According to weekly polls by AnimeCorner, Lycoris Recoil is by far the most popular anime for Summer 2022. This original anime from studio A1-Pictures consistently tops the chart week after week. Even when it slipped from the pole position, it only fell to a mere third in the list. So it’s safe to say that tons of people watch Lycoris Recoil this summer.
Unfortunately, Lycoris Recoil is scheduled to only have 13 episodes for this season. It’s unclear whether or not it will receive a second season, so these 13 episodes might be all the content that we can get from this story. Needless to say, lots of viewers might find themselves wanting to see more anime like this. And that is where this article comes in.
However, before we move on to talk about 6 anime like Lycoris Recoil, please bear in mind that this article purposely chooses to list only newer anime in order to prevent recommending the same old anime over and over again. So even if Gunslinger Girl or Puella Magi Madoka Magica may fit the bill, it won’t make it into the list.
Similar Anime to Lycoris Recoil
6. Sabage-bu! (Sabagebu! -Survival Game Club!-)
The main theme for this article is “Cute girls with guns”. So let’s start with something light with a story about a Survival Game Club in an all-girl high school. The name of the anime is Sabagebu, and it is hilarious. In this anime, the members of the Survival Game Club from the Aogiri Academy are a bunch of Gun enthusiasts. One of their members even brings her twin desert eagle wherever she goes.
Sure, in the context of the story, they only use BB Guns, but that doesn’t stop the show from portraying their interaction as if it’s a real gunfight. For example, in one of the club’s mock battles, we get to see a twin-tail girl shooting the other members with her twin pistols, while another girl who always appears shy and innocent suddenly dual-wielding Uzis and raining down bullets on her opponent. It was crazy, it was cute, and it is extremely fun to watch, just like Lycoris Recoil.
Sabagebu! Survival Game Club Official Trailer:
5. Assault Lily: Bouquet
“Cute girls with guns” alone is not enough to describe Lycoris Recoil. At the very least, there has to be an element of action embedded into the story. In that case, the one anime that fits that description the most has to be Assault Lily: Bouquet.
In this anime, giant monsters called “The Huge” frequently come and wreak havoc in the city. After decades of research and fighting, a system called Lily is finally implemented. A handful of gifted 16 to 17 years old girls are recruited into a special academy where they will be trained as a Lily. They only have one job, which is to destroy the Huge. And the weapon that they use is something akin to Gun Blades, which is a ridiculously huge sword that can transform into a gun.
While it's true that Assault Lily lacks the wholesomeness and the subtleties that you can find in Lycoris Recoil, it makes up for it through its mind-blowing action sequences. The fluid and dynamic animation of a bunch of cute girls in frilly uniforms slashing and shooting giant monsters is truly an amazing sight to behold.
Assault Lily BOUQUET Official Trailer:
4. Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
We are still in the “Cute girls with guns” theme, but let’s add a competitive element to the mix while still retaining the action element at the same time. What we get with those blends is Gun Gale Online. As the name suggests, it is a spin-off of one of the story arcs in Sword Art Online. However, this one features entirely new characters and a storyline.
Gun Gale Online tells the story of a cute little girl dressed in all-pink military garbs. She used a pink P90 submachine gun as her primary weapon. This all-pink theme and the fact that she often ambushed and killed numerous veteran GGO players in a matter of seconds earned her the nickname of the “Pink Devil”. We enter the story as she is about to compete in a battle royale tournament called the Squad Jam.
Gun Gale Online may not require its characters to be real hitmen like in Lycoris Recoil, but the intensity of the chaotic gunfight is extremely similar. Your eyes are guaranteed to be glued to the screen during every action sequence.
Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Trailer 1:
Any Anime Like Lycoris Recoil ?
3. Release the Spyce
Other than the “Cute girls with guns, and swords” theme, let’s add new ingredients in the form of “Crime fighting” and “Secret organization”, which lead us into an anime called Release the Spyce. The story revolves around a group of high school girls who are a part of a secret organization called Tsukikage. They are a vigilante group who swore to protect the city of Sorasaki from any criminals, particularly from an underground criminal organization called Moryo.
