Ok, apparently this arrived at the beginning of April on Netflix (Netflix Exclusive), and more than wonder how i missed hearing anything about it despite being quarantined at home, this just shows how much i use Netflix overall. I never even saw even a mention of this one on social media, so i’m gonna do what i can to help.
And yes, this is more of an announcement than a review, because Sol Levante (italian for “rising sun”, despite being a japanese production) isn’t or wasn’t meant to create an interesting story or world, but to test what exactly can you do with animation designed for 4K and HDR displays, with detailed hand-drawn animation produced by Netflix in collaboration with Production I.G, directed and conceived by Akira Saitou.
So the plot is vague at best, concerning a young female warrior (with fantasy ninja outfit) on a quest to reach a sacred place that is said to fulfill any wish, but she has to fight off the mystical and magical guardians of the Sanctuary, who vary from magma dragons, magic trees, sea monsters, etc. It’s good the summary tells you that, because there is no dialogue or text to explain anything, because the budget was already astronomical and the workload (2 years of work) insane, so you don’t get any context, even if the narrative is mostly self-explanatory, despite being bland and barely there.
But – again- Sol Levant was made to be a huge technical exercise, and it delivers with great animation, really detailed and incredibly colorful visuals, spectacle at its finest. It is truly impressive, while it lasts, but even so, this 4 minute short does sells you on the idea that this could be a new starting point for the future of animation overall.
Definitely interesting and worth a watch, regardless.