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DVD Review

DVD cover

Solty Rei
Volume 1


Starring (voice): Jouji Nakata, Momoko Saito, Hiro Shimono and Mamiko Noto
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 16 March 2009

Following a tragedy known as Blast Fall, the city below is a place of melancholy. Resembles, injured people rebuilt with prosthetic limbs walk under the all pervading Aurora, a shimmering field which prevents aerial travel. Through this metropolis stalks Roy Revant, bounty hunter, a man with no family and no ties. This all changes when Solty falls from the sky. Outwardly she resembles a small child, but this is a child with great power and a beginning shrouded in mystery...

Solty Rei (2005) is a futuristic sci-fi thriller directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike from a script by Noboru Kimura. The DVD holds the first six episodes of this twenty-four episode series.
The disc opens with the episode The City Where the Aurora Falls, which introduces us to Roy doing his best Bladerunner impression - right down to the trench coat and guttural speech. Solty, meanwhile, is being chased by the authorities through the city following a break-in at a top secret facility. Roy is a bitter, broken man since his wife was killed during Blast Fall, his daughter too disappeared that night and the loss is eating him up. Roy goes after his criminal partner Grey, but Grey puts up a fight and Roy is only saved when Solty falls from the sky. A resemble, but one with a difference, she is wholly cyborg. Partly out of gratitude, but mostly because Solty won’t leave him alone he gets stuck with her.

In the second episode, A New Dawn, Roy's boss at the Maverick Hunters agency has been trying to drum up more business with an ad campaign, but the campaign has caught the attention of her rivals who decided that a good business plan would be to have her assassinated. With a sniper on her case it’s a stroke of luck that Roy lives in her building. When Miranda and her daughter discover Solty in Roy’s apartment they take her shopping, which gets her spotted by the RUC Special Security Division who are still after her for the break-in.

The Girl in Blue, and following pressure from Miranda, Roy accepts that in order to stop Solty being taken in by the authorities Miranda will become her legal guardian, although an administrative error has Roy designated as her stepfather. Next thing she needs is her health certificate, so it is fortunate that Roy’s next job is protecting a case belonging to a hospital.

Friend, and Solty is out and about learning about life. Maverick Hunters has taken on another employee, a resemble technician who is entranced with Solty’s construction. Making friends is never an easy thing; Solty makes a new friend, Meryl after she helped he when she got lost. When Meryl gets kidnapped Solty tries to help out.

Waterside Panic, and we have our first holiday special when Rose Anderson, The Blue Meteor, steals a priceless emerald only to have to stash it quickly, her plans start to go wrong when first Roy and his crew turn up quickly followed by the girls from the security services. So how is Rose supposed to get her ill gotten gains without tipping her had to two potential enemies?

Beloved Daughter closes the disc. Roy has another case, this time to track down Vincent Greco, but before he gets started Roy gets a call to say that his daughter has been found. Roy and Solty head over to reunite father and daughter, when they get there they discover that she has been taken care of by her uncle Vincent Greco.

The disc comes with a number of extras. The Character Cat Auditions (12 min, 10 sec) narrated by the voice director talking about how and why he made certain choices in the cast - a nice addition which turns out to be more than filler. On the filler side you get textless opening and closing sequences and trailers for Desert Punk and Daphne in the Brilliant Blue. Audio options are 5.1 with a good English dub or Japanese 2.0 with or without subtitles.  

It’s a good start for another cyberpunk show although it’s too early to say whether the series will explore the created world or disintegrate into crime of the week.


Charles Packer

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