474th G-View: Lycoris Recoil

To start off I did not expect this anime, a “girls with guns” show, to become as popular as it did. Several reasons were given. The main duo’s design are excellent (which they are). The protagonist has the right kind of appeal for mainstream Japanese animeniacs or the studio that produced it marketed it very well. Whatever the case it became one of the top anime of Summer 2022. I imagine peeps dropped by here because they wanted to hear my thoughts on it and if it lived up to the surprise hype. Let us find out as we take a look at Lycoris Recoil.

Lycoris Recoil Cover

Genres: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Yuri.

Theme: Girls with Guns

Number of Episodes: 13

G-Rating: 9/10

Plot Summary: These are peaceful days, thanks to a secret crime-fighting organization of all-girl agents: Lycoris. The elite free-spirited Chisato is their all-time strongest agent, alongside the cool headed talented-but-mysterious Takina. Working together at the Lycoris Recoil café, they serve coffee and sweets as well as childcare, shopping, and teaching Japanese. The chaotic everyday lives of this mismatched duo begin.

Chisato on a missionTakina takes actionMain girls Chisato and Takina.

As mentioned in the introduction and plot summary the show is about cute and sexy girls fighting crime with guns and cool martial arts, in secret. That secrecy plays a role in the setting of a “peaceful” Japan free of crime and terror, which it actually is not as enemies as low as thieves from all the way to terrorists and secret organizations take issue with the current state of the country for one reason or another. The story shows how both heroines and their friends handle things with their own worldviews and often clash on the right and wrong way to handle things, specifically dishing out justice. The story and topics are not things we have not seen before in fictional media but even so are well presented and interesting to see the heroes and villains’ stances. Besides debates on order, peace and justice a couple more topics that play important roles are the value of life, finding one’s purpose in the world and most importantly around these parts, love.

Besides the themes and debates of the show the action scenes are excellent too. Every action scene be it our heroines taking down groups of thugs or formidable foes are well animated and get quite brutal as the story progresses despite one of the main girls valuing life. More on this later. Every time the hero team go into action expect awesomeness on the battlefield and the command post.

Mika and MizukiKurumiAs alluded to in the action scene the main duo are accompanied by their equally great homies. First is Master Mika the wise kind of mentor figure with a very interesting secret or two. Mizuki the strudel hungry navigator who gets in on the action from time to time but mostly pines for sausages and complains about adult life when not bantering with her unofficial buddy in crime. Lastly is said buddy Kurumi who is either a child genius or a shortie. Her introduction and mannerisms are wonderful, especially her love of Enka music..Basically the main cast and their banter are all excellent.

Kurumi trying to hide from FukiThe side-characters, friend and foe, play their roles well with my favorite being Fuki. She is the classic grumpy sweetheart archetype. Basically do not hate her after her understandably uncool first impression. Her partner’s kinda “meh” but has her moments too. As for the villains…Let me put it this way. As the story progressed and both sides’ actions and motives became clearer I began comparing key characters on both sides to DC Comics superheroes and villains. Basically that is a good thing coming from me as I love the DC crew and characters reminding me of them are wonderful.

Chisato tries to get Takina to eat moreWith the action, interesting themes and brief character descriptions done let us cover my highlights on the show. First is the lighthearted stuff. Yes the action is great but what drew me in to the show were the lighthearted segments throughout, which fortunately there were plenty of for most of the story. Even during the more intense developments near the end the show snuck in some delightful scenes that did not feel out of place but were in fact much appreciated. It is a great balance of joy and seriousness with the joy filling my heart with joy. As always comedy is subjective but the execution of the jokes and punchlines are top notch. Team LycoReco never failed to put smiles on my face throughout the show.

Chisato's poncho disguiseBest to show the funniest outfit and have readers anticipating the cuter and sexier ones on the show.

The best way to go over the presentation is hinting our heroines, mainly Chisato’s, many, many outfits she wears throughout the show. In almost every episode she wears something different. Sometimes she has a different hairstyle. Takina does not change clothes as much but she does not fall behind in looking stylish. It helps our heroines are as adorable as they are sexy adding bonus style points to the counter. Everything else is very well animated too from important expressions to key moments that might be easy to miss the first viewing. The attention to detail is quite nice. The soundtrack is good too with a nice OP and especially ED.

