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INFO FILE
Title:
Sol Bianca: The Legacy Vol.1 - Lost Treasures DVD
Format:
Bilingual DVD
Episodes 1 & 2
70 minutes
Production:
AIC
BIG
Animaze
Pioneer Entertainment
Zro Limit Productions
Rating:
A-
Comments:
It may be a remake, but it is one of the must see series on the market.

The Lost Animefringe Review:
Sol Bianca: The Legacy Vol.1 - Lost Treasures DVD
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold


It is always important to start an alternative universe remake of a classic story with an origin story that lets people know just how bad, or good, the original version was. Sol Bianca: The Legacy is one such story that is truly better in six part OVA format than it ever was as a two part movie. What fans of the original get is all their favorite characters back with cutting edge digital anime, character origins, and an engaging plot that blows the original out of the water.

Episode 1: El Emblema (The Emblem) gives glimpses of the motivations that drive each of the space-fairing pirate crew of the space ship Sol Bianca as they set out to retrieve April's flintlock pistol that somehow found its way into the hands of an illegal auction syndicate. But things go wrong when the Blue Comets, a radical group for the preservation of frontier-Earth culture, show up to stop the auction and retrieve the stolen artifacts.

Episode 2: La Reminiscencia (Memories) spotlights Jun as the crew of the Sol Bianca land on a desolit planet, which was once a colony of the Earth, in search of lost treasure. But, last episode's stowaway, Mayo, is lured through a hulking doorway by a ghostly woman. Jun follows with her genie-like computer assistant, Sancho, and the door slams shut forcing them to travers a real version of Dante's The Divine Comedy. And the rest of the shut out crew is forced to face the Blue Comets. With this characterization episode comes the idea of where the show is ultimately headed, a pilgrimage to the source of the colonies, Earth.

The English dub features one of the largest and best gatherings of Pioneer's shining ladies to date. It seems half the fun with Pioneer dubs it picking out what shows the voice actors have been in. Also, in true OVA tradition the first episode ends with the opening theme song as the closer and the second episode has both themes in their proper places. The opening theme, "To Be Free," sung by Stell Furst, has a definite Spanish theme to it that is carried on throughout the show in both the character designs and actual plots. On the other hand, the ending theme, "You're No Alone," sung by Kryie, is seems to be out of touch with the rest of the show, but is enjoyable none the less.

The DVD features the continued evolution of Pioneer's menu system with the implementation of the sequence of the Sol Bianca's computers coming online with scene movement and sound. In this case, the missing auto-start of the movie, which appears on the start-up other Pioneer releases, can be overlooked because the logging-on menu brings the viewer into the show. The special features include the Animetronic: Sol Bianca Music Clip "Club Cut," a 22 second 3D ship animation test, 15 character designs sketches for April and Jun, a special trailer for volume 2 with clips set to the opening theme, and the standard DVD credits page.

While supplies last, each of the three VHS and DVD volumes of Sol Bianca: The Legacy comes with one of three character cards that, when combined, can be redeemed for an exclusive Sol Bianca Tarot Card Deck. If the El-Hazard: the Alternative World Poker Deck is any indication of the quality that is to be expected, this Tarot Card Deck will be equally spectacular.


Why this review wasn't used:
This review was written in April 2000 right when Adam wrote the Animetronic article. The May issue was planned to have 6 reviews, but due to problems we only managed to have 5 reviews. Since the Sol Bianca Vol.1 DVD was mentioned in the Animetronic article, it was cut due to the redundancy of the two. Adam believes that if the review had accompanied the Animetronic article, the readers would have been able to see the whole picture... whatever that means.
An interesting side-note is that Adam's Perfect Blue VHS review was meant to be ran in the January 2000 launch issue, but due to deadlines the review was cut. The Perfect Blue VHS review was later revised and turned into a review of the DVD which did see print in the July 2000 issue. The Sol Bianca review just wasn't ever that lucky.

Original Material © 1999 / 2001 Animefringe, All Rights Reserved. You know what's a funny word? Beefalo. 
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