Lycoris Recoil (Season One)

Lycoris Recoil Title

Takina was transferred out of Direct Attack for insubordination and sent to LycoReco to work with another Lycoris who does things her own way. Chisato is determined to show Takina that there’s more to life than killing!

Lycoris Recoil (Season One)

What did you watch?

When I scanned the shows in the Summer 2022 schedule, I think Lycoris Recoil slipped past my watchful eye. I’m not sure how it did, because, on paper, it seems like a perfect fit. Anyhow, several episodes into the season, I accidentally scanned an episode review by TCrow over at Crow’s World of Anime and felt the need to comment. Generally, we seem to have fairly similar tastes in anime, although there was that one time… cough… Takt Op. Destiny… cough… So, was this another Takt Op. Destiny disaster? Let’s find out!

Lycoris Recoil Episode 10 Chisato Nishikigi thinking

What happened?

Japan has become one of the safest countries in the world, although that’s a lie. A secret government organisation called Direct Attack neutralises threats before they can happen with lethal force. All incidents are swept under the carpet and the general public can go about their lives in blissful ignorance. Direct Attack takes orphaned girls and trains them to be obedient killing machines, so when Takina failed to follow orders, she was transferred out.

Takina found herself moving to a smaller operation called LycoReco. It was a cafe, however, that was just a front. A former assassin ran the place with a small team of misfits who took on missions that were beneath Direct Attack and also offered specialist assistance when needed. Chisato was quick to welcome Takina into the LycoReco family, despite her determination to return to Direct Attack. She was sure that she could convince Takina to stay with them and also change her outlook on life.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 2 Chisato Nishikigi aiming

What did you think?

This was not Takt Op. Destiny (and that’s the last time I’ll mention it… ever…). No, this was a riot. The action was electric, but it was the two central characters that elevated this series. Individually, they were interesting. Chisato was calm and fun, but she could switch into attack mode in seconds. Takina was serious and standoffish. Together, they were fantastic and it didn’t happen instantly either, which was nice. Their friendship developed through the season. One moment that really highlighted just how much they had changed was when Takina finally beat Chisato at rock, paper, scissors. Her face lit up and she started to dance. That image was unthinkable a few episodes earlier. There was action, friendship, mystery, and intrigue.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 6 Takina Inoue defeats Chisato Nishikigi

What was your favourite moment?

Takina had just been transferred back to Direct Attack and was on a mission to stop terrorists from blowing up the new tower, replacing the leaning Tokyo Tower. However, she realised that something wasn’t right. Then, she got word from Kurumi about Chisato going missing. She left the mission and ran to help her, even after spending most of the season trying to get back into Direct Attack. That was good, but it gets better.

Chisato was fighting Majima, a terrorist looking to expose the Lycoris and their seedy operations within Japan. It looked like Majima was going to win, but then Takina burst through the metal shutters at just the right moment and saved the day. The fights before and after were great, but that single moment as the light flooded in behind her was incredible.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 11 Takina Inoue saves Chisato Nishikigi

What was your least favourite moment?

I’m struggling to come up with a moment that made me frustrated. There were some topics that I thought they were going to look at but never did. I wanted them to explore the function of Lycoris and how any government having a team that actively suppresses terrorism with violence is a slippery slope. Sure, they’re going after gun smugglers and murderers now, but it wouldn’t take much for them to start targeting shot-lifters and then people with different ideologies to the government. I wanted Direct Attack to become the villain of the story. I felt like that was where it was heading, but it didn’t go there. Maybe if we get a second season?

Other than that, how dare someone short Chisato’s heart so that it couldn’t be recharged. That certainly made the last couple of episodes tense!

Lycoris Recoil Episode 8 Chisato Nishikigi heart

Who was your favourite character?

For the longest time, I was certain that it would be Chisato. However, I think I may now be leaning towards Takina. She’s the more relatable of the two. Chisato’s ideals are incredibly lofty and hard for an average person to believe in with such fervour. Despite everything, she simply accepted that she was going to die. She wouldn’t kill another to save herself. Takina, on the other hand, was ready to do whatever it took to save her. It was easier to understand her motivations and as such, I think she just takes it. That said, Mika stepped up massively in the last episode. That was incredible.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 12 Takina Inoue fighitng to save Chisato Nishikigi

Who was your least favourite character?

I didn’t care for the girls still working for Direct Attack. Fuki and Sakura were annoying, but that might be because they were the opposite of Chisato and Takina. I also hated the chief of Direct Attack, but then I’ve already spoken about how I see them as villains and how an organisation like that cannot exist in a civilised society. It’s too easy for it to become corrupted and used against the people it was meant to serve.

However, it has to be Yoshimatsu. They really didn’t explain why the Alan Institute was determined to reward people with special talents by ensuring they do what they wanted. Why did Chisato need to kill to continue to receive their grace? There were a lot of unanswered questions on this front and frankly, what he did to Chisato and Mika was unforgivable. At least, Mika took care of things.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 12 Yoshimatsu aims at Takina Inoue

Would you like some more?

I loved the final scene of the season where the LycoReco cafe had relocated to Hawaii. It looks like they set things up for them to become a secret international crime-fighting unit that also helps with bizarre and random jobs such as finding missing dogs or teaching a second language. The world really is their oyster and whatever they’re doing, I will be there to watch and cheer them on. I loved this series and absolutely need more.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 13 Takina Inoue Kurumi and Chisato Nishikigi in Hawaii

What have you learnt?

This series managed to keep a great balance between the more lighthearted stuff and the darker side of things. One moment, they were taking a corpse on a tour of Tokyo and the next their serving puddings that looked like a poop! It just goes to show that you can get it all in and not leave the audience with whiplash from insane tonal shifts. Using the episodic format definitely helped where one episode would be serious and another less so.

I also think it helped that Chisato and Takina seemed to embody those two ideas. Chisato was comedy and Takina was tragedy. Then things started to shift, allowing them to merge and then go off in the other direction. The fact that they were able to move between those two roles so successfully allowed the show to do it too. Plus, like everything else, it was gradual. Just like the reveal on the corpse in the wheelchair. It had been a goofy and fun episode, but then, when you know it takes on a very different light.

Lycoris Recoil Episode 5 Takina Inoue and Chisato Nishikigi taking Matsushita on a tour of Tokyo

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  1. In my defense, I had to force my self to like that _other_ show (which I won’t mention, since you said you don’t want to use its name anymore!). It was tough, but it was an experiment in manipulating taste.

    That said, I’m glad you like this one. Your review hit all the high points. All during the last episode, I could rationally tell myself that Chisato would make it. But in the moment, as I watched it for the first time, I wasn’t thinking about that. The show had pulled me completely in.

    I still get chills thinking of Chisato swinging at the end of the cable tied to Takina’s waist with fireworks going off in the background. That’s just good stuff.

    • Yeah, it really was one of those where we knew she was going to be all right, but they’d done enough for us to have a tiny bit of doubt. That was enough to raise the tension in that final scene no end.

      There was a lot to like about the show and not just Chisato and Takina. I’d love another season for sure.

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