Lycoris Recoil Episode 11 gave us possibly one of the best moments of the entire series at the very end. Despite the ending that could have anyone excited beyond belief, the whole episode was a stroke of brilliance from beginning to end. It doesn’t have the symbology of 86 Eighty-Six. It doesn’t have the bizarre plot twist that forces you to rewatch the episode like Attack on Titan. But the way Director Shingo Adachi created a stellar rising action right before leaving you at the end of the episode when the climax was about to strike was absolute genius—a perfect cliffhanger, some would say.
Two Sides of Every Coin
The screen time between Chisato and Takina in episode 11 was just about 50-50, or so it felt. And every single time, it felt completely different with each too. Chisato was one of nostalgia and sadness, Takina of anxiousness and unwavering determination. This perfect blend of contrast from both sides just constantly building up until the two converged at the very end of the episode just made the ending that much more epic.
Takina proved to us all in episode 11 that she deserves to be in the fandom spotlight over Chisato for once. All the character progression since episode one came crashing through everyone’s plans in this episode not simply because she wanted to save Chisato, but because she knows where her heart is and she doesn’t want to see that home destroyed. She tossed away her second chance of being in the DA without a second thought in order to save her best friend in the most hype way possible.
It’s also good to notice that everyone had someone in their own respective corners at first—except Chisato. Takina had Kurumi. Yoshi had Chisato. Majima had Robota. Yet, Chisato was portrayed as if she was truly the only one fighting alone up until the very end. It was as if Takina brought the light (literally and symbolically) back into Chisato’s life that’s slowly been getting darker as her time runs out, kind of how it was getting darker the more and more her fight with Majima continued. It’s actually brilliant how Adachi decided to show off all of that in one episode while simultaneously moving the main plot along. It never once felt like the episode got stalled for any reason. And that could also be credited to how incredible of a character Takina truly is and always has been since episode 1.
Shingo Adachi Flexed His Director Muscles
The direction, and overall production, for this episode were pure genius. From the storyboard to the camera work, to the art, to the animations, the composition, everything about this episode screamed 10/10. Close-up shots felt impactful. The camera rack focus at the end of the episode was timed, and shot, perfectly. The echoing sound design alongside Majima’s hearing ability and the use of panning sounds depending on which way Chisato heard Majima. This isn’t even including the soundtrack used for different scenarios (also used perfectly).
There’s one thing we have yet to see of Chisato during this entire series and that is having the look of pure shock on her face. Abd what better way to deliver that than to have Takina coming to her rescue in the most bad-ass way possible? Not only was the moment impactful, but it was how it was also shot and how gorgeous it all looked while it was happening. Not only were the final moments of episode 11 special in the visual sense but on an emotional level as well. It meant much more for both Chisato and Takina as characters and the rising action of the story as well. It’s almost a Steve and Bucky situation when Takina came through basically implying to Chisato, “I’m with you until the end of the line.”
But let’s not take away the amount of gorgeous scenic artwork and camera work and all of its symbolic meaning. The most obvious one is the very last shot of the episode where Takina and Chisato are staring down Majima as if the final fight is set to begin next episode. While it might not look like much at first glance, we can definitely pick apart the symbolic aspects of this one particular shot below.
In Episode 10, DA Commander Kusunoki and Majima have a talk between the old and new, both society and ideologies. During this discussion, the old Radio Tower and the Enkuboku Tower are both drawn and shown from an extremely-wide camera shot to symbolize the discussion the two are having. Now, take a look at the shot between Takina, Chisato, and Majima and their placements as well. Both sides represent something—old and new.
Notice how, out of the two towers, the Enkoboku has taken the most damage recently in the past two episodes while the old one still stands. Also, in this episode, Majima ended up taking more damage than Chisato did as well. And with the light shining through the hole left by Takina in the old radio tower, the symbology of it all can be interpreted in many ways. It’s little things like this where Adachi begins to flourish as a director, especially in episode 11.
Lycoris Recoil Episode 11 Wrap-Up
The number of things that are left to be talked about from this last episode could form its own book. Whether it’s Kurumi’s own growth and desire to find a place where she belongs. The humor that Mizuki is still bringing to the series despite everything that’s happened. The incredible use of colors sets the tone for each setting. Or perhaps wondering where Mika and Yoshi ended up escaping to. There’s just a gigantic bundle that we could talk about from this episode.
Either way, episode 11 of Lycoris Recoil is another chart-topping-worthy episode and I’d be completely surprised if this doesn’t land the series at #1 yet again on our weekly poll. So be sure to vote for it! Episode 12 of Lyrocis Recoil will air on September 17 on Crunchyroll.
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