Solty Rei is an easy to watch anime that combines some very typical Japanese gender roles and relationships and transports them to a futuristic world which is struggling to rebuild itself after a phenomenon called the “Blast Fall” leaves the society in ruins. Scores of people are missing, maimed, or killed and the city which served as the epicenter of the phenomenon is leveled. From these ashes emerges a human society full of haves and have-nots. With many of the have-nots being unregistered citizens who are not entitled to any governmental benefits or protection. Into this slowly healing society a nameless female character is introduced. Then through a seemingly chance encounter she latches onto a still mourning bounty hunter named Roy Revant who through a series of events haphazardly gives her the name Solty. From this point the series primarily revolves around the development of Solty’s character and her learning what it means to be human. With the secondary plot points being the revelation of Roy’s back-story, Roy’s missing daughter, and the events that lead to the “Blast Fall” phenomenon. All of this comes with the prerequisite twists, turns, and foreshadow and makes for a pretty solid story. That said, all of these great story elements really didn’t make the story standout as being original and as a result I merely gave the story a better than average mark as it was still well done.
Like most Gonzo productions Solty Rei illustrated an extremely high production value and at times gorgeous animation that artfully blends CGI within the work. In addition, there are quite a number of backgrounds that are visually stunning and in all cases backgrounds are done at a very high level of detail making them very realistic. On a whole, not a lot to complain about here as Solty Rei is another very skillfully animated work by Gonzo.
The technical production of the sound was artifact free and done very well. However, what earns Solty Rei high marks here is the way music and melodies are artfully woven into the plot. This is something that one rarely sees and to be honest something I totally ignored until it became totally obvious why they did things the way they did. Beyond that I found both the opening and closing themes to be very optimistic, upbeat, and hopeful all of which are common themes of the story. As a result, I gave the sound aspect of Solty Rei a very high grade as well.
Generally, I felt the characters were very well developed with ample time given to explain their back story and inherent motivations. However, I did have one major complaint which I did ding Solty Rei for which relates to how Gonzo went about explaining who Solty was. As I felt there wasn’t nearly enough foreshadow to at least hint at some of the dramatic elements that were revealed in the last few episodes. That said, beyond this possibly nit-picked (note it is entirely possible that I’m extremely obtuse and totally missed some things) remark I felt that Solty’s character evolution was done well and that the back story and premise around all the supporting characters was revealed in both an artful and appropriate manner. One other thing that should be mentioned is that the key to the character development in Solty Rei is that Solty is the primary motivator behind the development. While this is hardly unique in anime, what I found was done very well was the fact that all of the character development is done without becoming annoying or too heavy handed which is quite difficult when one considers that this has to be done using a child, Solty, as the key motivator. As a result, I definitely have to give a bit of extra credit for the deftness that was shown in this regard.
Solty Rei is an interesting anime that does a good job telling its story. The series is, for the most part, well written and well laid out and the characters are very easy to like and identify with. Moreover, the judge of any series is really did you enjoy watching it and I have to say that I definitely enjoyed this series and while I may have been overly critical on certain elements none of this meant to imply that I think it’s not worth watching. Instead it is probably more a comment on me watching a ton of anime recently and as a result, being much pickier about giving out 8’s and 9’s. Regardless though I would totally recommend Solty Rei to any casual anime fan as it is a solid work.
Twelve years ago, an incident known as "Blast Fall" unleashed major destruction and chaos. Now, years have passed, and mankind has learned to adapt by incorporating cybernetic limbs into its citizens. Roy Revent is a bounty hunter known for his violent acts towards criminals due to the loss of his daughter in Blast Fall; and when a criminal tries to take revenge on Roy, an unknown girl falls from the sky and saves him. She has no memory of who she is, or where she came from. With the help of Miranda, his boss and landlord, he takes in the girl and gives her a name of Solty. What is the real identity of Solty, and what caused Blast Fall?