First Impressions – The Reflection

Just when you think an anime season is over with premieres, one just pops up near the end of the month. Usually, anything that premieres this late isn’t worth much attention though that’s not really the case with The Reflection. Not only is the superhero anime is directed by Hiroshi Nagahama of Mushishi fame, it also has the creative input of Stan Lee. And really, anything with Stan Lee’s name merits attention.

It’s hard to really make of the story right now. For the most part, the pilot is just superheroes being superheroes and supervillains being supervillains. We do find out that the advent of superpowers (a lot of which are cool by the way) is a recent event caused by a phenomenon called the “Reflection”. Not sure why it’s called that and it does remind me an awful lot of Boku no Hero Academia but I guess we’ll learn more in the future.

Now about that elephant in the room that is the art. It’s…interesting to say the least. I definitely get what the staff at Deen are aiming for. For the most part, The Reflection feels like a comic book in motion. Even the shot composition is more reminiscent of comic book panels than that of film. The show certainly isn’t afraid to go stylistic either with all sorts of coloring and shadowing going on throughout the episode as well some picturesque and minimalist shots. It has its charm but the show also looks extremely cheap. Still shots linger for far too long and rarely does the animation ever feel fluid. It could be a design choice to keep the show feeling more like a comic book but I think the result looks more rough and on a serious budget than artistically impressive.

I’ll stick around for a little big longer since I’m curious about what the story actually is. That said, I really can’t blame you if you think the art is a serious turn-off.

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