Darkness. That seems to be the last thing I remember before blacking out on a depressing friday night to a whiskey and coke binge, holding on to my obscure anime VHS collection to pass the time. All I remember was popping in one of my personal favorite OVA’s with space pirate babes in red armor, neon monofilament wires dancing through laser fire to the hypnotic movements of feminine physique, and the occasional tyrant getting his holy butt handed to him by these valkyries of cosmic space. When I came too, I found myself waking to these pirate goddesses (minus the kid in the ponytail. I don’t do the loli complex, sorry kid) who were nursing me back from my hungover depression, and began to tell their tale of plunder, adventure, and the occasional stop to drop off a kid on some backwater planet in the (un)known galaxy…
This it the tale of that “little ol’ OVA” of Sol Bianca. This is my first anime review, and my first blog post for the AAA Podcast. I’d figure I would just start by talking about the anime a little, add some detail here and there, and then give my background and opinion on it. I don’t know if that is how “things are done” in the anime blogging review world, but this is my blog and I call the shots. So if you want out, use that lazy hand of yours and move the mouse to the back button at the top and left click. So now that those “people” have left and some of you are around to read this, good for you… or bad, eh whatever.
Sol Bianca takes us into space somewhere, which we see a ship captain determining the quality of gold he has in his hands when outta no where, we see neon lines cut the ship into parts and are boarded by people in space armor armed with monofilament wire and guns. It is then realized that these people are pirates… that happen to be women. After the pirates take the cargo off the ship on to their ship, the “Sol Bianca,” they happen to stumble (which I mean use a gun to shoot off a cargo lock) upon a stowaway by the name of Rim who wants to go to the planet Tres… which is all he says the first 10 some minutes. The pirates are not- OH GOOD GOD, I forgot to introduce you to them! We have Posh Pirate, Scary Pirate, Baby Pirate, Sporty Pirate and Ginger Pirate, which make up the Spice Girls-er, the pirates of the Sol Bianca (ok so there show names are April, Feb, Janny, May and June). Each have their own unique personalities as Feb being the drunk one and captain, April being second in command (and doing well, most of the work) Janny the tomboy, May being the youngest one and the only one who can pilot a mech, and June being the computer wiz.
So yea, the all girl pirate band don’t seem that interested to help there unwelcome guest, but Rim states on Tres there is something called the “Golden Box,” which holds all the secrets to the universe. And as a nice consolation prize, there is a ton of gold and sparkly crap they can have to hang around their necks. Enchanted by Rim’s offer, the girls set off to Tres to get the box and help Rim reunite with his parents (that was another reason he had to get there). Along the way they happen to run into Emperor Batros space force, headed by Tres dictator Batros. The girls use interdimensional travel to get past the ships and land a cruiser to the planet with April, Janny, June and Rim. After on the planet for less than 5 minutes, they get captured and sent to Tres “pound-me-in-the-vag” prison ( don’t worry, there is zero rape in this anime, you can relax now). In the meantime, May and Feb are chilling out in space to get the ship repaired and outta sight from Batros forces due to their last encounter. While that is happening we see Batros take Rim and the others to where the Golden Box is, and Rim finds his mom, in the same state as Han Solo was in Return of the Jedi as a “carbonite ice cube.”
We cut to April, Janny and June about to be beheaded in front of the planet for the shear purpose of Batros proving to everyone not to mess with him when April gets a call that Feb (hung over at this point) stating in good faith that she will rescue them. This begs to question, how can someone in space rescue someone on a planet within say… 2 minutes give or take? Well lucky for them, on the girls looting spree at the beginning of this anime, they get a long range space sniper rifle, which some hundreds of miles above the planet, Feb will attempt to snipe Bartos army in her condition. If this doesn’t spell awesome and crazy at the same time, I really am not sure what will for you guys.
So with “pinpoint” accuracy ( I cannot stress that word “pinpoint”), Feb is able to get her shipmates out of a bad situation by using something only Golgo 13 hasn’t been able to do yet, even if he was sober to do it. What happens next… you guys will just have to find out.
I am gonna try and cut these OVA stories a bit short for you guys so it can leave you on a cliffhanger and going “OHMHAIGAWD WHATS GUNNA HAPPEN NEXT? I SO GOTTA SEE THIS!” Well, that is how I have it planned out in my mind so I don’t spoil it and your left with “eh… sounds ok” and go back to tweeting or whatever you do on those phones your parents gave you to shut you up.
This anime I gotta say has really good character chemistry and great animation for an OVA at the time which makes it so unique to me. It has plenty of action to go around and its just a good ol’ hour long fun anime to watch. But I wanna get into my personal story on how I came to this anime and why it is my favorite. Back in high school (sophmore year in 2002) I was at a new school with new friends. During this time I borrowed whatever anime I could lay my hands on at the time (I saw Eva for the first time on half sub/dub VHS tapes, that is how the big dogs roll up in here son) from my fellow “otaku” classmates, which became good friends with during those couple of years. One of my friends recorded anime off the Encore Action channel about 2001/02 or so, before I met him, and on his tape was Grappler Baki, Tekken (which I could NOT WATCH, and still can’t to this day) and this little unknown gem called Sol Bianca. I remember popping this in my my brothers VHS/8” inch portable TV in my room on a school night (chances are it was on a school night) and within the first 5 minutes I was hooked. By the time it was done, all I wanted to do was think about that anime and somehow getting my hands on it. The version I saw that I remember was the dub version, which seems is incredibly hard to track down for some reason (can’t find it online either).
It wasn’t until about a year later I would say, that I was at my local Coconuts (a video store set up just like Suncoast, only it was overtaken by FYE a couple of years later) and going through the VHS bin I saw it, my first love on VHS, subtitled and still wrapped up in plastic. And like love, it always comes at a hefty price, for 30 bucks. This was some time before the VHS market crashed and tapes were cheap as dirt. But I didn’t care, because I wanted that copy before someone else had the chance to get it. So on that day I bought my copy and went home that night and watched it, and have not regretted getting it since that day.
Sol Bianca is my personal “first love anime,” which to everyone of us our first love is either the kind of anime that maybe the world shuns on or the kinda people put up higher on the pedestal than what it needs to be. But it was “that” anime that made you fall in love with japanese animation, or try to spend months sometimes years tracking down those animation cels for your collection for something maybe 10 people at most may know about, or too many. Yea, its not that great an anime, I have no problem admitting that. And yea, the sequel and revamp OVA that came later isn’t really that good, I have to admit that too. But this one is just special to me, and has yet to break my heart through another bad remake or someone taking a huge dump on it in the industry. It came to me a the right moment and started me off to the person I am today… writing an anime blog on the A.A.A. Podcast. If I can compare Toonami to my anime fandom as climbing up the small hill on a bike, then Sol Bianca was the very beginning inertia to propel me down a large hill of anime fandom at full speed.
I guess to sum me up, I’m a 90′s kid who became an anime fan without really realizing it. I am probably considered a first generation Toonami fan, and it kinda came into full circle from there. I am a fan of history and the past, so older animes are kinda my thing, because everything today just seems so generic and the same ol’ bullcrap to me. If you liked my review, fell free to comment and check out my personal blog at http://animeofyesteryear.blogspot.com/.