The Reflection – Anime Preview
Synopsis: After THE REFLECTION, some of the people in all parts of the world are discovered with super powers. Some become heroes, and others villains. How did The Reflection happen? What was the cause of it? With many unsolved mysteries, the world is lead into turmoil. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: The Reflection boasts an intriguing, comic-book inspired style, with Stan Lee’s influence helping to guide everything behind the scenes. While this unique art style gives the series a unique visual flare, it ultimately lacks impact. Punches, Kicks, laser beams and more attacks land with what feels like such little force than nothing leaves a strong, lasting impression. Fight scenes that should pop and impress feel dull, slow and soft.
Linny: The colour selections also give the comic book art a very mod and pop feel, helping it stand out even further and most likely catch the eye of anyone seeking a show that offers a visual variety from what anime usually offers. Stylistically, the show has the potential to charm adventurous audiences as even its music has been tailored to really sell the comic book art and vibe being employed. In fact, the main song used repeatedly during the episode is likely to get stuck in your head. Here’s a helpful hint, it’s called Sky Show and the artist is Christopher Braide and the demo version is here.
Tom: As characterization goes, because that’s pretty much all there is beneath the visual style, both our two main heroes, Exon and I-Guy feel anti-social, distant or quirky. We don’t really learn enough about either hero to get sucked into their story, and it doesn’t help that the dialogue generally feels a tad off, ridiculous, or unrealistic. Though, to be fair, for a series mimicking comics, maybe that’s not too far off.
Linny: There’s a marked lack of exposition in the first episode, which feels less like an intrigue building choice and more of a stylistic choice. If this continues so, it could hinder the enjoyment of anyone seeking more fleshed out and well developed characters as you may end up feeling like visual gimmicks is all the show has going on.
Tom: I definitely agree that the series disinterest in introducing the story, and more so on the visual flare is a large hill they’re asking the audience to climb. Most viewers connect with characters to get sucked in, and by pushing the story and characterization behind the art, leaving all the details and explanations to the last five minutes, it becomes a real task to feel sucked into this world.
Linny: The Reflection’s quirky art style, well suited musical choices and comic book aping storytelling definitely give it points as a quirky experimentation for anime. However, the lack of a strong narrative style combined with its underdeveloped cast could make it a hard pass for certain viewers.
Tom: Overall I don’t have strong feelings for The Reflection one way or the other. The visual style is unique, but lacks impact. The characterization is slim and the story almost non-existent in this first episode. There’s a charm here, a unique style that is doing a lot of heavy-lifting, and that may be enough to carry the show for some, but it fails to hook me in.
The Reflection is available for streaming via Crunchyroll