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
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:29 AM)
    Wait wait…his Van helsing film is a reboot sorry I confused it with the other one.

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