Chisato comforts TakinaAt long last it is time for the main event and main reason to watch the show. Are ChisaTaki excellent? Knowing what TV shows can or cannot get away with over the years depending on circumstances beyond viewers’ control, even ones who looked up the hoops some shows have to jump to work yuri magic, I would say yes. While ChisaTaki are a classic “Genki X Ice Princess” couple I dare say this is one of the best “defrosting” I have seen in my over two decades of consuming yuri media. What I mean by this is Takina going from the by the books super serious warrior to an almost “Chisato Lite” is fascinating. Usually when ice princesses defrost they merely become more chill and happier around their energetic love interests. With Takina however, without saying too much she has shall we say “zippy-dee-doo-die-way” moments too. Plus one has to respect a girl who will go the extra mile when she has her mind set on something. Keep this in mind while watching. Not to be outdone Chisato is a very interesting genki in her own right. She is cheerful and full of life but be careful not to push her buttons or really cross her. There is a reason she is dubbed the “Ultimate Lycoris”. Besides that she is pretty sassy, flirtatious (especially with Takina) and playful. She is also one of those peeps who hide their weaknesses. Nothing new of course but Chisato is one of those characters who becomes very vulnerable when weakened. Think of her as a mix of Vash the Stampede and Kenshin Himura. That is all I will say. Something else I found interesting without giving too much away is the difference in approach between ChisaTaki, specifically one who values all life except for one and the other who starts with a “life of the few for the many/most important” to a “life of the few for the many/most important but with less head shots”. It is an interesting dynamic. Also be sure to pay close attention to the multiple hints from start to finish, including where the epilogue takes place. Everything has a reason. IN SHORT…

Chisato falls for Takina at first sight and Takina falls for Chisato HARD. Keep this in mind while watching.

Overall Lycoris Recoil is arguably deserving of being one of the best anime of Summer 2022, if not the entire year. The main cast are excellent and the side-cast play their roles well. The presentation is great. the action scenes excellent too and the lighthearted moments FANTASTIC. Lastly ChisaTaki’s relationship development is great. Will we get more from this world? We do not know yet but what we got here was quite lovely indeed. Highly recommended to fans of fun and serious Yuri Girls with Guns shows such as El Cazador de la Bruja and Princess Principal.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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22 Responses to 474th G-View: Lycoris Recoil

  1. Nick says:

    Definitely my anime of the summer, which is saying a lot because Love Live is also airing in the same season.

    From start to finish I loved Lycoris. Yes I’m a sucker for the girls with guns trope, I find it so badass and sexy, and this anime had a lot of that, but it also had so much more and that’s what really made me love it so much.

    The action was as expected a highlight of the anime. So well done and exciting. Kept you on the edge of your seat each week. The story, while not anything entirely new in the grand scheme of things was still very engaging and kept you eager to come back each week. I do like action/spy thriller movies so this checked a lot of boxes for me. The music was fantastic too, as expected from legendary duo ClariS. But the characters really brought this anime to life and made it special.

    Takina and Chisato are another memorable couple this year and watching them progress each week was such a treat. From their meeting in ep 1 to them on the beaches of Hawaii in ep 13, they were always by each others side and you could see their bond deepening each week.

    The supporting characters were also amazing and added so much depth to the anime and story. I enjoyed learning about them, their backstory, and seeing their role in the story. True they could’ve taken more time to expand on the supporting characters some more, but Takina and Chisato were the center of attention for this anime.

    All in all Lycoris Recoil hits pretty much all of the right notes for me and comes out as my favorite anime this season and one I’ll look back on at the end of the year for sure. Will we get another season? Maybe. But honestly even if we don’t I’m satisfied with what we got here just the same.

    I enjoyed your weekly coverage of this (even if I might have missed a few weeks, very sorry!!) and I look forward to what you’ve got planned for next season!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Oh yes. So much to love about this show from start to finish.

      What we got about the side-characters was enough. Some could have used a bit more development but again we got the gist of their characters.

      Naturally ChisaTaki’s relationship was the main draw and their growing feelings for each other was excellent. The main reason I’d like another is to see them go even further.

      As I told my dear friend Dr T below there is a clever reason Chisato wanted to go to Hawaii. Oh yes indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You pretty much summed up every thought I had, so I’ll just hit the key points.

    Chisato is best girl overall, but man did Takina shoot up there in the second half. We all wish to have someone love us that much, to literally do any and everything to save you. As you said, Chisato fell first, but Takina fell twice as hard. You love to see it! Even after the battle was all said and done, Takina chased after Chisato to a whole other region just to find her. Now that’s some commitment. Their moment on the beach and the final scene was the cherry on top of their obvious relationship. They even had matching bracelets! (Didn’t initially notice that myself)

    As for the side characters, I didn’t really talk about it, but I actually love Fuki. She’s also my favorite side character. However, my favorite of the Cafe LycoReco crew is Kurumi without a doubt. I love how her actual age is still a mystery even to the end. In any case, she’s the MVP for a lot of their missions, and her skills are unmatched.

