First Look: BLUE REFLECTION RAY

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Anime original/indirect video game sequel by J.C.Staff
Streaming on Funimation

Premise

There are good magical girls and bad magical girls, and they transform using rings. I have no idea what the plot of this show is.

Euri’s verdict: Might want to play a 20-hour RPG first

Right off the bat Blue Reflection Ray throws us right into the action, with many important-looking characters running about the place in a state of panic. We’ve got a narrator telling us all about how feelings are weird as these other girls scramble to fight… something, and despite two magical girls being on the scene, it appears they lose the fight.

Following the title card at about two minutes in, we’re introduced to seven more characters, all of which appear to be somewhat important. Within the first five minutes of the show, we’ve seen over 10 seemingly important characters, and shifted who our apparent protagonist is. To call this confusing is an understatement.

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What isn’t made apparent is that Blue Reflection Ray is not an adaptation of the Blue Reflection game that was released back in 2017, but rather a sequel. This isn’t a problem in itself of course, but the show is very much making assumptions that you know how the world in the video game operates, and that you’ll recognise a few cameos from existing characters.

Alas, despite being a fairly short RPG in comparison to most others, Blue Reflection has been sitting in my pile of shame for quite some time now. Part of the appeal of Blue Reflection Ray was being able to finally see what this story is all about, but if, like me, you haven’t played the video game, there’s simply not enough here to enjoy.

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Blue Reflection Ray does present an interesting world, despite the magical girl aspects of it appearing to be very cookie cutter so far. Our two lead characters seem fine, which works out as most of the episode focusses on them, though we have no insight on why the two evil girls are doing evil things, unless that part is explained in the video game. We also don’t learn the significance of what the magical girls were fighting at the start of the episode, which might be because it’s part of a larger, later reveal, or again, video game stuff. I must stress how difficult it is to wade through this episode when you can’t reasonably tell if you should or shouldn’t know something.

If you’ve not played the game, or don’t want to read or watch a synopsis of it, this show isn’t for you. Gust and J.C.Staff must be fairly confident there’s an audience out there for this though, given Blue Reflection Ray is set to be a two cour show. I’ll admit I’m curious to hear reactions from people who actually have played the game, and perhaps I will try and get to Blue Reflection sometime in the near future, but I suspect this show will remain in the dropped pile even if I do.

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