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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  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:26 AM)
    What do you think?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:25 AM)
    I met a French art student in a bar tonight, and after getting into Hugo and Notre-Dame de Paris, he suggested a more faithful French theater production of it. He believed that this is a much better portrayal of the conflicted priestly character of Frollo, and specifically offered this Hellfire-esque song sang by the talented Daniel Lavoie as evidence:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5St9zF849o
  • SuperMario
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 08:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: haha. If this film indeed was made I’ll be the first one on the line to watch it.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:32 AM)
    @Mario: This made me laugh far more than it should have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kno3xDw27bY
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:30 AM)
    Anybody else seen Jungle Book yet?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:25 AM)
    @Kaiser: I see. Look retro, so I might actually enjoy.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:24 AM)
    I don’t wanna hyperbolize, so I admit that some of the Disney/Marvel stuff has ingenuity to it. Guardians and even Antman had their moments of disarming charm, and genuine sentiment from the cast and crew, that made it special and not just another superhero flick.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:22 AM)
    @Aidan: Marvel movies feel like a very nice amusement park ride- they are always fun, but the return diminishes after successive exposure. Everything in the movies, from the fights, to the dialogue, and plot is incredibly formulatic. You just don’t get the same effect when you know what’s coming.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.

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