Lycoris Recoil

Lycoris Recoil

Lycoris Recoil anime series cover art
Lycoris Recoil

Chisato and Takina Are (Not) Just Friends

Lycoris Recoil (リコリス・リコイル) may be the best anime of the summer season. Made in Abyss is its only real competition. But, while I’d say Made in Abyss lost my attention as the season progressed, the same isn’t true for Lycoris Recoil.

This series has good action, cute girls, enjoyable characters, and more cute girls. As you can tell, the cute girls are a major selling point. But, that doesn’t mean Lycoris Recoil has no substance otherwise. It’s a combination of a good yuri series and an action series — the best of both worlds.

So, what’s it about? It’s kind of like Gunslinger Girl, but if it was good. An organization trains children to take down terrorists and keep Japan safe. The girls trained by this organization are called Lycoris. Their boy counterparts are called LilyBell (not very important).

Takina and Chisato on a date from the anime series Lycoris Recoil
Takina and Chisato on a date

The series follows 2 “problem” Lycoris, Chisato Nishikigi and Takina Inoue. Chisato achieved mythical status among the Lycoris for her abilities. But, her refusal to use lethal means to take down her enemies got her “demoted.” Takina was similarly demoted for not following orders. However, the circumstances surrounding her demotion are questionable.

Now, both Chisato and Takina work at a small branch of the organization posing as Cafe LycoReco. While Takina’s goal is to clear her name and get her old position back, Chisato has no intention of returning. Instead, she wants to show Takina how much fun life can be when you save lives instead of take them.

Lycoris Recoil’s plot isn’t the best. I wouldn’t call it bad. But, the highlight of the series is definitely the characters. Specifically, it’s the relationship between Chisato and Takina. Listen to how Chisato says Takina’s name and try to tell me they aren’t in love.

LycoReco Cafe

Let’s talk about the employees of LycoReco Cafe. They’re basically a family, and that’s what makes their dynamic so fun to watch. The 5 people who work at LycoReco are Mika, Mizuki, Chisato, Takina, and Kurumi.

Mika is the owner of LycoReco. He works for DA, the organization in charge of the Lycoris. He’s also pretty much Chisato’s adoptive father. And the reason he created LycoReco was specifically to raise Chisato there. Mika also uses a cane to walk. It’s implied that his injury is from some kind of work in the field as an agent himself.

Mizuki Nakahara is a woman in her late 20s who works as LycoReco’s operations manager. By that, I don’t mean she manages the operations of the cafe. I mean she manages the operation Chisato goes on as a Lycoris. Mizuki provides backup in the form of intelligence and transportation.

Mizuki, Chisato, Mika, and Takina taking a selfie from the anime series Lycoris Recoil
Mizuki, Chisato, Mika, and Takina taking a selfie

Chisato is the heart of LycoReco. Without her, it wouldn’t exist, let alone be the same. She’s a cheerful girl who enjoys pretty much everything she does. It doesn’t matter if she’s working in the cafe, helping the community, or completing a mission.

Takina is the serious Lycoris of LycoReco. While Chisato likes to have fun, Takina takes everything she does seriously. You can also tell that Takina is the “second” Lycoris of their pairing by the color she wears. Red denotes the first Lycoris, while blue denotes a second Lycoris. That said, she’s still very skilled.

Kurumi is the final and most recent employee of LycoReco. Her age is unknown (she claims to be 30), but she’s a young girl. Despite her age, she’s the premier hacker in Japan, going by the hacking name Walnut (in English). Kurumi (胡桃 / くるみ) is Japanese for Walnut.

What About the Ending?

I need to talk about the ending of Lycoris Recoil. As a whole, it was a good ending. Chisato and Takina got a happy ending, and that’s what matters most. That said, the ending wasn’t all happy — Mika had to kill Yoshimatsu to save Chisato’s life.

But, I liked that even though he had to do that, Mika didn’t tell Chisato. She wouldn’t have wanted to live if it meant someone else dying. And so, as far as she knows, Yoshimatsu is still alive somewhere out there.

With that said, Chisato did kill someone at the end of the series — at least as far as she knows. After Chisato shoots out the glass beneath him, Majima falls to his death from Enkuboku tower. Or, that’s what I wish I could say. It turns out that he somehow survived this thousand-foot drop.

Kurumi with crumbs around her mouth from the anime series Lycoris Recoil
Kurumi with crumbs around her mouth

Majima surviving the fall is my biggest complaint with the series. And, surprisingly, it’s not because the fall should have been fatal. A lot of things that happen in the series aren’t possible. For example, Chisato can dodge bullets. Suspending your disbelief for that kind of stuff isn’t hard.

What’s hard for me to accept is that Majima’s survival is what’s best for the series. Chisato’s whole self-image is built around saving, not killing. And yet, as far as she knows, Majima died. So, what does having him turn out to be alive accomplish? Chisato doesn’t know. So, it’s only for the viewers.

My best guess is that it’s so the viewers can know that Chisato is still “pure.” But, is she really if she thinks she killed him?

Anyway, I’ve also seen people say that the end confirmed a second season. It did not. Open endings are not confirmations.


Lycoris Recoil is a solid 8/10. It has its share of problems. But, overall, it’s a very good anime. The art, animation, characters, OP, and ED are all great. And the story’s not half bad either. With a more conclusive ending, it could have been a 9.

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