Blue Reflection

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Blue Reflection
Blue Reflection cover.png
Cover art
Developer(s)Gust
Publisher(s)Koei Tecmo
Director(s)Azusa Takahashi
Producer(s)Junzo Hosoi
Designer(s)Azusa Takahashi
Programmer(s)Katsuto Kawauchi
Artist(s)Mel Kishida
Writer(s)Tetsu Shirakawa
Yurina Komuraski
Shohei Sakai
Composer(s)Hayato Asano
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows
ReleasePlayStation 4
  • JP: March 30, 2017
  • NA: September 26, 2017
  • EU: September 29, 2017
PlayStation Vita
  • JP: March 30, 2017
Microsoft Windows
  • NA: September 26, 2017
  • EU: September 29, 2017
Genre(s)Role-playing

Blue Reflection[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Gust. It was published by Koei Tecmo in March 2017 in Japan for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, and was released in September 2017 in North America and Europe for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows. The player takes the role of Hinako Shirai, a ballet dancer who due to a knee injury no longer can dance, but who is given magical power allowing her to fight and move freely. The game follows a day cycle, which sees Hinako attend school and spend time with classmates, and visit another world where she fights monsters in a turn-based battle system. By becoming close friends with her classmates, Hinako can use support abilities from them in battle.

The game is the final game in Gust's "Beautiful Girls Festival" project, which also includes Atelier Firis and Nights of Azure 2. It was produced by Junzo Hosoi, organized by Keiichi Sigsawa, Yūsaku Igarashi, and Kouji Natsumi, and supervised by Mel Kishida, who also designed the characters. It is intended to be a portrayal of youth for women[citation needed], focusing on the concepts of interaction between women and personal growth through sharing experiences with people.

An anime television series spin-off by J.C.Staff named Blue Reflection Ray aired from April to September 2021.

Two new games, Blue Reflection Second Light (known as Blue Reflection Tie in Japan) a console based sequel for PS4, Switch, and PC[1] and Blue Reflection Sun, a Japanese exclusive mobile game, have been announced as being in development.[2]

Gameplay[edit]

The player controls a party of three characters in turn-based battles against monsters.

Blue Reflection is a role-playing game, which follows a day cycle: in the morning, the player character goes to school, and sometimes meets other students on the way. Scenes occur during school, some of which involve questions from the player character's classmates, which affect their relationship to the player character depending on the player's answers;[3] close friendships with characters enables additional support benefits during battles, and affects their attitudes towards the player during story sequences.[4] The player can also interact with characters by messaging them through an in-game mobile app, which also allows the player to view character profiles and play minigames. After school, the player is allowed to move around freely; they can choose between various activities, including spending time with the classmates and creating items. After the player is done for the day, their character returns home, and the day ends with her going to sleep.[3]

The player can also try to solve classmates' problems during their free time.[3] The cause for their problems sometimes reside outside the real world, in the Other World; by visiting it, the player can seek out emotion fragments, which cause defects in the real world. After finding the fragments and overcoming challenges in the Other World, the player learns about the thoughts of the character they're helping, is returned to the real world, and receives reward items and fragments.[5] Different missions include different rewards; some give the player growth points, which the player can invest in their characters' attack, defense, support, or technic stats, making them stronger and teaching them new skills. The fragments the player acquires can be equipped to the characters' skills, giving the skills additional effects. In addition to the rewards, some missions give the player evaluation points; the story progresses when the player has acquired enough of them.[6]

While exploring the Other World, the player sometimes encounters monsters, leading to a battle,[5] wherein the three characters in the player's party fight through a turn-based system. The turn order is displayed through character icons that move across a bar, with characters at the center of the bar allowed to perform an action;[4] by preemptively attacking monsters in the Other World, the player's party can start the battle at an advantage.[5] Actions are chosen through a menu, with commands such as "attack" and "support". If certain requirements are met, the player can perform cooperative moves, where the powers of the characters in their party are linked, resulting in a much more effective attack than regular attacks.[4] During each turn, the player can choose to charge up their ether; they can consume this when recovering or guarding to improve those actions' effects. Unlike other commands, these two are done in real-time before the player characters or the enemies perform an action, by pressing a button at the right time.[7] In the real world, the player sometimes encounters powerful enemies called "Pure Breeds",[5] which are capable of defeating a party member in one blow. During these battles, the player can receive support from the player character's schoolmates, who all have different support abilities; to do this, the player needs to choose up to four support characters per party member while outside combat.[4] The player's "guard" action also changes during these battles, to "reflect", through which the player can reflect the Pure Breeds' attacks against themselves, dealing a large amount of damage.[7]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting and characters[edit]

