Lapis Re:LiGHTs – 01 (First Impressions) – Color By Numbers

Tiara has traveled to the big city of Mamkestell to enroll at the prestigious Flora Girls’ Academy. To her delight she’s immediately accepted by the headmistress and placed in a group with her childhood friend (and past servant) Rosetta. This episode is a basic introduction to the characters, the academy and its rules and rankings, and the challenges that await Tiara.

Standout elements include the lovely rendering of the city at various times of day—it truly looks like a place where you’d want to live—and the grand and ornate facilities of the academy. There are also a number of magical classes that look like fun. I just wish all the characters had a little more oomph to them.

Everyone in LR:L comes off pleasantly bland. Having just come off watching PriConne—a show with no shortage of strong and clashing personalities, the bickering of Tiara’s two new teammates Ashley and Lavie feels like weak sauce. There’s also an odd visual effect of the five girls each having a different bold hair color; like a painting that contains too much of every color of paint, ultimately blending into a muddled green-gray.

The fact that Tiara’s group happens to be Lapis, the lowest of three school ranks, and all of them are on the verge of expulsion due to failing grades, present potential opportunities for interesting drama, while the class previews portend a degree of magical action. Tiara also has a nice singing voice without feeling too manufactured. I just wasn’t particularly wowed by anything, thus blunting my enthusiasm for the next episode.