On the surface, Recoil of Lycoris seems like a cute anime about a slice of life about two girls working in a cafe and doing all sorts of quirky errands. Even the official trailer features a streak seemingly reminiscent of other high-energy and colorful cafe slice-of-life shows like Mix-S and Is the Order a Rabbit? However, anyone who has watched at least the very first episode of Recoil of Lycoris knows there’s more to this summer 2022 anime than meets the eye, as it’s packed with action and intrigue.
With no original manga or light novel series to serve as source material, it was quite easy for this anime original to fool its viewer with a misleading trailer. It opens with upbeat music and photos of a traditional Japanese-style cafe. Showcasing the cast of characters in their cafe uniforms, the trailer showcases the various personalities viewers will encounter in Recoil of Lycoris, from the bubbly Chisato poster to the icy newcomer Takina. The trailer also highlights the various errands the girls run as part of their jobs at the cafe, hinting at the goofy situations they might find themselves in. From the trailer alone, Recoil of Lycoris certainly seems like a light and comfortable anime.
While the trailer sets viewers’ expectations high for an adorable coffee story, the first few minutes of the first episode set a more intense tone. The episode opens with a serene morning scene with news in the background, but as Chisato drives off on his moped through the city of Tokyo after an urgent call from “Teach”, viewers notice startling activity in the background. shot of Chisato’s monologue: schoolgirls with guns and knives shooting down criminals. As these surprising killers wear uniforms similar to Chisato’s, viewers soon realize that the slice-of-life series they’ve been expecting is actually an action-packed anime revolving around a secret youth agency. female killers.
The intensity of Recoil of Lycoris quickly takes center stage in the series, making action the most dominant genre, at least as far as the first three episodes go. Along with officially introducing upbeat elite agent Chisato and recently demoted no-frills killer Takina, the first episode emphasizes the series’ gritty nature through Chisato and Takina’s first mission: to protect a woman who unknowingly captures an arms trade deal in the context of his selfie. After their client is kidnapped, Chisato and Takina show off their impressively smooth fighting skills in a rescue attempt that turns into a shootout. Filled with chase scenes and shootouts, Episode 2 continues to set the tone for the series with a mission to help top hacker Walnut flee the country as he is targeted by another hacker and a group of killers. on pledge.
As Episode 3 deviates from a mission-based plot, it presents a fuller view of the DA, anime’s central agency that trains and employs young women. In this most recent episode, Chisato returns to AD headquarters for his required health check and physical test, accompanied by Takina. Amid Chisato’s health check and Takina’s attempt to negotiate his demotion with the Commander, the two girls are drawn into a mock battle against Takina’s ex-partner Fuki, as well as his promising replacement. With such action-centric storylines, the first three episodes of Recoil of Lycoris have proven that the series will be much more exciting than a typical slice-of-life anime.
Recoil of Lycoris isn’t the first anime to combine a bright slice-of-life tone with a punchier plot. School Live!, a 2015 slice-of-life anime, first appears to be an ultra-cute anime following four high school girls and their dog as they participate in the “school life club.” Complete with an upbeat theme song, a colorful art style, and an adorable lead, the series is easily mistaken for a mundane slice of life.
However, just as with Recoil of Lycoris, a more sinister plot lurks beneath the surface. Unbeknownst to the central character Yuki, she and her fellow club members are living in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Throughout the series, the false perception of Yuki is prominent while the harsh reality that her three friends protect her from presents a much darker undertone. The anime’s juxtaposition between tone and plot allows it to explore serious themes such as trauma, morality, and survival.
As Recoil of Lycoris continues, fans can hope to see a similar juxtaposition between its slice-of-life elements and intense plot as well as the themes such contrast allows the anime to explore. Viewers who love anime like Recoil of Lycoris and School Live! also need to check Higurashi when they cry — a horror anime with a colorful facade — and the newest Spy x Family – a thrilling story of a spy, an assassin and their adorable family.