Made a leap of faith and it ended up just what I was looking for! Made me love jRPGs again! Also made me explore the Atelier series, which I now appreciate. My gateway into Gust games. The game isn't perfect (the stealth missions in particular can really just go away!), but I rated it high based on personal biases.
Note that since this my first Gust game, I've never played the first Blue Reflection. Many people consider this an improvement over the original many aspects. I didn't feel I missed out on much by not playing the original or watching the anime, but I can see how those who have might get a bit more out of the characters.