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September 30, 2012

Anime Review: Solty Rei

Well, what can I say about Solty Rei? For one, it is a pretty entertaining anime to watch, but does it have what it takes to be one of the top anime in its genre?

Solty ReiSynopsis:

In a future-based disaster-ridden city with an enormous gap between the rich and the poor, it is hard to tell which humans are walking around with cybernetic body parts. This makes Roy Revant's job as a renegade bounty hunter/bodyguard-for-hire even more difficult. When a young girl with unbelievable strength rescues him from a particularly dangerous criminal, Roy realizes that perhaps help can be found in the strangest of places. Joining together with a few others, they engage in a battle to find out the truth behind the giant conglomerates that are supposedly serving mankind and making life better.

Solty, an android who has lost her memory, has escaped and is being hunted by the RUC Security Bureau. She encounters the bounty hunter Roy and he adopts her as his daughter after being hired as a bodyguard for Miranda.

Review:

Solty Rei first starts off in a futuristic post-disaster setting where there is an enormous class different between the rich and the poor. To makes things more complex, humans now have cybernetic implants to replace body parts that they have lost. The crime in the city is rampant and so there are many companies that offer hunters for hire, whether for taking down a criminal to protecting an important person. The story focuses around a middle aged man named Roy Revant that has become a bounty hunter after losing his family in the accident 12 years back. During one of his missions, he gets saved by an android named Solty. From then on, the two develop an interesting relationship starting from being rocky to being closer in the end. What I can say about the story is that it is really linear, generic and mainstream. There were a few plot twists along the way, but mostly it is one of those predictable storylines that we can ultimately guess in the end.

The art was above average for a 2006 anime and some scenes were quite well done. I noticed however that some scenes did have lesser detail and quality than others (especially the fight scenes were quite detailed and smoothly animated). The characters were rather generic and pretty standard stereotypes. In the end, the art was really spectacular or extremely impressive; you could say it was standard art style.

Voice acting was average with some characters' voices a bit incompatible with their persona representations on screen. Solty's voice acting took a bit of time to get used to as it was rather childish and high-pitched. Roy Revant's voice was actually quite good for his character, so I had no complaints there. Some other character's voices felt a bit unsuitable for their types and so the enjoyment of the characters did get ruined slightly.

I felt that the character representations were rather stereotypical, textbook-styled and generic. Roy Revant is your carefree, tough mercenary type guy which rarely shows his emotions out loud. Solty is portrayed as a mysterious naive girl that follows Roy around the place, and Rose Anderson is your antagonist which happens to change in the end. As for other characters, you have your evil mastermind (which pretends to be good at first), your typical government special forces agency group, and a couple of thieves that help out in the end. Other than that, everything else is pretty predictable and standard.

Overall, it was enjoyable at the very least of what you would expect from a textbook style storyline. All I can say is that the story was really anything special worth noting and the setting that this takes place seemed to have been reused a lot in other anime. As for the action and character interaction, it was all quite predictable and linear. From the story and character appearances, you can instantly figure out what will happen next. Overall, I would say that Solty Rei was rather an average anime compared to the rest.

STORY: 6
It was nothing really special, and it was pretty predictable and generic.

ART: 7
Some scenes were really well done, whilst others felt a bit lazily animated. Other than that, the characters looked decent and the backgrounds were vibrant.

SOUND: 7
I felt some character's voice acting was a bit unsuitable, but in the end, you get used to it and disregard it.

CHARACTER: 6
The characters felt too restrictive in their representations, and so we have a rather mediocre cast.

ENJOYMENT: 8
To enjoy this anime, you really have to think simple and pretend to know nothing at all about sci-fi action stories to appreciate the effort this anime makes to grab your attention.

OVERALL: 7
For me, I thought that for a sci-fi action anime, this was one of those "watch and forget" type animes where you will get interested right till the end, and then just forget about it.