    I really love Mika as well, just for the fact that he was the father that was there for Chisato and he came to love her so deeply that he even changed his beliefs. Too bad Daddy Luthor couldn’t see the light, but I believe he too loved her in his own way, albeit a little psychotic. It was nice having an official gay relationship acknowledged outside of ChisaTaki too. I had a feeling things would play out the way they did in the finale between Mika and Yoshi, and I agree with Kurumi, Mika might be the scariest of them all. The entire crew was just great, even Mizuki with her pining for hunks and her funny moments partnered up with Kurumi.

    Finally, I think Majima made an excellent antagonist. Comparing him to the Joker was pretty spot on in terms of his actions and motivations. However, I think he was a bit more wise and reasonable. He wanted chaos, but he was also fair. (Like when he let Chisato take a rest for example so she’d fight at her best). He really appreciated her as his nemesis, and I think she respected him in some ways as well. Considering he’s obviously still roaming around freely, I’m sure we’ll see him again should we get a S2.

    On that note, I really hope we’ll get a S2. While I’m happy to have had things wrap up as they did and it was fairly conclusive, I really want more ChisaTaki moments. I want more of the Cafe crew as well. The SoL episodes where they’re serving customers and doing everyday missions were really fun. However, the action moments were also great. The action scenes and battle were top-notch and really engaging. Especially when Chisato gets serious and when Takina joins her. Overall, the show had an amazing balance of Action, Comedy and SoL themes. There’s no Original anime this year so far that I think deserves another season more. Also, they seem to drop hints of future plot developments over the last couple of episodes, so I’m hopeful.

    Ultimately, LycoReco has certainly become my favorite anime of this Season and it’s really is quite possibly contender for the year. I’d never been so anxious watching an anime recently as I was every week with this one. To have things wrapped up nicely in a bow was also a treat. So let’s hope we’ll get that S2, or even a SoL spin-off like the Light Novel would be appreciated. Anything to give us more ChisaTaki and Cafe LycoReco goodness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Fantastic leads with fantastic teammates, mostly fun side-characters and interesting antagonists.

      Also as a Japanese homie pointed out Chisato picked Hawaii to go on vacation because they recently legalized gay marriage. Chisato may not be as open about her love as Takina but she too wants to spend eternity with her raven haired beauty.

      Good observation on Majima. Should there be a 2nd season he most likely will return to settle the score with “Batgirl” and “Huntress”. Also like you mentioned the material is there for another season.

      More would be excellent, preferably animated, yes.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. chikorita157 says:

    This show was the surprising hit of the year. I agree that Chisato is a very enjoyable character and a bundle and cute looks. I like how Takina defrosted, especially given that she didn’t have much sense of fashion wearing mens boxers and such and falling for Chisato eventually. I admit they make a nice pairing.

    Also, the side characters are good, could relate to Kurumi by how much tech she uses and being tech savvy and cute looks. After all, I’m huge into tech after all.

    Sure, the show still leaves some things not covered such as the purpose behind the Allan Institute and some things about the DA along with Mika’s relationship with Yoshi before the events happened in this show, but I agree the story was interesting and action was great. There are some instances that had me on the edge of the seat. Still, I wonder if they will cover these aspects in other forms of media, I know they released a spinoff light novel this month, but it should be interesting if there are more that covers that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      ChisaTaki are a great couple and Kurumi’s wonderful too as are the rest of the LycoReco team.

      As I told our homies I’d love to see a continuation in anime form but I suppose the novel and manga spinoff will suffice for the time being.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tayumayu says:

    note to myself to not binge-watch/read heart-wrenching animes and yuri manga for a long period. my heart turned to dust, and my tears dried from crying too much. but oh…my god, when I thought its hard these days to get yurinium bcs other “anime genre” took over *cough, lycoreco and chisataki saved the day. pretty sure everyone’s Twitter timeline got blessed by the beautiful and gorgeous fanarts, can’t get enough of them. with that being said, looking forward to more yuri goodness in other seasons >w</. (been quite a while since i comment here, really missed this lovely site) glad to be back!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. CrimsonDenkai says:

    Hi
    Can you also add a sub-text yuri metric in your rating as well?
    I realise that all the animes so far have had a lot of sub-text yuris. The last proper- black and white yuri anime was bloom into you.
    After that, every other anime had a lot of sub-text and are open to interpretation. They do not outright say we are a yuri anime.
    A sub-text yuri metric will also give us what to expect and enjoy the series as well.
    You are probably the only and experienced yuri blogger and I appreciate you for your reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Short answer, the metric is not necessary.

      Long answer, it’s not necessary because that’s how it is in Japanese live-action and anime. Yuri kisses and open confessions are a luxury, not a necessity. It’s an “actions speak louder than words” presentation. When you get used to it you do not need the tag to know when something is yuri or not. It’s how they get away with presenting yuri without having to openly say it is yuri. In an ideal world they need not go through such lengths but that’s just how it is. Besides, it makes the openly yuri shows all the sweeter when they somehow get the green light.

