Posted 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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  • Brad Kremer
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 07:57 PM)
    Hello, I recently made a film telling the story of Dogo Onsen. As you may know, Dogo Onsen was the inspiration for the look of the bath house in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. The Legend of Dogo Onsen
    https://vimeo.com/91544453 Subtitled
    https://vimeo.com/91547432 I hope you enjoy! Brad
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 06:49 PM)
    @psgels Yeah I feel you about the spam bots. I mentioned a specific terrible anime website that gets link spammed all over the place. If only they would put that much effort into their content.
  • Friend
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 02:52 PM)
    @Aidan dat straightforwardness XD
    Sidonia is a little strange, Ill have to see how well it sticks for a few more episodes.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 10:28 AM)
    @Roger, It’s funny just how little it took for you to say “Screw you guys. I’m going home.”
    Rather flaky if you ask me. Not that you would be missed of course.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 09:04 AM)
    *typoed an M instead of a , =<
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 09:03 AM)
    *isn’t felt as much.
    I actually that while he drew the monsters and robots pretty well and was as always dependable drawing the scenery his modern art actually loses alot of his older style actually benifitted from.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 09:01 AM)
    Sidonia no kishi volumes 1 through 8: All in all compotent, decent m average enough to stick with and even buy the rest of it. The setting, tech/science is fine, its not trapped by exposition and when the action shows up its enjoyable to look at/read, good designs on the monsters too. However the flow/pace of it is a bit off, it drags, meanders a bit, its too mainstream for that author and favours poorly in comparison to the rest of his work. The athmosphere, roughness, grit isn’t felt.
  • Roger
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:48 AM)
    Seems my Mushi-shi post finally showed up, so I guess ill just abandon that Nickname to avoid the issue.
  • Roger
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:46 AM)
    @psgels I posted as Spike coincidentally my shoutboxes also disappear when using that name
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 08:41 AM)
    I guess a moderation system wouldn’t necessarily be of the cards, I too tend to find all the bots pretty annoying too.

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