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DVD Review

DVD cover

Solty Rei
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Jouji Nakata, Momoko Saito, Hiro Shimono and Mamiko Noto
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 13 July 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: Volume 3 (2005), directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike, passes the halfway mark for this show, continuing episodes eleven to fourteen of this twenty-four episode show. The story looks to be changing direction from the light-hearted domesticity of the first half of the show. The series noir sensibility has slipped a little with the introduction of the irrepressibly cute Solty, but her sudden bursts of destructive violence lend her an air of danger. Up till now the series has spent less time than it should on the back-story, Blastfall has almost brought ruination on the human population, killing Roy’s wife and losing him his only daughter in the subsequent chaos. Although the presence of Solty allows Roy to fulfil the role of father it’s not something that comes naturally to him, not even when it looks like his real daughter has been finally found.

Episode eleven: Birthday Game. Solty is distracted by a shopping list; it seems that Roy's birthday is just around the corner. Meanwhile an R U C Resemble researcher has been murdered, by an explosion which emanated from within his body, by Hou Chuu, recently escaped from prison and the PROCEED team are on the scene. These two seemingly unrelated events come to a head when it is revealed that the murderer, means to keep killing and he has a grudge against Roy.

Episode twelve: Tears after the Showdown. Hou Chuu has struck at Roy’s weak point, his relationships, by kidnapping his daughter Rose. His demands are simple, come and come alone. Knowing that Roy cannot refuse this demand Hou Chuu booby traps the building as well as Roy’s route; Hou Chuu means to kill not just Roy but everyone he cares for. It seems that for Roy the time has come to pay the piper for the brutality of his past as a cop.

Episode thirteen: Distance. And the aftermath of the preceding episode is awkward for all involved. Even after he has saved her life, Rose is still struggling to come to terms with the fact that Roy may well be her father. These musings are cut short when Roy discovers that Kolbel is engaged in energy experiments which may pose a threat to the whole population, it may even trigger another Blastfall. With Solty at his side Roy set off to stop the experiment, as they make their way to their destination Rose spots them and follows.

Episode fourteen: Heavy Hearts. And we shall pull a veil over the events of this episode, to do otherwise would spoil a major turning point in the plot, suffice it to say, things do not go well with Roy’s attempt to stop Jeremy.

Audio options are a rather decent English 5.1 or the original Japanese 2.0 track with optional subtitles. Extras are pretty good for an anime title, including the full length commentary for episode thirteen and the textless opening and closing sequences. Oh yes, there are a couple of trailers - there are always trailers pretending to be extras.

With the disc ending on such a downbeat note it will be interesting to see where they will take the storyline, hopefully with an exploration of the first Blastfall and the beginnings of unravelling the enigma that is Solty.


Charles Packer

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