Blue Reflection is set in the Hoshinomiya Girls High School in modern-day Japan,[8][9] in the middle of summer.[6] The player takes the role of Hinako Shirai, a ballet dancer who injured her knee one year prior to the beginning of the game, and has been unable to dance since then. After meeting with sisters Yuzuki and Lime Shijou, she is given the power to fight as a magical girl referred to as a "Reflector", allowing her to move freely.[8][9]

Development and release[edit]

The game was developed by Koei Tecmo's division Gust under supervision by Mel Kishida, who additionally was in charge of character designs.[9] It was produced by Junzo Hosoi,[8] and organized by Keiichi Sigsawa, Yūsaku Igarashi, and Kouji Natsumi. The developers describe the game as a "heroic RPG" that serves as a "life-sized" portrayal of youth for women, themed around "human essence" and connections between people. The central concept is interaction between women, with the player character growing as a person through experiences she shares with her classmates, such as the beginnings and endings of friendships.[9] Hosoi cited Hana & Alice, Magic Knight Rayearth and Sailor Moon as influences for the game.[10] The game was announced through Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation in August 2016, as the final game in Gust's three-game "Beautiful Girls Festival" project, which also includes Atelier Firis and Nights of Azure 2. At the time of the announcement, development was 30% complete.[8]

Blue Reflection was published by Koei Tecmo in Japan on March 30, 2017, for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.[11][12] It was made available in a standard, a premium, and a special collection edition: the premium edition includes the game's soundtrack, illustrations, a school calendar, a poster, and an in-game costume; the special collection edition includes all the items from the premium addition, along with sixteen further posters. People who pre-ordered the game were also given additional digital content.[13] Koei Tecmo also plans to release the game in North America on September 26, 2017 and in Europe on September 29, 2017, for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.[14] Western pre-orders included an in-game swimsuit and a costume based on the title character from Atelier Rorona; additional pre-order bonuses were included with purchases from certain retailers.[15]

The game features a collaboration with Final Fantasy XV in the form of in-game clothing based on the Final Fantasy XV characters Aranea Highwind and Cindy Aurum,[16] and Blue Reflection characters appeared in an April 2017 event in the game Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur.[17]

In November 2017, Hosoi and Kishida said that they were intending to develop a sequel to Blue Reflection and turn it into a series, but noted that fan feedback was important and that they were not yet certain if a sequel would get made.[18]

Reception[edit]

Pre-release[edit]

Cory Arnold of Destructoid described the game as looking "crazy fun", likening it to a mix between Persona, Atelier, Final Fantasy X, and Ni no Kuni, and urged people to discard any "anime prejudices" they might hold;[23] and Kimberley Wallace from Game Informer thought it looked "really cool".[24]

Post-release[edit]

The game was met by "mixed or average reviews", according to the review aggregator Metacritic.<[19][20]

Anime spin-off[edit]

Blue Reflection Ray
BLUE REFLECTION 澪
Anime television series
Directed byRisako Yoshida
Written byAkiko Waba
Music byDaisuke Shinoda
StudioJ.C.Staff
Licensed byFunimation
Mighty Media
Original networkJNN (MBS, TBS, BS-TBS)
Original run April 10, 2021 September 25, 2021
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

