Akira SekineMikako IzawaAyaka NanaseRika Tachibana
Assault Lily Bouquet
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2020
Director: Shouji Saeki
Writer: Fuyashi Tou, Shouji Saeki
Actor: Akira Sekine, Aya Suzaki, Ayaka Nanase, Ayako Kawasumi, Haruki Iwata, Haruna Mikawa, Hikaru Akao, Hikaru Tohno, Inori Minase, Jouji Nakata, Juri Nagatsuma, Karin Takahashi, Megu Sakuragawa, Mikako Izawa, Miku Ito, Minami Tsuda, Rie Takahashi, Rika Tachibana, Rimi Nishimoto, Risa Tsumugi, Sana Hoshimori, Sayaka Harada, Yuko Natsuyoshi
Keywords: anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=22905
Website category: Anime 2020
Review date: 2 October 2022
Assault Lily  Bouquet
I'm moderately fond of this show, but it's a bit of a mess and its first four episodes sent me to sleep. I'm not sure if I believe in the worldbuilding. The cast are likeable, but often thinly written and there aren't many memorable characters.
I still sort of like it, though.
It's the near future and mankind is under attack. All countries have united and war has been abolished, because we're in danger of being wiped out by magical monsters called Huge. Our only weapon against them is... SCHOOLGIRL LESBIANS! (No, sorry, "Lilies".) Teenage girls have a high magical aptitude, so they're given hilariously huge weapons called Charms and sent out to fight the Huge.
Oh, and they live in a Garden. It's as if the whole thing's been set up as one big metaphor for something... and, sure enough, there's a whole lot of same-sex attraction and some highly predatory lesbians. Do they get in the bath together? Do you need to ask? (They do, though, wrap themselves in towels first.) It's blatant, but I think it gets away with it through sheer shamelessness. Also, Kaede's open obsession with Riri is quite funny. Males don't exist except as elderly authority figures, naturally, of variable degrees of trustworthiness.
That's the set-up. If we lost our Lilies, we'd go extinct. "These days, everyone knows someone who's been hurt." Unfortunately, the show tries to combine this with sinister government/industrial types who do questionable experiments and then try some bone-headed threats against the Garden when trying to get their Lilies back. "Huge are controlled by the mysterious power of Magie. The Lilies who combat them also use Magie, and are therefore considered a potential threat. I'm sure you don't want the threat Lilies pose being debated now."
Oh, come off it. That's the "threat" of "saving mankind from extinction". The show's fit to be laughed out of the room just for that episode, even if it's build-up for a very cool Victory For Science five minutes later.
Eps.1-4 are pleasant, soothing garbage. They contain no meaningful content. I snoozed.
Ep.5 starts out that way, but eventually surprised me with a character-based story about Yuyu visiting Riri's home town in search of a birthday present for her. There's also quite a funny punchline.
After that, suddenly, the show wakes up. The characters are going somewhere. The plot matters. Riri finds a naked girl in an egg and the world takes a lot of interest in her. The show turns out to be capable of killing named characters and then leaving them dead, even though you'll be waiting until the last episode for a magical resurrection. The girls start asking sharp questions, e.g. "If we finally defeat the Huge, will mankind go back to fighting each other? And, if they do, who will do that fighting?"
There are two protagonists. Riri is pink-haired, thoroughly nice and not actually that interesting, although she's too protective to be rational when it comes to Yuri and she'll take a certain loss extremely hard. Yuyu, though, is a cold robot-a-like who's covering up tragedy and pushing away the world because she thinks she's cursed. She hates herself. She thinks she's worthless. Kaede is the show's funniest character, but Yuyu and Riri are the ones who give it emotional weight.
I like this show's second half, but it's not very well written. Even leaving aside the first four episodes, there's sloppy scripting and head-scratchers. I didn't buy the explanation for Riri's solitary confinement at the start of ep.10. I've already discussed those blokes' threats. People irrationally blame themselves, although it's understandable if you interpret it as grief talking. Both Yuyu and Riri see ghosts, of a sort, in the closing episodes, one of whom is persistent and holds conversations... and yet the show never takes this anywhere. The stuff about Misuzu's feelings for Yuyu similarly feels as if it might go somewhere in a hypothetical Season 2. What's more, the show was delayed from July to October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so they'd had three extra months to get the scripts right.
This anime is an adaptation of two lines of toy figurines, called Assault Lily and Custom Lily. That explains a bit, actually. I do actually like this show... but I probably wouldn't recommend it and I don't imagine most people would keep the episodes.