Anime: Solty Rei Released By: FUNimation Release Date: May 5th, 2015 Retail Price: $29.98
Roy Revant is a bounty hunter who has been dealt an unfortunate hand in life after losing his wife to an incurable ailment. Roy is hardened by grief, and is noticeably rough around the edges from his experiences over the course of the years. The story begins with him 12 years after a catastrophic event known as the “blast fall” occurred, where a government “big brother” type building was struck by a lightning like force from the Aurora Shell (a protective dome cocooning the planet essential to regulating the atmosphere). The impact caused extensive damage and mass amounts of death and chaos for years to come; creating a world where technology is used to rebuild people with sometimes upgraded prosthetics (they are called Resembles). In the midst of the madness from the blast fall, Roy’s daughter goes missing, leaving him completely alone and isolated from those dearest to him but extremely motivated to locate his only child. One evening, a woman falls from the sky and incidentally saves Roy, though she has no previous recollection of her life prior to the encounter. She sticks by Roy’s side and is later named Solty, who is also a “Resemble” unique to any others witnessed before her.
Solty and Roy begin to develop a parent – child relationship, as he constantly shows concerns for her well being in confrontational moments. His abrupt and no-nonsense outlook is the only way he can express his worries, and can be most noticeable when Roy is projecting his beliefs, resulting in Roy visibly overcompensating as a father to make up for the absence of his daughter. Roy is a very engaging character, trying to find happiness and restore balance in his life the best way possible, even though some of the emotions seem foreign after so long. Roy and Solty are suitable pair, as drastic personalities (Roy feeling grimmer, and Solty seeming more enthusiastic about life). Every episode begins with one documenting or journaling their thoughts, which is a perceptive way to mark the character transitions, which occur consistently. The duo makes an engaging pair for the progression of the series, and the close knit bond is enhanced upon when Solty and Roy start to primarily focus on the safety and survival of each other. The connection between the two is best represented over the course of the final episode that is guaranteed to hit you right in the feels.
Normally in anime, a naïve cybernetic based girl would have a deer in the headlights frame of mind, and is often a background role. In Solty Rei, Solty not only can form her own thoughts and opinions, but her ability to tap into extreme doses of power make her a remarkable character, even though she appearance with green horn-shaped hair takes time to adjust to. The first half of the series embarks on her processing humanity, and like noted earlier, creates a perfect contrast to Roy, making you appreciate both characters for different reasons. For not being an actual human, Solty’s actions and beliefs are catered to an idealistic humanity and unconditional love up until the final episode. Other characters help move the plot along, such as Rose, the young blonde woman who along with her brothers, decide to act as a Robin Hood type hero, stealing to help unregistered citizens (known as underprivileged people in their society). Rose has an ego that takes center stage during most of her interactions, and sometimes tunnel vision leaves her not able to notice the wake of destruction in their path, but her do-good intentions and compassion for others makes her yet another necessary figure, with deeper connections to various arcs covered in the series.
Solty Rei is an anime series that knows how to triumphantly harness progressive character development, which avoids unnecessary repetition. There is a larger story at play that involves humanity, evolutionary technology, and most importantly, a family dynamic. The subtle use of music is exceptionally well for this series, such as the song “Return To Love (Jazz Version)” is recurring to tie into the characters history but also is a sample of emotionally moving music up until the very end. Solty Rei is a surprising series that stresses the importance of family, while incorporating the heroic qualities that are needed to help the world flourish.
Overall Grade: 8/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts -I couldn’t get “Return To Love” out of my head for days -Solty might just be one of the most adorable androids of anime (and there are a lot) -I enjoyed that the anime decided to make family a focal point, and the world conflicts secondary, it feels more authentic. -The bittersweet ending will bring out your emotions, I almost guarantee it.