From Cute to Horror: Shirai was in for a rough episode
Anime Caw Out Awards

Caw Out Award: Most Abrupt Cut from Cute to Horror (of the Week)

Cute Girls Destroying Terrible Monsters

Are you watching Assault Lily BOQUET? It looked like it might be a pleasant distraction. After watching the first episode, I changed my mind. It looked it would be a very pleasant distraction. A tweet from Kefit summed it up, saying “Assault Lily ep1 was actually pretty great! Likeable characters with cute designs, tons of badass action animation, visual direction featuring extreme amounts of thigh thirst, and tons of yuri. What more could you want from an anime really.”

The Yuri Empire posted in a similarly positive review in “Assault Lily – Bouquet Episode 1: A Tale of Blades and Gay Thighs.”

I’ve said before, and I’ll likely say again (because I repeat myself): There’s nothing wrong with a show just being enjoyable.

Seems like Assault Lily has its sights set a bit higher, though.

From Cute to Horror: Assault Lily lulled us into thinking it was just about cute girls destroying terrible monsters

The show has an obvious appeal. While embracing that aesthetic, it also aims to be more. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Yuyu Shirai is one of the more powerful fighters. She’s prickly, but it’s clear she doesn’t want to be. Something dark happened in her past. So okay, the show’s going to deal with the effects of these young women, the Lilys, fighting the enemy (the Huge). I like that. Realism adds gravity.

So does dread and horror.

A Moment of Transcendence: From Cute to Horror in an Instant

Shirai had been fighting a particularly nasty Huge using her mechanized sword (a Counter Huge Arms or CHARM). We learned in episode 2 that the CHARM becomes part of a Lily’s body. She only lets go if she’s dead. The Huge that Shirai fought had these strange mounds all over it. By using her CHARM to capture one of the hundreds of little bombs it threw at her, she was able to blow some of them open.

Those thorns were all rusted and damaged CHARMs.

From Cute to Horror: Recognizing the "things" on the Huge as abandoned CHARMs was jarring

This was a truly powerful moment. Capture from the Funimation stream.

In an instant, the show transcended Cute Girls Destroying Terrible Monsters to a moment of pure horror. We knew what those CHARMs meant. We knew Shirai had some battle-related loss she was trying to stay ahead. And now she stood surrounded by a brutal reminder of her loss, and the loss of dozens of other Lilys.

I like it when a show puts in the work to foreshadow something like this. I like it even better when they are subtle about it, and I don’t realize just how bad things could get. When they spring a scene like this one me? It absolutely makes my day.

What do you think of the series? What was your Caw-Out moment so far? Let me know in the comments!

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Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Caw Out Award: Most Abrupt Cut from Cute to Horror (of the Week)

  1. I dropped the show half-way through episode 3, so I must have seen this, but it went totally over my head. Shows how much attention I paid to the show while I was still watching. Either that, or I just didn’t feel the moment like that and forgot? I’d have watched the show last season, but this season has much more to offer, so I don’t really need it.

    1. I can understand that. It suffers by comparison to other shows on a variety of fronts.

      That’s part of why I pay the most attention to individual moments. I haven’t seen a plot I’d consider original in decades — and that was only because back then, I wasn’t that well read! It’s the details that set a show apart, and I thought this moment was particularly well done.

  2. I’ll check it out.

    Another anime that started out somewhat dull and got very interesting very quick is “Talentless Nana.” There is more than a little misdirection in the beginning and suddenly everything gets dark and devious.

    1. I’ve only watched the first two episodes, but I’m trying to make time for the third. The end of that first episode was a fantastic shock!

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