Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sol Bianca: The Legacy
Sol Bianca: The Legacy Vol. #3
By Aaron J. Heiner
February 18, 2002
Release Date: February 13, 2001
Once again, Suncoast slipped and I was able to get this disc days before its scheduled release date. Sol Bianca: The Legacy is not a continuation of the original Sol Bianca made in the early 90s. The best way for me to describe Sol Bianca is to say that it is an all female version of Bebop meets Blake's 7. (Blake's 7 is an old British sci-fi series.) This series rocks and here's why.
First off, the story is rather well thought out: cool pirate chicks, a powerful ship, and hard action. The story is fast and constant. If you blink, you missed something. The crew of the Sol Bianca consists of April, the jack-of-all-trades captain; then comes Jani, the tough one, who loves big guns and isn't afraid to use them; followed by Feb, the drunk pilot who enjoys men, wine and other fine luxuries; the smart one, June who was found in a state of suspended animation rounds out the adult cast; Mayo a small girl who stowed away on the ship is last to join the crew, and quickly felt a bond both between June, and G, the ship's AI. There is also a neat genie that June uses through G that allows her to do things that are otherwise not possible with the other pirates. He is as interesting as the women pirates are, despite the fact that he reminds me slightly of the Doctor from ST: Voyager.
CONTENT - SPOILER INSIDE:
April is still reeling from a fight that lead to Feb leaving the ship, which leaves April pondering her own life. After the failed attempt to rescue Feb from Gunter in the end of disc two, April believes her life is a waste until her lover, a male pirate, smacks some sense in to her. Meanwhile, June takes Mayo to find her parents when the ship lands outside a Dyson's sphere that surrounds Earth. But it is soon discovered that Mayo's parents are dead. April confronts Gunter and Feb, only to learn that the Earth that is within the sphere is a dead planet. While this is occurring the evil forces that be have planted a computer virus into G that results in June falling ill. The story concludes with an amazing star ship battle that could result in the destruction of the infected Sol Bianca. Do the pirates make it through? Watch it for yourself for the conclusion of this OAV.
The sound was great as far as I could tell. It was very consistent, and clear, with no drop off in volume or quality. Another good job by Pioneer's boys in the sound lab. I did have some line noise but was the result of a bad RCA cable that was easily rectified by an upgrade to Monster Cables.
The animation blends CG and traditional cell drawn animation rather nicely and is a sign of the way anime will be created from this point out in all likelihood. I had no bleeding or artifacting during the disc at all. The CG stands out a little bit more than I myself prefer, but they are still great. They are not as well blended in as Bebop or Dual, but considerably better than those used in Blue Submarine #6.
EXTRAS - COVER:
The cover I find the most vibrant and eye catching of the three covers. Even though the extra section were great, with a 3D test of the ships, music video, and character sketches, it was the menus themselves that were the most noticeable as they resemble the ships GUI which itself is rather unique as far as ship interfaces go.
The bottom line is if you are looking for a new series that rocks and is different than the norm, then Sol Bianca is for you. Sol Bianca is to Pioneer as Bebop was to Bandai, so if you like that kind of style then you will love Bianca. My only real gripe about this series is that it is too short. By the time you start to feel for the characters, the show is over. AIC needed to make this series a bit longer by at least doubling it overall in size. Twelve episodes as a bare minimum. But that is not too bad a complaint as far as complaints go, I guess.
Sony DVPS330P DVD Player, Panasonic 27GT14, AIWA NSX-V76