Solty Rei Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe/Japan
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £15.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Solty Rei

Solty Rei Vol. #3

Hits you hard, then hits you harder yet again

By Christopher Homer     August 04, 2009
Release Date: July 13, 2009


Solty Rei Vol. #3
© FUNimation

A major secret is revealed and culminates in a tragedy where everything seems lost for Roy and Solty.

What They Say
Who says life is easy for a bounty hunter? For Roy Revant, who lives in a city on the edge of extinction thanks to an event called the Blast Fall, work is never complete. With Resembles (people with prosthetic limbs) roaming the streets, it is hard to tell who is for real and who's a fake. When a young female Resemble named Solty emerges from the skies, she promises to bring Roy both peace and pain. The anime series SOLTY REI continues to chronicle Roy and Solty's sci-fi adventures with this third collection of episodes.

The Review!
Audio:
Unlike the previous two reviews, I went and reviewed the English dub for this volume. In 5.1 format, the audio comes through perfectly, with no distortion and shows how well it’s worked out when you turn on the commentary alternating quickly between the commentary track and the regular track. You can tell the audio is something good when the first moment is an echoing audio throughout a cemetery sequence which really added to the atmosphere with the additional surround. Excellent stuff.

Video:
The video for Solty Rei continues to be excellent, as there are no problems with encoding or timeframes, the animation frame rate doesn’t slow down, it’s very colourful and it times with the subtitles. It’s one of those shows where watching it widescreen shows what care for a show can do for you, as the vibrant colours and the high action demands it to be shown perfectly. Highlights in this episode in particular include the shocking conclusion at the end of episode 13 and the explosion sequence between Roy and Rose as he tries to rescue her from the chess board style game.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with this disc.

Menu:
The menu is a basic set up allowing for selecting to play all, episode select and extras, upon a background of various clips from the show and a stoic image of Roy lowering his gun. Each menu as well has a nice colour art of one of the characters (Rose taking centre stage mostly) The menu is easy to navigate and is quite colourful, though again there was no chapter select so something I’ll have to get used to for Solty.

Extras:
The extras are mainly a repeat regarding the clean openings and closing, trailers for Desert Punk and Slayers. However there is a nice extra if you’re a dub fan (the reason why I watched this disc in English was because of this) as on episode 13, the key episode in the disc, Chris Sabat (voice of Roy and also the director), Carrie Savage (voice of Solty) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (voice of Rose) all lend their talents for an episode commentary. Sabat talks about voice directing and the fact that the girls have also directed him on other shows, how Chris has his own studio and little fun facts how the show relates to them in real life. Colleen’s love for Rose is easily shown, and how they tone it down appropriately when it gets to the tragic conclusion was a nice touch…

Content:
Solty Rei has been one of the better series in the UK this year, and this disc just increases that belief in my mind, as the plot really goes full throttle and shocking surprises are revealed for all involved…along with tragedy.

It starts off innocently enough, Solty is being quite chipper for some reason, which is soon revealed that it’s Roy’s birthday soon and she, Miranda and Kasha are preparing a surprise party, much to Rose’s uncaring attitude. Whilst this is happening, the PROCEED are nearly killed by some bombs with a strange insignia on it – which are also sent to Solty and Roy’s home, and Roy himself whilst he’s away. It turns out it’s an old adversary of his named Hou Chuu, who delights in playing twisted games, and forces Roy and Rose’s brother Larry to disarm two bombs. It ends semi fine, as Solty saved Miranda and Kasha, whilst the game was merely a distraction. However, it caused Rose more problems as she gets kidnapped by Hou, and a minor plot point revealed in the previous disc suddenly has more shocking revelations, as Solty humming an innocent tune taught to her by Rose brings Roy to a conclusion he would have never had guessed…

