Since I spent so much time on this BlazBlue story guide, I ended up with a lot of opinions on BlazBlue. I just felt like typing my thoughts out. No strong reason for you to read the rest of this.
I have a lot of outstanding questions that I really hope get answered... somewhere.
Who was the Saya that Ragna was talking to at the end?
What's the timeline before the Dark War? I really wish some dates were given for (1) When Susano'o left his body and if it was voluntary, (2) When humanity found the Susano'o Unit, (3) When The Origin contacted the Master Unit, (4) When the Prime Field War began.
When was Sector Seven founded? How was it founded?
What happens after Bloodedge Experience 2? I mainly want to know Hazama's involvement in that world and what happens to Saya Terumi.
Was the Prime Field War the Age of Origin war? If not, what was the Age of Origin War? I hope it was a war with the gods from the Boundary.
What is Clavis's background and what is Rachel's background?
Who created No. 5 and why?
I'm confused about the Prime Field Devices. How many lines are there? Were the original and BlazBlue possibility Prime Field Devices built with a different goal in mind?
I actually don't care much about the final fates of Carl, Roy, Arakune, or even Relius. I also don't care much about the ending scene with Tsubaki and Rachel. I don't care about Alpha-01 either.
Here are my thoughts while playing Central Fiction. No one probably cares, but this is my webpage.
Haha, so much recap in this game. But each retelling of Calamity Trigger seems to get better, even with all the retconning. Ugh, but so much retconning. Why did I study up on BlazBlue lore before playing this!
Saya's doll joints are offputting.
Wow, the intro played a few hours into story mode. This is going to be long.
The story navigation is really annoying, especially when you have to go back and access substories.
Tiring trope: Relius saying someone is interesting and wandering off without any explanation.
Tiring trope: Someone appearing at the last moment to protect someone else from getting attacked.
Tiring trope: The fight is even until one person focuses on something else, at which point someone who was waiting on the sidelines for this moment jumps in.
Tiring trope: I hate all the "him", "her", "it", and "that." Why can't anyone in this story use names! At least drop the quotes if the subject isn't supposed to be a secret anymore!
Something I love: Spending 10 minutes discussing a plan to have it immediately fall apart in practice.
Haha, Kokonoe remodels Kagura's room into an elevator while he's away and he gets depressed.
Haha, they redid the gag of Ragna asking Noel out.
Haha, Noel and Celica playing with the compressed space after being warned the lab is dangerous.
Nine's death scene was really nice. I really liked Nine's motivation and final scenes, especially since people were saying she had just gone crazy.
Aww... why is Bang delegated to the B-story with Litchi, Tao, and Arakune? The Litchi/Arakune plot took so much time in the series and never went anywhere. I feel like it could have easily been tied into the main conflict. With the way it ended, I wish they never spent any time with Litchi/Arakune... In Calamity Trigger, I liked the subplot and thought it would be cool if Bang used the Rettenjo to help bring Roy back. But as the story progressed... Roy never seemed like a very good guy, Litchi and Roy scenes did not convince me she'd dedicate her life to him, and the subplot ended up having nothing to do with the mainplot. It all just felt like a wasted story, especially given how much time in the series was dedicated to it.
Bullet's story sequences are so boring and so unrelated to the main story. At least she got some resolution... but who cares.
So many deaths... and everyone just keeps going on without looking back...
Oh man, Terumi guyvers into the Susano'o Unit!
Jin is such a giant jerk to 90% of the cast. It's hilarious. I was half expecting him to push out Noel during the sibling hug at the end.
Ugh... Carl and Relius had no resolution at all. Sooooo disappointing and clear sequel bait, unless DLC character aracde modes cover it. But like with Litchi, I think Carl should have just never been included in the story.
I like Tao's presence though. She's pointless, but at least she's fun.
Ugh... so many obvious teasers for future Bloodedge Experience installments. Why are there so many dangling threads in Ragna's final BlazBlue game?
I liked the characterization in this game more than the other games overall. I still feel BlazBlue does a horrible job with developing relationships. I don't feel like Litchi/Roy, Trinity/Kazuma, Tsubaki/Jin, or Celica/Ragna have justifiable feelings at all. Love is so illogical in BlazBlue and minimal interaction easily leads to eternal devotion.
I'm still amazed at how selfish all the characters in this game, hero or villian, were. No one ever regrets any of their actions, although they sometimes regret the results. Everyone always just does what they feel like. Maybe this is closer to the real world than most Japanese stories.
This story would have been so much better if the pacing was fixed. And BlazBlue is a story with a lot of fun twists and cool world building... except all the twists were hidden away in different media or were presented with no foreshadowing at all. It made it really hard to anticipate anything and then feel catharsis afterwards.
