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[ café reviews ]

[Sol Bianca]
Sol Bianca

Copyright: © 1992 AIC / Pioneer LDC, Inc.
Length: 45 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: English Subtitled (VHS)

Director: Saga Satoshi Screenplay: Yamamoto Yu Music: Yoshikawa Yoichiro Produced by: M.T.V.

[ plot summary ]

VHS jacket

The birth of interstellar trade has revived not only piracy, but the age old tradition of stowing away on ships. When the crew of the Sol Bianca knocks over a typical freighter, they find a young boy hiding in one of the crates they stole. He is amazingly uncommunicative for having been captured by ruthless pirates, admitting only that his name is Rim and he wants to go to a planet named Tres. Later it is revealed that Tres holds many treasures. For Rim it holds his father and mother, held prisoner by the ruthless dictator Batros. For the pirates, the evil dictator has in his possession the Golden Box, also called the "Gnosis." This box is supposed to be a recording device that contains all the knowledge of the galaxy. However, when the Sol Bianca is crippled in a space battle and Rim and three of the crew are captured by Batros, the situation becomes a fight for survival.

[ capsule review ]

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, although there are some fairly large plot holes. Why does Rim's presence on board keep the ship from jumping into hyperspace? Where did the ship get that cool supercannon it used in the end? And how did the pirates fly safely back to the shuttle with half the Tres airforce on their tail? These problems notwithstanding, it was fun light watching with some really sharp animation. Among my favorite effects are the Sol Bianca submerging and reemerging from hyperspace, and Feb perched on the orbital ring, firing at the surface with a sniper rifle (well, she said it was designed for long range. . . .)

The music ranges from unremarkable to cheesy, mostly showing up only in the fight scenes. You'll probably never even notice that it has music, and skipping it would detract little from the movie.

One of my favorite parts of the movie is the characterization of the pirates. They are definitely self interested pirates, far more interested in plundering space lines than saving the world. While not particularly ruthless (they don't kill too many people in their raids,) they are most definitely pirates, and only heroic in comparison to truly evil people. For example they are more than happy to threaten Rim with spacing out the airlock if he doesn't volunteer more information about his presence on their ship. The quarrel and argue in a very convincing (if occasionally overly cute) way, they manage to fall somewhere between Errol Flynn's "Robin Hood" and Long John Silver.

I'm curious about the name of their ship: "Sol Bianca." The planet names are Spanish (Tres: Three, Uno: One,) so the ship name could also be Spanish, but I can't find a meaning for "Bianca" in any language, other than it being a girl's name. If you spell it "Sol Blanco," it translates as "White Sun," which is not only appropriate for a white ship, but a cool name in any case.
- DB, 99.01.11

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Music: N/A 2 stars N/A
Translation: N/A N/R N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 4 stars N/A

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