When I finished this series, my wife asked me – as she so often does, “Was it good?” Dissolved in laughter on the couch, I squeaked out “It was great!” She stopped doing what she was doing and said “Really?” To which I replied, still laughing so hard I was crying, “No, it was *dreadful*!”
I tell you this now, because if you really liked Shiroyuki Gakuen/Innocent Lilies, you’ll want to understand that I did not “like” it as such, but found it to be highly amusing. ^_^
The story begins with Moga, a young woman who enters an exclusive private school (vaguely Catholic school-ish in style, but with no actual religious imagery,) after her younger sister apparently took her own life. Note, I say “apparently”. Moga meets and befriends the other newbies in the school. We learn that they are all there to become a White Witch…for which they will have to undergo hard training and endure pain and suffering. Their three creepy upperclassman are cruel in a totally not really-cruel-at-all way and the girls chew up the scenes with their overacting with pain and suffering.
It turns out that, in fact, only one of them can truly become a White Witch, and to do that, she will have to increase her emotional wounds by killing the others! Oh Noes!
Then stuff happens, there’s lots of tears and deaths and more stuff and Moga becomes a White Witch. Amazing, right? ^_^ Who’dathunk it? But it turns out there’s a final boss and if you think about it for a second you’ll guess who it is.
The service is a checklist of skanky things, which makes the whole series a tad cringe-making, from bust and butt shots to milk bukkake, with long lingering moments for the service. It makes me sad that this is not done ironically, but very, very seriously so it’s important to someone, somewhere.
The cinematography is excruciating, with tons of lens flares and nauseating use of in-and-out-of-focus constantly, but since the whole thing feels utterly low budget, it’s perfectly okay. The fight choreography is shockingly decent considering everything. The script is, of course, B-movie bad, but I really think that was done on purpose and the actresses, members of the otaku idol group Denpagumi, do their very best to overact it just perfectly. And the s/fx are really quite good, but there’s kind of no excuse anymore for bad s/fx, even with low budgets.
There is Yuri-service and even a quite sincere kiss late in the series, but don’t expect Yuri to equal good things. Yuri is just another in the list of “service” along with school-assigned negligees, milk baths and bathing suits.
Overall, Innocent Lilies is a slightly painful, slightly hysterically funny, all awkward live action fantasy series. I’m a little worried that I might actually be the target audience for this kind of thing, but then again, if I were, we would have way more fighting and way less service. Phew. ^_^;
Innocent Lillies is available free, legally on Viki.com. The translations are crowdsourced – Episode 1 is up to 21 languages, which I have to admit, amazes me. Good on you, creepy fans of the world. ^_^
Story – 6 Hee hee hee
Characters – 6 Awkwardly conceived and acted, but kind of likable anyway
Acting – All the hallmarks of 25 year olds pretending to be 14, but they did their best
Cinematography – 5 Enough with the out of focus and cut-scenes
Yuri – 3
Service – 10
Overall – 6
I can’t say I hated it, and I’m laughing just thinking about it, but I can’t say it’s good. “2chan bad” is my best description of it.
I just learned that Denpagumi will be performing at KawaiiFest in Harajuku. Gosh, I hope I get to see them.