Talking to our Blu-ray pushing buddy on twitter, I feel like spinning this thought out a little more:
@muhootsaver_7: Why do some ppl think REDLINE is “hyped”? If the worst comment about the movie is “bland storyline but still a great eye candy”…
@omonomono: because some people say it’s the best thing ever (not disagreeing)!
@muhootsaver_7: BUT IT IS. Jokes aside, I don’t think it’s overrated if not underrated. Haven’t felt this satisfied after a movie for a long time
@omonomono: Anytime when someone expects to like the show they’re going to see due to “word on the street” and ends up disliking it…
Just to be clear, we’re talking about the Madhouse-produced animation flick REDLINE, or Redline, and not the 2007 live action movie. And there is strong evidence that there is hype, even if it is not very wide-spread hype.
Basically, I’m wondering if there is a hype gap. I’m thinking given the lack of dimensionality of Redline’s modus operandi, the filmmakers were likely only caring for a narrow segment of animation fans. Perhaps in 1995 that would overlap with most animation fans in the west, but certainly not by 2005 standards, let alone 2011 standards.
Having not yet watched Redline (saving this cherry until when the time is right), I can’t say if my assumption about dimensions apply or will the animation be so viscerally communicative in which it can bridge the differences between any open-minded viewer of itself: so vastly different people can come together about it. So I won’t make any assumptions about that for Redline. And it is well-given that any works of modern entertainment of big enough viewership will have its detractors.
But isn’t the obvious answer, rather, that Redline is what is commonly called an art film? Twitch compares it to Mind Games. And Mind Games is no blockbusting pleaser either. And it’s almost a shared virtue that the mainstream audience just don’t dig art house fares. I would almost say that Redline’s particular penetration in certain segments of the west is probably just as big of a testimony of Redline’s obvious qualities mixed with the nature of how that particular fandom has developed from ages ago, during the era when “japanimation” is synonymous with gratuitous sexuality and violence.
I mean, speaking of sales figures, how are we suppose to interpret it? It may be bad that it cannot sell 40000+ copies, but is that expectation even within a nautical mile of realistic? If Redline sold 4000+ copies of Blu-ray and DVDs, isn’t it good for the film? [How many units of Fractale is that? LOL? 5?] Maybe it is fair to say that a lot of good anime don’t get a fair shake at the box office or Oricon charts. But that would be making the assumption that these are good anime (by some common metric). And since I said I won’t, I won’t.
Not until I watch the damned thing, at least. You know, for something that is potentially market-transcending, they sure are doing one heck of a job burying it in terms of marketing. The hype is not very wide spread, even if it is there. And maybe that is for the best!