Score: A

And here comes another one of my most anticipated shows of Spring! There aren’t many mobile games that I play for the story. I don’t play that many at all, but some have stories that grab me and keep me invested for the ride. Blue Archive was certainly one of those. Seeing this first episode caused a lot of feelings to hit me at once. This is really happening. They are both adapting this story and so far they are doing it the right way.

Over the years I’ve seen way too many mobile game adaptations that miss the plot (literally). Some just go all over the place or take the concept of the game’s story and write something completely unique. But this is looking like a case where love and care is being put into it to make this a proper adaptation that could lead to multiple seasons if all goes well.

Thank goodness he exists

A huge potential landmine they avoided was with Sensei. We’ve seen adaptations like with Azur Lane where the player character…just isn’t there. Sometimes they outright cut that character out of the story or they minimize their presence. On some level it’s understandable. The focus of these games are the girls. They are driving the plot forward. And on some level, I suspect they want to avoid putting forward a character that doesn’t fit how the player views their own presence in that world.

But that simply would have failed here. To say too much would be spoiling things and I refuse to be that kind of person. But Sensei is part of this story. We could see that from the cryptic nature of the opening scene of the show. The choices and example this character provides to the students will be invaluable. You simply couldn’t do this story properly without him. And thankfully he’s right there interacting with the students and providing tactical direction.

Shot by a lovely girl

The opening scene is just loaded. It’s the kind of thing where I can only talk around it so not to potentially ruin things for people. You have a mysterious figure taking responsibility for something terrible that happened. Glimpses at a ruined city, the obvious appearance of Sensei crumpled against a wall and someone moving in to utterly unload their weapon on him. That poor girl bleeding out herself on the train talking to presumably Sensei and setting something into motion.

Does it make sense? Probably not. But this is a pretty accurate representation (just with gorgeous animation) of how this story is meant to start. We get some mysteries and questions that are begging for answers before dropping right into that world. Why are there a bunch of animal people walking around in the background? Why do the girls have halos? Or why do some seem to have animal characteristics? Great questions! None of it is answered in this episode. But I think that’s ok. We’re diving into a world with it’s own common sense and rules. Answers are things that the story can reveal when the time is right.

The music really worked

I just want to give some real props to the music in this episode. The game itself has good music and I’m glad they are using pieces that are fitting for various moments. Just the cheerful track playing while Shiroko is readying to head to school just made the scene a little bit more upbeat. The sound effects for the firearms seemed good to me as well. Making sure the different weapons of the main girls were fittingly distinct from each other. Since this show is going to have a ton of shooting going on that’s something key for them to get right.

OP is just packed with content

The OP is something I also want to give major praise to. That was a gorgeous OP! Some shows have openings that feel like they’ve been duck taped together because they just couldn’t afford to make a legitimate one. And then you have one like this where it is just a sight to behold. The visuals alone are spectacular. This is fanservice in it’s truest form. You could break it down scene by scene and tell how much they cared about doing this right. A lot of focus goes to the Abydos girls and that is fitting considering where we’ve started off. But you can see so many different enemy factions, students, and personality crammed into the briefest of flashes. And the song itself is great. It absolutely fits the tone the OP is trying to set and builds up nicely.

Lot going on in the background

The episode was full of details about what is going on in that world. The General Student Council President is missing and that’s quite a big deal for what is effectively a gigantic Academy City. Effectively the head of state has just gone missing and various things are at a standstill. The Abydos girls were struggling to get support because of it while at the same time actual political treaties can’t moved towards completion because this figure is no longer available. It’s more of a distant issue for the Abydos girls, but one they have to acknowledge.

The action should be solid here

Now the situation for Abydos clearly is both extreme and terrible. They’ve been reduced to a skeleton crew of students trying to keep this school afloat. It’s been sunk by major debt and the barely anyone wants to go there. And on top of that they were running low on ammunition which was making things even worse. When gangs are literally assaulting the school it really isn’t a good thing to have nothing to fight back against them with!

And during all this Sensei makes his…undignified appearance. The hero cyclist Shiroko managing to get him to Abydos before he died of heat stroke. And while he may not have the most reliable appearance going for him, he did step up when the timing was right. The girls were definitely all kinds of awkward in terms of their coordination so a good bit of direction got them on the right path to handle this first fight. But obviously one would hope that he’ll be able to provide a bit more guidance than simply on the tactical level.

Spring is looking amazing

It’s obvious that excitement levels are going to vary depending on the person. But I got everything I could have asked for from this opening episode. It’s set the stage and now we can really see the story play out from here. This season is packed so I don’t know what will happen from here on out. But it certainly is a contender for a show that I’ll end up covering for this season. The wait for the next episode begins!

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About

An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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