On February 12, 2021, an anime television series spin-off by J.C.Staff named Blue Reflection Ray was announced. The series is directed by Risako Yoshida, with Akiko Waba writing and overseeing scripts, Koichi Kikuta adapting Mel Kishida's original character designs for animation, and Daisuke Shinoda composing the series' music. The series aired from April 10 to September 25, 2021 on the Animeism programming block on MBS, TBS, and BS-TBS.[25][26][b] EXiNA performed the series' opening theme song, "DiViNE", while ACCAMER performed the series' ending theme song "Saishin".[27] Eir Aoi performed the series' second opening theme song, "Atokku", while ACCAMER performed the series' second ending theme song "fluoresce".[28][29] Funimation licensed the series outside of Asia.[30] Mighty Media has licensed the series in Southeast Asian territories.[31] The series is set to run for two consecutive cours (seasons).[32]

On June 15, 2021, a Blu-ray release of the series was canceled due to "various reasons."[33]

Episode list[edit]

No.Title [34][35]Directed by [34]Written by [34]Storyboarded by [34]Original air date [36]
1"The Undying Light"
Transcription: "Kienai Hikari" (Japanese: 消えない光)
Nana HaradaAkiko WabaRisako YoshidaApril 10, 2021 (2021-04-10)
2"Without a Single Friend"
Transcription: "Tomo, Hitori mo Naku" (Japanese: 友、一人もなく)
Chihiro KumanoAkiko WabaKunihisa SugishimaApril 17, 2021 (2021-04-17)[c]
3"Hiding Your True Feelings"
Transcription: "Honshin Kakushite" (Japanese: 本心隠して)
Miyuki Ishida
Kōzō Kaihō
Akiko WabaTōru YoshidaApril 24, 2021 (2021-04-24)
4"Asking for the Impossible"
Transcription: "Nai Mono Nedari" (Japanese: ないものねだり)
Yasuo IwamotoAkiko WabaHiroshi KawashimaMay 1, 2021 (2021-05-01)
5"I Can't See Anything"
Transcription: "Nani mo Mienai Watashi" (Japanese: 何もみえないわたし)
Akira TanakaAkiko WabaSayaka MorikawaMay 8, 2021 (2021-05-08)
6"The Girl With Briars Surrounding Her Heart"
Transcription: "Kokoro ni Ibara o Motsu Shōjo" (Japanese: 心に茨を持つ少女)
Toshikatsu TokoroSeishi MinakamiKunihisa SugishimaMay 15, 2021 (2021-05-15)
7"Please, Just Let Me Have What I Want"
Transcription: "Onegai da Kara Hoshii Mono o Te ni Iresasete" (Japanese: お願いだから欲しいものを手に入れさせて)
Makoto SokuzaSeishi MinakamiKōichi TakadaMay 22, 2021 (2021-05-22)
8"Panic"
Transcription: "Panikku" (Japanese: パニック)
Miyuki IshidaAkiko WabaIku SuzukiMay 29, 2021 (2021-05-29)
9"What She Said"
Transcription: "Kanojo no Itta Koto" (Japanese: 彼女の言ったこと)
Akira TanakaYukie SugawaraHiroshi KawashimaJune 5, 2021 (2021-06-05)
10"The Beautiful Girls Digging a Grave"
Transcription: "Haka o Horu Utsukushii Musume-tachi" (Japanese: 墓を掘る美しい娘たち)
Chihiro KumanoSeishi MinakamiKurio MiyauraJune 12, 2021 (2021-06-12)
11"Tell Me I'm Guilty"
Transcription: "Watashi ni Yūzai Senkoku o" (Japanese: わたしに有罪宣告を)
Miyuki IshidaAkiko WabaKunihisa SugishimaJune 19, 2021 (2021-06-19)
12"Greatest Depths"
Transcription: "Saishin" (Japanese: 最深)
Akira TanakaAkiko WabaTōru YoshidaJune 26, 2021 (2021-06-26)
Special"Special Edition"
Transcription: "Tokubetsu-hen" (Japanese: 特別編)
Nao SakamotoNao SakamotoNao SakamotoJuly 3, 2021 (2021-07-03)
13"Some Girls"
Transcription: "Samu Gāruzu" (Japanese: サム・ガールズ)
Yūki MoritaAkiko WabaSayaka MorikawaJuly 10, 2021 (2021-07-10)[c]
14"The Witness Who Lost Her Words"
Transcription: "Kotoba o Nakushita Mokugekisha" (Japanese: 言葉をなくした目撃者)
Toshikatsu TokoroSeishi MinakamiKatsumi TerahigashiJuly 17, 2021 (2021-07-17)
15"Getting Along"
Transcription: "Nakayoku Tsurunde" (Japanese: 仲良くつるんで)
Kōhei HatanoAkiko WabaKōhei Hatano
Takaaki Ishiyama
July 24, 2021 (2021-07-24)[d]
16"Rubber Ring"
Transcription: "Rabā Ringu" (Japanese: ラバー・リング)
Yūsuke OnodaAkiko WabaSayaka MorikawaJuly 31, 2021 (2021-07-31)[e]
17"Angel Angel"
Transcription: "Enjeru Enjeru" (Japanese: エンジェル・エンジェル)
Fumihiro UenoSeishi MinakamiKatsumi TerahigashiAugust 7, 2021 (2021-08-07)[d]
18"Cemetery Gate"
Transcription: "Semetarī Gēto" (Japanese: セメタリー・ゲート)
Akira TanakaSeishi MinakamiTakaaki IshiyamaAugust 14, 2021 (2021-08-14)
19"Found You, Found You, I Found You"
