A preview trailer for The Reflection has finally been released online. The superhero-themed anime series has been co-developed by American comic overlord and cameo master Stan Lee alongside Japanese production studio DEEN. The series sees a group of humans gain extraordinary abilities after an event called The Reflection which robs Earth of its sunlight, killing some and enhancing others. Although the medium prevents Lee from having a conventional cameo, the character of Mr. Mystique bears a suspiciously close resemblance to the man.
Lee evidently has an interest in Japanese anime and manga, as this isn't the first time he has collaborated with companies in the Far East. The Spider-Man co-creator previously provided the original concept for the manga Ultimo which was an epic tale of two rival sentient mecha weapons. Famously, Lee's web-slinger was once adapted into a Japanese live-action series.
The new trailer for The Reflection promises plenty of thrilling superhero action and unique animation and gives a closer look at characters such as the mysterious Xon and his curious stalker Eleanor. The clip concludes with a brief tease voiced by Lee himself. The Reflection is set to be streamed worldwide on CrunchyRoll after the Japanese TV premiere on July 22.
Like some of the writer's other works, it seems as if New York City will be a key setting in the story and several other Western influences may have crept in, such as a character who can manipulate metal and a protagonist who can absorb the powers of others by touching them. The mix of classic superhero action with the show's supernatural, mystery-based premise suggests viewers will be getting a more unique experience than your standard cartoon in the genre.
Of course, The Reflection may not be to everyone's taste. The animation style has a simplistic and comic-esque vibe that stands out even in the world of anime. The 12-episode series will also likely be released first in Japanese (with English subtitles) which can impact a show's popularity, although Lee himself has confirmed that an English dub will be released and has been busy in the studio recording his own lines for it.
But while the anime style may have attracted some criticism online, it's undoubtedly a striking approach, and one that harks back to Lee's comic book roots, as well as the early days of superhero storytelling. The premise and characters also seem like a welcome balance of classic and modern genre tropes and naturally, with Lee on board, expectations should always be high.
The Reflection streams on CrunchyRoll this summer.
Source: BANDAI Visual