Overall, I really liked the conclusion, although I've learned to lower my expectations for Mori's stories. As usual with BlazBlue games, I liked the first half (in this case, up to Nine's death) much more than the latter half. I think the first half felt much more developed, even if some parts dragged. The sendoffs for Ragna (especially the Rachel goodbye) were very satisfying though. The dangling Carl and Relius didn't bother me nearly as much as all the dangling Bloodedge Experience characters (Naoto, Hazama, etc...) I wish Terumi's background was explained more explicitly, but I overall liked his resolution too. I'm still not sure about how many Prime Field Devices were created and when. I really wish the game answered more lore questions... while it gave a lot of teasers, the time before the Dark War is still really unclear. What year did the Prime Field War happen? What happened during the Age of Origin war? What is Clavis's background and what is Rachel's background? Who created No. 5 and why? I really hope these questions are answered in the upcoming works. I know that a full timeline exists somewhere, especially since all the works have been fairly consistent.
The one thing I really hated was the cryptic last conversation between Saya and Ragna... I really think that was a big misstep. I'm still not sure at all what it means for Ragna to be Saya's dream. I feel like there's an important missing piece of the story that explains why Ragna was so important. I think that really sours this game being "the end of Ragna's story." I'm okay with with dangling plot threads as long as they don't relate to the main plot thread (like Carl or Relius or Age of Origin)... but this last conversation suggested that a chunk of the main story was missing. Even if he was just talking to Nu or Izanami, I really wish they made this more clear.
And a bunch of lines that I laughed at
Nine: What a detestable man.
Relius: The pleasure is mine.
Kokonoe: You don't have the capacity.
Ragna: Don't worry, I have the capacity.
Kokonoe: I'll hit you.
Noel: What's going on Captain... U-um, I mean Major Kisaragi... Huh?
Jin: I don't care what you call me.
Hakumen: So you're still alive in that body. You're an unexpectedly stubborn man.
Jin: That goes for us both, imposter.
Kagura calls Relius "That peeping masked pervert"
Ragna keeps beating up on Kagura. Haha... "My little sister says you're hurting her, old man"
Tsubaki: Ragna is Jin's older brother... do I need to start calling Ragna "Brother" as well? I wouldn't like that at all... oh, then maybe Jin can be the one to come to the Yayoi family...
Jin: Tsubaki, did you say something?
Tsubaki: N-no, it was nothing!
[Jin saves Tsubaki]
Tsubaki: Jin! (Happy voice)
Noel: Tsubaki, are you okay!?
Tsubaki: Noel! (Happy voice)
Ragna: Whoa, she did quite a number on you.
Tsubaki: ...So you're here too. Ragna the Bloodedge. (Deadpan voice)
Ragna: ...I feel like I'm the only one being treated differently.
Kagura: Alright ghost girl. You there?
Trinity: Um... could you stop calling me by that name...
Kagura: Oh, sorry... You know, you've got a real nice body, it's a shame you're a ghost.
Trinity: Did you call me out just to sexually harass me?
Jubei: What happened to make you grow up with such a rebellious attitude?
Kokonoe: You want to know? Look in the mirror and hit the person you see with all your strength.
I like the BlazBlue games. I'm not a fighting game fan, I mainly enjoy the story, presentation, and characters. I thought I understood the story. After going through the wikia and forums, I realized there was a ton of stuff I didn't get. Unlike similar experiences (like Final Fantasy VII or Xenogears), I don't think I even really followed the main plot devices when I first played. I probably just enjoyed the characters and tropes. I used to think that people who didn't understand the story just weren't trying hard enough... maybe that was true with just Continuum Shift, but now I think it's pretty arrogant to feel that way.
It's really difficult to fully understand the BlazBlue story. IMO, here's why:
The world building includes alternate universes, rewriting history, time travel, and time loops. Most of the arcade modes happen in alternate timelines to the main story mode (which is a really cool way to make everyone's arcade mode stories seem exciting.)
Although this is less and less the case as the games go on, Story Mode is presented non-linearly. This makes it difficult to order events.
The background concepts are not explained well and very key concepts are passingly referenced in what seems like throw away dialogue.
Lots and lots of made up words and pretty poor terminology. Terms are difficult to remember because they are often composed of multiple words or are in a mix between Japanese and English. And lots of terms have multiple names that the characters switch between.
But those reasons are surmountable by a careful, thinking reader. IMO, the following reasons make things much more difficult:
As I said, there are a lot of bad endings that probably happened in alternate timelines. But some of the events happened in the final timeline too. Which ones? It's impossible to say. Based on what's presented, a completely accurate timeline of events in a game is probably impossible.
The story is spread across multiple games, manga, light novels, drama cds, radio shows, and artbooks. Lots of these aren't available in English, official or otherwise. They add a ton of detail to the story and lore, but are near inaccessible to English-only players.
The biggie: Some facts are not consistent throughout all the works. It's really hard to decide if alternate timeline shenanigans are to blame or if plot is just being conveniently retconned.
It's clear BlazBlue is meant to be an experience like Xenogears, Final Fantasy VII, or Evangelion. In these experiences, there's supposed to be really rich worldbuilding that's never forcefed to the consumer. But the story is still decently conherent without understanding. For example, FFVII is still fun even with a vague understanding of what Jenova or the Lifestream are. In BlazBlue, not enough of the world building is presented to even really understand what's happening at the moment. And the explanations that are presented are usually presented way too late.
Some of the English naming choices make some of the concepts confusing.
It was a lot more frustrating to make this guide than I thought it would be, so I just wanted to vent for a bit. I still really enjoy the story though!