Transcription: "Mitsuketa, Mitsuketa, Mitsuketa yo" (Japanese: 見つけた、見つけた、見つけたよ)
Yūki MoritaAkiko WabaKatsumi TerahigashiAugust 21, 2021 (2021-08-21)
20"Guillotine Margaret"
Transcription: "Girochin no Māgaretto" (Japanese: ギロチンのマーガレット)
Yūya HoriuchiAkiko WabaTōru YoshidaAugust 28, 2021 (2021-08-28)[f]
21"I Still Haven't Mastered Anything"
Transcription: "Mada Nani mo Mono ni Shite Inai yo" (Japanese: まだ何もものに していないよ)
Takaaki IshiyamaAkiko WabaKōhei Hatano
Takaaki Ishiyama
September 4, 2021 (2021-09-04)[f]
22"Deaths Side by Side"
Transcription: "Tonari Awase no Shi" (Japanese: となりあわせの死)
Toshikatsu TokoroSeishi MinakamiSayaka MorikawaSeptember 11, 2021 (2021-09-11)
23"You Now Have Everything"
Transcription: "Subete o Te ni Shita Kimi" (Japanese: すべてを手にしたきみ)
Yūsuke OnodaSeishi MinakamiTakaaki IshiyamaSeptember 18, 2021 (2021-09-18)
24"Blue Reflection"
Transcription: "Burū Rifurekushon" (Japanese: ブルー・リフレクション)
Akira TanakaAkiko WabaRisako Yoshida
Tōru Yoshida
September 25, 2021 (2021-09-25)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Blue Reflection: Maboroshi ni Mau Shōjo no Ken (Japanese: BLUE REFLECTION 幻に舞う少女の剣, lit. "Blue Reflection: Sword of the Girl Who Dances in Illusions")
  2. ^ MBS and TBS lists the series premiere at 25:55 on April 9, 2021, which is effectively 1:55 a.m. JST on April 10.
  3. ^ a b This episode aired at 2:10 a.m. JST, 15 minutes after the original air time.
  4. ^ a b This episode aired at 2:05 a.m. JST, 10 minutes after the original air time.
  5. ^ This episode aired at 2:30 a.m. JST, 35 minutes after the original air time.
  6. ^ a b This episode aired at 2: a.m. JST, 5 minutes after the original air time.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gematsu: "Blue Reflection Second Light announced for PS4, Switch, and PC; Blue Reflection Sun for iOS, Android, and PC [Update"
  2. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (27 March 2021). "Blue Reflection Magical Girl Franchise Gets 2 New Games, Confirms Anime's Half-Year Run". Anime News Network. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Romano, Sal (2016-11-14). "Blue Reflection debut trailer; daily flow, Chihiro Inoue, and Yuri Saiki detailed". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  4. ^ a b c d Romano, Sal (2016-12-11). "Blue Reflection details battle basics, bonds with friends, Sanae Nishida and Sarasa Morikawa". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  5. ^ a b c d Romano, Sal (2016-12-25). "Blue Reflection details world, game flow". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2016-12-26. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  6. ^ a b Romano, Sal (2017-02-13). "Blue Reflection details growth system, three characters, more". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  7. ^ a b Romano, Sal (2017-01-15). "Blue Reflection details story prologue, battles and Ether, Mao Ninagawa". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  8. ^ a b c d Romano, Sal (2016-08-23). "Gust announces Blue Reflection for PS4, PS Vita [Update]". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  9. ^ a b c d Romano, Sal (2016-08-28). "Blue Reflection first details, screenshots". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  10. ^ "Blue Reflection Interview -- Producer Talks Characters, Battle System, and Development". DualShockers. 2017-09-11. Archived from the original on 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  11. ^ "BLUE REFLECTION(ブルー リフレクション) 幻に舞う少女の剣 まとめ [Vita]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  12. ^ "BLUE REFLECTION(ブルー リフレクション) 幻に舞う少女の剣 まとめ [PS4]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  13. ^ "Blue Reflection Game's 2nd Trailer Shows Characters, Gameplay". Anime News Network. 2017-01-23. Archived from the original on 2017-01-28. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  14. ^ "Shape the World with the Power of Imagination in a Brand New IP from Developer GUST Studios". Koei Tecmo. 