Dec 22, 2020
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (11/12 eps)
This show simply doesn't know what it wants to be, aside from a toy commercial it is.
There are a lot of themes involved, and even more characters. It's already a mess as you can tell. An enjoyable one for sure, but there's no clear direction at all.
It's set in a slightly advanced postapocalyptic world based on magic, with a single military school in focus. There's a lot of untold history here, but we're only getting snippets of the backstory. "there are magical enemies called huge, there are girls who fight them called yuris and this is the school they're going to." simple right? I'd say the synopsys tell you more than the show itself about the setting. Information given is very sporadic and sacre.
There's politics involved, but only surface level at best."the school exists, the girls are considered weapons, and a lot of people don't like it" it will honestly feel unnecessary.
There's yuribait fanservice. if you're looking for real yuri moments and shipping you'll be disappointed, be warned. Farnservice mostly exists as thigh shots only.
There's slice of life, which will drive you up the wall if you're here for anything else. But for a SoL show, it has way too much depression, action and story.
As you know, SoL shows live or die by the characters. There's a very good reason most shows have only 4 characters. instead of... 18 listed, but I know there's more of them.
Every character is bland, and most exist for comedy or as throwaways. This includes the two main characters, the silent angsty one with a past, and the happy go lucky generic moe one.
It's not a bad combo, but there isn't much interaction between them.
The show tries to show us emotional moments, the stress and sadness involved in fighting, which are almost immediately dismissed. "yeah it's there. next scene."
There are also cool action scenes with a few glimpses of sakuga, which I imagined would be the focus, looking at the toyline with transforming weapons.
At this point I'd like to say that the art and animation is really inconsistent. You can find amazing shots straight out of Hibike! Euphonium, while the next scene will be akin to Hinako Note.
You'll find cgi fights (they're not as jarring as usual), and amazing animation both. it never looks bad, but it never looks consistent so the change between the scenes are always sudden and jarring.
To sum it up: there's worldbuilding, sol, action, fanservice, politics, and drama. What isn't there is balance. The show can't keep it's focus for 5 damn minutes, and it tries to deal with so many things at once it's impossible to work with. On top of that, it seems to always prefer the least interesting topics. Dealing with something serious, that could lead to character growth you say? NAH, let's go somewhere to search for a random thingy instead. god save us from a few interesting moments, the audience might end up sympathizing with someone, or worse.
I expected better from a former Gainax employee, director san.
Final thoughts: there's potential here, but a show is more than just the sum of it's parts. Assault Lily is simply not coherent enough, it has all the elements to make something enjoyable and interesting, but no glue to stick it together. While all of these seem negative, I still enjoyed the show somewhat, the setting and the fight scenes are nice. Unfortunately this is more than I can say for most seasonals, which makes this show above average in my book. I would never recommend it, but it's not awful by any means. Still an easy skip, if you're looking for something with substance.
Reviewer’s Rating: 6
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