Lycoris Recoil Review: Waifus with Guns

Lycoris Recoil Review

Lycoris Recoil, an original series produced by A1-Pictures and created by Spider Lily and Asaura, consists of thirteen episodes and falls under the Action genre. While its genre might suggest a narrative focused on constant tension and action, Lycoris Recoil surpasses these expectations. Although not officially recognized under additional genres, the story carries its own level of drama and, for those interested, includes engaging fanservice elements for shipping.

Contrary to the initial impression conveyed by its promotional image, Lycoris Recoil unfolds as a dynamic narrative. The premise of a utopia monitored by high school girls in uniform is indeed remarkable. The story fearlessly tests itself through the introduction of diverse characters. It's undeniable that labeling this series solely as an "Action" genre is insufficient in capturing the full spectrum of its offerings.


What is Lycoris Recoil about?

Thanks to the efforts of a syndicate known as Direct Attack (DA), the incidence of terrorist acts in Japan has reached an all-time low. This organization is tasked with training orphaned girls as assassins to execute murders under their "Lycoris" program. Takina Inoue, an exceptional Lycoris with a strong will and a penchant for perfection, loses her position in the DA when an unfortunate hostage situation puts her patience to the test. Following an act of insubordination, she is reassigned from the DA. Dissatisfied with losing the only place she belonged, she reluctantly arrives at her new operational base: LycoReco, a discreetly disguised café.

To her surprise, her new partner turns out to be quite different from what she had envisioned. Despite being the renowned prodigy of Lycoris, Chisato Nishikigi appears almost carefree about her duties. She involves Takina in all sorts of peculiar tasks, simply explaining that it helps those in need. Takina is even more perplexed when Chisato subdues a group of armed assailants without causing harm. Feeling like a fish out of water, Takina is determined to reintegrate into the DA, but Chisato is resolute in proving that there is more to life than simply taking it.

The Good: Crafting a Captivating World

Let's delve into the strengths of Lycoris Recoil, focusing on at least three key aspects. Firstly, the world in which the story unfolds. It might appear unconventional, yet it stands as a fundamental reason why this narrative is so gripping.

The storytelling immerses us in a "normal" world, fundamentally distinct from our own, where evil has been almost eradicated. This captivating scenario is brought about by the endeavors of high school girls in uniform, an intriguing element that forms a fascinating backdrop. The allure is simple – irrespective of its plausibility, it is visually striking. Young, uniformed girls wielding incredible combat skills; naturally, this is something we crave more of. The beauty of their premise lies in the world they've crafted, allowing for such captivating elements.

Moving on, the next point delves into the visual design of the characters. This extends from the previous discussion – the appeal of the characters finds its foundation in the world that envelops them. While having attractive girls in anime is not uncommon, here, their presence is crucial to underpin the organization. Charisma is an aspect that is also well-founded in the world meticulously constructed for them.

Takina, evolving into a cool character with growing humanity alongside her companion, contrasts with Chisato, a carefree girl whose background makes us appreciate her smile even more. Finally, the third point must spotlight the dynamics of relationships; the chemistry and visual allure of our protagonists are pivotal to the success of this series. Although the villain could be another noteworthy aspect, the ending they presented doesn't allow me to showcase it as effectively as it could have been.

Lycoris Recoil Trailer

The Downside: Lack of Ambition

Not everything that glitters is gold, and while this series boasts many strengths, it also grapples with notable shortcomings. I might be exaggerating a bit, but let's delve into it—Lycoris Recoil lacks ambition from start to finish. Its narrative consistently tilts towards the lackluster side, and the character development remains imperceptible. Let me break it down, beginning with the narrative. Each episode functions as a self-contained story, at least until the final episodes when they opted to exploit what they had "developed." While that alone isn't inherently negative, the real issue surfaces in the weakness of the conflict on its own. Without the action scenes, the stories wouldn't have captured much interest.

The deficiency in ambition becomes glaringly apparent in the final conflict, which lacks coherence. Majima was an excellent villain until they decided to strip away any real reasons for his actions. It wasn't justice, it wasn't selfishness; it merely happened because someone had to do it, and he was conveniently there. Perhaps a better villain was Yoshi. Adhering to his selfish ideals, he met his end at the hands of Mika, and that was satisfying. This flaw in the anime lies in making us empathize with Majima as the villain when the real villain was Yoshi—not because he made Chisato suffer but because he had genuine motivation for his actions. A selfish villain always surpasses one lacking motivation.

Lastly, the most disheartening aspect is that this series features incredible characters, yet the only one who underwent any meaningful character development was Takina. I understand; there are few episodes, and the personalities were already well-defined, making significant changes challenging. However, I had hoped for growth in more characters, not just Takina. Well, Mika is a different story because they sure enjoyed keeping her shrouded in mysteries until the end.

Final Thoughts

Lycoris Recoil stands out as an anime with breathtaking visuals, showcasing animation quality that elevates the experience of its incredible battles. While its narrative may lack depth and suffers in terms of character development, it doesn't detract from the overall quality of the anime. Excelling in simplicity and adherence to its own premise, the series smoothly follows its rhythm. It neither delves into convoluted, complex internal conflicts nor stays confined to a simple comedy about girls in a café. Action and the chemistry between the protagonists are its strong points, creating a conflicting yet engaging narrative. It's not a straightforward story, striking a balance that makes it ideal for a relaxing afternoon when you crave action without unnecessary complications.

In line with tradition, and to conclude, it remains to assign a rating. Well, for me, this anime earns an 84/100. I genuinely consider it an excellent anime, although the shallowness of its story bothers me a bit. Despite this, I can't help but yearn for more from this series; I believe that with additional screen time, there could be substantial development in both plot and characters.

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