Anime is a fickle thing, and by that, I am referring to the trends. Certain titles strike like hot iron while other, and sometimes brilliant series fall to the wayside. Well, I guess most media is like that. Now I could think of all the shows that got hot, were controversial, and often were critically bad but recently I sat down and watched a show everyone seemed to love. An anime original that took bitter yuri gun girl to the next level, a show that was stunning visually, had crisp action, and a dominant female duo. Now I might have fooled myself with the Twitter hype, and all the one-off comments but I watched all 13 episodes of this series, and imma be real, it was fine.
It is oddly rare for me to watch something that takes the community by storm and not think one side or the other. Jobless Reincarnation was fucking good, I wish it wasn’t (and I wish the acknowledged grooming would chill) but critically as a story it clicked all the boxes. On the flip side of that would be Sheild Hero but in either of those cases, I found myself at the end of the tunnel feeling one way or another. Then enter Lycoris Recoil, a charming original series done by A-1 Pictures. A series that has a solid 4.9 overall on Crunchyroll, a series that I have seen a TON of cuts for, talking about its passion, detail, and finesse.
Then I watched it, and it is a SOLID 7/10
Lycoris Recoil exists in a world where teenage female (but sometimes male it doesn’t really elaborate) orphans decide to become hit(women?) for the government (called Lycoris). Like no shit the first episode is just these girls killing people on the street. They are pretty much vigilantes who can give the death penalty to anyone they see fit. It is a truly unhinging first episode but anywho we watch this girl, Takina Inoue break orders leading to her wiping out a group of arms dealers. Fired from her job she is sent to this cafe in Tokyo seemingly made by a Lycoris, Chisato. An amazingly gifted killer really dislikes killing people.
So to make it short we have an edgy teen who wants to make the status quo happy and another who just wants to live her life without the crazy context of her upbringing.
Then Takina is put under the guidance of Chisato, and if you have a brain you can figure out what happens.
The two engage in a friendship that becomes a little more than just friends, more or less become the center focus points of the show. Takina does things she believes are the best for her friend Chisato and Chisato just does whatever the fuck she wants. Outside of that imma be real there isn’t much going on. The action scenes are quite detailed and entertaining when they happen but they never lead to any real plot movement. The grand conspiracy that the show vaguely alludes to off and on (terrorist, unchecked police force no one knows about) is the main focus but nothing ever changes in it. I mean even the big baddie never atones for his crimes and there is never a reform on this unjust secret police.
I mean the actual police don’t even have a real place in this world, they just show up to say they have no authority and then vanish. There is also this hacker bit that is pretty intense at the start but mellows out drastically and ends almost anti-climatically as Walnut (who most think is dead) reclaimed her throne as the top hacker in about 5 minutes in episode 12. Throughout the whole show, it comes back to the place of nothing ever really being challenged or progressing in any way, the way the world is at the start of the show is the way it ends except for Chisato being able to leave the country and open a food truck.
Yeah, that is how this show ends, everyone from the cafe moves to Hawaii and opens a food truck. Just casually a group of expert hitmen, it has to be one of the most random outcomes I could think of. And don’t get me wrong I am fine with this ending, I mean for fuck sake Chisato needs some wins in her life at that point but still, it doesn’t really change anything outside of her own personal well-being.
I guess the real bread of this show is just that, Chisato. All the main circles move in some way around her and give in to whatever whim she has. That is of course until the very end when Mika who is like a father to her decides that her no-killing policy is only valid when her life isn’t on the line and pretty much goes against all of her wishes in killing her other father figure Yoshi. But even with this discrepancy, the whole plot of the series is just that, look at this cute cheerful girl who is really good at killing people not killing anybody.
Now with all of this in mind it by no means Lycoris Recoil is a bad show, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It has adorable art, and the characters while not highly complex are interesting in their own rights and seem to have their own goals and motives even if nothing ever really comes from them. The animation is crisp and the attention to detail in Chisato’s little dodge bullet thing she does is shockingly subtle. Soundtrack sadly I don’t really recall but I’ve been playing Persona 5 Royal and that is the only thing that has been on my brain so that might be on me.
All and all Lycoris Recoil was a nice return to the anime world, it’s the first series I’ve watched since February and as I get caught up with all the series I left half-watched I plan on hitting up that Cyberpunk show next. As I continue to work book reviews into the brand I am going to try to keep up a decent amount of anime/ manga content as well sprinkling in games along the way. As always thanks for the read!