Solty Rei is basically GONZO trying to make some bucks out of those who like robot girls. And as expected they fail miserably because they are incompetent. This show came out in an era other anime like Ghost in the Shell or Chobits were already classics and instead of trying to play around with the formula, it basically did nothing with it.
So let me get things straight. The setting is a futuristic city where many people have cybernetic implants and the protagonist is a bounty hunter looking for his daughter. He is battling all sorts of robotic criminals while trying to reunite with his family, which is a noble cause and a nice premise. So in one of his missions he finds this unconscious trump girl and out of the goodness of his heart he takes her to his home instead to public service of something. It was already far fetched in Chobits or Elfen Lied but an adult cop doing the same is beyond all belief. So he finds out she’s a super powerful robot and soon makes her his cop aid instead of selling her to some laboratory for analyzing her.
As always, GONZO goes completely juvenile in the project and before you know it the whole series ends up being just short irrelevant missions full of pretty chicks, badly done CGI, convenient events, forgettable soundtrack, and lukewarm battles. The story becomes absent for most of the show before it goes for a last moment revelation and conclusion in the end, which by then has no interest because the whole show was retarded storytelling with no clear direction. For the same reason the characters never manage to become appealing to you, since the very story is not letting them being anything more than a tired archetype and any attempt to develop them feels totally stupid. Solty is nothing but a cliché robochick with a voice you just want to strangle her for, while Rose’s turnaround makes no sense at all.
There is nothing wrong with having guilty pleasure series where the story and the characters are unimportant, like in this case. In case they make one they need to be very extreme and fan servishy; a thing SR is not. It plays out as a poorly presented sci-fi anime on one hand and as a lukewarm fan service show on the other, so in effect it leaves you with no real fondness of it.
Since I was paying attention to the scores of such shows for many years, I clearly remember how it had an 8+ score the first 2 years after it aired. That had fooled a lot of newbs to consider it a good anime. In reality it was just stupid hype from Last Exile fans who were seeing GONZO and voting 10 without thinking further. Something similar to what happens with SHAFT today. In reality a simple breakdown of all it elements easily proves how weak it is compared to other anime that have a similar trope.
- Mahoromatic was a lot funnier and sexier for a robot chick (Solty’s moving hair reminded me of Mahoro)
- Cowboy Bebop had far more interesting bounty hunters
- Ghost in the Shell was far more mature when in came to human-machine fusion
- Queen’s Blade was a heavy fan service show
In effect you get nothing out of this show other than yet another reassurance of how incompetent GONZO was, is, and forever will be. Not recommended.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 0/2 (bad CGI)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (typical)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 0/2 (loose)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 2/4 (it has good ideas but barely does anything with them)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
Art 0/1 (bad CGI)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (feels generic)
Characters 2/4 (they are ok but hardly get the attension the deserved)