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Anime / Sol Bianca

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Sol Bianca is an OVA series by AIC, about the adventures of an Amazon Brigade of Space Pirates and their Cool Starship the "Sol Bianca", in a universe where the Earth is a distant memory. It consists of two episodes released in 1990 and 1992 (respectively), but the series was canceled despite a blatant Sequel Hook for a third episode. The series was one of the first releases by the fledgling ADV Films (still "A.D. Vision" then), and did well enough to inspire a short-lived comic adaptation.

In the first movie, the crew of the Sol Bianca come across Rim Delapaz, a young stowaway boy who wants to see his parents in the planet Trez. He convinces them to take him there by telling him of a treasure known as the Gnosis, which is said to contain great power. However, it is currently in the hands of Emperor Batros, who took control of Trez through a brutal military coup and has placed the neighboring planet Uno under military occupation. The pirates must fight against his regime to claim their prize.

In Sol Bianca 2, the crew returns to steal a valuable substance known as Pasha, and wind up getting into conflict with fellow space pirate captain Gomez, who wants the Pasha for himself. When they proceed to beat him to the punch, he vows vengeance and infects the Sol Bianca with machine-eating worms, getting them all stuck in jumpspace and making one of them fall ill. While the police and Gomez are on their trail, a mysterious individual calling himself Yuri Shuraba shows up and demands they come into his custody...

Years later, the series was rebooted in 1999 with the six-episode OVA series titled Taiyō no Fune Sol Bianca (Ship of the Sun Sol Bianca). Pioneer LDC also produced the new series, and released it in Western markets starting in 2000, as Sol Bianca: The Legacy. In this series, the initial team of four pirates gains a new member in Mayo Jessica, a stowaway who wants to see her parents back on Earth. The planet is said to be humanity's birthplace and is a beautiful world of lush greens and paradise. The crew decide to travel to Earth, snatching up artifacts along the way. But the Admiral of the Terran Federation wants to claim their ship in the name of Earth, and so sends the cold, calculating Captain Giunter to retrieve it and apprehend them. Thus begins a race through space to find the truth of Earth and Mayo's parents.

This show provides examples of:

  • Amazon Brigade: April, Feb, May, Janny, and June, the pirates of the Sol Bianca.
  • Big Bad:
    • Original OVA: Emperor Batros rules over the planets Trez and Uno and wants to steal the titular Sol Bianca ship from the heroines so he can use it to conquer the rest of the galaxy.
    • Sol Bianca 2: Gomez is the leader of the rival pirate gang who competes with the heroines for control over the valuable substance Pasha, and desires to kill them to get it from them.
    • The Legacy: The Admiral of the Terran Federation wants to capture the titular Sol Bianca ship from the heroines in the name of Earth, and sends Captain Giunter to pursue and apprehend them.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: In the original series. The heroines are a team of Space Pirates who are shown raiding ships and stealing things, but they have a code of honor and a familial bond, while their enemies are a tyrannical space emperor who routinely kills his own people for his amusement and a rival space pirate captain who also happens to be a misogynist and much more bloodthirsty. The reboot has things more grey, as the Terrans are antagonistic but do just want their ship back, even if they go to extremes to get it.
  • Composite Character: Legacy has Mayo play the equivalent role of the young boy in the original OVA who kicks off the plot by stowing away on the Sol Bianca.
  • Cool Ship: The eponymous vessel.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: The third episode of The Legacy, "Cleaner". The psychic terrorist Booster hijacks the Sol Bianca and captures all of the crew except for Janny, who has to storm the ship with only the aid of a mysterious cop, Gwen. Fortunately, she had been shopping for BFGs when the attack happened...
  • Dyson Sphere: While it doesn't technically span the entire Solar System, in Sol Bianca: The Legacy the Earth is like this, surrounded by a mini-Dyson sphere known as Lotus. The Lotus is roughly the size of the Moon's orbit; in fact, the moon is clearly visible sticking halfway out of the shell of Lotus. Interestingly, the government tries to hide the fact that the Earth That Was is already dead, and thus the people who think they're on Earth live ON the sphere, not shielded by it on the planet. Gunter alludes to the Lotus Eater myth before The Reveal.
  • Earth That Was: The original series treats the revelation that Earth had been lost as a plot twist: the treasure in the first episode was a time capsule from Earth. Legacy establishes the plot point in the first episode, and the main Myth Arc is discovering the final fate of Earth.
  • Foreign Language Title: It's apparently supposed to mean "white sun" in Spanish and/or Italian ("bianca" is the feminine adjective form of "white" in Italian and "sol" is Spanish for "sun"; the correct phrase would be "sol blanco" in Spanish and "sole bianco" in Italian). This could be intentional, given the all-female crew.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Legacy has episode titles in both Japanese and Spanish; it also renames May as "Mayo" to fit the Temporal Theme Naming.
  • Hyperspeed Ambush: The pirates surprise Barton by popping the Sol Bianca up inside his ships and slicing them to pieces.
  • Kill Sat: A variation — Feb uses a very high-powered laser sniper rifle from orbit to save her friends from an execution.
  • Laser Blade: The ship's weapon is some kind of glowing yellow string (it forms curve shapes when in use) that cuts anything it touches.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: The third episode starts on a planet where police work had been outsourced to private companies to save money. This is established then Janny sees a tourist who had been mugged; later, when the attack on the spaceport where the Sol Bianca is docked hits the news, Janny has to threaten several rival companies to make them stop giving her the hard sell. The epilogue of the episode has the planet's president discussing her decision to make policing a government function again.
  • Left Hanging: The second episode of the original series ends with an antagonist character bringing someone out of suspended animation. We never find out more about this, though, because the series ends there, and the second series seems to be either a Prequel or an Alternate Continuity.
  • Mini-Mecha: May's specialty in the original OVA was piloting one of these in combat. In Legacy, Janny reveals that she used to pilot a battle suit aboard the Sol Bianca before she grew too large for it, and sure enough, Mayo Falls Into The Cockpit in the final episode in order to rescue Feb.
  • The Quiet One: Janny in the second series is serious and withdrawn, except when June manages to draw her into an argument.
  • Space Is an Ocean: When the eponymous ship enters or leaves hyperspace, it resembles a submarine diving or resurfacing — complete with waves appearing around the vessel.
  • Space Pirates: In both series, the crew of the Sol Bianca are hunting for treasure — particularly lost artifacts.
  • Spaceship Girl: In both series, June seems to be something like a robotic terminal of the ship's computer.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Happens twice in the third episode, "The Cleaner". First it looks as if Gwen, the cop who had boarded the Sol Bianca, was about to shoot Janny, but actually he saves her by landing a headshot on Booster's big monster minion standing behind her. Later, he does it again trying to shoot Booster himself.
  • Starship Luxurious: The Sol Bianca has an onboard garden.
  • Straw Misogynist: Booster, the villain of the third episode, takes the crew of the Sol Bianca hostage and hijacks the ship to attack the female president of the Planet of the Week. As the policeman, Gwen, pursuing him explains, Booster mistrusts women because his Missing Mom left both him and his older brother, Gwen, alone.
  • Theme Naming: The given names of the main characters are month names or variations thereof: April, Feb, Janny, June, May (Mayo in Legacy). There's also an extrasolar system with planets named Uno and Tres in the original series.