Assault Lily: Bouquet

Assault Lily: Bouquet

Assault Lily: Bouquet anime series cover art
Assault Lily: Bouquet

Series Overview

Assault Lily: Bouquet (アサルトリリィ Bouquet) is a magical girl action series animated by Shaft. Based on that description, you might think it could actually be good. After all, Shaft is the studio behind what I consider to be the best magical girl anime, Madoka Magica.

However, there were also signs from the start that Assault Lily wouldn’t be quite as good as Madoka. For example, that pesky “action” genre tag. Shaft is my favorite animation studio, and they can definitely do action scenes. But action anime aren’t really what they’re known for.

Another sign was that Assault Lily isn’t an original series like Madoka was. And it’s not based on a light novel or manga either. It’s based on a line of action toys (action figures, basically). That’s kind of unconventional for an anime source material — and not something I would expect to do well.

The basic premise of this series is that there are magical girls (known as Lilies) who use magic weapons (known as CHARMs) to fight magic-powered mecha-monsters (known as HUGE). It’s kind of a mix between Madoka Magica and Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka. Including the fact that I think it falls between both of those series on the rating scale.

Assault Lily, while not exactly a good anime, does do some things very well. Obviously, it has a lot of cute character designs. And these designs are used to great effect with the mid-roll cards that feature the girls. Those cards are honestly my favorite part of the anime.

But what’s probably more important than cute characters is that the world-building and lore are set up well. I don’t think the series follows through with the world-building and lore as it should. But at least there was a good attempt made.

Hitotsuyanagi Legion

In Assault Lily, Lilies form groups of nine that are referred to as Legions. The Legion that comprises the main group of girls is the Hitotsuyanagi Legion, named after Riri Hitotsuyanagi. Riri is the protagonist of the series and de facto leader of the Legion since she was the one who founded it.

Yuyu Shirai is Riri’s schutzengel, which is an older Lily who serves as a mentor. This in turn makes Riri Yuyu’s schild, or apprentice Lily. Before meeting Riri, Yuyu had been a loner ever since the death of her own schutzengel, Misuzu.

Riri Hitotsuyanagi from the anime series Assault Lily: Bouquet
Riri Hitotsuyanagi

Fumi Futagawa and Kaede Johan Nouvel were the first two to join the Hitotsuyanagi Legion after Riri and Yuyu. Fumi is a Lily fangirl who knows everything about the other Lilies. Kaede is the daughter of the president of one of the world’s leading CHARM manufacturers.

Next comes Miliam Hildegard von Guropius, who’s my personal favorite of the Lilies. I’m pretty sure she’s also the daughter of some CHARM manufacturer. But unlike Kaede who’s effectively just a rich girl, Miliam works in the CHARM research division at Yurigaoka Academy.

Shenlin Kuo and Yujia Wang are probably the two members of the Hitotsuyanagi Legion who get the least amount of character development. Shenlin specializes in buffing her allies while Yujia specializes in sniping enemies at long range.

Tazusa Andou and Thi Mai Yoshimura are the final two members to join the Legion. Tazusa’s defining character trait is that she likes cats. And Thi Mai’s defining character trait is that she’s cat-like. Thi Mai is also the same age as Yuyu (and possibly Miliam), making her one of the oldest in the Legion.

Good Idea, Poor Execution

A magical girl anime made by Shaft seems like a great idea considering the success of Madoka Magica. However, without the same people involved, the execution was never going to be done as well as it was with Madoka. But, I can forgive Assault Lily for that.

What I can’t forgive it for are the ways in which the series failed from a writing perspective. As far as I know, the story of this anime is original. It’s just that the series doesn’t originate from the anime if that makes sense. It’s an existing series, but an original story.

That should mean that the story could be hand-crafted to fit into the anime’s 12 episode run time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this is actually what happened.

Yuri fighting a HUGE from the anime series Assault Lily: Bouquet
Yuri fighting a HUGE

I already covered this in my review of episode 12, but the end of the series felt rushed and didn’t wrap up all of the plot lines that were introduced. Remember how I said that the series did a great job at setting up the world-building and lore? Well, all that setup lead nowhere because there simply wasn’t enough time in the series.

The most interesting side plots and developments of the series were never concluded. Some of these include the origin of the Lilies, the connection between Riri and Yuri, Riri’s Rare Skill and backstory, everything involving Misuzu, and the government’s plan to create artificial Lilies.

Now, it’s possible that there could be a second season of Assault Lily that would actually conclude these developments. However, I don’t think that’s going to happen. The ending of this series felt like a good place to stop even with so much left open-ended. And I don’t get the feeling that this anime really boosted the sales of the toy line enough to justify a second season.

Conclusion

Assault Lily: Bouquet is a 5/10 from me. I was pleasantly surprised by how the series introduced unique plot points, as I originally thought it was going to be very predictable. But the fact that it didn’t follow up on most of those plot points definitely detracts from the series as a whole.

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