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BlazBlue: Alter Memory brings the video game series by Arc System Works into the realm of anime.
I’ve been looking forward to a BlazBlue anime for a while. When my friend first introduced me to the games and we spent a weekend going through every possible story for every possible character in Continuum Shift, I remember saying more than once that there should really be an anime based on these games.
And by the looks of it, BlazBlue: Alter Memory is going to be a great show for the fans of the games, particularly of Continuum Shift. Every character in this first episode uses lines directly from the game, and the plot so far seems to be following the game fairly closely. However, the plot definitely seems to be moving pretty fast and may, as a result, be somewhat difficult for viewers who haven’t played the game to follow.
My very early prediction is that this anime will follow a timeline similar to shows like Higurashi or Umineko no Naku Koro ni. That is, I think it’ll follow a cyclical timeline. With how fast the plot is moving, this seems like the only thing that really makes sense in order to explain everything and introduce all the characters (with actual character development). On top of that, both Rachel (“Rabbit”, as Ragna calls her) and Hazuma have mentioned just in this episode that things keep happening over and over. I think these statements only make sense if the plan is to actually show events repeating themselves.
Some pros so far: the voice actors from the games reprise their roles (which, honestly, should be expected), the animation is in sync with the games, the music is great, and the characters personalities have been captured pretty well (although they’ll definitely need more characterization later for people who haven’t played the games). Some cons: the fast pace is a little daunting for viewers new to the story, the fight scenes are a bit short, and BlazBlue: Alter Memory has to contend with the anime-based-on-video-games stigma.
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(There's no preview for the next episode, so I thought I'd include this end card instead.)