Lycoris Recoil – 03 – Moving on for Now

When Takina was tossed out of the DA, it packed way more of a punch than her colleague Harukawa Fuki’s actual punch. Now that her face is fully healed, it’s only natural someone as dedicated to the DA as Takina would immediately try to heal the figurative punch by making her case to the boss.

That means when LycoReco has an after-hours game party, Takina doesn’t participate, because doing so won’t help her get back into the DA’s good graces. But when Mika tells Chisato that she needs to head to DA HQ for fitness tests to get her license renewed, Takina insists on tagging along.

True to Chisato’s general Fuck-the-DA attitude, she leaves the renewal tests to the very last possible day, and also eats candy on the train. Takina remains all business. DA Commander Kusunoki is indisposed when they arrive at the sprawling and heavily-guarded HQ.

Takina passes the time with target practice, ignoring all the whispers from other Lycoris about the “friend-killer” who shot at a friendly. Erika, the girl she saved by disobeying orders (but also could have killed) clearly feels responsible for what happened to Takina.

As for Takina’s old partner Fuki, Chisato ends up meeting her in the locker room, as she’s having her fitness tests at the same time. Considering how calculating Kusunoki is, that can’t be a coincidence.

I’m not doubting that company girl Fuki is capable and likely one of the best Lycoris the DA have, but as the two chat, it’s clear that Chiasto is far superior in every way, and without even seeming to try. Running, hand-eye coordination, vertical leaps; she obliterates Fuki in everything without breaking a sweat.

When Chisato encounters Kusunoki after the tests, she pleads her case on Takina’s behalf, pointing out that not only was Fuki partially responsible for what happened as Takina’s First, but so was the DA itself for somehow letting their AI system get hacked at a crucial moment.

The thing is, Kusunoki is under no obligation to admit the truth about anything that day. Takina acted out of turn, and was thus made the scapegoat for everything else that went wrong. She’s also already been replaced as Fuki’s Second by the cocky go-getter Otome Sakura, who really rubs salt in the wound when she meets Takina.

Ever since she was banished from the DA, Takina was under the impression she’d be welcomed back in the fold if she performed well in the missions she did with Chisato. But if Kusunoki ever promised that, she denies it now. Takina does not take this well, and runs off.

Chisato finds her by a fountain that’s a popular spot for all Lycoris, and tells Takina that she’s still needed. But Takina can’t fathom being useful to anyone if she’s not allowed to be where she’s always dreamt of being—there in the DA—where she belongs.

When Chisato’s explanations of how the devious DA operates doesn’t help, she instead draws Takina into a hug, telling her the only thing she can do for now is move forward. Sometimes there are things you gain by losing something. When onlookers mock their embrace, Chisato doubles down, lifting Takina into the air affectionately and telling her she’s glad they met.

She leaves Takina to consider embracing her new home at LycoReco, then returns to Fuki and Sakura to accept their challenge of a mock battle. Word gets around of the exercise, and Erika is excited at the possibility of Takina getting to redeem herself.

As you’d expect form how Chisato performed in the fitness tests, she’s perfectly capable of taking on both Fuki and her rookie Second with one hand tied behind her back. Sure enough, she toys with Sakura by “killing” her twice in quick succession, without shooting any paintballs at her. The message is clear: “look to your own self before looking down on others, young scamp!”

Fuki knows she’s no match for Chisato, so she uses Sakura as a sacrifice to swing around and try to catch Chisato from behind. That’s when Takina appears, having made her choice to move on for now as Chisato suggested. Before pelting Fuki wth paintballs, she punches her in the same place Fuki punched her, making them even.

Erika is delighted by Takina and Chisato’s overwhelming victory, while Sakura is freaked out by the prospect that Chisato can literally dodge bullets like a manga character. Takina already knows this all to well, which is why she intentionally aimed at Chisato when she arrived at the mock battle, knowing she’d definitely dodge.

Not only does this underscore how much she’s learned about Chisato and come to trust her despite her chaotic quirks, it also highlights Takina’s penchant for risky decisive moves, which the DA forbade. At the end of the day, Takina may want to return to the DA, but it wasn’t the right place (nor Fuki the right person) for her to fully explore her potential.

Chisato and LycoReco are, and she’s finally starting to recognize that. It’s why she takes the candy Chisato offers on the train back to her new home, and why she agrees to join the rest of the LycoReco staff for some after-hours games.

The first two episodes were largely mission-based, but this one focused on what Takina had been carrying, revealed the cold hard truth of her situation, and offered her a kind warm hand of support on a new path. It was an extraordinarily satisfying character piece with some truly righteous score-settling.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “Lycoris Recoil – 03 – Moving on for Now”

  1. “Considering how calculating Kusunoki is, that can’t be a coincidence.”
    That’s a good point. I hadn’t considered that, and it makes sense. I can’t get a handle on Kusunoki. Is she part of the problem? Is she a mid/upper level manager try to make the best of a terrible hand? Sacrificing Takina to keep a huge reputation-risk silent is a good move fro the perspective of the higher-ups, but it carries terrible implications for the team, particularly Takina. I mean, Erika at least knows Takina’s innocent, and the thought that if it happened to Takina, it could happen to anyone could spread.
    Further confusing me is the chuckle that Kusunoki gave when she called Chisato a “cheeky little brat.” Was Kusunoki hoping Fuki would learn from Chisato? I mean, in terms of combat capability, it’s not even close. It’s like Fuki’s playing for the middle school team and Chisato has been playing in the professional leagues for years.

    1. Kusonoki. Her ambiguity makes her interesting I think. Is she a good person or is she something else? Her wry but fond comment about Chisato indicates she could might be okay – Just a bit ruthless maybe. As the head of an immensely powerful secret organization, she would be used to playing espionage games within games within games. There is no doubt, a high level hack of their extremely secure and expansive system would be a major issue for her and covering it up could be either an act of self preservation, a sign of her disingenuous double dealing, or maybe a move to towards extinguishing the threat. By not revealing the hack and the threat its causes, and setting up Takina as the seeming fall girl and maneuvering her capabilities beside the one agent who can probably extinguish the threat, seeming to move in one direction but actually going in another, Kusonoki could have some chance of becoming the anime world’s answer to George Smiley :D.

      Either way, as long as she doesn’t end up down the track cackling madly and declaiming some thin and stupid reason for her actions, I’m pretty happy with her – She’s interesting to watch!

  2. I loved this episode to the point I’ve watched it three times already. Takina’s vulnerability, Chisato’s combat skills and insights into the agencies workings, her decisive take-down of the insufferable newcomer (she had “Heading for a fall” tattooed on her forehead I swear) to Takina’s agreement at the end that deciding to act for herself, finding a new path, and humiliating her cocky and cruel rivals was a lot of fun, this episode really resonated for me. Girl secret agents are hardly a new thing in anime but its good to see a version which is so well written and animated. Lycoris Recoil certainly passed the third episode test. They even got through the explanation of Chisato’s abilities without jumping the shark too!

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