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Snapshots: Allison & Lillia

allison 1a thumb allison 1b thumb allison 1c thumb

The new season has started with Allison & Lillia (アリソンとリリア), an adventure show of 26 episodes, airing Thursdays at 23:32 JST on NHK-BS2.

Following the much appreciated Kino no Tabi, this is another light novel series by author Shigusawa Keiichi to be animated, where the first half will be based on the Allison series (4 books), while the later half features her daughter Lillia, of the Lillia & Treize series (6 books). The director is Nishida Masayoshi, who’s just completed his work on Eyeshield 21 and Mokke last month, and the script’s composed by Lucky Star‘s main writer Machida Touko.

In a world with a single enormous continent, two gigantic nations are separated by a river and a mountain range. Since time immemorial, these countries have been at war, but the past ten years seem calmed by a fragile truce. Both nations claim theirs was the land of humanity’s origin, and so the hostility continues. It’s the year 3287, and in the Eastern nation 17-year-old Will has planned for a summer holiday relaxing with some reading, when his peaceful day is abruptly interrupted by the arrival of an aeroplane. The pilot is a blonde beauty named Allison, who grew up with Will at an orphanage after losing her father in the war. As they’ve spent some time apart, they take a motorbike ride to the river to catch up on things (and establish that Will is completely blind to Allison’s feelings for him), and on the way back they happen upon an old man known for his tall tales. They give him a ride home, and he thanks them by inviting them in for tea, during which the old man reveals that he knows the location of a secret treasure, so valuable that it could end the war. Allison believes him, and says she’ll fly him there if opportunity arises, but before any plans can be made, there’s a knock on the door. A burly man comes in, informing them that he’s come to bring the old man in for a tax hearing. As the two men drive away, Will tells Allison he thinks there’s something peculiar about the situation, resulting in Allison hopping on the bike in a hurry, and the young couple races after the car. After a bit of gunfire trouble delays them, they eventually reach the gates of a private estate, just in time to see an unknown aircraft take off, most likely carrying the old man with it. Allison swiftly sneaks in and finds an unguarded aeroplane, which she decides to “borrow”, and soon our heroic duo is in mid-air, pursuing the kidnapped old liar.

The animation’s produced by Madhouse, and while not exactly impressive, it doesn’t disappoint. The bright and cheerful colours bring about a nostalgic, adventurous feeling that’s very reminiscent of Gainax’s old Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, and the music by Murai Shuusei works to underline this sense of classic adventure. For the voice acting, they’ve picked a girly Mizuki Nana (Misaki in Darker than Black) for the role of Allison, and the somewhat odd choice of Kumai Motoko (Sumomo in Chobits) as Will. We’ll also be hearing the amazing Yamadera Kouichi (Spike in Cowboy Bebop) as Benedict, and vocal divinity Noto Mamiko (Narue in Narue no Sekai) as Fiona.

Epic adventure ahoy! If they manage to get the pace right, this could turn out to be a lovely show to follow, in a family friendly kind of way. With Shigusawa’s novels behind it, I’m also assuming the plot will be interesting and worthwhile. However, now that I think about it, I never did finish Kino no Tabi. And I’m still only halfway through Fushigi no Umi no Nadia… Will this keep my attention all the way to the end?

April 4, 2008 at 9:19 am
20 comments »
  • April 4, 2008 at 9:26 amIse

    I’ll be watching this!

  • April 4, 2008 at 9:28 ampiccu

    How are the OP/ED songs?
    Since I love Kino no Tabi, I’ll watch this series for sure as well… A&L seems to be a refreshing and thought-provoking series.

  • April 4, 2008 at 9:29 amnutsy

    hmm…interesting…

  • April 4, 2008 at 9:32 amlegno

    kino no tabi was great

    certainly I’ll watch this if someone might sub this

  • April 4, 2008 at 9:35 amLithium17

    Looks good… I wonder if it’ll be poetic like Kino no Tabi.

    Thanks for the snapshot!

  • April 4, 2008 at 10:09 amBlueLord~

    I undoubtedly will be watching this.

    I also think it looks like Nadia, and me too sadly never finished it.

