Assault Lily: Bouquet Episode 1

Assault Lily: Bouquet Episode 1

Water Lily: Purity of Heart

Shaft’s latest anime, Assault Lily: Bouquet, is airing this season, so as a self-proclaimed fangirl of the studio I decided to add it to my weekly review schedule. However, before this series began airing, I had pretty low expectations for it. And let’s just say the first episode didn’t change those expectations.

So, with this review of the first episode, rather than going over the events that occurred, I’m going to focus on discussing what I liked and disliked about the episode. And at the end, I’m going to make some early predictions regarding the series that we can compare to when it’s complete.

I guess the first thing I “liked” about the series was that it actually doesn’t seem to be as bad as I feared it might be. I expected it to be pretty average, and that’s basically how I felt coming out of this episode. But, I was aware that it could be bad considering how much the synopsis of the series reminded me of Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka.

Kaede Johan Nouvel from the anime series Assault Lily: Bouquet
Kaede Johan Nouvel

The next thing I liked was that it sometimes felt like a Shaft anime. Those familiar with the studio are likely aware that Shaft tends to use certain artistic styles and angles that give their anime that “Shaft feel.” An example is the image featured above.

And because I honestly can’t think of anything else I liked about the first episode, I’ll skip to the end and say that I do really like the ED. I don’t think the OP is bad, but I think the ED is very good. It has a better song than the OP and I think the visuals are a lot more appealing as well.

A Bouquet of Complaints

To get my pettiest complaint out of the way first, the series looks generic. Yes, it had some Shaft spice thrown in. But for the most part, it looked like a pretty standard anime. I’m not saying Assault Lily needs to look like Madoka Magica. I’m saying I’d prefer that it didn’t look like everything else.

My next complaint is that I feel like I’ve seen this all before — and not from an artistic standpoint this time. The problem with subgenres that become saturated is that there generally isn’t that much differentiating series within them.

Every series wants to do something new and unique in order to stand out. But in the end, most of them follow the same basic structure because that’s what works. I already mentioned the comparison to Spec-Ops Asuka, but this series seems to be more like a combination of that and multiple other magical girl and magic academy anime.

What’s going to be unique about it? What’s going to make me remember this series once it’s over?

Araya Endou wielding her CHARM from the anime series Assault Lily: Bouquet
Araya Endou wielding her CHARM

My biggest complaint about this first episode is the sheer number of characters that were introduced. I can think of at least seven characters whose full names we were told. We were then also shown just about every other character who’s going to make an appearance later on in the series.

I think that was way too much character information considering only three of those characters mattered at all in the episode. We really only needed the full names of Riri, Kaede, and Yuyu at this point. The other four or more named girls could have just been first names. And the rest of the cast who were shown probably didn’t need to be just yet.

It was too much detailed information for the first episode. They’re all going to need to be introduced over again anyway because I don’t remember their names. Did you remember Miliam Hildegard von Guropius?

How Predictable is It?

I’ve said a lot of bad things about this first episode as well as how I don’t expect it to be much better than the average anime. But, just for the fun of it, let’s see how predictable it really is.

As of the time I’m writing this, according to MAL, I’ve completed 399 anime series, seasons, movies, OVAs, etc. So, with all of that under my belt, I’d like to think that I can predict what a magical girl anime such as this is going to try to pull. But, hopefully, when we look back on these predictions later, I’ll have been wrong.

Starting off with something easy, Riri is going to end up being the strongest Lily and is going to be almost solely responsible for defeating the HUGE in the end because of her “protagonist powers.” That may sound obvious, but what I’m really saying is that this series is going to focus a lot less on the “power of friendship” than you might expect.

Riri Hitotsuyanagi wielding her CHARM from the anime series Assault Lily: Bouquet
Riri Hitotsuyanagi wielding her CHARM

I’m also going to go ahead and say that Riri’s CHARM or some future CHARM she acquires is going to be inherently more powerful than the norm. I mean, her sword is golden — that seems pretty on the nose.

Moving into less obvious territory, I don’t think any of the main characters are going to die. I know that’s something dark magical girl series like to do, but I don’t see it here. Assault Lily is actually based partially on a line of toys — and toys sell better when the characters they’re based on are still alive.

And the last thing I’ll predict is that the girl we see with Yuyu at the end of the episode is already dead. We know she and Yuyu were on the same team in the past, Yuyu’s personality changed since then, a grave was shown briefly, and the only time this character showed up in the present timeline was when Yuyu was alone.

Now, I know some people are going to say that they probably had a third party member who died, but I think that would be too predictable. That’s a trope in basically every other dark magical girl series. Also, I think the fact that Yuyu was in a dorm room with two beds is just to throw us off.

Conclusion

What did you think of Assault Lily: Bouquet episode 1? Do you think this series is going to be as generic and predictable as I do? Or, are you optimistic about its uniqueness? And which of the girls we’ve seen so far is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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2 Replies to “Assault Lily: Bouquet Episode 1”

    1. The episode 2 review should go up on Monday. Hopefully, episode 3 will be released on time this week. And if it is, that review should be up on Thursday.

      Edit: Assault Lily episode reviews will continue to be posted on Mondays since Funimation has delayed the release of the subtitled versions of the episodes.

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