race full of rocket powered cars that runs through a Death World while Space Nazis try to blow them up.
  • Warp Drive: The Redline mothership which drops the racers onto the planet.
    President of Roboworld: A hyper-dimensional drive? They're going to violate our airspace using navigational equipment that only exists in theory!? THE NERVE OF THOSE VERMIN!
  • Weak, but Skilled: JP, he's arguably one of the most normal drivers in both appearance and vehicle, but he makes up for it with insane speed and driving skills.
  • Weaponized Car: All of them, except JP's TRANSAM 20000, as JP refuses to have any weaponry mounted on it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • There's all this dramatic build up for Funky Boy, but as soon as Volton turns himself into a monster and fights him head on, they both vanish from the plot and never return.
    • There was also a build-up for Miki and Todoroki seeking revenge on the Gori Rider, but that actually never comes up during the race.
    • Little Deyzuna violated Volton's orders and committed treason, the penalty of which is death, to join the race. However we don't know what happened to him after that and considering how fucked up Roboworld is by the end of the race. There's the possiblity he won't even have the problem of getting court marshaled.
  • Willfully Weak:
    • During their interview the Superboins Bosbos and Boiboi make it known that they won't be using magic out of respect for the other racers. Once it becomes apparent just what sort of hell Roboworld's got prepared for them, though, all bets are off. To be fair, they never actually utilize it against other racers, only to defend themselves against Roboworld's military forces.
    • Sweet JP refuses to use weapons despite everyone else doing so. Even going to Roboworld, the most he'll do is install a new engine that is, at best, a danger to himself.
  • Work Off the Debt: A much darker version. JP's friend Frisbee took out a loan from some mafia types to pay for an engine for JP to use in an upcoming race on the proviso that he won, unfortunately JP lost; as a result both Frisbee and JP had to work the debt off by fixing races (JP would hang back in last place until the final lap, shoot up to pole postion and then lose, though JP never exactly tried to follow the last part of the deal, causing Frisbee to make him lose by sabotaging his car). Worse still Frisbee got caught redhanded race fixing and JP served time for it (taking the fall for Frisbee) prior to the movie beginning.
  • World of Ham: Thanks to all the Serious Business.
  • Wrench Wench: Sonoshee isn't just the racer, she's also the mechanic behind the Crab Sonoshee.

Right before the sunrise, one thing is on my mind.
Need to take the stress and throw it all away.
Feelings to discover, knowing undercover,
What it is you really mean to me.

You are the flower, I'm the rain.
Without you, life is not the same.
I'm everything you'll ever need.
Though rarely spoken, we still proceed.
Rob Laufer, "Redline Day"