Has Stan Lee Saved Anime? – The Reflection First Impressions

When I read the premise, my first thought was, “It’s Big Order 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Then I saw Stan Lee was the original creator and my first thoughts changed greatly. I expected a super hero story similar to what we find in western comic books and with heroes with compelling stories. Did the first three episodes satisfy that itch for a western inspired super hero anime? Let’s find out!

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Visually, this show is amazing. At least the art style that is. The art style feels more western than any other anime. It looks like rotoscoping. The animation in the first two episodes was rather rough. It felt as though the fight scene was rendered at an unbearable 15 fps. The animation did step up in episode 3 and it no longer feels like a slideshow. It’s a refreshing change for once to see a different art style every once in a while.

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The story is rather cookie cutter in my opinion. A global event happens which kills some people while also giving some of the survivors extraordinary powers. We, unfortunately, do not hear about the event until episode 2 as episode 1 was mainly setting up the heroes of I-Guy and X-On who are pretty much Iron Man and a copycat-hero (I somehow cannot think of a similar super hero). We so far have only seen I-Guy’s back story which reveals he was formerly a performer who sang the song he plays in his opening fight scene in episode 1. I-Guy’s team and story are actually pretty interesting. He draws heavy inspiration from Iron Man with all the technology, but since he was a performer before the reflection, everything he does as a hero is treated as a performance with his team providing all the visuals that were on the buildings during his NYC fight. As for the overarching plot, all we’ve been given is there are villainous reflected that are acting to gain control.

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Episode 2 suffered a lot from this show’s pacing. Roughly half of the episode was reused scenes from the first episode with little bits of alternate footage, such as I-Guy’s team coordinating his “performance” in the skies of New York. On the other hand, this week worked out the bugs and delivered a much better experience. Fights felt more fluid, that previously and there was no reused footage. The story is finally getting started with Eleanor and X-On taking off in search of Wraith, the head villain, and things are starting to look promising for this show.

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At this time, I do not know if I would recommend this to anyone yet. If you’re a die hard fan of Stan Lee and wanna watch it because he is the original creator and a villain in the show, then watch it. If you wanna watch super heroes, you’re probably better off with My Hero Academia right now. Part of me wants to put this series on hold and binge it after it completes but another part of me wants to watch the show as it goes so I can hear I-Guy’s “Skyshow” song one more time. There are more heroes they teased in the OP that have not been revealed yet which I am also looking forward to, namely that magical girl squad from Japan. There’s plenty to look forward to for this show, but it does have its drawbacks. If you’re interested, definitely give it more than 3 episodes because the first 2 are rather unsubstantial. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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