I have to use this space to admit that I didn’t like this anime at first because I had a prejudice that it was about a “cute girl who carries guns”, but since I was wrong, an exhaustive analysis follows, because this Lycoris Recoil exceeded all my expectations!
One of the absolute anime hits of the previous year was the title Lycoris Recoil, and when you read this review, you will see why. This is an anime that you must watch, as it deals with severe and smart topics, and it can be of help to those who watch it, especially when it comes to everyday life. While Lycoris Recoil is, on the surface, a story about a sweet girl who uses guns, and fights against injustice, what lies underneath is precisely the way to live and how to approach life. We get this kind of message because it is becoming increasingly evident that things are not as they seem at first glance; they are not as uplifting as they are presented. Lycoris Recoil’s core message is about how to live life for ourselves, not for others. Regardless of what is suggested to us from the outside, how to follow ourselves and be happy about it.
The main characters, Chisato and Takina, come from completely different life circumstances and have diametrically opposite personalities. Chisato is always cheerful and independent and does not allow anyone to threaten her happiness, while Takina is very closed and keeps almost everything to herself. After the two meet and start working together, such chemistry develops between them that the viewers’ hearts must be warmed.
Lycoris Recoil Plot Line
The plot could be more fascinating because it often gets into dead ends and unsolvable and senseless situations. But in this case, that’s okay because this is primarily a story about Chisato and Takino, and there was no need to develop a strictly consistent narrative thread.
The plot is set in modern, that is, futuristic Japan, where there is a false sense of peace. However, the truth is that crime and terrorism have never been more developed; to solve this problem, the government calls DA (Direct Attack), an orphan called Lycoris, to assassinate these criminals. Following a mistake in action that resulted in danger, Takina Inoue, a Lycoris with excellent battle skills, gets transferred out of DA and into LycoReco, a cafe with a twist. This situation will lead her to meet Chisato Nishikigi, which will be a turning point in her life. While Takina wants to do whatever it takes to get back into DA, Chisato teaches her that life is more fruitful than just killing and that life can be beautiful.
The relationship between these two characters is what shines the brightest in this anime series. The plot is also well embedded in the relationship between these two characters. And what most anime series fail to achieve is brought to perfection here – the change between the context of action and the elements of life keeps us connected to this story. The comic moments entertain us, but tension arising from life situations have us at the edge of our seats, wondering about each other’s character’s fate in apprehension.
But the best thing is that Lycoris Recoil is not a manga adaptation but an original anime story, so no one knows what will happen, and that’s the best part – speculation, suspense and questions about who will die next or who won’t die…
A1 studio animated this series, and they did an almost perfect job. The animation is solid, with many colour tones that fit well with the story’s style and follow the occasionally dark segments and the segments that represent bright moments. Overall, the art is well done, and there are no complaints.
One of the things we can’t ignore when talking about Lycoris Recoil is the music. Here, I’m thinking about the track that accompanies the opening credits. We should praise the music that accompanies the scenes from the other episodes, which adds a unique touch to this series. Sayuri’s ending was one of my favourites this season.
What is most valuable and best in this series are definitely the characters. The character of Chisato is brilliantly done, plain and simple. She lives positively, doesn’t care about what other people think, doesn’t care about things she can’t control, and her influence is incredibly positive. She has an exciting trait, which is valuing people’s lives. Unlike Lycoris, she shoots, but not to kill. She sees value in other people’s lives because of various things that have happened in her past life.
While some might get frustrated over her “stubbornness” not to kill people, it’s a good writing decision, in my opinion, as it’s a distinct personality that makes for good plot points. Takina, on the other hand, is a realist who seeks results. She is not the happiest, not the most talkative, and certainly not as cheerful as her rivals.
But, working with Chisato, Takina goes through specific changes in her life. She slowly opens up to Chisato, begins to trust her, and begins to trust people in general; it becomes enough she becomes much more open and starts to like people. In this way, we see how the meeting with Chisato affected the main character. Besides these two, some side characters and villains are also well-developed. Thus, Kurumi and Mizuki have their own moments and contribute to the action in a very interesting way. The villains are also memorable because they have exciting and nonsensless intentions and are not one dimensional characters.
This show is an excellent combination of comedy, action and emotional moments. The humour works very well in this series, and for that, the voice actors should be praised because it is obvious that they are very passionate about what they do and that they have a lot of fun. Actions are also very well executed and bring tense moments, which is a pleasure to watch. Emotional situations, when they happen, are well managed and hit very hard, creating significant moments.
The one minor flaw has to come from some of the more ridiculous bits of “plot armour”, and no, I’m not talking about Chisato’s ability; it’s more the events that occur, such as the timing of certain parts in the plot that were a bit weak and executed slowly. Lycoris Recoil represents a perfect combination of light and dark moments without awkward moments. Definitely one of the favourite anime series in 2022 and one with the best characters.
Although it has certain flaws, you will enjoy this series. A-1 studio has done a great job. Now it’s up to you to share your impressions with us. Did you enjoy it as much as we did? Which of the two characters did you like better? Let us know on our Discord server!