TL;DR – 4-minute experimental anime that should be viewed only through that lens.
Review (warning: spoilers)
Production I.G has created a number of excellent anime over the past decade include Psycho-Pass, Guilty Crown and hands down the best volleyball anime ever in Haikyuu!!.
A joint project with Netflix, Sol Levante uses hand drawn constructs with 4K HDR (high dynamic range) technology. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a 4K HDR television (like myself) then you can’t fully appreciate Sol Levante‘s four minutes of animated brilliance.
The making of video by Netflix is longer than the anime itself, but it will give you an idea of what anime production companies like Production I.G are seeking to do.
For four minutes, you can’t tell much of a story but Sol Levante is meant to be about a warrior searching for a sacred place that fulfils wishes, but the warrior upsets the guardians that watch over the place.
In truth, it’s more an animated experiment than a proper story. And from an enjoyment factor, you’ll forget it immediately after it’s viewed.
I debated whether to do a review on something like this, but seeing the making of video helped me appreciate what animators are trying to do.
Anime traditionalists will likely hate everything about Sol Levante. But I’m a little more open to seeing different styles. I appreciate variety but not at the expense of story. At the end of the day, no matter how pretty it looks, if the story is not told well (or in this case there isn’t really a story) then it’s a wasted effort from an entertainment perspective.
I’m not sure why they released Sol Levante other than to act as a showcase or stepping stone of what is to come. But as a piece of entertainment, it did not do much for me.
2 out of 10