Okay, I have been very vocal about how I’m a Fujoshi i.e. someone who enjoys Yaoi, Shounen Ai, and BL (Boy Love) content. Though, I also dabble in Yuri now and then, considering one of my top three anime features very heavy Yuri elements. But the bottom line is that if it’s got a queer relationship in it (that isn’t a joke or fetishized) then I’m already obsessed with it. This is why rumors of Lycoris Recoil being yuri made me wary.
Look, anime has come a very long way when it comes to Yuri content, but I think that Lycoris Recoil will, sadly, be no more than subtext at best. The Kouhai-Senpai dynamic between the two main characters might flirt with the idea of romance but will never overtly be so. That’s just how some Seinen shows work. And besides, the point of the show isn’t even a romance in the end.
Still, it’s pretty sad. Yuri doesn’t get the same hype its counterpart does. There aren’t many queer femme relationships in anime that are actually confirmed, and rarely any that center around Sapphic romances. However, there have been exceptions that have shown Yuri can do well when given a push, such as Bloom Into You and Citrus.
But what makes people think Lycoris Recoil could go the same route as the aforementioned examples? Let’s be honest, subtext or queerbaiting in anime is not new. We recently had it with Sk8 The Infinity and Free!, but you never see Yuri couples as more than ‘the best of friends!’. And that is what seems to be happening here. Let’s discuss.
Lycoris Recoil: What’s The Deal Between Chisato And Takina?
So, from what I can gather, most people are being led to believe that the two protagonists of Lycoris Recoil might end up in a romance together because of their diametric dynamic. This is not something rare; we’ve had plenty of opposites attract romances in the past before. It’s a play on the enemies to lovers trope, and it tends to be pretty entertaining when done right.
In one corner, Chisato Nishikigi is very humble, claiming herself to be just an ordinary girl working at the quaint little Café LycoReco. When really, she’s this super powerful agent, one of the best in dealing with situations that the DA can’t begin to fix.
Meanwhile, you have Takina Inoue, someone who takes her job as an agent extremely seriously. She strives to be better than anyone else and makes sure her hard work provides results. So, she finds herself at odds with the easygoing Chisato. Takina is mysterious and quiet, and Chisato is a free-spirited and open book.
Combining their clear chemistry and the overall tone of the show, it’s easy to see why people end up shipping them. Sadly, since romance isn’t the main component of this show, we won’t ever get to see it fully blossom into anything more.
Queerbaiting In Anime:
The problem with anime like this and many others is how they promise a bunch of things but don’t end up delivering because, well, censorship. Unfortunately, Japan still isn’t very kind to overtly queer relationships on screen. This is why a lot of anime writers prefer to remain ambiguous so their works can slip under censorship bans.
However, not all hope is lost. Things have gotten way, way better when it comes to queer representation in anime and manga. You have more open gay relationships in stories, and they have done extremely well despite the hindrances. A recent great example is Given, which only just got a dub this August, despite airing over 2 years ago.
Queer anime fans are starting to influence the market, so who knows? Maybe Lycoris Recoil will go all the way and deliver us two adorable girlfriends. Here’s hoping!