Lycoris Recoil is a “girls with guns” anime series which combines elements of secret agent action thrillers with slice-of-life schoolgirl comedy shows.
The series features a pair of girls who happen to be sharpshooting agents known as Lycoris. However, these two are not typical Lycoris. They work in a café known for responding to public requests for assistance, and helping to solve various problems.
But, some of these problems are more serious than others. It doesn’t take long for the plot to lead up to a greater threat.
Lycoris Recoil Plot
The series begins with a tense and dangerous secret agent mission, which goes awry when agent Takina Inoue brings it to a reckless and violent conclusion.
Takina’s actions, which endangered others and disobeyed orders, lead to her getting demoted to Café LycoReco.
At the café, she meets her new partner, Chisato Nishikigi. Takina and Chisato are opposites, with Takina’s serious, stoic, and logical nature contrasting with Chisato’s cheerful and somewhat airheaded personality.
Takina quickly learns from Chisato how the café operates. On one level, the café appears to be just a typical, quiet neighborhood place for coffee, sweets, and relaxation.
However, Café LycoReco is also linked to the secret spy organization Direct Action. The café provides help and assistance to people in the local community. These assignments range from teaching Japanese to escorting an elderly man on a sightseeing tour to protecting a hacker from assassins.
The series concentrates on the more interesting cases (usually involving guns), with some comical slice-of-life stuff interspersed throughout.
Eventually, a more serious and deadly plot involving terrorists and hackers emerges from the background.
Lycoris Recoil Setting
Lycoris Recoil takes place in an alternate reality version of modern Tokyo. With a couple of notable exceptions, the Tokyo of Lycoris Recoil physically resembles the real Tokyo.
But, it is politically different in many ways. In the series, Tokyo and Japan are extremely safe — at least, as far as the general public is concerned.
However, the nation’s peace, safety, and tranquility are maintained by Direct Action, a secret government organization of spies and assassins. These secret agents work invisibly behind the scenes to eliminate potential threats before they can cause problems. Criminals and terrorists are “erased” from society — quietly and precisely, if possible.
Café LycoReco is the main location for the series. It is affiliated with Direct Action, but the employees are mavericks and rejects from the organization. For all practical intents and purposes, LycoReco acts like any other café, serving up hot drinks and various sweets. But it’s also a place where people can go to get help with various problems.
Two large towers are also important locations in Lycoris Recoil. These are the old Radio Tower, and its replacement, the Enkuboku.
The Radio Tower (which was partially destroyed before the series begins) resembles a damaged version of the real Tokyo Skytree, a tall broadcasting tower in Sumida City, Tokyo. It dominates the skyline. The Enkuboku superficially resembles Tokyo Tower, but taller.
Lycoris Recoil uses a lot of locations in either Sumida Ward, or nearby Asakusa. Both of these neighborhoods are part of Tokyo’s old downtown, or Shitamachi, which suggests that the café might be in that general area.
Lycoris Recoil Characters/Voice Actors
Chisato Nishikigi — voiced by Chika Anzai
Chisato is the cheerful half of the schoolgirl duo at the center of Lycoris Recoil.
Despite her fun, peppy, and ditzy personality, she is actually an extremely talented and skilled agent with a lot of superhuman abilities. In fact, she would probably be the best agent at Direct Action, if she wanted.
It seems that Chisato prefers the café and its relatively peaceful ways of helping people over the assassinations and spying of the main organization. Chisato is also a pacifist who uses rubber bullets. She always tries to come up with nonlethal ways of dealing with dangerous situations.
As a young child, she was helped by the mysterious Alan Institute, a global organization dedicated to assisting those whom they consider to be geniuses.
By the end of the series, we learn that Chisato has some dark secrets in her past, which will resurface.
- Chika Anzai was Reina in Sound! Euphonium, and Nana Okami in My Roommate Is a Cat, among other roles.
Takina Inoue — voiced by Shion Wakayama
Takina is the serious half of Lycoris Recoil’s main schoolgirl duo. She became Chisato’s partner in the first episode.
At the beginning of the series, Takina is generally stoic, unemotional, and logical. This cold-blooded mindset contributes to the violent and brutal incident which gets her demoted to Café LycoReco.
Over time, she learns to appreciate Chisato and her peaceful way of doing things. With Chisato’s help, she learns to loosen up somewhat; although she still remains the more serious one.
- Prior to Lycoris Recoil, Shion Wakayama voiced Yume Minami in SSSS.Dynazenon, Sawa in Farewell, My Dear Cramer, and Tomono in Akebi’s Sailor Uniform, among others.
Majima — voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Majima is the main antagonist of Lycoris Recoil. He is a terrorist with ties to Chisato’s past. Like Chisato, he also received support from the Alan Institute as a child.
Majima opposes Direct Action’s peaceful and “sanitized” version of the world. And he seeks to expose the secret organization.
His terrorist organization was previously responsible for an attack on the old Radio Tower.
- Yoshitsugu Matsuoka was also Vash the Stampede in Trigun Stampede, Inosuke in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, and Soma in Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, among other characters.
Walnut/ Kurumi — voiced by Misaki Kuno
Walnut starts out as a hacker who needs the café’s help. A rival hacker is trying to kill her, and the girls protect her.
Using the name Kurumi, she goes into hiding at Café LycoReco. Kurumi becomes a member of the team, who helps with various missions.
Kurumi is quite young, although she won’t say exactly how old. She frequently looks bored, and is often snarky and lazy. As a hacker, she is quite intelligent, with a playful sense of humor.
- Misaki Kuno is also the voice of Nina Ichihara in The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, Hiro Kuroi in Black Rock Shooter, Harumi in Ace Attorney, Kao Akebi in Akebi’s Sailor Uniform, and Sugar in Urusei Yatsura (2023 reboot), among others.
Mika — voiced by Kosuke Sakaki
Mika is the African-Japanese manager of Café LycoReco. He is a former agent who serves as the leader and mentor of the café team. He is also a father figure to Chisato.
- Kosuke Sakaki also played Ghetto Hachiya in Megalo Box, among others.
Lycoris Recoil Trailer
Lycoris Recoil promo video from Aniplex on YouTube (in Japanese):
English language version from Aniplex USA on YouTube:
Lycoris Recoil Release Dates
Unlike a lot of anime series, Lycoris Recoil has no manga or light novel precedent. Instead, it started out as an anime-first series. The anime ran from July to September 2022. It was created by Spider Lily and Asaura.
A seinen manga version of Lycoris Recoil started in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic Flapper in September 2022. Asaura also wrote a light novel. Lycoris Recoil: Ordinary Days was released in September 2022.
In February 2023, the creators announced that a new Lycoris Recoil anime project had begun production. They did not state if this was season 2 of the series, or a movie.
If you’re looking to hop into the anime right now, check out this article that explains the best places to watch Lycoris Recoil online today.
One of those places is Crunchyroll.
Lycoris Recoil is available in many countries on Crunchyroll. The series is also available on Netflix in Singapore. You may need a VPN if Lycoris Recoil is geo-locked in your area. This article can help if you are having Crunchyroll problems.