***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Lapis Re:LiGHTs. Reader discretion is advised.***
The young Tiara (voiced by Yukari Anzai) has left home to attend Flora Girls’ Academy, a school of magic. Once there, she is reunited with her best friend Rosetta (voiced by Risa Kubota), and the two are placed in the same ranking group. What Tiara doesn’t realize is that her dream of learning magic is in great danger.
At Flora Girls’, an individual’s success is tied to their group’s, and should the group fail, so does the individual. To her dismay, Tiara’s group is at the bottom of their class and is already close to expulsion.
However, there are many ways to reverse this situation. Along with improving their academic scores, Tiara and her new friends can join together and put on an Orchestra, the ultimate show of majesty, music, and magic. Whatever may come, though, Tiara knows she has found a place to belong.
Despite being a series I am not going to recommend, I hope Lapis Re:LiGHTs gets a second season. Here was a show that operated at overcapacity. It had far too many moving parts running at the same time. It was cumbersome, and as an unfortunate result, most everything about it felt unimportant.
It appeared as though Lapis Re:LiGHTs was trying to throw everything it had into a one-shot season, thus making the need for a continuation unnecessary. The real shame of it all, once you look past its sheer mass, this series had quite a few things going for it.
To start, Lapis Re:LiGHTs was a beautiful anime; its visuals and animation were absolutely gorgeous. This series was a treat for the eyes, from the vibrant colors to the swift and smooth character movements. Considering everything that was put into this show, it’s nice that one of those things was a budget.
Naturally, Lapis Re:LiGHTs visual crown jewel was the Orchestras. Seeing how these moments were the entire reason for this show’s existence, the least they could have been was spectacular, and they were. Granted, when these scenes came up, the series did transform into a CGI music video. What I mean is this was the same CGI style that has been a part of the music/idol genre since Love Live released eight years ago (as of this review).
Although this type of computer animation is impossible to ignore, it has found a place in anime. In shows like Lapis Re:LiGHTs, it is not used as the primary visual style. Had this series been all this, like Sakura Wars the Animation (which had other reasons for failing), it would have been distracting. It would have also taken away these scenes’ whole purpose. These were showcases of exceptional circumstances – a special treat if you will.
With all that laid out, did the Orchestras, animation, and, of course, music help Lapis Re:LiGHTs in the long run? To that, the only thing I can say is, they sure didn’t hurt.
To give this show some more credit, it’s main cast, the titular LiGHTs, weren’t half bad themselves. In fact, they are the reason why I think this series could have a more successful second season. They were also the greatest victims of the overcrowdedness.
The girls of LiGHTs were a charm point to this series; they were what would have turned this show into a hidden gem had it not been for everything else. Believe it or not, there were several times when these characters got a laugh out of me. The LiGHTs were worth caring about, and, for me, at least, I wanted to get to know them better.
However, Lapis Re:LiGHTs tried to do too much. Instead of allowing its best aspect to flourish and grow, this series drowned it out with a ton of pointless background noise.
You could see the problems with this show within the opening song; it went out of its way to highlight EIGHTEEN different characters.
Seeing such a long cast list in an opening theme gives no indication that a series will allot everyone a significant amount of time. Most characters might just make an appearance, nothing more. To that end, yes, Lapis Re:LiGHTs didn’t – or rather, couldn’t – include everyone.
BUT IT SURE AS HELL TRIED.
This series had a shockingly short attention span; it couldn’t go long before jumping to something else. This would have been one thing had it only followed the different members of LiGHTs. After all, those were the characters that mattered the most. The problem was, that wasn’t possible.
Once we were introduced to all the LiGHTs, they very rarely separated to do their own thing. Therefore, there was never any cause to jump between them. What this series did instead was check on what the girls of the other Orchestra groups were doing.
Maybe this wouldn’t have been so bad had these many, MANY side plots done something to add to the overall narrative. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
Lapis Re:LiGHTs wasted so much time on nothing. There was an episode when a bunch of other characters were off exploring the nearby woods. It’s not essential to know why they did this; they just were. Not included in this group were any of the LiGHTs girls. They were back at school, playing some weird magical board game to obtain a map that would lead them to the same woods to join in with what ever the hell was going on.
Why did we spend two full episodes on this matter? I’m not sure, but by the end, we got another pointless character who never did anything after her introduction.
Lapis Re:LiGHTs would have been six episodes shorter had it cut out everything that didn’t have to do with its main cast. And you know what, that would have been fine. It would have meant spending more time on the aspects that should have made this series worth watching.
Although it was a pretty and well-animated, this series was a gigantic mess, and it didn’t have to be.
Had this show simply held back on an idea or two or ten, then it might have had a winner. At the core of this series was a solid group of characters that could have made this into a memorable watch. Unfortunately, these characters, for some reason, had to share their time with so much needless fluff.
Again, I do hope this idea gets another shot because I do believe there is something here. Until then, though, Lapis Re:LiGHTs can be skipped.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Lapis Re:LiGHTs? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.