“Nature versus nurture”

Episode 12 of Lycoris Recoil was an intense thrill ride as Takina has to pull herself together and bite her lip as she helps Chisato defuse a tumultuous anti-Lycoris murder spree. But before we get into the meat and potatoes of this episode, I once again have to preface that the paragraphs before I discuss Takina will be a little more critical of the usual stuff I bicker about with Lycoris Recoil.


I was stunned that the original solution to having the Lycoris disbanded was to have an all-new army of kids murder the other army of kids. Lillybell is just recycled the same idea as Lycoris with boys. Getting the Lillybell to kill the Lycoris is just trading one private police force with another.

They’re just kicking the can down the road and passing the buck to the next Majima to expose them and have them systematically killed by another group of kids. Maybe try not having child cops like Lycoris or Lillybell if you want to avoid being constantly exposed for covering up so much crime.

It was a miracle on Chisato, Takina, and their old partners’ behalf that they got the TV running, but it’s crazy that THAT’S the bandage they have to avoid the scrutiny of the general public finding out this info. We’re just supposed to assume that everyone will forget all of this will happen and go back to pretending it was all fantasy.


I wanted to get some of my less glowing comments out of the way before diving into what made this episode stand out the most. Once again, it’s Chisato. Chisato’s self-loathing has been a sore spot with me, and that doesn’t get much better in this episode. Not only has she heard Yoshi dress her down and treat her like a defective doll for not murdering people, but he also owns up to all of the terrible things he’s done to her that Takina is aware of.

Her takeaway from this isn’t to reflect on what it all means that her father figure would be willing to kill her if it means getting the murder doll he always wanted; it’s to try to guilt trip him into not having her kill people. Her obsession with martyrdom makes her come off more as sanctimonious than chivalrous with the way she keeps trying to prevent Takina from recovering the briefcase.

The Batman honor code she lives off of also compels her to refuse to accept even the most non lethal shot. She’s an expert with the gun, but has no idea how to de-escalate by aiming directly for non lethal body parts. They made it seem like sheer luck that she didn’t kill Yoshi all because she’s screaming like a banshee about the prospect of even giving him a shot that avoids his vitals. Yeah, I know he’s your reason for being, but it seemed more heartbroken about having to fire at Yoshi than the possibility of Takina being nearly killed by his ninja assistant. And let’s not tell anyone about the Lillybell guy who gave Chisato a mean glare because she loves keeping her friends in the dark as much as Yoshi loved keeping her in the dark.


Now onto the positives. The action is what has made Lycoris Recoil worthwhile, and this episode is no exception. When Takina and Chisato had to hold the fort against the DA dudes who were out to kill, it was pretty suspenseful. It was hard not to get pumped up when Chisato swooped in to save Fuki and then have these girls with pistols try their best to navigate through a firefight where they were fighting big dudes with even bigger weapons. And as much as I grumble about Chisato, I love the chemistry that her friendly rivalry with Fuki has as they struggle to get the city’s regular broadcasts back up and running.

I discovered over the weekend that the show was trending for a bit. Wasn’t sure if it was because this was a huge episode where Yoshi finally showed his true colors to Chisato and the Lycoris were close to being completely wiped out. But then I started to see what everyone else was seeing; it was Takina.

Takina was amazing in this episode. With all of the knowledge she has of Yoshi, she is not playing around and is not ready to mince words. Every look she gave to Yoshi had pure venom, and I was absolutely living for it. And if the animation was already giving its fullest in the action department, you better bet they pulled out all the stops when it came to Takina’s physicality in these scenes. Her writhing, reeling, and shouting were nothing short of evocative as it takes someone of Chisato’s caliber to keep her from tearing Yoshi apart, limb by limb.

This was a huge episode for Wakayama Shion, who gave such a compelling performance as Takina in this episode. She’s become more prominent within the past few years, but this is definitely a career-making role with a character whose iron-clad rigidity is put to the test when she lets her walls down for the one girl who taught her to value life. With this in mind, Wakayama’s performance in Episode 12 depicts a Takina who has come to cherish Chisato with all of her heart, and sees a painful reality where she keeps being torn away from her because of how willing Chisato is to accept such a cruel reality after all this time she’s told her that life is too precious to end so casually.

For Takina to accept Chisato’s pacifism was a bridge she’s been finally able to cross, but by that point, the only way Takina could return the favor would be a situation that Chisato would be upset at her for. But for this moment, Takina lets her unbridled rage take the wheel from her as she takes it upon herself to demand Yoshi’s head for the cruelty he put Chisato through. And Wakayama knocks all of these emotions out of the park instantly. I’m familiar with the roles that her English actress Xanthe Huynh has under her belt, so I imagine that she’ll also kick major ass by the time the simuldub catches. But it’ll be exciting to see what kind of future Wakayama provides us with how well she pulled off Takina.


  1. OK. I get why they didn’t have Chisato kill Yoshi but how intersection would it gave been if she did? Imagine her reaction to being forced to kill someone. Worse that someone was her father figure. It be a great way to explore the fallout and guilt of Chisato but no!! We got to keep her “no kill” mantra up. Also for someone who keeps saying that Life is precious and should be valued she takes her life for granted. Does she even stop to consider what her death will mean to Takina and the others? I really hope someone calls her put in this BS.

    I do not mean to sound morbid but a part of me hopes Chisato’s no kill rule comes back to haunt her next episode and result in the death of someone close to her. To see her reaction would be a huge emotional gut punch and narratively satisfying.

    Zemo x2
  2. I understand how you feel. I’m one of the people who wants that man’s head have bullet fired at him but think about this. If you kill him, does that mean he was right? Was he right in manipulating and throwing lives away all in an effort to mold Chisato into a weapon?

    Atomic Beast
  3. My prediction on the next episode: Mika will have Silent Jin kill Shinji because he doesn’t have the heart to do it himself. He’ll then lie to Chisato and say Shinji committed suicide.

    Cruel? Absolutely. But it’d be such good writing.

  4. Yeah, the entire moral dilemma of Chisato having to kill Yoshi to live felt really poor in writing. Almost as if it was an afterthought that was poorly implemented.

    Chisato shooting him and then crying about it just felt more like satire than actually shocking. Yoshi figuratively telling her “I’m a massive prick, I’m unredeemable and am the sole reason why any of this needs to happen” and yet Chisato actively stops Takina from taking action because she can’t made it impossible to understand her viewpoint. It’s fine Chisato dies because at least the guy who made it a life or death situation for the both of them gets to live? Because at least her hands will stay clean, screw the rest.

    I sure hope that was a bold attempt at purposely doing a bad take.
    Rest of the episode was great stuff though. As someone with sensitive hearing, I felt Majima’s pain when the gun was used next to his ears. Now THAT was making someone’s viewpoint understandable…or hearpoint?

    1. Glad I mot the only one who finds Chisato’s decision not to kill nonsensical. The guy is a evil monster and will just cause more pain for other young girls. Trigon tackled the idea of the MC forced into a, situation where he gas to kill so much better. What Recoil is doing is just ridiculous.

      Zemo x2

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