      More accurate answer, I technically already have a metric in the Yuri Anime List with how intense the yuri in each show is from “Low” to “High” and “Overheat” for extra spice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CrimsonDenkai says:

        Then I have a question for you,
        After Frag time, which was released in 2019, there has not been any anime with a strong yuri scene. Everything else is in the subtext. Before 2020, we had many bold yuri animes, Valkyrie Drive, Yuri Kuma, Citrus, Bloom into you, Netsuzou no trap, Scum’s Wish, etc. had explicit yuri scenes.
        But after 2020, most of the supposed yuri scenes in anime are in Subtext. Has there been censorship that is preventing it in all Anime media? It does not make sense as they do not sensor a lot of Sexual harassment sense in every Harem series, but it is weird that they censor proper yuri scenes.
        Since you have been reviewing yuri content for many years, I would like to know your opinion on this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Simca says:

        Crimson, the problem is popularity/ratings.

        Yuri is by far the least popular genre of anime. It’s not even close. Yaoi is more popular by a factor of like 10. For studios making anime, why would they bother making Yuri anime when Yuri shows rarely break even?

        CGDCT is the implicit compromise. They make a show only featuring cute girls and then add in some flirting and let the fans do the shipping without ever putting any real WLW relationships into it. Then you get most of the Yuri audience plus a huge male following that just likes watching cute girls. It’s basically just a harem anime that only focuses on the harem girls.

        The sad part is that this probably won’t change. Romance-focused Yuri anime will continue to be ridiculously rare and never last more than one season before being cancelled (even Bloom Into You didn’t get its second season).

        Money makes the world go round, and there is less money in Yuri.

        Like

  6. Somebody says:

    I had a feeling this show would get a happy ending but there is always that lingering doubt when watching any show. Honestly the only thing missing that would of made this series perfect is a kiss during the beach scene. But either way we got 13 well crafted episodes combining goofy slice of life antics and intense action. Its not often I go for the expensive Japanese bluray releases but I will soon be adding this one to my shelf. I believe Akebi and Super cub were the last two which now that I think about both were not that long ago. If the anime industry keeps stepping up their game I’m going to go broke.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    Lycoreco just has it all really.
    Lovable cast, great action, and an intriguing story that leaves you wanting more (Majima and the Alan Institute are still out there!)
    I barely knew it existed before this season but it immediately catapulted itself as my most anticipated anime week after week.
    Overall fantastic show.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. K says:

    An excellent blend of action, drama and comedy, LycoReco did not fail to deliver. As the episodes went on, the deeper my love for ChisaTaki became and needless to say, I’m glad Chisato got to live longer than she thought she would. It is easily the best anime of the summer for me, heck maybe even the year!

    While I like the rest of the LycoReco crew, I liked Kurumi the most. She was sassy at times but she was an invaluable asset to the team. That and her banter with Mizuki was nothing short of hilarious.

    Yea, I didn’t like her at first, but Fuki did grow on me. She was a stickler for the rules but she cared about Chisato(and Takina) in her own way and she does have some soft points, like her crush on Master Mika.

    Majima was a terrific villain and an excellent foil against Chisato. To think that he didn’t think much of her at first. Furthermore, their final battle wouldn’t look out of place in an action movie. Given their taste in films, they’d probably get a kick out of watching that 😉 .

    I feel stupid just realizing this but with the comparisons to Vash and Kenshin, I noticed that all three of them share one thing in common and that’s the colour red. Quite a funny coincidence, that.

    The Alan Institute still has some mysteries under its hood, whether or not Yoshimatsu was a rouge agent. The DA also has its own mysteries, particularly the relationship between Lycoris and Lilybell. Diving into these would be a scrumptious treat sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      ChisaTaki are love.

      Kurumi won the hearts of many with her brains, sass and bickering with Mizuki.

      Fuki’s basically a grumpy heroine. Kinda tsundere but more strict for most of the show. Still a caring friend of Chisato’s deep down.

      They kind of share similar tastes in action movies and have a kind of code of honor among them so under different circumstances a movie night between them could have been possible.

      They might have been an inspiration in our lovable heroine’s design.

      Keep LilyBell to a manga or light novel spinoff. No need to give them more screen time than necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jeanettelith says:

    Chisato alive, that was obvious 😛 But this anime was still funny

    Liked by 1 person

  10. yurimylove says:

    how romantic, hawaiian beach and sunset 😀

    Like

  11. This is one couple I do not think will have a happy ending , They can not keep replacing her heart.

    Like

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