Posted by psgels on 11 August 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Gems often pop up at strange places, and Solty Rei is a great example of this. I’m not sure why exactly I dropped it when it first aired, but it probably was something along the lines of “too dull” and “gonzo”. As it turns out, Solty Rei is a very capable anime and just as underrated.

Solty Rei does start out rather underwhelming, though. The cute characters and the dark-ish setting don’t mesh well together, nothing much really happens and the main character Solty is overly moralistic, with a typical storyline of “save the oppressed”. There’s also not much eye-candy for the viewer (none of the character-designs are really appealing and the animation has a lot of bugs). There’s honestly nothing much to get excited about, but thankfully a lot changes once this series hits its second half.

It’s rather hard to properly talk about this, since the entire second half is basically one big spoiler, but let’s just say that the first half knew exactly what it was doing, and merely was building up and fleshing characters out properly for a much, much darker second half. What shines the most is the character-development, where themes as family and loss play a central role central. The entire cast develops into something worthwhile, and not a character seems wasted.

But also the setting turns out to be much deeper than you’d originally expect. It starts out as your typical uninspired dystopia, but the series slowly develops this setting into something much more complex. The ending, at first sight may seem like another one of those overly ambitious endings, but it somehow works out and gives a great closure to the series.

Solty Rei is obviously a cheap-looking series, where Gonzo’s CG and the 2D animation just don’t mesh well together. The soundtrack is nothing special (apart from a small amount of excellent tracks that pop up once or twice), but what lies behind it is a charming series. It’s well-told (although it lies a bit too much on coincidences at times), it’s got a great setting and great character-development. It just needs to take a while to get fired up.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 9/10

4 Responses

  1. Ez says:

    I watched solty rei a few years back and boy was I ever stunned. I thought the first half was good, but I absolutely loved the second!

    Thanks for reviewing such an ‘old’ series. =D

  2. Alec says:

    just watched ep 1-6..and i just knew it right away that this series is totally UNDERRATED..

  3. Drake says:

    Hello ^^

    I’ve been reading your reviews for quite some time now and I have to say that it’s pretty good. Though I may not agree on some points, for this review…well I agree. I started to watched this series a few years back after it initially aired and it’s really not that “awe” inspiring so I stopped watching it. But after a while I gave it a second chance and to my surprise,it was really good! I have to agree, this series is so much underrated. ^^

  4. urumi says:

    the first half of the show was rather good i really enjoyed the story, and character developments, however i was totally disappointed by the ending, obviously it was kinda predictable, but it just seemed stupid, everything in the ending arc was just thrown together in order to push the story forward, in the end reducing this anime to most the others i dont think i’ll ever watch again

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:21 PM)
    Oh and I want to specify that I do understand the old civilizations were different from Vietnam, its just I caught that interesting comment from Vincent earlier.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:19 PM)
    How often and which of these old cultures would have made the best use of biological warfare, now I’m not saying that in the modern sense, but rather the sending diseased corpses/people back to the enemy to spread disease variety.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:08 PM)
    @Ninja: All hail Halliburton, The Federal Reserve and the 33 degrees.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:06 PM)
    And I don’t mean primitive in a demeaning way, I’m fascinated by their culture, but am strictly speaking from a practical, industrial perspective.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:05 PM)
    It is important to note that technology isn’t just military, it also factors to medicine (which is the difference of life and death for your troops), agricultural (to have food to sustain the campaign) as well as many other facets. The Vietnamese were in no way as primitive of a society as the mesoamericans tended to be at the time of the Spanish conquests.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:05 PM)
    @Emma Not just black gold, but red gold. and by that I mean that the blood of Middle Eastern Civilians and American Soldiers has been worth billions of dollars in defense industry contracts to companies like Halliburton, which, by the way, was also founded by one of the major architects of the Iraq War. I don’t mean that to imply that anyone individual schemed to profit from death, but it does illustrate the sinister ecopolitical motives that existed.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:03 PM)
    @Bam: Many would be content to give the troops just the quick motivational speech =<
  • Emma
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:00 PM)
    The point I’m getting at that, the intellect of an army can potentially whatever the military might that army personally has could potentially defeat a greater force.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:00 PM)
    It is noteworthy that after Cortés got to Tenochtitlan and saw the gold the fate of the Aztec empire (and to a whole the American natives) was sealed, since now they will never stop. Cortés famously burned his own ships to force his men to move forward; and forward they moved.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 11:00 PM)
    @Emma Yup. That’s asymmetrical warfare for you. It’s always been the bane of well-equipped professional armies.

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