  • April 4, 2008 at 10:17 amJett

    Allison the (new) ultimate loli

    nuff said

  • April 4, 2008 at 10:27 amKovski

    seems to be my kind of show, aslong they don’t totally fuck this up or make it complete ridiculous i think i am going to enjoy it.

  • April 4, 2008 at 11:45 amSilent Minstrel

    GOT to follow this! Since I am a big fan of Keiichi “Sig-Sauer”, and had read every single novel he wrote.

    No it will not be poetic like Kino no Tabi. More like your classic boys and girls adventure. But ya know, classic is the best.

  • April 4, 2008 at 1:42 pmdivine|s

    Hmm, I watched this last night and it seemed a bit slow at first, as they spent time establishing the setting and introducing Allison and Will. Things only really picked up near the end when the supposed “government official” came by to get the old man. Next episode is titled 「敵国へ!」 (Tekikoku e!), “Towards an Enemy Country!”, so hopefully things pick up more then.

    On a seiyuu note, Mizuki Nana’s portrayal of Allison is pretty reminiscent of her role as Hibara Mizuki in Mokke, which just finished airing this past season. Nana uses the same carefree, higher-pitch voice for both roles.

    I’ll give it another few episodes before I decide if I’ll keep watching Allison & Lillia or not. I just don’t know if I want to sit through two seasons of this while it’s airing.

    Based on their first episodes only, for new Thursday shows this week (excluding Macross Frontier, because I’m going to watch that for sure), I’d have to say that kurenai is more interesting. Also, To LOVE-Ru (a.k.a. “Trouble”) was better than I was expecting, so I might even choose to follow that instead of Allison & Lillia.

  • April 4, 2008 at 3:04 pmkadian1364

    Having the Kino no Tabi pedigree, one of my favorite anime of all time, sure does make this seem appealing. I’ll watch a couple eps for sure.

    Here’s to hoping lightning can strike twice!

  • April 4, 2008 at 3:08 pmSavofenno

    There`s DeHavilland Tiger Moth and Heinkel He 51 and Grumman Goose and more great aircraft in it, so i`m definitely following this anime!

  • April 4, 2008 at 5:41 pmasdf

    hope this can have the same quality as Kino no Tabi

  • April 4, 2008 at 7:57 pmMachi

    Well honestly it did take some episodes in Kino no tabi before it really started to pick up for some people, for a lot I think it was after the gender confusion. Anyways I’ll probably give it a try but I do wonder how this team will work on this, I mean its not the same team that worked on Kino no tabi after all.

  • April 5, 2008 at 4:33 amdeckard

    Pretty girls piloting pretty 1930s aircraft? What more could I ask for?
    (Barring suid-faced Italian pilots, I mean ;)

  • April 5, 2008 at 2:34 pmKT

    I adored Kino no Tabi and had been wondering what on earth the images of the blond pilot girl in the art book I have were about. I’m looking forward to this.

  • April 5, 2008 at 4:26 pmSilver

    Wow, I definitely will look forward to this since I personally really like Kino no Tabi.

  • April 6, 2008 at 6:41 pmMatroid

    The futuristic retro motif of this series resembles Last Exile. The introduction kind of resembles Alice in Wonderland (i.e., a curious girl chases after an enigma figure). In the beginning of Ep. 1, Will explained that the two biggest nations (of the universe of the anime) could not stop fighting because both contended to be where mankind originated. Then later the old man confessed that he had a treasure that could stop the fight once and for all. I think it is only natural to speculate that these two links will be connected later on.

    The old man also mentioned that history had always been make-believe. (I think he roughly said, “it was not how the truth was presented, but rather what part advantageous to one side was selected and publicized.”) Such viewpoint nicely sets the tone for the whole story. I am looking forward to this series as I bet “history” will be re-written many times as the author makes us ponder on the meaning of truth.

  • April 12, 2008 at 12:17 amMiheza

    Being a big CardCaptor Sakura fan, I couldn’t help thinking “Syaoran Li” everytime Wil spoke.
    But, i’m looking foreward to actually watching more. n_n

  • April 15, 2008 at 5:36 pmshogun22

    Interesting show, love the fictional 1930′s setting.

    Savofenno, the Heinkel He 51 in the show seems to be modified, its a 2-seater, wasn’t the real He 51 a single seater?