2017-06-06. Archived from the original on 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  15. ^ Romano, Sal (2017-06-06). "Blue Reflection coming west for PS4, PC on September 26 in North America, September 29 in Europe". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-09-02. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  16. ^ Romano, Sal (2017-03-29). "Blue Reflection Final Fantasy XV costume collaboration announced". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-04-15. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  17. ^ Romano, Sal (2017-04-14). "Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur for PS4 and PS Vita begins Blue Reflection collaboration event". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  18. ^ Romano, Sal (2017-11-07). "Mel Kishida working to continue Blue Reflection series". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  19. ^ a b "Blue Reflection for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  20. ^ a b "Blue Reflection for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Archived from the original on 2017-11-04. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  21. ^ Romano, Sal (2017-03-21). "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1477". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-03-22. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  22. ^ "BLUE REFLECTION レビュー". IGN Japan (in Japanese). Ziff Davis. 2017-04-12. Archived from the original on 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  23. ^ Arnold, Cory (2016-12-15). "Cast aside your anime prejudice, Blue Reflection looks crazy fun". Destructoid. Modern Method. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  24. ^ Wallace, Kimberley (2016-09-15). "The Amazing Sights Of TGS 2016". Game Informer. GameStop. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  25. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (February 12, 2021). "Gust's Blue Reflection Game Gets TV Anime in April". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  26. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (February 26, 2021). "Blue Reflection Ray TV Anime's Ad Reveals April 9 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  27. ^ Mateo, Alex (March 16, 2021). "Blue Reflection Ray TV Anime's Videos Preview Songs, Character Voices, Action Scenes". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  28. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (June 27, 2021). "Blue Reflection Ray Reveals More Cast, New Theme Song Artist". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  29. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 4, 2021). "Blue Reflection Ray Anime Reveals New Video, Ending Theme Artist for Show's 2nd Half". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  30. ^ "Magical Girl Anime Blue Reflection Ray Streams Exclusively on Funimation This Spring". Funimation. March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  31. ^ "曼迪4月代理新番登場". Facebook (in Chinese). March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  32. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (March 27, 2021). "Blue Reflection Magical Girl Franchise Gets 2 New Games, Confirms Anime's Half-Year Run". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  33. ^ "Blue Relection Ray Anime's Home Video Release Canceled". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  34. ^ a b c d "Terebi Anime "Burū Rifurekushon Rei/Rei"" TVアニメ『BLUE REFLECTION RAY/澪』 [TV Anime "Blue Reflection Ray"]. bluereflection-ray.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on April 1, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  35. ^ "Watch Blue Reflection Ray Sub | Action/Adventure, Drama, Fantasy Anime | Funimation". Funimation. Archived from the original on April 9, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  36. ^ "Terebi Anime "Burū Rifurekushon Rei/Rei"" TVアニメ『BLUE REFLECTION RAY/澪』 [TV Anime "Blue Reflection Ray"]. bluereflection-ray.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on March 16, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2021.

External links[edit]