Allison and Lillia anime review

Allison and Lillia anime review

The story takes place on a continent where two countries are separated by Lutoni River and Central Mountains. The two countries, the Confederation of Roxche and the United Kingdom of Bezel Iltoa, have been at war for over a century and now settled on a ceasefire. Allison is a pilot in the Roxche air force and one day reunites with Will, her companion from the House of Future, where they were orphans. Together they find themselves embroiled in an adventure in enemy territory to find a fabled treasure that will hopefully end the war and bring peace to both countries.

When I heard that the novels that Allison & Lillia is based on were penned by the same author who wrote the Kino’s Journey novels, Sigsawa Keiichi, I had high expectations. And while, from the first episode, it becomes clear that Allison & Lillia is a very different type of adventure series from Kino’s Journey, I still couldn’t see any obvious reason not to expect a quality anime. The end of the first arc fixed these expectations with its lack of logic and erratic sense of morality setting the tone for the rest of the series. It doesn’t take long to forget that this series has anything to do with Kino’s Journey which, in all honesty, is a good thing. Any comparison between this and Kino’s Journey would just make Allison & Lillia look stupid, which it certainly doesn’t need; Allison & Lillia is perfectly capable of making itself look stupid on its own.

I don’t want to suggest that Allison & Lillia is a total loss, because it isn’t. Despite some major shortcomings, the show does a decent job of constructing a cast of likable (if flat) characters. This is true moreso of the first half of the show than it is in the second, with Allison in particular keeping the show lively with her buoyancy and eagerness for adventure. Allison, voiced by Mizuki Nana, and Fiona, voiced by Noto Mamiko, are cases of accidental moé if I’ve ever seen it. Allison is a pouty tsundere, whose strong-headed attitude makes for a stark contrast to the vulnerable side she shows to Wil and her romantic frustration at his obliviousness, while Fiona is dependent and a little naïve, as well as having the quintessential voice of moé. It makes for extremely cute female characters, one of the refreshing cases where the moé characteristics are incidental and aren’t forced down your throat, but it’s ultimately out-of-place, since this is an action/adventure series that’s supposed to be taken seriously.

What truly hinders Allison & Lillia’s chances of being taken seriously is its embarrassing script, riddled with unlikely coincidences, farfetched events and characters who apparently have limited cognitive ability. With rare exception, each arc ends in an anticlimactic cataclysm of illogical revelations and/or deus ex machina resolutions. One major antagonist meets his demise after a gust of wind blows him off a tall building, while two arcs have the same protagonist surviving life-threatening situations because of one-in-a-hundred coincidences (in fact, the second time, the odds are probably lower than that). The motivations behind the antagonists’ actions turn out to be, time-and-again, mindnumbing, and it becomes obvious that the rationale behind their actions isn’t important enough for the scriptwriters to bother thinking through, since they’re there purely to generate conflict. The protagonists, on the other hand, are morally erratic, expressing deep indignation at the antagonists’ evil schemes, only to themselves do or plan to do something atrocious to thwart them without a single acknowledgement of their own hypocrisy.

While the show does have a few good things about it, the fact remains that the more one thinks about Allison & Lillia, the more illogical it becomes. As is the norm, Madhouse do a fairly good job of setting an absorbing atmosphere; unfortunately this is undone after-the-fact by the anticlimactic nature of the arc resolutions. The animation and music are reasonable, the characters are likable enough and the world is vast and detailed. However, the writing is a disaster. Believe me, the irony of the final episode ending with a trainwreck isn’t lost on me. In fact, metaphorically speaking, most of the arcs end with a trainwreck.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Allison and Lillia. Watch it now:
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