The hints about Rose are subtly given in episode 12 – namely how the Blast Fall caused genetic mutations and affected people biological DNA up to and even including their hair colour. Larry explains to Roy how Rose was an adopted sister to the Andersons, and then shows Roy the clothes she was found in. The revelation is confirmed – Rose Anderson is actually Roy’s long lost daughter Rita Revant, long thought since dead. With this in mind, Roy is desperate to save her but Hou is enjoying tormenting his nemesis and gives him a choice of either killing Hou or saving Rose/Rita on a booby trapped chess board. Rose, not knowing the truth is stunned as Roy so determined to save her and him in near tears with a tender smile on his face shocks her. Larry and the PROCEEDS try to stop Hou – either through legal means or my killing him – but when another bomb is revealed underneath Rose, it looks like father and daughter are returning to the heavens. Fortunately Solty (who disobeys Roy’s orders of not following him) arrives to take the hit and the revelation is confirmed, with Rose in utter shock, not believing that her past was a lie. The emotion that is conveyed through this scene as a different ending plays is truly captivating and continues to show why Solty Rei is so good, that you are completely drawn into the characters emotions and personalities.

The fallout however turns nasty. Rose is unaccepting, the Andersons are linking everything, Roy is happy in his own way and Solty is confused. In the mean time, Yuto gets a call and then visits a female friend Jeremy who is trying an experiment to break through the Aurora Shell and stop the manipulation of the RUC on the city’s resources. Yuto, knowing that it could potential cause another Blast Fall asks Roy to stop her, but no such luck and worse, Yuto gets knocked out by Jeremy as she tries her plan. Rose in the meantime is not so subtly asked to get a present for her father whilst she works out her own feelings. Rose’s inner monologue is both amusing and understanding as her life that she knew has quickly vanished and a man who is a hunter versus a woman who is a thief are related just boggles her mind. However, she decides to go with the flow and reunite with her father…but when Jeremy’s experiment comes to a brutal conclusion, the shocking turnabout is absolutely devastating…I was not quite tears level, but you felt it mainly as Rose was such an interesting and lovable character in a different way to Solty, that the end of episode 13 after such revelations and acceptance is shocking.

The aftermath is as you’d probably guess, brutal. Roy goes into despair, ignoring Solty and even can’t get sense talked into him by Miranda, or knocked into him by the Andersons. Roy even tries to kill Jeremy, barely alive at the hospital but Solty and Miranda stop him. However, Roy is angry at Solty because she saved him during the crash that caused Rose’s death instead of her. Worse, Roy now sees her as nothing but a machine who can’t feel the emotions he’s feeling. In tears, Solty runs away and bumps into Accela, the nice one of the Knight’s Saber group the PROCEEDS who helped her cook. She offers for Solty to stay at her place, and it’s almost another psuedo-sister relationship between the two – the PROCEEDS don’t get much attention but Accela ironically stands out the most because her feelings are genuine, ironic considering she’s the shyest one of the team. However, Solty feels she can’t burden another friend and whilst Accela is at work, she escapes…alone in the dark…

These series of episodes were utterly fantastic in terms of managing to get everything sorted out…and then open up a completely new can of worms. The revelation of Roy’s daughter is a big twist…and then the next episode, her death totally changes everything. Roy changes from slightly grumpy, to elated…to depressed in the span of 4 episodes. Solty was pushed to the background mostly but with what’s happened and the last episode finale you know she’s going to be brought back up to speed – the supporting cast as well were magnificent, Miranda and the Anderson’s iin particular and whilst he was only in two episodes, Hou was one evil villain who you wanted to get his comeuppance. The characters really make the series, but the fact that a strong plot angle has concluded only for another one to begin, how it effortlessly flows through is just a testament to the strength that Solty Rei has as a show.

Summary:
Solty Rei: Volume 3 hits you hard, and then harder with some shocking plot twists and revelations, and then makes sure you hit your emotions well with the shocking conclusions. Whether there is more to the Rose situation or not as she was such a fantastic character, it’s time to play the waiting game but you know they have more surprises up their sleeves, too much mystery left unsolved (especially with the mysterious PROCEED leader) and what’s going to happen to Solty, there’s so much left to learn…and I so want to learn it. Highly recommended.

Features
JApanese 2.0 Langauge, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Clean opening, Clean closing, Episode 13 Commentary with Chris Sabat (Voice of Roy/Director), Carrie Savage (Solty) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (Rose)

Review Equipment

Toshiba 37C3030 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV – Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers – Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM.

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