Spoilers love some sweets and coffee.

I’m a little bit rusty in anime subgenres, but I think this one should be pretty familiar to most anime fans. If I had to do a lightning description I would say think “magical girls” with a healthy helping of The Bourne Identity. It does contain action and violence enough to merit a warning against family audiences, but let’s be frank here – I rarely watch anything that a family audience could watch. We’ll get back to the horror genre soon, but this one is executed rather nicely, so we’re off to a great start.

(Credit: Spider Lily/Aniplex/ABC Animation/BS11)

Lycoris Recoil (2022) is an original anime series created by Spider Lily and Asaura and produced by A-1 Pictures. Takina is a “Lycoris”, a member group of young female assassins tasked with undercover missions by the DA to eliminate terrorism. In an operation to seize a large number of firearms, she disobeys orders in order to save a colleague and ends up killing all the hostiles leaving the DA without any clues. She is transferred to a small branch that operates out of the “LycoReco” coffee shop to work with a quirky elite Lycoris named Chisato. Chisato was a top operative who left the main branch after an incident at the old radio tower.

There’s a lot more characters that come into the story as well, but essentially we get the very lively and loud Chisato and the cool tactical Takina as the main core of the show as they get to know each other and become friends. Chisato is an atypical operative, acting a lot more like a teenage girl and showing Takina how to follow suit. However, once on the field Chisato is an incredibly lethal sharpshooter with inhuman reflexes that has opted for using rubber bullets. Takina is almost a machine, but even she finds herself in awe of Chisato’s skills.

Obviously there’s something afoot in the background, as Lycoris is more than just a training program. The girls themselves seem to have been undergone something that gives them an extra edge and Chisato herself seems to be looking for whoever is responsible for her survival from her hidden past. The conspiracy seems to be embedded deep into the DA, with some failed missions intentionally hiding an even shadier operation.

The show is not doing anything terribly innovative, but it is executed sharp. The visuals are crisp and clear and the animation flows nicely. You can almost tell there’s drama and heartache coming up, but the mix between them and the other characters has a good rhythm and the chemistry between the characters works. The show is very grounded, without any flying pets or magical transformations. The brand of humour is very much your generic anime garden variety, but the awkwardness does come up as endearing rather than annoying so far.

Highly recommended for anime fans. I do appreciate how the show starts with darker tones from the beginning. The lightness of the cafe is rather cozy, and the main cast is engaging enough for us to care what happens to them. The hidden conspiracy exposes tones of grey, although you can tell the story has very dark secrets coming up. Worth a watch for anime fans.

That will do for now.