Tsukikage has been around since the feudal Japan era. They started as a group of kunoichi (female ninja), but as time goes by, they also begin to incorporate high-tech tools into their arsenals, such as guns, various smart devices like invisibility cream or lock-picking hairpins, and even machine guns and missile launchers that are hidden within a family car. That being said, the core of their power still comes from special spices. When consumed, those spices will temporarily enhance the physical ability of every Tsukikage member.
As you can see, there are tons of similarities between Release the Spyce and Lycoris Recoil. Sure, Release the Spyce might not have the “Assassination” element that is so prevalent in Lycoris Recoil. But we argue that magical spices are a nice trade-off, don’t you agree?
Release the Spyce:
2. Princess Principal
Princess Principal is similar to Release the Spyce in a lot of ways. It has the “Girls with guns and swords”, it has high school girls as secret agents, and those girls also work in order to usher the world into a better place, at least to some extent. That being said, there are two key areas where both anime differ from each other, which are the setting and the political intrigue.
You see, the story of Princess Principal takes place in London during the Victorian era. The Kingdom of Albion which reigned supreme as a Military powerhouse at the time fractured into the Kingdom of Albion in the East, and the Commonwealth of Albion in the west, with the gloomy London, standing at its epicenter. Inevitably, London becomes the place where the secret wars happen between the spies from both nations.
The main characters in the story are a group of high school girls who happen to be spies for the West. They work under an organization called Control and are tasked with various dangerous missions. From disguising as the Princess of the Kingdom to killing a defector, these girls would do anything to ensure the West has the upper hand in the secret wars.
The girls’ ruthless nature and the reliance on the command from the top are some of the things that make Princess Principal highly similar to Lycoris Recoil. However, while Lycoris Recoil tells a rather cheerful and wholesome story, Princess Principal showcases a grim story that is full of twists and mysteries.
Princess Principal Official Trailer:
1. Grisaia: Phantom Trigger The Animation
Phantom Trigger is a spin-off of the Grisaia series that featured mostly new characters and new storylines. That being said, this spin-off still retains the same overall concept of high school assassins who work for a secret organization called CIRS and would go on different missions in order to eradicate bad guys, at least most of them. Unlike the original Grisaia which features a quiet male teenager who happens to be a master assassin as the main character, this one focuses more on a group of cute girls with guns and assault rifles.
Phantom Trigger is about the five students of Class A from the Mihama Private Academy. Although the Academy itself is a training ground for future assassins, Class A is a bit different. They are a part of a unit called SORD (Special Operation, Research, and Development). In a nutshell, they are a group of interns who work in the field from time to time.
When in school, the girls of Class A lead a rather ordinary and even quite wholesome life. But when they’re on the job, the energetic Rena would turn into a berserker who would punch people to death, the tsundere Touka will turn into a ruthless sniper who wouldn’t hesitate to do a headshot in the middle of a crowd, and the laid-back Ikoma will turn into a silent killer who would appear out of nowhere and cut the throat of the enemy.
As you can see, Phantom Trigger has tons of similarities to Lycoris Recoil. The high school girls who are secretly assassins, the secret organization, the intense mission, the wholesome moments, etc. Sure, the overall vibe of the story might be different. After all, Lycoris Recoil feels more open and warm, while there’s a thick air of mystery, ambiguity, and ruthlessness all over Phantom Trigger. But compared to other anime out there, Grisaia: Phantom Trigger is easily the closest one to Lycoris Recoil.
"Grisaia: Phantom Trigger THE ANIMATION Stargazer" Notice:
There are a lot of variables that contribute to the success and popularity of Lycoris Recoil. One of them is its ability to combine a popular theme, which is “Cute girls with guns”, with its overall wholesome vibe and lovable characters.
This put Lycoris Recoil into a unique position. Because while you can find numerous “Cute girls with guns” anime throughout the years, there’s nothing quite like Lycoris Recoil out there. This list represents a handful of recent anime that can come close to Lycoris Recoil. So if you like the cute hitman from Lycoris Recoil, be sure to give the anime in this list a try.
Have you watched any anime on this list? If you have, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.