Lush designs and interesting characters with scant story...
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this OVA series around for a while and kept debating wether to buy it or not. Finally, I made the purchase and discovered it wasn't as bad as I first might have anticipated. Mind the fact that there was another Sol Bianca series which came before the 'Legacy' OAVs, so the story picks up with undefined characters and begins rolling immediately. Each DVD comes with two half hour episodes from the six episode mini-series and an 8 minute Animetronic music video using clips from the episodes.The opening title sequence sort of gives an overall feel for what the series is about at its heart- Five females trekking around lazily yet not interacting greatly in a barren world with lots of female symbolism. The five women(one a small girl) are each named after a month in the year; Jani, Feb, April, Mayo and June (I assume this keeps in line with the 'sun' motif in the series). Typically there is the strong stubborn leader, the lusty lush, the hacker techno geek and the strong silent one however they are fleshed out very convincingly and thoughtfully unlike most anime groups cut from the old mold. They are the pirate crew of the rogue mystery space ship 'Sol Bianca' which has awesome and undefined powers. 'Sol's central computer casts a hologram of a giant goddess within its capacious CPU room and manifests itself outside the craft during certain attack maneuvers. The most striking detail of the series is its art design and character design. I haven't seen an anime with such beautifully detailed characters. The women are drawn exceptionally well in all ways and drawn rather deftly without pandering constantly to the sexy skimpy bobbing anime woman preconcepts. Because of a more refined approach the characters seem almost real and have more depth to their believability. I noticed the rather graphic approach to minute details mirror a large influence from Mike Mignola (Hellboy comics) who happens to be a titan influence recently in American and Japanese animation. The bgs are ok, but the painting can sometimes be a little sub-standard compared to the characters. The animation is MOR and leaves a little to be desired in all ways. Perhaps the two biggest eyesores in the series are the CGI ships which appear to be CGI and the horribly abrupt camera moves which have little finese and seem as annoying as pan and scan adjusts due to this series being done digitally. The overall story isn't too bad, but appears to be an almost direct rip off of the BBC series 'Blake's 7'- unquantified legendary pirate ship piloted by crew of malcontents led by a tenous thread of leadership, and oddly also Asimov's 'Foundation and Earth'- humanity forgetting its roots in the universe and searching desperately to regain its past to correct the future. There is a little more exposition then action and the first two episodes lead to better ones in the following DVD. The content is fairly mature, and the female characters display some sour traits unsuitable for children(just incase you want buy this for your 8 year olds). I wish there were half stars because I would have rated this DVD as 3.5 mostly for unsightly digital video technique and scant story. However I couldn't slag this series off in a million years because of the incredible drawings and character designs of women handled with more class then almost any other female anime series. A good buy."
Sol Bianca, The Legacy - Lost Treasures
Darren Sisco | 05/05/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While there's nothing outstanding about this new take on the original Sol Bianca OVAs, it's not bad. As before, this is the story of the all-female treasure hunting crew of the starship Sol Bianca. The new character designs are gorgeous, the stories are straightforward, and the animation is fluid throughout the 2 episodes contained herein. The menus, which mimic the control systems of the titular starship, are among the best I've seen on any DVD and the extra features include a music video. However, the CGI was rather disappointing in more than a few scenes. Also, action fans be warned; there's more exposition here than battles. Overall, it's entertaining, but nothing special."
CG Experiments Lame?
Matthew Lafrance | VT USA | 03/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The original Sol Bianca was an arguably entertaining story about a smugglers ship crewed entirely by women, and a stowaway with issues. Now it seems the ship has been rediscovered by antique enthusiasts with a passion for Spanish. Fans of Armitage will find Hiroyuki Ochi's style familiar. The ambitious all CG animation is unique but not fully matured. Pans in particular are jarring and you just can't get over the feeling that it looks wrong some how. Some unique effects don't really outweigh the sense of unease created by the animation. The story might get better later but I don't think I can sit through the next 2 DVDs to find out."
Episodes 1 & 2 in an epic Science Fiction Drama.
indanthrene | Salt Lake City, UT United States | 02/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sol Bianca originally came to us from two OVAs (Original Video Animations) in the early 90s. These two stories told of a Sol Bianca much further along in its history than is depicted in the current video releases, which pick up the story at least one and possibly many years earlier, when May was not yet a part of the crew (she joins in episode 1). Yet, as fans of some of the best OVA series of a decade ago are discovering as these stories are remade into new modern OVA series, there are often many points of story and character redesign, in many ways a retelling of the story in a different way. Whether the new Sol Bianca OVA series ever converges back with its original OVA heritage is a matter that may only be resolved as time goes by.
I'm quite surprised by the depths of storytelling in the new OVA series. It is also very Japanese in that from the beginning of episode 1, it is clear that the whole story will not be revealed until many episodes have passed, if not until the end of the set. One must watch, wait, absorb, and above all, think, in order to appreciate this series.
Episode 1: We are swept back into Sol Binaca's past (in comparison to the original OVAs) where the new OVA begins on a backwater left-behind former frontier world. In the first three minutes a stiring montage of scenes from April's history roll out, setting the stage and placing the foundation for all the storylines. This continues for all of them, in bits and pieces, hints and possibilities, droppped here and there. The main plot is set up to introduce us to those who will obviously be the recurring villains of the series. We are also introduced to some important world-building information not previously available that begins to explain a great many things.
Episode 2: The crew is off to a planet where treasure might be found, but the Blue Comets are hot on their heels. We learn important new background information about the history of the setting and about June and about the history of the setting.
I felt my money was well spent here."
Such a good short series
Darren Sisco | Springfield, TN United States | 02/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This series is da bomb! Unfortunently the bomb's about as big as a cherry bomb. Talk about short! 3 whole volumns with 2 episodes each. sheesh. Why did they even bother. I love the show. Terrific story, great graphics. It left me wanting more! Just when you think after watching this first episode that you're in for a long ride of swashbuckling adventure, think again."